A police officer in Louisiana fighting murder charges in the death of a 6-year-old boy with autism is pleading self-defense, saying he feared for his life.
In late 2015, Norris Greenhouse, Jr., 24, and Lt. Derrick Stafford, 32, of the Marksville, Louisiana police department, opened fire on Christopher Few’s car while his young son, Jeremy Mardis, was strapped in the front seat. While Few survived the injuries sustained from the gunshots, Mardis was killed at the scene.
Because Few was backing his car toward the officers, attorneys representing Stafford say his indictments for second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder should be dropped as he was in fear for his life.
“A review of the indictment by the court would show that the state does not state any allegations of fact that would satisfy the essential element of specific intent for the offenses charged whereby trier of fact could support a conviction,” Stafford’s attorneys wrote to the court.
In body camera video of the shooting, which has still not been publicly released after nearly a year, prosecutors with the Louisiana Attorney General’s office say Greenhouse and Stafford fired on Few’s car from a “safe distance,” even while Few had his hands in the air in a plea to stop the officers from firing on his vehicle.
This isn’t Stafford’s first brush with criminal charges. In 2011, he was charged with raping two women in Rapides Parish — an 18-year-old girl, and a 16-year-old girl on her birthday. The charges were dropped in 2012.
Both Stafford and Greenhouse are facing separate trials for their charges. Stafford will stand trial on November 28, and Greenhouse’s trial is scheduled for March 2017. Louisiana state district judge William Bennett will hear Stafford’s argument to quash the indictment next Wednesday.