‘Internet black widow’ to get out of prison

Shepard served her full three-and-a-half year sentence for poisoning her husband

OTTOWA, Canada (CNN) – In Canada, the woman known as the Internet Black Widow will soon be released from prison.

However, before she goes, officials want to make sure she doesn’t pose a further risk by imposing certain limits.

Shepard has a history of poisoning and assaulting her male partners. Officials want to restrict her access to drugs. They also want her to report all relationships she has with men. She may look frail but the crown says she’s still a high risk to re-offend.

“Absolutely, we believe she’s a significant risk to the public,” said James Giacomantonio, Prosecutor.

That’s why it’s insisting on conditions.

“It’s just important for us to keep our eye on high-risk offenders like Ms. Shepard so that the public is protected. We believe that she poses a risk going forward to the particular group of elderly males that she has preyed on in the past. As a result we’re putting her on those conditions,” said the Prosecutor.

Shepard served her full three-and-a-half year sentence for poisoning her husband. The parole board rejected her bids for early release saying she was still a high risk. She has a manslaughter conviction for driving over another husband and she spent five years in an American prison for stealing from yet another partner.

The crown wants to use a section of the criminal code that would allow it to impose conditions on Shepard’s freedom for the next two years through a peace bond. Prosecutor James Giacomantonio says the measure is rarely used.

“There are probably between 10 and 20 high risk offenders that are on peace bonds in Nova Scotia right now. So we use our discretion. We try to be fair with our discretion so we believe someone like Ms. Shepard is a good candidate for this sort of order,” said the Prosecutor.

Shepard is not agreeing to the Crown’s two year peace bond proposal. Her lawyer, Mark Knox, says there’s at least one condition he’s negotiating with the Crown. In order to get out of prison this Friday, Shepard’s agreed to a temporary recognizance until she returns to court next month. At that time, she’ll either accept the crown’s peace bond proposal or they’ll set a hearing to fight over the matter.

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