Dean Ryan Derby has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for possession of a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun and nine rounds of ammunition.
The black semi-automatic pistol was found inside the glove compartment of a parked silver Mitsubishi Colt on 13 Feb., while police were executing a search warrant of a Myles Lane home in George Town.
According to officers, the vehicle was found parked, with its engine running and music playing. When they asked who the car belonged to, no one at the location accepted ownership of the vehicle.
Derby, 27, was asked by officers how he arrived at the location, to which he replied he had walked, before eventually leaving the scene on foot.
CCTV evidence would later show that Derby was the driver of the vehicle, which turned out to be a rental car that had been rented by another man. When police tracked down the man, he told them he had rented the car for Derby, who had taken over payments for the vehicle.
When asked why he did not identify himself as the driver of the vehicle, Derby told officers he knew the gun was in the car and did not come forward because he feared he was being set up.
During the five-day judge-alone trial, Derby said that, hours before the search, he had discovered the handgun while looking for receipts in the glove compartment. He said he panicked and didn’t turn in the gun to police because he feared they would think it belonged to him and that he would be arrested.
He said that, earlier in the day, he had lent the car to his girlfriend for about four hours, and during that time she had picked up her friend. Derby alleged that the gun could have been placed in the car by either of the women, or by the man who rented the car and who would often use it unsupervised.
DNA swabs collected from Derby, his girlfriend and the man who rented the car did not match the DNA recovered from the gun.
Derby claimed he could not be the person who placed the gun in the glove compartment because he was right-handed and the gun was positioned with the butt of its handle pointing out and the barrel pointing to the left – a position which he said is indicative of being placed by a left-handed person.
Justice Cheryll Richards returned a guilty verdict against Derby on 26 Aug. and imposed the mandatory 10-year minimum prison sentence.