Jimmy Melvin Jr. challenges prosecutor to a fight, asks to be killed

There was a prolonged, emotional outburst in a Halifax courtroom Wednesday as notorious crime figure Jimmy Melvin Jr. challenged a Crown prosecutor to a fight. "We'll do it Cape Breton style," he said.

Crime figure says he's worried about his mental health and well-being

Crime figure Jimmy Melvin Jr. challenged a Crown prosecutor to fight and asked to be killed at a hearing in a Halifax courtroom on Wednesday. (CBC)

There was a prolonged, emotional outburst in a Halifax courtroom Wednesday as notorious crime figure Jimmy Melvin Jr. challenged a Crown prosecutor to a fight and asked to be killed.

"I'm worried about my mental health and well-being," Melvin told Justice Peter Rosinski as he stood facing the front of the courtroom.

"I need a break. I thought I was going to forensic," he said, referring to the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Burnside, N.S.

"I'm about to really crack up here."

In solitary confinement

Melvin said he's been held in solitary confinement most of the time at the maximum security federal prison in Renous, N.B., while he awaits sentencing in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

He had successfully argued to spend the time in a federal prison because he claimed he wasn't being properly handled in Nova Scotia provincial jails. But Melvin said in court Wednesday that federal prison is no better.

"I'm still in here with people that despise me," he said.

Rosinski said his powers are limited, that he can only recommend where Melvin be housed and that he cannot order it.

The hearing in Nova Scotia Supreme Court was to approve the appointment of a forensic psychiatrist who will assess Melvin to see whether he should be declared a dangerous offender and locked up indefinitely.

Convicted last October

Melvin was convicted last October of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder for an unsuccessful plot in 2008 to kill Terry Marriott Jr., another well-known local crime figure.

Marriott survived that plot, but he was shot to death a couple of months later. Melvin was charged and acquitted of first-degree murder in that case.

"I'm not charged with killing babies and throwing them off cliffs," Melvin shouted at Rosinski. "I was charged with killing someone with a lifestyle like mine."

Melvin apparently thought he was going to be assessed by a local psychiatrist. But this morning the Crown recommended, and Rosinski agreed, that British Columbia-based Dr. Shabehram Lohrasbe would assess Melvin.

Melvin's lawyers had objected to the appointment of Lohrasbe, saying in some 200 court appearances he always seemed to side with the Crown.

Crown prosecutor Rick Woodburn countered that Lohrasbe would be appointed by the court and not the Crown and would be impartial. In the end, Rosinski agreed that Lohrasbe would be an appropriate choice.

'You guys better kill me'

The doctor has 60 days to complete that assessment and report back to court. The case will return to court at the end of September when lawyers will set dates to argue the dangerous offender application.

When told he couldn't be sent to the forensic hospital, Melvin told the court, "You guys better kill me."

As he was being led from the courtroom by sheriff's deputies, Melvin challenged Woodburn to fight.

"Any time you want to go, Rick," Melvin said. "We'll do it Cape Breton style."

Read more articles at CBC Nova Scotia

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