'Black Widow' charged with man's attempted murder waives preliminary trial

Associated Press

SYDNEY, N.S. - A 77-year-old woman dubbed the "Black Widow" who is charged with trying to murder an elderly man has waived her right to a preliminary hearing.

Crown prosecutor Diane McGrath (Mah-Graw) says Melissa Shephard, previously referred to as Melissa Weeks, appeared by video conference before a judge today in Sydney, N.S.

McGrath says Shephard elected a trial by judge and jury before the Nova Scotia Supreme.

The prosecutor says Shephard will remain in a Halifax jail and will be back before the court on Dec. 3, when a trial date will be set.

Shephard was charged last month with attempted murder and administering a noxious thing after 75-year-old Fred Weeks fell ill at a Sydney bed and breakfast.

McGrath says the courts have decided to use the woman's earlier surname because the marriage to Weeks was never certified.

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