By Samuel Van Blaricom
SACRAMENTO, CA – Judge Matthew Gary decided after a preliminary hearing this week in Sacramento County Superior Court there was enough evidence against Derrick Canady in a vehicle and drug case to move forward with proceedings.
He did not find enough cause to reduce any of the charges.
Canady is facing three felony charges, including bringing contraband into a jail, attempting to elude a peace officer, and a felony hit-and-run. There are also two misdemeanor charges, one for resisting arrest and the other for unlawful possession of methamphetamine.
According to testimony from Officer Brien Callaway, he first tried to conduct a traffic stop of Canady on Feb. 2 for not wearing a seatbelt. As soon as he turned on his forward-facing lights, Canady sped away with Officer Callaway in pursuit, reaching speeds of up to 80 miles per hour on surface streets.
“As I was catching up to him, I could see his face in the rearview mirror looking back at me,” said Officer Callaway, attempting to establish that Canady was not only driving recklessly but also evading arrest.
The 2.3-mile vehicular chase ended when Canady allegedly hit a pickup truck in the middle of an intersection. He then, said the officer, continued on foot for three-tenths of a mile, at which point Canady voluntarily surrendered.
Officer Callaway testified that the driver of the pickup truck suffered “complaint of pain injuries, possibly minor.”
In addition to the charges resulting from the chase, Canady was also found to be in possession of methamphetamine when he was booked at the jail, according to Officer Callaway.
Assistant Public Defender David Krypel felt that the degree of the felony drug charge was too harsh for the circumstances and attempted to get it stricken.
“The drugs are taken during the search portion, I don’t think… they’ve proven that my client was intending to smuggle drugs, or didn’t get drugs into the facility. I think that’s a [misdemeanor possession charge], but I think that’s otherwise overcharged as felony conduct,” argued PD Krypel.
“The offer right now is five years in prison to a man who seeks to turn his life around,” continued PD Krypel, listing the improvements Canady has made in his life since the incident, including getting a job, working on certain projects, and testing negative for illegal substances.
Deputy District Attorney Heather Phillips argued that leniency is not warranted on account of his criminal record, which includes a felony second-degree robbery charge from 2019.
“I don’t have too many details from that case, but I believe that robbery was two separate gas station robberies on the same day. He used a gun and threatened to kill his victims while exhibiting the gun,” she said in reference to the 2019 conviction.
She also disputed the requirements of the felony drug charge, stating that all that she needed to establish was that he had knowledge of it on his person, and that having it in his front pocket was enough to do so.
Ultimately, Judge Gary sided with the prosecution, saying that “the elements of [the felony charge] do not include intent to smuggle or anything, it’s really more did he possess it, did he know of its presence and did he know of the nature of the substance?”