On Friday, August 5, 2016, Judge Evan Stubbs sentenced Clifford Neal Derryberry, 49 of Marble Falls to the maximum sentence of 10 years for possession of a controlled substance in an amount of one or more grams but less than four grams of methamphetamine. The sentence followed a hearing by Judge Stubbs on the State’s Motion to Adjudicate Derryberry’s guilt and to revoke his community supervision for that offense.
On May 30, 2014, Derryberry pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and was placed on community supervision for five years with a deferred adjudication of guilt. If Derryberry had successfully completed the community supervision, the indictment would have been dismissed and Derryberry would not have had a felony conviction for the crime. However, Derryberry was found to have violated his conditions of supervision and Judge Stubbs found him guilty of the offense and gave him the maximum sentence.
One of the conditions was that Derryberry not commit any other offenses in this state or any other state. Travis County Deputies testified during the hearing that on November 17, 2015, Derryberry along with Michael Calhoun of Austin possessed more than 400 grams of methamphetamine. Evidence at the hearing showed Derryberry actually possessed more than twice that much by having over 900 grams with him at the time of his arrest in 2015. Assistant District Attorney (ADA) Kristen Sharpe for the 424th Judicial District prosecuted the Motion to Adjudicate, assisted by District Attorney Sonny McAfee. Sharpe asked the judge to sentence Derryberry to the maximum sentence he could receive based on the offense in Burnet County because he committed the other possession case while he was on probation here.
Derryberry’s defense attorney told Judge Stubbs there was no evidence to show that Derryberry had any knowledge there were drugs in his car when Travis County Deputies arrested him with over 900 grams and that we shouldn’t just put people in prison that have drug problems. Judge Stubbs told Derryberry that he had never heard of anyone being in a vehicle with someone else with 900-plus grams of methamphetamine that wasn’t involved. He further stated there was more than enough evidence that Mr. Derryberry was facilitating the transport of over 900 grams of methamphetamine which says he’s a drug dealer. Judge Stubbs added that if Derryberry had needed help during his probation all he had to do was ask and as far as the Judge could tell that never happened. In fact, the judge added, “To say he’s accepting responsibility is exactly the opposite of what I’ve been sitting through all afternoon.” Judge Stubbs then found the allegations by the State true and found Derryberry guilty of the offense for which he was on probation.
The possession case in Travis County is still pending on Derryberry. The punishment range if he is found guilty of that offense is 15 to 99 years or life with a possible fine of $250,000. However, Derryberry’s case in Travis County has not yet been set for trial. Derryberry’s codefendant, Michael Calhoun has pleaded guilty in federal court for his part in the possession of the 990 grams of methamphetamine with sentencing at a future date.
ADA Sharpe expressed satisfaction with Judge Stubbs’ sentence and explained that by Judge Stubbs sentencing Derryberry to the maximum sentence, Derryberry is not eligible to get a bond on appeal and must begin his prison sentence immediately. Sharpe added, “Derryberry’s offense in Burnet may not have been as significant as the 990 gram possession case in Travis County but the message from this sentencing is clear. Although our courts have demonstrated they will work with those people that identify drug use as a problem, there is no sympathy for those that squander an opportunity to get help by dealing drugs in this or any other community.”