A Louisiana marshal has been sentenced to 40 years in prison one week after being convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of a six-year-old boy with autism.
Before the sentencing on Friday, Derrick Stafford begged for leniency from judge and tried to get sympathy from the family saying: ‘I have kids, man,’ according to the Acadiana Advocate.
Stafford, 33, was convicted in the November 2015 shooting that killed Jeremy Mardis and critically wounded his father after a two-mile car chase in Marksville.
Stafford’s family said racism is a factor in the severity of the sentencing. His aunt Bertha Andrews told reporters: ‘If it had been two white men who killed that little baby, it would’ve been justifiable homicide. If it had been a black baby, it would’ve been justifiable homicide.’
Andrews called the sentencing a ‘lynching’ and said the fact that Few and Mardis are white and Stafford was a major factor in the trial.
The maximum sentence for the charges would have been 60 years.
Stafford stood quietly as the judge handed down the 40 year sentence and the courtroom collectively gasped according to NOLA.com.
Jurors found Stafford guilty of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter charges last Friday. He had faced charges of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in the case.
Stafford claims he did not know Mardis was in the car when he fired and was trying to protect his partner Norris Greenhouse Jr..
Source: Daily Mail