Greenhouse ordered to serve a week in jail for violating bond condition

Spent a week in U.S. Virgin Islands without court permission

Norris Greenhouse Jr. will have to serve one week in the Avoyelles Parish Jail for failure to notify authorities he was going on vacation to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

12th Judicial District Judge William “Billy” Bennett ordered Greenhouse to report to the Avoyelles Detention Center in Marksville at 2 p.m. Monday to serve until Sept. 18. He noted that Greenhouse’s $1 million bond was not revoked and that he would be released on bond after that week.

Greenhouse’s trial on charges of 2nd degree murder of 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis and attempted murder of the child’s father, Chris Few, is set to begin Oct. 2.

Today's hearing on whether Greenhouse’s bond should be revoked was supposed to begin at 11 a.m., but attorneys met behind closed doors with Bennett for 40 minutes.

When defense attorney George Higgins said his client wanted to make a statement, Bennett cautioned against it, saying he didn’t want Greenhouse to waive his 5th Amendment right to self-incrimination.

However, Greenhouse insisted on addressing the court.

He apologized to the court, Attorney General’s Office and the home incarceration monitoring service for not reporting that he left the state on Aug. 25. He said he didn’t think he had to report that the monitor was removed because the monitor was malfunctioning at the time and the service was aware of that.

“I take full responsibility for not doing it,” Greenhouse said.

Bennett told Greenhouse that bond is intended to ensure a defendant reports to all court hearings, “and you have done that.”

He said the law allows a judge to set additional conditions to bond. The condition of home incarceration by electronic monitoring device was set to protect Greenhouse, not to punish him, the judge said.

“I have been concerned for your safety and, at times, for my own safety” due to the emotional nature of the case, Bennett said.

Bennett pointed out that, under the law, Greenhouse “is an innocent man accused of a serious crime.”

He said most people on bond are free to go wherever they want to, as long as they do not miss a court date. However, Bennett noted that Greenhouse did violate a condition of his bond and “not notifying the court has caused another furor.”

Bennett then handed down the decision not to revoke the bond, but to require Greenhouse to serve one week for violating that condition of his bond.

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