FREDERICTON, New Brunswick – A New Brunswick man who had been detained by U.S. border guards in the spring of 2005 said he chatted briefly with Gregory Despres, who told him he was an assassin who had just completed a hit in Canada.
Edward Young of Pennfield testified Thursday during Despres’ trial on two counts of first-degree murder.
Young told the court he was headed to the United States with friends for a vacation on the morning of April 25, 2005, when he was detained at the border crossing in Calais, Maine.
While there, he saw another man who had also been stopped by guards.
Young, who identified the man as Despres, said the accused had been carrying a knapsack with a number of weapons strapped to it.
Despres eventually ended up sitting beside him as they waited for officials to deal with them.
“I said, ‘It looks like you’re not headed anywhere today either,”‘ Young testified.
He said Despres looked at him and replied calmly: “I’m an assassin and I just finished a job up in Canada.”
Young said he found the comment amusing since the diminutive Despres seemed to pose no threat to anyone.
Despres, 24, is accused of killing Frederick Franklin Fulton, 74, and Veronica (Verna) Decarie, 70, who lived next door to him in Minto.
Both were stabbed repeatedly in their home, and Fulton was decapitated.
Their bodies were discovered April 26, 2005, about two days after it is believed they were killed.
Despres crossed into the United States that morning, but border officials seized a chainsaw, sword, hatchet, knife, brass knuckles and a can of pepper spray.
Young said he was detained at the border because an old drug possession charge from 18 years before popped up on the computers at the U.S. border check.
He said he’s been crossing into Calais every Friday for years to buy gas and milk.
Young was eventually denied entry to the U.S., while Despres was allowed to cross after giving up his weapons.
Despres, who has dual citizenship, was eventually arrested in Massachusetts and extradited to Canada to face charges in the killings.