Small out on bail in Westlake shooting

The bond of a Sulphur man who pleaded not guilty Friday in state district court to one count of second-degree murder has been reduced from $1 million to $250,000. 

Derrick Ryan Small, 22, is accused in the shooting death of Jalen Ortelli Handy, 20, of Westlake on Jan. 10.

Officers with the Westlake Police Department responded to shots being fired that evening at 1601 Sampson St., authorities said. 

{{tncms-inline content=”<p class="p1"><strong>‘Any person who </strong><strong>carries a gun to protect the drugs they are selling in this community is a threat.’</strong> </p> <p class="p3"><strong>Charles Robinson</strong></p> <p class="p4">Prosecutor</p>” id=”8a279b72-8a36-479c-9692-d382a3770701″ style-type=”quote” title=”Pull Quote” type=”relcontent”}}

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Handy lying face down on the ground and administered CPR until Acadian Ambulance arrived but he succumbed to his injuries, police said. 

On Friday, a bond hearing was held before Judge Robert Wyatt. 

Two rows of Handy’s family were in the courtroom, with some crying during the proceedings. 

Small’s mother testified about how Small had served in the United States Air Force but had to leave the military after he was charged with a drug offense. 

She told Wyatt that she and her other children reside in Many but that her son’s father lives in Sulphur and said if the family was able to make his bail, he would stay with her in Many while awaiting trial. 

Prosecutor Charles Robinson asked her if she was aware that her son “was selling drugs and using a firearm” during the time period that Handy was shot and she said she did not know.

She said around that time, she knew her son to be a college student and that he was majoring in engineering at McNeese State University.

Robinson talked about the seriousness of the charge, saying that second-degree murder carries a life sentence if the person is found guilty at trial. 

“Any person who carries a gun to protect the drugs they are selling in this community is a threat,” Robinson said. 

Walter Sanchez, defense attorney for Small, had argued for a bond of $100,000 but Wyatt would only agree to $250,000.

Wyatt stipulated that once Small bonded out of jail he would be required to have electronic monitoring as well as other possible restrictions. 

A trial date for Small has not yet been set. He bonded out of jail late Friday. 


‘Any person who carries a gun to protect the drugs they are selling in this community is a threat.’ 

Charles Robinson


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