'I need an aorta pronto'

Sat, August 21, 2004

A MAN facing weapons charges after he reportedly scrapped plans for a killing spree in June told court yesterday he wants his case dealt with immediately for medical reasons. James Paul Stanson, 43, of Sackville, N.B., said he believes he can't get required heart surgery while he's in custody.

According to media reports, an encounter with a dog at the Beaches on June 23 convinced Stanson to abandon his plans for a massacre.

He has since publicly denied outside court that the dog led him to change his mind.

Stanson asked if the Crown would be "happy" with time served if he pleaded guilty yesterday. He is representing himself on eight weapons offences he was charged with June 24.

Prosecutor Daniel Brandes said the Crown's case disclosure materials are not ready yet and he was not in a position to handle the matter.

Stanson said he's supposed to have open-heart surgery but his doctor is "unwilling" to do it while he's in custody. He called for "medical clemency," suggesting the Crown temporarily stay his charges allowing him to leave custody for his surgery and then resume the prosecution afterwards.

"I'll be fully co-operative. My top priority is my health, and whatever other fish I have to fry I will deal with it. I hope to expedite the matter. I need a new aorta ipso pronto."

Justice Sally Marin said a senior Crown attorney would have to look at the case, adding disclosure should be "expedited" in this matter. Marin set his next court appearance on Aug. 30 to be by video to spare him being transported from jail.

Lawyer David Berg, who is assisting as a friend of the court, said it's his "understanding the jail will facilitate transfer to a hospital should the surgery become available ... one would hope that if his heart is in as bad shape as indicated that the hospital would provide the surgery quickly."