Judge to rule in January on dangerous-offender case against Jimmy Melvin Jr.
Notorious Halifax crime figure convicted in 2008 attempted murder
Notorious Halifax crime figure Jimmy Melvin Jr. must wait until January to learn whether he will be declared a dangerous offender for attempting to kill Terry Marriott Jr. in 2008.
Melvin was convicted in October 2017 of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Marriott survived the plot against him, only to be killed a few months later. Melvin was charged with Marriott's murder, but later acquitted.
Following his conviction on the attempted murder charge, the Crown served notice it wanted Melvin sentenced as a dangerous offender, meaning he would be locked up indefinitely.
The case has faced repeated delays: Melvin fired one lawyer in the midst of his trial and then parted ways with a series of other lawyers as the sentencing hearing lurched forward, only to have the case stalled — like most other legal matters — by COVID-19.
On Tuesday, Justice Peter Rosinski of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court reserved his decision on sentencing and is expected to deliver it when the case returns to court on Jan. 18.
In closing arguments Tuesday, Crown prosecutor Christine Driscoll urged Rosinski to look at Melvin's lengthy criminal record, which dates back to 1994. Driscoll said there have been 24 additional convictions since that first offence.
Driscoll acknowledged that some factors are beyond Melvin's control. She pointed out that his father, James Melvin Sr., was sentenced to eight years in prison for drug trafficking when his son was just 11.
Driscoll said the family also failed to get proper treatment for Melvin Jr.'s ADHD. The Crown also cited Melvin's lengthy stays in segregation while serving various sentences because of his tendency to lash out at guards and other inmates.
The prosecutor said Melvin is responsible for the choices he has made over the past 26 years, including continuing substance abuse, criminal activity and violence.
"The cost that Mr. Melvin has exacted on society is just too high, and it is time for the justice system to say 'No more,'" Driscoll said.
Melvin's latest lawyer, Ray Kuszelewski, pointed out that 20 of Melvin's 25 convictions are for offences committed in jails and prisons, and so it doesn't make sense to hold him in that environment indefinitely.
Kuszelewski is proposing a long-term supervision order, which would mean Melvin would spend a fixed term in prison, followed by a period of supervision in the community.