Jury Finds Officer Guilty In Shooting of 6-Year-Old Autistic Boy

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A Louisiana law enforcement officer was found guilty of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a 6-year-old autistic boy which occurred in 2015.

The ex-officer, Derrick Stafford, was convicted by an Avoyelles Parish jury on Friday in a 10-2 vote, The Advocate reported.

The 33-year-old had been charged with counts of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the shooting.

He and another officer, Norris Greenhouse Jr., had opened 18 rounds of fire on the car of the boy’s father, Christopher Few. This was after police had followed the 26-year-old through town for two-miles.

The shooting left Few seriously injured with bullet fragments in his brain and lung. His son, Jeremy Mardis who was Autistic, was killed on the scene while sitting buckled in the front seat.

Stafford testified that he did not see the father’s hands in the air and did not know the boy was in the car.

Never in a million years would I have fired my weapon if I knew a child was in that car. I would have called off the pursuit myself,” Stafford said, according to NBC News.

He added that he shot at the car fearing Few was going to back up his Kia Sportage and hit Greenhouse Jr. “I felt I had no choice but to save Norris,” Stafford said “That is the only reason I fired my weapon.”

Video footage shows that Few had his hands in the air before marshals opened fire. Prosecutors argued that it showed that the officers were not in any danger.

After hearing the verdict, Stafford hugged and kissed his wife telling her “it’ll be alright,” KALB reported. He had been given 20 minutes to say goodbye to his family before he was cuffed and lead out of the courtroom.



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