U.S. border guard says suspect was carrying arsenal


FREDERICTON, New Brunswick (AP) – A U.S. border official said Gregory Despres, the man on trial for the slaying of an elderly New Brunswick couple, could not be denied entry to the United States even though he had an arsenal of weapons with him.

Tim Donnell, a director of customs and border security at the Calais, Maine, border crossing told the court on Monday he saw Despres as he approached the crossing on the morning of April 25, 2005.

Donnell said he could see the handle of what turned out to be a sword sticking out of his backpack.

Customs officers also found Despres was carrying a knife, pepper spray, a chain saw, brass knuckles and a small ax.

Still, Donnell said Despres could not be detained because he had a legitimate U.S. passport.

Despres, 24, of Minto, New Brunswick, is on trial for the murders of his neighbors, Fred Fulton, 74, and his 70-year-old wife, Verna Decarie.

Despres, who has dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship, was arrested in Massachusetts the day the bodies were found.

Donnell said several customs officers in Calais dealt with Despres as they confiscated the weapons and checked his documentation.

He said Despres identified himself as a marine sniper and appeared high on drugs.

AP-ES-01-15-07 1551EST