Murder trial begins in alleged drug deal gone wrong

Murder trial begins in alleged drug deal gone wrong
Derrick Ryan Small

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A first-degree murder trial started this morning, stemming from a killing in Westlake last year that police say happened during a drug transaction.

Derrick Ryan Small allegedly shot and killed Jalen Handy - after Handy allegedly stole two fistfuls of marijuana from him.

Prosecutors say Small fired at Handy from about 60 feet, hitting him in the head as Handy was running away.

The defense, however, says it was justifiable homicide because Small thought Handy had stuck a weapon in his side during the robbery.

Small is expected to take the stand in his own defense.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Small will spend his life in prison. The state is not seeking the death penalty.

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