Canadian, nicknamed 'Black Widow,' gets 3 ½ years

AP News
Posted: Jun 11, 2013 10:07 AM

SYDNEY, Nova Scotia (AP) — A 78-year-old Canadian woman dubbed the "Black Widow" has been given a sentence of 3 1/2 years in prison for drugging her newlywed husband.

The sentence for Melissa Ann Shepard, who pleaded Monday guilty to administering a noxious substance and failing to provide the necessities of life, will be reduced to two years and nine months because of time served in pretrial custody. Shepard was charged last year after Fred Weeks fell ill while the couple was on a honeymoon.

An agreed statement of facts says Shepard slipped tranquilizers into the 75-year-old man's coffee and he was later taken to hospital. He survived.

Shepard was convicted of manslaughter in 1992 in the death of her second husband, Gordon Stewart, who she drugged and ran over twice with a car.