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Jurors shown video in deputy's murder trial

5 months 2 days 6 hours ago Monday, March 20 2017 Mar 20, 2017 March 20, 2017 3:12 PM March 20, 2017 in News
Source: Associated Press

UPDATE: The victims' relatives softly wept as jurors watched graphic video from a police officer's body camera of a shooting that killed a 6-year-old boy and critically wounded his father during a confrontation with law enforcement officers in central Louisiana.

At least two of the 12 jurors and two alternates for Derrick Stafford's murder trial had to wipe away tears as they watched the 14-minute-long tape Monday.

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MARKSVILLE - An attorney for a Louisiana law enforcement officer charged with murder in a 6-year-old boy's shooting blames the child's father for the deadly confrontation.

A prosecutor told jurors on Monday that Derrick Stafford and another deputy marshal weren't in any danger when they fired a barrage of bullets at a car, killing Jeremy Mardis and critically wounding his father in Marksville on the night of Nov. 3, 2015.

But defense attorney Jonathan Goins said during opening statements for Stafford's trial that Jeremy's father, Christopher Few, led officers on a dangerous, high-speed chase and rammed into a deputy's vehicle before the shooting. Goins called Few as "the author of that child's fate."

The prosecutor said Few will testify he made "the biggest mistake of his life" when he didn't stop for the officers but had feared that he would lose custody of his son.

Prosecutors are trying to persuade jurors that Stafford had a history of violent, abusive conduct while on duty before he was charged with murder.

The first witness to testify Monday at the start the trial was Aleathia Barbin, a woman who said the officer shocked her with a stun gun while she was handcuffed in the back of a patrol vehicle in January 2011.

Barbin testified that Stafford didn't say anything before he shocked her in the abdomen. But she said he later talked to her "like we were best friends" as he drove her to a hospital.

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