Motion filed to move trial for officer accused in killing of 6-year-old
MARKSVILLE - Several motions have been filed in the trial of a police officer accused in the 2015 shooting death of a 6-year-old in Marksville, including one that seeks to change the venue of the trial.
Derrick Stafford faces one count of second degree murder and one count of attempted second degree murder after he and another Marksville city deputy were accused of shooting and killing Jeremy Mardis in November 2015 at the end of a police pursuit. Christopher Few, the boy's father, was injured in the shooting. The deputies reported they were chasing Few in connection with an outstanding warrant, but Louisiana State Police were unable to find such a warrant in their records.
Stafford's attorney filed motions on Monday that seeks to change the venue of the trial. Additionally, a motion for a continuance of the first trial date was filed. Stafford's trial was originally scheduled to begin on Sept. 26 in Avoyelles Parish. Stafford's attorney says the extensive pre-trial coverage of the case has tainted the jury pool in the parish where the trial is to take place.
"The pre-trial coverage of this case has been extensive and thorough. We believe the jury pool in Avoyelles Parish is tainted to a degree whereby it would be impossible for Mr. Stafford to receive a fair and impartial trial. Since my client was arrested, government officials on both the State & local levels have made inflammatory & invidious statements against Mr. Stafford. There also exists a co-defendant in this matter facing the same exact charges as Mr. Stafford which will bring even more publicity to the case," said a statement from attorneys for Stafford.
Attorneys also filed a motion for funds to hire an expert on reconstruction and the use of force, permission to take Stafford to view the scene of the crime as he is currently on house arrest and a motion to disclose psychological evaluations of the state's witnesses and victims in the trial.