MARKSVILLE, La. (KLFY) – Jury selection began Monday morning for the murder trial of former Marksville Deputy Marshal Derrick Stafford.
Stafford is facing charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder for allegedly killing a 6-year-old boy and severely wounding his father in November 2015.
Hundreds of potential jurors filed into the Avoyelles Parish Courthouse as jury selection began.
Nearly 600 potential jurors will be interviewed over the next few days.
The courtroom was standing room only as groups of 14 were vetted.
Residents were asked if:
- “a child victim bothers them”
- “if race creates strong feelings”
- “will graphic photos and evidence disturb you”
- “will you have trouble convicting a police officer”
- “will have trouble sentencing someone to life for second degree murder”
Derrick Stafford, a former Marksville Deputy Marshal, faces charges of second-degree murder of 6 year old Jeremy Mardis and attempted second-degree murder of Mardis’s father Christopher Few.
The deadly encounter was captured on body camera video.
If convicted, Stafford faces a life sentence without parole or suspension.
A second deputy marshal, Norris Greenhouse Jr., is also facing the same charges. His trial is set to begin in June.
12th Judicial District Court Judge William Bennett said the publicity surrounding the case may results in a change of venue.
Judge Bennett said he’ll make a final decision on whether or not to change the location of the trial after the jury interview process is complete.