'Internet Black Widow' waives right to bail hearing
Melissa Weeks, 77, due back in court in November
A 77-year-old woman nicknamed "the Internet Black Widow" for her ability to persuade grieving widowers to marry her waived her right to a bail hearing on Friday during a brief hearing in Sydney, N.S.
Melissa Weeks, who is charged with attempted murder, appeared provincial court via video link from the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth where she remains in custody.
Weeks is due back in court on Nov. 21 for an election and plea.
Michael Kuna, her lawyer, told CBC News that his client waived her right to a bail hearing because it was determined there would be no one to take responsibility for Weeks if she was granted bail. The bail hearing had already been postponed three times.
"You need a lot of external support for a release plan, rather than an accused just offer on their own to abide by conditions and put up security," said Kuna.
"Ideally, someone else would come forward and pledge security and agree to watch that person and make sure that they would abide by their conditions and unfortunately, it just wasn't there for her."
Weeks was charged earlier this month with attempted murder and administering a noxious thing — listed in court documents as the tranquillizer benzodiazepine — after 75-year-old Fred Weeks fell ill at a bed and breakfast in Cape Breton in late September.
They had been married just a few days earlier.
Fred Weeks has since told The Canadian Press that Nova Scotia's Vital Statistics division sent him a letter indicating it would not register his marriage to Melissa Weeks because false information had been provided on the marriage document.
Convicted of manslaughter
The woman best known as Melissa Friedrich has a long history with the law.
In 1991, she was convicted of manslaughter and served two years of a six-year jail term after killing her husband, Gordon Stewart, of P.E.I., on a deserted road near Halifax. Stewart was heavily drugged when she ran him over twice with a car.
Shortly after she was released from jail, she travelled to Florida and met Robert Friedrich at a Christian retreat.
They married in Nova Scotia in 2000. A year later, Friedrich's family noticed his health was faltering. He had mysterious fainting spells and slurred speech and was in and out of hospitals.
Friedrich's family also alleged his money had started to disappear.
Friedrich died in 2002 of cardiac arrest. No one was charged.
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 met online.