Canada Charges U.S. Extremist
The trial of an American who showed up at the U.S. border two years ago with what appeared to be a bloody chainsaw and several other weapons was delayed this March for a government psychiatric evaluation. Gregory Despres, a U.S. citizen with a large swastika tattooed on his back, faces charges in a double murder.
U.S. border agents detained Despres as he sought in 2005 to return to Maine from New Brunswick, Canada, fingerprinting him, checking for warrants, and confiscating the chainsaw, a sword marked with a swastika, a hatchet, a knife and brass knuckles. But they could not legally stop him from re-entering.
The next day, after a couple who had been Despres' neighbors while he was in Canada were found dead, Despres was arrested in Maine. His alleged victims were an elderly couple. The woman was stabbed to death and the man decapitated.
Police don't know if Despres has an extremist background beyond his Nazi symbols. U.S. officials told a Canadian hearing this spring that he acted bizarrely at the border, describing himself as a military assassin. Despres' trial, being held in Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick, was halted a first time in February, when he went into a rant about "space patrols," Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.