One of the former Louisiana law enforcement officers charged in the 2015 death of a 6-year-old autistic boy is out of prison after serving less than two years.
Reason previously reported that Norris Greenhouse Jr. and Derrick Stafford, who worked for the city of Marksville at the time of the incident, began to chase a car being driven by Chris Few. Details leading up to the chase were not initially released to the public. According to an investigation, Greenhouse and Stafford “discharged their duty weapons, at a vehicle, at the conclusion of a pursuit.” Few was critically wounded at the scene, while his young son, Jeremy Mardis, died after being hit by four of the 18 bullets shot into the vehicle.
The Louisiana State Police relied on the “disturbing” body camera footage from the chase to charge Greenhouse and Stafford in Mardis’ death. While very few details have been made available to the public, body camera footage showed Few with his hands raised in the air just before the officer began shooting. Ballistics also concluded that the deputies shot into the car sideways, indicating that they were not in any danger at the time of the shooting.
The Associated Press reports that Greenhouse, who pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and malfeasance, is out of prison as of Friday after serving less than two years of his seven-year prison sentence.
Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections spokesperson Ken Pastorick indicated that Greenhouse’s sentence was reduced due to participation in various prison programs, like an anger management course, earning his associate degree behind bars, and receiving credit for time served. Greenhouse’s charges were also considered nonviolent and thus his sentence was additionally reduced.
Greenhouse will be on parole until 2025.
At the time, prosecutors argued that Greenhouse engaged in a pattern of misconduct by using his badge for sexual favors. He was previously fired from another department after the mother of a 14-year-old found him lying next to her daughter on the sofa in his uniform. He was also accused of making “sexual advances” towards a girlfriend of Few’s prior to the shooting.
Stafford is still serving his 40-year prison sentence for manslaughter. During his trial, prosecutors introduced prior incidents involving Stafford, which included using a stun gun on suspects who were already in custody, to argue that he, too, had engaged in a pattern of misconduct.
“Unfortunately, [Greenhouse’s] early release is yet another example of the lack of transparency in our criminal justice system, as it relates to victims and their families,” said Attorney General Jeff Landry in a statement. “The ability of victims and their families to understand the complex formula set by DOC and our criminal code leave many feeling as if justice is never served. Mr. Greenhouse’s early release is a disappointment, but it is up to the Legislature to act and ensure that sentencing is transparent.”
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