MARKSVILLE, La. (AP) — The Latest on a trial for a Louisiana law enforcement officer charged with murder in a 6-year-old boy’s fatal shooting (all times local):
The victims’ relatives softly wept as jurors watched graphic video from a police officer’s body camera of a shooting that killed a 6-year-old boy and critically wounded his father during a confrontation with law enforcement officers in central Louisiana.
At least two of the 12 jurors and two alternates for Derrick Stafford’s murder trial had to wipe away tears as they watched the 14-minute-long tape Monday.
Stafford is one of two deputy city marshals charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the death of Jeremy Mardis and wounding of his father, Christopher Few.
Stafford, a Marksville police officer, was moonlighting as a deputy city marshal on the night of Nov. 3, 2015, when he and another deputy opened fire on a car in which the by and his father were riding.
Prosecutors are trying to persuade jurors that a Louisiana law enforcement officer had a history of violent, abusive conduct while on duty before he was charged with murder over a young boy’s shooting.
The first witness to testify Monday at the start of Derrick Stafford’s murder trial was Aleathia Barbin, a woman who said the officer shocked her with a stun gun while she was handcuffed in the back of a patrol vehicle in January 2011.
Barbin testified that Stafford didn’t say anything before he shocked her in the abdomen. But she said he later talked to her “like we were best friends” as he drove her to a hospital.
Stafford, a Marksville police officer, was moonlighting as a deputy city marshal on the night of Nov. 3, 2015, when he and another deputy opened fire on a car, killing 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis and critically wounding his father. A prosecutor told jurors during the trial’s opening statements that the deputies weren’t in any danger.
An attorney for a Louisiana law enforcement officer charged with murder in a 6-year-old boy’s shooting blames the child’s father for the deadly confrontation.
A prosecutor told jurors on Monday that Derrick Stafford and another deputy marshal weren’t in any danger when they fired a barrage of bullets at a car, killing Jeremy Mardis and critically wounding his father in Marksville on the night of Nov. 3, 2015.
But defense attorney Jonathan Goins said during opening statements for Stafford’s trial that Jeremy’s father, Christopher Few, led officers on a dangerous, high-speed chase and rammed into a deputy’s vehicle before the shooting. Goins called Few as “the author of that child’s fate.”
The prosecutor said Few will testify he made “the biggest mistake of his life” when he didn’t stop for the officers but had feared that he would lose custody of his son.
Jurors are set to hear attorneys’ opening statements for the trial of a Louisiana law enforcement officer charged with murder in the shooting death of a 6-year-old autistic boy.
Derrick Stafford’s trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Marksville after a weeklong process of selecting 12 jurors and two alternates to hear the case.
Stafford is one of two deputy city marshals charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder over the November 2015 shooting that killed Jeremy Mardis and critically wounded his father, Christopher Few, after a car chase.
Video from a police officer’s body camera shows the father had his hands raised inside his vehicle while Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr. fired.
Defense attorneys claim the officers acted in self-defense.
Greenhouse faces a separate trial later this year.