‘I’m wrongfully convicted,’ Jimmy Melvin Jr. tells court

One of Halifax’s best-known criminals used a court hearing Tuesday to declare his innocence. 

“I’m wrongfully convicted… your honour,” Jimmy Melvin Jr. called out to Supreme Court Justice Peter Rosinski as the hearing to set future court dates drew to a close. 

“The witnesses were junkies and liars.” 

Melvin was convicted of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in October 2017, but has not yet been sentenced.

The Crown served notice it wants to try to have him declared a dangerous offender and locked up indefinitely.

Further delays

Melvin’s three-week dangerous offender hearing was supposed to be finished by mid-October.

But the process will now stretch into March 2020 due to further delays receiving a report from a defence witness. 

Defence lawyer Pat Atherton told the court Tuesday that forensic psychiatrist Dr. Philip Klassen from the University of Toronto was unable to assess Melvin, as he was moved among seven maximum-security facilities over the past seven months. 

More recently, Melvin was remanded to Nova Scotia to facilitate the interview process with the psychiatrist. 

Prosecutor Rick Woodburn said Melvin’s own behaviour triggered the string of prison transfers. 

“As far as getting their expert to talk to him, at any time we could have brought him back here. They could have talked to him at a local institution,” said Woodburn. 

“There will be more information that comes out in the dangerous offender hearing about his actions both inside and outside the institutions.”

Hundreds of disciplinary incidents

Woodburn said the dangerous offender hearing will cover a huge volume of evidence, including about 600 disciplinary incidents Melvin was involved in while in provincial custody. 

“We’ve noted that Mr. Melvin has quite a few incidents of attacking guards, threatening guards, throwing feces at guards,” Woodburn said.

Atherton also told the court that Melvin’s requests for mental health care were not being addressed.

“The nurse won’t speak to me, your honour,” Melvin said directly to the judge. “I’m still segregated, your honour.”

Rosinski ordered that Melvin receive medical care as necessary while remanded. 

The judge set a deadline of Oct. 31 for Klassen to submit his report. Klassen will testify and face cross-examination by prosecutors in late December. 

Final briefings are to be filed by both sides early next year. Rosinski will then hear final arguments March 3 and 4.

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