Thursday, April 19, 2018
News Roundup

Lawyer: Body cam showed no threats as police killed boy

MARKSVILLE, La. — A police body camera recorded the father of a 6-year-old autistic boy with his hands up and posing no threat as police fired into his car, severely wounding the motorist and killing his son, the man's lawyer said Monday.

"This was not a threatening situation for the police," said Mark Jeansonne, an attorney for Chris Few, who remained hospitalized and could not attend Monday's funeral of his son, Jeremy Mardis.

Derrick Stafford, 32, of Mansura and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, of Marksville were ordered held on $1 million bail Monday on second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder charges, Jeansonne said.

The lawyer said he hasn't seen the video himself, but its contents were described during the hearing. Louisiana's state police chief, Col. Mike Edmonson, said Friday that "it's the most disturbing thing I've seen — and I will leave it at that."

Few's condition was improving Monday, but he had not been told as of midday that his son is dead, Jeansonne said. His stepfather, Morris German, said last week that Few had bullet fragments in his brain and lung.

Greenhouse is the son of a top assistant prosecutor for District Attorney Charles A. Riddle, who recused himself from the case Monday, calling it "not good for any of us."

Judge William Bennett set the officers' bail during a hearing he held inside the jail after refusing media requests to open the proceedings. No transcripts were made available, and the judge later issued a sweeping gag order prohibiting anyone involved in the case, including potential witnesses and victims, from providing any information to the media.

Investigators have been reviewing forensics evidence, 911 calls and body camera recordings but said little about them even before the gag order.

The official silence leaves many questions unanswered, including what prompted the fatal confrontation, and whether anyone else is being investigated for any crimes. At least two other officers were involved, authorities said, but their roles remain unclear.

Investigators have not suggested race is a factor in the shooting, which may not fit neatly into a national debate about race and policing. Booking records describe the officers as African-American; no available records describe the race of the father and son.

Few, a boat pilot on the Red River, was on probation at the time of the shooting after pleading guilty to driving while intoxicated in February, according to court records.

Comments
Hernando County Commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

Hernando County Commissioner arrested on prostitution charges

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Commissioner Nick Nicholson, 71, was arrested midday Thursday by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office on multiple prostitution charges.Nicholson was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on one count of operat...
Updated: 1 minute ago
Tech Data names Rich Hume to take over as CEO

Tech Data names Rich Hume to take over as CEO

CLEARWATER — A longtime IBM executive is becoming the new leader of Tampa Bay’s largest public company. Tech Data announced Richard "Rich" Hume as its new CEO effective June 6. Hume joined Tech Data two years ago and is currently the chief operating ...
Updated: 5 minutes ago
St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg Police on Thursday closed two assisted living facilities, citing "deplorable conditions," including no running water. The facilities are run by Tampa Bay Behavioral Health, located at 3434 Second Ave. S and 3418 Second Ave. S, accordin...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
FHP: Distracted driver plunges more than 50 feet off I-275 in St. Petersburg

FHP: Distracted driver plunges more than 50 feet off I-275 in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A distracted driver from Pinellas Park walked away unscathed after his car plunged 50 feet off Interstate 275.Thomas Highhouse, 61, of Pinellas Park, was driving his 2016 Chevy Camero along Interstate 275 around 11:10 a.m. when he lo...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Hundreds mourn Durant High athlete killed at Brandon gas station

Hundreds mourn Durant High athlete killed at Brandon gas station

PLANT CITY — Many remembered Durant High School football player Grover Wills, 18, for his talent on the field, but almost as many remembered his penchant for bursting into dance and song. After practice or on team trips, Wills would mesmerize those a...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Bay area has ‘hit show’ again, thanks to USF

Bay area has ‘hit show’ again, thanks to USF

For the first time since its season commenced, the USF baseball team enters a weekend as the Bulls' feature sports attraction.Basketball ended last month, and spring football ended last Saturday, meaning would-be baseball fans no longer have reason t...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Column: Some facts and figures you might not know about civil rights restoration in Florida

After U.S. District Judge Mark Walker ruled Florida’s process for restoring felons’ civil rights was unconstitutional in early February, he allowed me to file a friend of the court brief to assist the court as it considered possible solutions. The br...
Updated: 1 hour ago
LA Fitness tones up Hillsborough location

LA Fitness tones up Hillsborough location

When LA Fitness on West Hillsborough Ave. reopens mid-summer, it will have undergone a $5 million renovation and a complete transformation. Closed since November 2017, the 10-year-old facility was completely torn down and is still undergoing construc...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Kids have fun and gain coding skills at Code Ninja in Westchase

Kids have fun and gain coding skills at Code Ninja in Westchase

A new program that teaches coding to kids is coming to the Tampa Bay area. Code Ninjas is a Houston-based franchise that is opening its first location in Westchase in early May. There are plans for other centers in Carrollwood, South Tampa, New Tampa...
Updated: 1 hour ago