A Morristown man who police say tossed a loaded handgun into a dumpster while fleeing from them last year told a judge on Monday he should be freed from jail because no fingerprints were found on the gun.
“Honestly, I don’t see why I’m here,” Delmar Walker, 34, told Superior Court Judge Stephen Taylor via a phone hookup from the Morris County Jail. “I have direct evidence excluding me from that weapon.”
Walker has been held since his arrest on Dec. 26, 2019, on charges of unlawful handgun possession, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and obstructing the administration of law. He was indicted on Feb. 26, 2020, and awaits trial.
Morris County Assistant Public Defender Tracy Denholtz told the judge on Monday that a laboratory analysis detected no fingerprints on the gun or the ammunition recovered from a Flagler Street dumpster.
She expressed concerns that the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office only forwarded that report in April, even though, she said, the lab tests were completed within days of the arrest.
“A lot of sketchiness is going on, and it apparently seems as if you see it, and you’re pretending to be blind to the actual facts of what’s going on,” Walker said to the judge, during a brief hearing conducted via teleconference because of the pandemic.
Taylor told the defendant: “It’s not cut and dry like you think it is.”
If Walker were guilty, his prints should have been on the weapon because surveillance video shows he was not wearing any gloves when running from the police, according to Denholtz.
But the judge said that’s a matter to be determined at trial.
“The fact that there were no fingerprints on the gun doesn’t necessarily mean that Mr. Walker didn’t possess the gun,” Taylor said.
The public defender said she would file a motion to release Walker. Taylor said he would hear the matter next week.
In January, Walker rejected an offer of five years in state prison in exchange for a guilty plea to a second-degree offense known as “certain persons not to have weapons.”
A month later, Taylor denied a request to transfer Walker to a Paterson drug rehab program, citing weapons charges, prior convictions and a history of skipping court appearances.
Morristown detectives recognized Walker, who was wanted on arrest warrants, emerging from a Martin Luther King Avenue grocery store on the morning of Dec. 26, 2019. Police said Walker outran them and disappeared on Clyde Potts Drive, where he later was arrested.
A citizen reported seeing Walker throw a gun into a dumpster on Flagler Street during the chase, a detail authorities say may have been recorded by a Morristown Housing Authority surveillance camera. A loaded .22 caliber revolver subsequently was found in the dumpster.