News / Halifax

Crown seeks dangerous offender status for Halifax crime figure Jimmy Melvin Jr.

Melvin Jr. tells Nova Scotia Supreme Court he can't stop getting into fights with jail staff.

Jimmy Melvin Jr.

Metro file

Jimmy Melvin Jr.

The Nova Scotia Crown is applying to have Jimmy Melvin Jr. declared a dangerous offender after his conviction last year for attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Meanwhile, the notorious Halifax crime figure will be moved to federal prison in Renous, N.B., both to access mental health services, and because he said he’s “incompatible” with Nova Scotia’s provincial corrections system.

Melvin was in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Wednesday for a sentencing hearing after a jury convicted him in October of the attempted murder and conspiracy to commit the murder of Terry Marriott Jr. in December 2008.

Marriot was killed a few months after that attempt, and Melvin was found not guilty of first-degree murder in the killing in a jury trial last summer.

On Wednesday, Crown attorney Rick Woodburn told Justice Peter Rosinski he’d be seeking to declare Melvin a dangerous offender – a designation that could allow a judge to imprison him indefinitely.

“Given the repetitive nature of his violence and aggression, his record and his conduct both inside our provincial and federal jail system, and outside in the community, we believe he qualifies for dangerous offender status,” Woodburn said outside court.

The case will be back in court in February, when Melvin is supposed to have a new defence lawyer. His current lawyer, Phil Star, told the court on Wednesday that he was retained for a sentencing, not a dangerous offender hearing.

Melvin has made an application for another lawyer through Nova Scotia Legal Aid, but the process has been slow. Star could be back in court representing Melvin in February if he doesn’t have a new lawyer yet.

Star said his client isn’t getting along with his fellow inmates or corrections staff in provincial jails, and he’s been bounced around from Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Dartmouth to Northeast Nova Correctional Facility Pictou County to Cape Breton Correctional Facility in Sydney.

Addressing the court on Wednesday, Melvin asked Rosinski to either remand him into federal custody at the Atlantic Institution in Renous, N.B. or have him assessed at the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth.

Melvin said he’s “highly incompatible with the whole province,” and said he’s been getting in fistfights with staff at the province jails. He’s also looking for help with his mental health.

“There’s no psychiatric help in Sydney or in Pictou County. There’s no doctors, there’s nothing. The only place to talk to someone about your issues, which I’m sure I have all kinds, is in the East Coast Forensic Hospital,” Melvin said.

Melvin said he’d prefer to go to Renous over being housed in provincial jails because he could talk “face to face” with someone there.

“I don’t think you guys really realize how much me and the provincial just don’t get along. It’s really, really dire straights. I don’t know what else I’m supposed to say,” he said.

Rosinski ruled there are no grounds to have Melvin assessed at the East Coast Forensic Hospital – which would’ve assessed whether he was fit to stand trial later this year on other matters.

Instead, Rosinski ordered that Melvin be remanded to Renous and given access to psychiatric help.

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