MARKSVILLE, La. (AP) — A judge set bail at $1 million each on Monday for two law enforcement officers jailed on murder charges in the shooting death of a 6-year-old autistic boy who was strapped into a child safety seat in the back of his father’s car.
The father of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis, Chris Few, also was shot last Tuesday and remained hospitalized Monday, missing the family’s funeral, scheduled for that afternoon in Mississippi, said his attorney, Mark Jeansonne (ZHAN’-sawn).
Jeansonne also said that Few’s condition is improving, but that he has not yet been told that his son was killed.
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. Their bail amount was relayed to the media by Jeansonne outside the closed hearing in the Lousiana jail where the officers were being held.
Also Monday, District Attorney Charles A. Riddle recused himself from the case, because one of his top assistant prosecutors is the father of Greenhouse. The case is “not good for any of us,” Riddle said.
The state attorney general’s officer will take over the prosecution.
Louisiana State Police announced late Friday that they had arrested the two marshals. The case raised questions almost immediately. Initial reports suggested the marshals were serving a warrant on Few when the shooting happened, but Louisiana’s state police chief, Col. Mike Edmonson, said there was no evidence a warrant was issued, and no gun was found on the scene.
Stafford is a full-time lieutenant with the Marksville Police Department; Greenhouse is a full-time city marshal. Both were working part time as deputy marshals in Marksville’s Ward 2 Tuesday when they allegedly opened fire on Few’s car.
Investigators have been reviewing forensics evidence, 911 calls and body camera footage. They have not released the footage or the calls, but Edmonson described the body camera footage at a news conference Friday as “the most disturbing thing I’ve seen.” He added that the boy had died while still buckled into his seat in the car.
Mardis was to be buried Monday in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He had recently moved from Hattiesburg to Louisiana.