Nova Scotia

Dangerous offender hearing for Jimmy Melvin Jr. back on track

The sentencing hearing for notorious crime Halifax figure Jimmy Melvin Jr. appears to be back on track, now that he has retained a new lawyer.

Hearing set for May in Nova Scotia Supreme Court after Melvin retains new lawyer

Jimmy Melvin Jr. was convicted in 2017 of attempting to murder rival Terry Marriott Jr. (CBC)

The sentencing hearing for notorious crime Halifax figure Jimmy Melvin Jr. appears to be back on track. Then again, his case has been this close to completion before, only to be derailed.

Melvin was convicted in October 2017 of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder stemming from a plot to kill Terry Marriott Jr. in 2008. Marriott survived that attempt, but was killed a few months later. Melvin was charged with Marriott's murder, but was acquitted at a jury trial in 2017.

The Crown has served notice it wants Melvin sentenced as a dangerous offender for the attempted murder conviction, meaning he'd be locked up indefinitely.

Melvin fired his lawyer, Pat MacEwen, in the middle of his October 2017 trial. Two other lawyers, Pat Atherton and Michelle James, took over his defence. Melvin fired them in September, saying he'd been unable to communicate with them.

Both he and the lawyers complained to Justice Peter Rosinski that Melvin was being transferred through a succession of correctional facilities across the country. Atherton and James had arranged for a psychiatrist to interview Melvin, but the expert couldn't find which prison he was in.

New lawyer

At a hearing Wednesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, defence lawyer Ray Kuszelewski confirmed he now represents Melvin. Kuszelewski also told Rosinski that Nova Scotia Legal Aid has approved funding for the hiring of a second lawyer and for the hiring of a defence expert to interview Melvin.

But Kuszelewski faces the same problem his predecessors did: finding Melvin so he can meet with him.

Crown prosecutor Rick Woodburn agreed to a defence request to have Melvin remanded to the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Centre in the Burnside Industrial Park so he'll be easily accessible for interviews.

During the brief hearing, Melvin launched into a profanity-laced diatribe about how he has been treated during his time in custody.

Melvin said he expected correctional officials to send him "as far away from" Nova Scotia as possible. He said his treatment was "gutless, greedy, spineless and cowardly."

The lawyers and sheriffs largely ignored his outbursts.

Melvin's dangerous offender hearing is now scheduled to begin May 25 and run for three weeks.

About the Author

Blair Rhodes

Reporter

Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 35 years, the last 27 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety. He can be reached at blair.rhodes@cbc.ca