State expects to rest on Wednesday in Derrick Stafford trial

Derrick Stafford arrives at court 3/22/2017 (KALB)
Derrick Stafford arrives at court 3/22/2017 (KALB)(KALB)
Published: Mar. 22, 2017 at 10:49 AM CDT
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State testimony has continued for a third day in Marksville for the trial of Derrick Stafford - one of the two deputy Ward 2 city marshals charged with the murder of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis and the attempted murder of his father Chris Few in November 2015.

On Wednesday morning, we heard from Sgt. Howard Johnson with Louisiana State Police, a crash reconstruction expert.

He said that there was evidence that a crash occurred between the KIA Chris Few was driving and the unit Norris Greenhouse, Jr. was driving. But, he couldn't determine if the crash happened as the vehicles were turning or in the process of Chris Few backing up into the unit.

Greenhouse's unit had a cracked fiberglass hood and chipped paint. Few's KIA had paint transfer.

But, the MOST IMPORTANT detail we learned - State Police believe the crash between the two happened at LESS THAN five miles per hour, casting doubt on the defense's claims that the crash put the officer's lives in danger by the use of the vehicle as a weapon.

A crime scene investigator with Louisiana State Police out of Baton Rouge spoke and introduced evidence collected. Some of the evidence included an empty magazine, bullet jackets, pieces of lead and projectiles.


Around 2:00 p.m., the second expert witness of the day wrapped up.

Melissa Guillot with the State Police crime lab talked about bullet trajectory and showed many pictures of the shot up KIA, including the interior.

During cross-examination, the defense asked Guillot if a crime scene that isn't well preserved makes her job tough. For example, there were many, many people who were on the crime scene that night before State Police made it on scene. Other agencies were also allowed into the taped off area. While we knew this in 2015, it was also known that there were 18 cartridges found at the scene on the night of November 3.

The next to testify was Michelle Caze, firearms examiner for Louisiana State Police. She said there were four bullets found in Jeremy Mardis. Three of four were identified from Stafford's gun. The fourth bullet could not be identified.

Caze said that Stafford shot 14 times, but only 12 bullets could be positively identified to his gun. The other two were fragments.

So far, there has been no information about bullets relating to Chris Few in the ballistics testimony.


Dr. Christopher Tape, who did the autopsy, has testified. He went over where Jeremy Mardis was shot.

He said that Jeremy was shot in the head, neck, left arm, left leg and a possible fifth gunshot wound, but that has yet to be determined.

The state then called a final witness, Cathy Mardis, Jeremy's maternal grandmother. She talked about Few being a good father.

The state rested and the defense will begin on Thursday.

We will continue to update this story as new information comes in. Check the Related Links sections of the page for notes from the previous days of the trial.