Penticton man gets probation for firearms offence

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PENTICTON - A Penticton man was sentenced to probation on a firearms charge in Penticton court today.

Michael Derick Desjarlais, 54, received 18 months probation for possession of a firearm contrary to an order after police discovered a .30-30 Winchester rifle in his apartment during a call to deal with a domestic altercation between Desjarlais and his former girlfriend.

Crown prosecutor Vern Frolick told court Desjarlais called police on Aug. 26, 2015, to have his girlfriend removed from his apartment.

The officer found both Desjarlais and his girlfriend in an intoxicated state. He was outside his apartment while his girlfriend was inside.

Desjarlais’ girlfriend told the officer there was a loaded rifle in Desjarlais’ bedroom. She appeared frightened and told the officer she had been threatened by Desjarlais.

Upon investigation, a .30-30 Winchester rifle was found hidden in the bedding.

Desjarlais originally faced several other charges relating to the incident, but those allegations could not be proved in court.

Frolick said a pre-sentence report indicated Desjarlais was an alcoholic in need of counselling.

He asked Judge Gale Sinclair to consider a short jail term followed by probation, as Desjarlais was under a firearms prohibition at the time of the incident.

Defence lawyer James Pennington asked for a suspended sentence. He said the gun did not belong to his client, rather it was his son’s, and had been found in his son’s bedroom. Pennington said his client had a “far from perfect upbringing” but was currently employed.

Judge Sinclair deemed a probationary period of 18 months to be appropriate, along with conditions for Desjarlais not to have any contact with his now former girlfriend.

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