April 30, 2017

Louisiana Officer Convicted Of Manslaughter In 6-Year-Old Autistic Boy's Death

26 March 2017, 12:40 | Leonard Manning

Derrick Stafford arrives for trial on Friday March 24 Marksville trial day 5

Derrick Stafford arrives for trial on Friday March 24

The Advocate reports ( ) that Stafford testified Friday that he shot at the vehicle because he feared Few was going to back up and hit the other deputy, Norris Greenhouse Jr.

Stafford was one of two deputy city marshals, along with Norris Greenhouse Jr., 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 vehicle chase.

A Louisiana cop has been convicted of fatally shooting a 6-year-old autistic boy after a high-speed vehicle chase turned into a deadly shooting spree, prosecutors said Friday.

Derrick Stafford breaks for lunch at the Avoyelles Parish courthouse during jury selection for his trial, in Marksville, Louisiana on March 13, 2017.

Stafford fired 14 of the bullets, the court heard.

Greenhouse faces a separate trial later this year.

While prosecutors said the video shows Few, the driver of the SUV, had his hands up when officers fired, Stafford said he never saw Few raise his hands before or during the shooting.

A Louisiana officer has been found guilty of killing a 6-year-old child with autism during a high-speed chase.

Graphic body cam footage showed that Christopher Few had raised his hands in a universal sign of surrender before the deputies opened fire.

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After reviewing the officers' vest cameras, the prosecutors found a most disturbing fact - before the officers sprayed Few's auto with bullets, the man rolled down the window, and put his hands up, signaling that he wants to surrender.

Christopher LaCour, Stafford's defense attorney, expressed disappointment that law officials didn't support his client.

Derrick Stafford, a 33-year-old former Marksville police officer and part-time city marshal, left the courthouse in shackles after the jury returned to the courtroom to announce their verdict by a 10-2 vote following almost three hours of deliberation.

Stafford reportedly cried in court when prosecutors showed him pictures of the slain boy, saying, "Never in a million years would I have fired my weapon if I knew a child was in that vehicle".

"I felt I had no choice but to save Norris".

Footage from an officer's body camera reportedly appears to show Few had his hands raised in the air while in the auto once the vehicle was at a stop. But he did believe that Few - who Stafford said had already backed into Greenhouse's patrol vehicle - had thrown his auto back into reverse, looked backward and appeared like he might run over Greenhouse.

"I wouldn't even call it a chase", Sinquefield said, "I'd call it a parade".

A few minutes later, Stafford told jurors through tears that the pictures made him think of his own child.

Few was told of his son's death when he regained consciousness in hospital six days after the shooting, on the day of the boy's funeral. Stafford was suspended from the Marksville Police Department in 2011 after he was indicted on rape charges, but got his job back after the charges were dismissed, the Guardian reports.

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