Louisiana deputy marshals indicted in killing of six-year-old boy

Two deputy marshals in Louisiana are facing charges of second-degree murder for the death of a 6-year-old during a Nov. 3 car chase. 

Lee Celano/Reuters/File
Mourners, believed to be family members, embrace as they gather for the burial of six-year old Jeremy Mardis at a cemetery in Beaumont, Miss., Nov. 9. A grand jury on Thursday indicted two Louisiana deputy marshals for second-degree murder in Jeremy's death.

A Louisiana grand jury indicted two deputy marshals on charges of second-degree murder on Thursday after a 6-year-old boy was killed last month during a volley of gunfire as the officers chased his father's car.

The officers, Derrick Stafford, 32, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, also face charges of second-degree attempted murder in the wounding of the boy's father under the indictment returned by a grand jury in central Louisiana's Avoyelles Parish.

"I want Stafford and Greenhouse Jr. to get what they deserve. I want justice," said Cathy Mardis, Jeremy's 46-year-old grandmother, who described the weeks since the shooting as "pure hell."

The two deputy marshals fired at least 18 times at the car during the Nov. 3 incident, wounding 25-year-old Chris Few and killing his son, Jeremy Mardis, who was buckled into the front passenger seat, state police have said.

While local authorities initially said the deputy marshals were trying to arrest Few on a warrant when he fled by car, state police later said there was no record of a warrant. State police found no evidence that Few was armed.

Prosecutors declined to comment on the evidence presented to the grand jury.

Footage of the shooting was captured on a body camera by a third officer at the scene, according to state authorities.

The video has not been publicly released but was described by the superintendent of theLouisiana State Police, Colonel Mike Edmonson, as "the most disturbing thing I've seen."

Edmonson has said state police were trying to figure out why the officers chased Few's car and what caused them to shoot.

Defense attorney Jonathan Goins, who is representing Stafford, said he had not yet seen the evidence, but his client deserved his day in court.

"I believe there was a rush to judgment," Goins said.

Greenhouse was released from jail after posting $1 million bail. An attorney for Stafford, who remains in jail, said his client cannot afford the $1 million bail and has asked a judge to lower the amount.

(Editing by Letitia Stein in Tampa, Florida; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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