View Full Version : Man accused of N.B. killings told U.S. cops he was wanted for Russian murder

01-17-07, 08:01 PM
Man accused of N.B. killings told U.S. cops he was wanted for Russian murder

Chris Morris
Canadian Press

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

FREDERICTON (CP) - The man accused of killing an elderly couple in their New Brunswick home told police in the Massachusetts town where he was arrested that he knew he was wanted for murder but said it was in Russia, not Canada.

The murder trial of Gregory Despres, 24, heard more evidence Wednesday that the accused killer was living in a bizarre fantasy world when he crossed into the United States from New Brunswick in April 2005.

Four police officers from the Massachusetts town of Mattapoisett testified they arrested Despres on the night of April 26, 2005, after they received police bulletins to be on the lookout for him in connection with a double murder in Canada.

Despres is on trial for the first-degree murders of Fred Fulton, 74, and his wife Verna Decarie, 70. Their butchered bodies were found in their home in Minto, N.B., on April 26, 2005.

Fulton had been decapitated.

The Mattapoisett officers said Despres was spotted walking along a road in the small Massachusetts town where he used to live and work at a local marina.

They said he was polite and compliant during his arrest and after, but his comments were strange.

"He said he was wanted for murder in Russia," police officer William McIlmail told the court.

Despres, who has dual Canadian and U.S. citizenship, described himself as a marine sniper and an assassin with 700 kills to his credit when he arrived at the U.S. border crossing at Calais, Maine, on April 25, the day before his arrest.

He was carrying a homemade sword, a knife, a chainsaw, pepper spray, a hatchet and brass knuckles, all of which were confiscated at the border.

Despite his odd behaviour, border officials allowed Despres to enter the United States because he was carrying a valid U.S. passport.

Despres believed the marines would help him out when he was arrested in Mattapoisett.

Andrew Murray, an officer with the Mattapoisett police, told the court Despres wasn't interested in talking to a lawyer, but he did want the officers to contact the marines on his behalf.

"He told us to call 1-800-Marines," Murray told the court. "He said if we called five or six times, the lieutenant would pick up and straighten everything out."

Mattapoisett police complied with a request from the RCMP and confiscated Despres' belongings, including his clothes and the contents of his backpack.

The items included a bulletproof vest, which he had been wearing, and a pair of swim fins.

Most of the testimony from border officials and the Massachusetts police officers has been held in what is called a voir dire - a trial within a trial to consider the admissibility of evidence.

Despres is being tried before judge alone. Justice Judy Clendenning of the New Brunswick Court of Queen's Bench is expected to rule Thursday on the admissibility of items taken from the accused.

Defence lawyer Ed Derrah wants all of the confiscated items excluded from the trial. He said they were obtained without a search warrant and thereby contravened Despres' charter rights to protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

Crown prosecutor Cameron Gunn argued that since the search was done in a foreign country, the Canadian charter does not apply.

The trial is expected to last until the end of the month.