'Black Widow' pleads guilty to two charges

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Melissa Ann Shepherd, 77, of New Glasgow.

SYDNEY — A 77-year-old Nova Scotia woman who was charged with attempted murder pleaded guilty Monday to new charges and will now be sentenced Tuesday.

Melissa Ann Shepard of New Glasgow pleaded guilty to administering a noxious substance and with failing to provide the necessaries of life. The attempted murder charge was withdrawn.

After hearing an agreed statement of facts Monday, Supreme Court Chief Justice Joe Kennedy adjourned sentencing until Tuesday. Shepard faces a maximum sentence of two years on the administering charge and 18 months of the second count.

The offences occurred between Sept. 24 and Sept. 30, 2012, in North Sydney.

The complainant in the case is Fred Weeks, 75, of New Glasgow, who married Shepard a day prior to the couple hitting the road for a honeymoon. The province's Vital Statistics division advised Weeks it would not be registering his marriage because false information was provided on the marriage document.

Shepard already has a criminal record involving former husbands and boyfriends and has been dubbed, by media, as the Internet Black Widow.

She was convicted in 1991 of manslaughter in connection with the death of another husband. She was also convicted of fraud and served time in a Florida jail in connection with another man she met through an Internet dating site.

Cape Breton Regional Police were alerted to the couple after they checked into a North Sydney bed and breakfast where Fred Weeks was reported to be ill and was later taken to Northside General Hospital.

For more details, read Tuesday’s edition of the Cape Breton Post.

Organizations: Supreme Court, Vital Statistics division, Northside General Hospital Cape Breton Post

Geographic location: New Glasgow, North Sydney, SYDNEY Nova Scotia Florida

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  • concerned
    June 10, 2013 - 15:07

    A little over 3 years?! And probably credit for time served! This woman has been doing this to elderly men for DECADES and and still being severed a slap on the wrist on a silver platter! Sons and Daughters keep a close eye on your elderly parents because once again it is proven nobody else is going to!

    • Really?
      June 10, 2013 - 15:28

      Why on earth would the attempted murder charges be withdrawn???