January 26, 2022

Officials match blood to chain saw victim

BOSTON – Prosecutors said Thursday that the blood of a decapitated Canadian country musician was found on the clothes of a man who was allowed to enter the United States after arriving at the border carrying a chain saw stained with what appeared to be blood.

DNA from blood found on the clothing of 22-year-old Gregory Despres was matched to Frederick Fulton, 74, a popular guitarist who lived near Despres in Minto, New Brunswick, a federal prosecutor said during Despres’ extradition hearing in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Despres arrived at the border crossing at Calais, Maine, on April 25, carrying a homemade sword, a hatchet, a knife, brass knuckles and the chain saw. U.S. customs agents confiscated the weapons and fingerprinted Despres, but let him into the country.

The next day, Fulton’s decapitated body was found in his home, along with the body of his common-law wife.

Despres was arrested in Mattapoisett later that day when police saw him wandering down a highway in a sweat shirt with red and brown stains.

Despres’ lawyer, Michael Andrews, said in court Thursday that Despres will not fight extradition to Canada.

He said he does not believe Despres is competent to stand trial, citing an outburst at an earlier court hearing when Despres allegedly threatened the prosecutor.

But, Andrews said, “I do not believe at this point … that he would be competent to stand trial in this court or any other court in the United States. I think the court should be aware of the condition of Mr. Despres at this time.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler did not issue an immediate ruling on the extradition. But extradition can only be delayed on competency grounds if a defendant is “catatonic,” according to Andrews.

Despres appeared in court wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and a long mohawk haircut. He did not speak during the brief hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Aloke Chakravarty said U.S. officials were told by Canadian authorities this week that DNA testing done on clothing seized from Despres after his arrest matched Fulton’s blood.

Despres arrived at the U.S.-Canadian border the same day he was to be sentenced in Canada on charges he assaulted and threatened to kill Fulton’s son-in-law.

Canadian police and U.S. Customs officials did not know about the slayings when customs officials let Despres into the United States.

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