MARKSVILLE, La. (KALB) – Another day of jury selection in the case against Derrick Stafford was held in Marksville on Thursday. He and Norris Greenhouse, Jr. are the two deputy city marshals charged with the 2015 murder of Jeremy Mardis, 6, and the attempted murder of his father, Chris Few.
Stafford’s attorneys were looking to start opening arguments on Friday, but it has been pushed to Monday. There were eleven jurors tentatively seated heading into Thursday morning.
Only one juror was sworn in on Thursday.
There were high hopes that the remaining three, one primary and two alternates, would be selected from the fifth panel. By the time lunch rolled around, only four were dismissed.
Most of the dismissals were because the potential jurors already made a decision, and weren’t willing to change it despite evidence that could be brought before them.
One woman confessed during individual questioning that because a child is dead she couldn’t give Stafford a fair trial. Another woman said that she believes Stafford is guilty because he fired his gun and that it would be very difficult for the defense to change her mind.
Later, one man told Judge William Bennett that his niece was a victim of the serial killer Derrick Todd Lee. However, the man said this wouldn’t affect his judgment if he were to be chosen for jury and he was asked to come back for the group questioning.
Ultimately, seven potential jurors were dismissed during individual questioning. One more juror was sworn in the late afternoon on Thursday.
The two remaining alternates will be chosen on Friday and opening arguments will begin on Monday at 9:00 a.m.
These jurors are also tentatively seated, so it’s important to note that they could still be dismissed.
There is also still the chance of change of venue. Judge William Bennett said he will make that decision after the jury selection process.