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 is the attorney for Chris Few, who was seriously wounded when local marshals in the town of Marksville opened fire. His son, Jeremy Mardis, was killed in the backseat.
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 Derrick 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.
Few remained hospitalized Monday, missing the family’s funeral, scheduled for that afternoon in Mississippi, said his attorney, Mark Jeansonne.
Jeansonne also said that Few’s condition is improving, but that he has not yet been told that his son was killed.
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.