Bail hearing for 'Internet Black Widow' postponed

The bail hearing for a woman nicknamed the "Internet Black Widow" for her ability to persuade grieving widowers to marry her has been postponed until next week in Sydney, N.S.

Crown plans to oppose release of Melissa Weeks

The fifth estate interviewed Melissa Weeks in 2005 while she was serving jail time in Florida for exploiting an elderly man she met through an online dating service. (CBC)

The bail hearing for a woman nicknamed the "Internet Black Widow" for her ability to persuade grieving widowers to marry her has been postponed until next week in Sydney, N.S.

Melissa Weeks, 77, is charged with attempted murder and with trying to poison her husband under Section 245 of the Criminal Code, known as "administering a noxious thing."

Weeks made a brief appearance at Sydney provincial court on Friday and asked for more time to prepare a case for why she should be allowed out of custody.

She'll remain in custody until her bail hearing, rescheduled for Tuesday.

"She wasn't prepared to proceed today," said Crown attorney Diane McGrath.

"Essentially, it's up to her at this point to make an application to the court for her release, and it would appear as if that plan is not in place yet to be presented to the judge."

Weeks, who was formerly known as Melissa Friedrich, was found guilty of killing a previous husband and has spent time in jail for stealing from a man she was living with in Florida.

Tonight: the widow's web

Watch the fifth estate tonight at 9 p.m. (9:30 p.m. in Newfoundland and Labrador) for new developments in the "black widow" case.

McGrath said the Crown will oppose her release because of her criminal record and because she may be a flight risk.

"The Crown is not consenting to her release and I don't anticipate that we would be consenting on Tuesday as well," she said.

Weeks was arrested earlier this week in New Glasgow, N.S., after her current husband — a recent widower — became violently ill just days after the couple married.

Fred Weeks, 75, was taken on Sunday to the North Sydney General Hospital, where doctors became suspicious and called police.

"Further investigation led police to believe the man's spouse could be responsible for his illness," Desiree Vassallo, a spokeswoman for the Cape Breton Regional Police, said in a statement Tuesday.

Fred Weeks has since been released from hospital and returned home, where he is resting with his family.

Long history with the law

The woman best known as Melissa Friedrich has a long history with the law. In 1991, she killed her husband — Gordon Stewart, of P.E.I. — on a deserted road near Halifax. He had been heavily drugged when she ran him over twice with a car.

She was sentenced to six years in jail for manslaughter and was released after serving two.

Shortly after being released from jail she travelled to Florida, where she met Robert Friedrich at a Christian retreat.

They married in Nova Scotia in 2000, but a year later Friedrich family noticed his health was faltering. He had mysterious fainting spells, slurred his speech, and was in and out of hospitals. They also said his money had started to disappear.

Friedrich died in 2002 of cardiac arrest. No one was charged in his death.

In 2005, Weeks was sentenced to five years in prison for a slew of charges stemming from a relationship she had with another Florida man she had met online.