A Louisiana cop who fatally shot a 6-year-old autistic boy five times on November 3, 2015 was convicted of the crime on Friday.
Marksville city marshal Derrick Stafford found himself in hot water before in 2011 when he was indicted on two counts of aggravated rape for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, but Rapides Parish assistant district attorney Monique Metoyer dismissed the charges without explanation.
During the recent trial, Stafford testified in his own defense and attempted to explain to jurors why he didn’t render any aid to 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis, who was riding in the passenger seat with his father Chris Few when he was shot and killed.
“I was in complete shock,” he told jurors.
Stafford, along with his partner, Norris Greenhouse Jr., who is believed to have had an affair with the boy’s mother, is awaiting trial on the same charges.
Stafford and Greenhouse gave the same old excuse to kill, claiming they tried to pull Few over for a warrant, then feared for their lives after Few attempted to run them over by backing into Greenhouse, who had fallen on the ground.
However, dash cam video shows the car not only never moved but was parked at an angle where it could not have backed into the cops even if it tried.
The video instead shows Chris Few inside the car with his hands out the window parked perpendicular to Stafford and Greenhouse Jr. when they roll up in their police cars, jump out and blast rounds into Few’s vehicle.
Five rounds struck Jeremy Mardis, an autistic first-grader, in the head and chest, killing him.
Stafford and Greenhouse claim they had no idea Jeremy was sitting beside his father in the passenger seat.
Three days later, Stafford and Greenhouse were arrested on murder charges with their bonds set at $1 million each shortly before a judge issued a gag order, which left details of the case unexplained.
Many questioned why the two city marshals were pursuing Few’s vehicle in the first place since city marshals typically spend their days serving warrants and serving other court documents.
It is believed Greenhouse was having an affair with Few’s fiancee, resulting in Few telling the cop to leave her alone a few days before the shooting, which may have led to the car chase before the tragic shooting.
“We believe that they had some type of relationship where they met each other, knew each other,” Michael Edmonson, Louisiana State Police Superintendent Col., said.
During his trial, Stafford testified he never saw what is apparent in the video, according to KALB.
“I believed Few was using his vehicle as a dangerous weapon to hurt one of us.” he explained. “As I shot, I back pedalled for safety. I never saw his hands go up.”
“I was defending fellow officers,” Stafford told the jury.
The state wrapped up closing arguments around 4:30 Friday afternoon.
“What we have is a case of a ticking time bomb.”
The jury agreed.
Stafford is set for sentencing for manslaughter charges on March 31.