Canadian, nicknamed 'Black Widow,' pleads guilty - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Canadian, nicknamed 'Black Widow,' pleads guilty

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SYDNEY, Nova Scotia (AP) -

A Canadian woman nicknamed the "Black Widow" for her ability to persuade grieving widowers to marry her has pleaded guilty to drugging a man she married days earlier.

   Melissa Ann Shepard, 78, pleaded guilty Monday to administering a noxious substance and failing to provide the necessities of life. An attempted murder charge was dropped.

   She was charged last October after Fred Weeks fell ill at a bed and breakfast in Nova Scotia four days after they married.

   The prosecutor read an agreed statement of facts, saying Shepard gave the 75-year-old Weeks benzodiazepine, a tranquilizer, in his drinks while they were on a honeymoon trip in Newfoundland.

   Shepard's past criminal record includes manslaughter and theft that are linked to relationships with other men she met in Canada and the United States.

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