Jury selection begins for Derrick Stafford murder trial

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MARKSVILLE, La. (KALB) - Jury selection has begun in Marksville for the Derrick Stafford murder trial. Stafford is one of the two men accused of the 2015 murder of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis and the attempted murder of his father, Chris Few.

Derrick Stafford (03/13/17) KALB

The first thing that was addressed was a motion of continuance by the defense.

Stafford's attorneys Johnathan Goins and Chris Lacour said the state hired an expert witness, but didn't tell the defense until last Friday evening. They said it's not enough time to prepare an argument against that witness.

"It is an ambush," said Goins in court on Monday.

The state argued that the witness was hired because the defense's recent claims that there was a third shooter, referring to Kenneth Parnell.

The state also argued that the defense knew about this information for almost a year but did not move on it until just recently.

Ultimately, Judge Bennett ruled that both parties have had plenty of time to prepare, and he denied the motion.

Now, jury selection continues. There have been 600 Avoyelles Parish residents summoned, 300 scheduled for Monday and 300 for Tuesday.

There's also a chance of a change of venue. But Judge Bennett said he'll make that decision after the jury questioning process.

As of the end of Monday, six jurors had been tentatively selected.



 
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