Police work at the scene of a homicide in the 500-block of Furby Street in the West End on Sun., July 22, 2012. A woman was killed there at about 5 a.m.
Credits: JASON HALSTEAD/QMI AGENCY
WINNIPEG -- Just over a month ago a Manitoba judge fretted publicly about the possibility Derrick Sanderson would be set free from jail early and stab someone.
That's exactly what Sanderson, 22, stands accused of after being arrested for knifing a young Winnipeg woman to death early last Sunday in an attack on Furby Street.
On June 7, Sanderson appeared before Judge Rocky Pollack and pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and breaching a condition of a supervised probation order.
"Cases like this one make judges worry," Pollack told him. "No judge wants to be the one who gave what would look like to any member of the public to be a very low sentence and then hear the next day that this person was released early from jail and stabbed somebody."
Sanderson was caught drunk downtown in April and cops found two knives on him -- one with an eight-inch blade hidden in his waistband, another tucked in his sock.
"You were quite prepared to use those knives," Pollack told him.
The judge ordered Sanderson to serve a further 45 days in jail on top of 55 he had already served -- giving him 10 more days over the 90 his lawyer sought, and a year of supervised probation to boot.
If Sanderson had served every day of his sentence, his release date would have been the day Cherie Richard, 20, was killed.
She was stabbed after a 5:30 a.m. encounter, police have said.
No explanation was given for why Sanderson was carrying the knives last April, but his lawyer surmised he carried them for his own protection.
Court heard he was essentially homeless and living at the Main Street Project at the time of his arrest.
A Manitoba Corrections spokesperson refused to disclose Sanderson's most recent release date, citing privacy reasons.
However, it's likely he would have had a third of his total jail time -- 33 days -- lopped off for early remission, as sources say is customary. If so, it would put have put Sanderson's release date somewhere around June 19.
Sanderson, who originally hails from the Poplar River First Nation, is no stranger to the criminal justice system despite his young age. Since becoming an adult he's racked up a number of convictions, including for forcible entry, drug and weapons possession, mischief and breaching conditions of bail and probation orders.
His concerning criminal history -- he was described by another judge last year as being "off the rails" -- is all linked to a major booze problem, court was told.
In addition to the murder charge he faces, he's also accused of breaching two separate supervised probation orders.