The Latest: 2 officers named as defendants in previous suit

AP News
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Posted: Nov 09, 2015 7:15 PM

MARKSVILLE, La. (AP) — The latest on the murder charges against two local marshals in the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy (all times local):

6 p.m.

Two law enforcement officers facing charges in the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy are among six defendants in a lawsuit alleging excessive force in a 2014 arrest.

The lawsuit was filed by Ian Fridge, of Ascension Parish. The lawsuit says he traveled to the Marksville area in July 2014 to promote the Libertarian Party and he was legally carrying a visible, holstered firearm at an Independence Day festival when he was accosted by officers who handcuffed him and shocked him with a Taser.

The lawsuit includes a copy of an arrest warrant accusing Fridge of resisting arrest and possessing a firearm at a place where alcohol was being served. Fridge's suit says he did not resist and that he was in an open public area and not in any establishment where alcohol was served. None of the defendants have responded to the lawsuit.

Two officers named in the lawsuit are Norris Greenhouse and Derrick Stafford, who were jailed Friday on second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder charges in last week's shooting death of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis. The boy's father was wounded.

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4 p.m.

Booking records show that two police officers charged in the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy have been transferred from a jail in Marksville, Louisiana, where the shooting happened, to the central Louisiana city of Alexandria.

The reason for the transfer wasn't immediately clear. A state police spokesman declined comment, citing a judge's gag order in the case. The order bars anyone involved in the case from providing information to the media.

Thirty-two-year-old Derrick Stafford of Mansura and 23-year-old Norris Greenhouse Jr. of Marksville are charged with second-degree murder in the death of Jeremy Mardis. They also are charged with attempted second-degree murder in the wounding of his father, Christopher Few.

They were working as city marshals last Tuesday when they opened fire on the car occupied by the father and son. The reason for the shooting remains unclear.

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1:45 p.m.

Family and friends of a 6-year-old boy shot to death in his father's car have gathered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to remember him. Jeremy Mardis killed last week in a confrontation with police in Marksville, Louisiana, where his father was severely wounded.

Anita Bonnette is assistant principal at Lafargue Elementary School in Effie, Louisiana, where Mardis was one of her students. She said the school brought in a crisis team to counsel classmates and staff.

"He was just a very sweet loving little boy who enjoyed being at school and enjoyed his friends," she said outside the Moore Funeral Home in Hattiesburg.

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1 p.m.

Some people in Marksville, Louisiana, say authorities should be ashamed for setting $1 million bonds for two city marshals who face murder charges in the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy.

Latasha Murray joined a group of people outside the jail where a closed hearing was held Monday for officers Norris Greenhouse and Derrick Stafford. Each is charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in last week's shooting death of Jeremy Mardis and the wounding of his father, Chris Few.

Murray said bond should have been denied by state District Judge William Bennett. Town resident Barbara Scott expressed outrage that they could walk free on the day of the boy's funeral. "Shame, shame, shame," Scott said.

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11:25 a.m.

A lawyer says body camera video shows the father of a 6-year-old autistic boy who was shot to death in his car had his hands in the air and did not pose a threat before police opened fire last week.

Mark Jeansonne (ZHAN'-sawn) is the attorney for Chris Few, who was seriously wounded when local marshals in the town of Marksville opened fire. His 6-year-old, Jeremy Mardis, was strapped into his seatbelt in the front passenger seat.

Jeansonne said "this was not a threatening situation for the police."

Jeansonne spoke with The Associated Press after a closed hearing for the two marshals, now jailed on $1 million bond. Thirty-two-year-old Derrick Stafford of Mansura and 23-year-old Norris Greenhouse Jr., of Marksville each is charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

State police declined to comment on the video, citing the ongoing investigation.

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The above item has been changed to correct that the boy was buckled into the front passenger seat, not the backseat, and Greenhouse's first name is Norris, not Derrick.

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11 a.m.

A lawyer says bail has been set at $1 million each for two Louisiana law enforcement officers jailed in the shooting death of a 6-year-old boy and the wounding of his father.

Mark Jeansonne (ZHAN'-sawn) is the attorney for Chris Few, the father of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis. Few was seriously wounded and Mardis was killed last week when marshals in the town of Marksville opened fire on their car.

The officers, 32-year-old Derrick Stafford of Mansura and 23-year-old Derrick Greenhouse Jr., of Marksville each is charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder.

Bail was set at a Monday hearing closed to the press and public. Jeansonne told reporters outside the sheriff's office about the bail amount. Jeansonne also said that Few's condition is improving, but that he has not yet been told that his son was killed.

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9:20 a.m.

The district attorney in the parish where two marshals face murder charges in the death of a 6-year-old autistic boy has recused himself from the case, and a hearing related to the defendants' bond will be closed to the public and to reporters.

District Attorney Charles A. Riddle says one of his top assistant prosecutors is the father of defendant Norris Greenhouse Jr. The state attorney general's office will take over the prosecution of the case.

Riddle says the episode is "not good for any of us."

Twenty-three-year-old Greenhouse and 32-year-old Derrick Stafford are being held in jail in Marksville.

A judge is expected to meet with them there Monday morning for a hearing related to their bond. Reporters and the public won't be allowed.

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4:25 a.m.

Family and friends of a 6-year-old autistic boy killed when marshals in a Louisiana town opened fire on a vehicle are gathering for the boy's funeral.

Authorities have said Jeremy Mardis was killed and his father, Chris Few, was wounded when marshals in Marksville, Louisiana, opened fire on their vehicle last week.

Mardis will be buried Monday in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He had recently moved from Hattiesburg to Louisiana.

Louisiana state police late Friday arrested two marshals in the case. Authorities are still trying to unravel what happened Tuesday evening. Initial reports suggested the marshals were serving a warrant on Few when the shooting happened.

But the Louisiana head of state police has said there was no evidence a warrant was issued, and no gun found at the scene.