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Shania Twain stalker denied bail

A former doctor who admitted that he stalked Canadian country star Shania Twain had yet another outburst on Wednesday after he was denied bail.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A former doctor who admitted that he stalked Canadian country star Shania Twain had yet another outburst on Wednesday after he was denied bail.

A judge "quite reluctantly" denied Giovanni (John) Palumbo's request to be freed while he awaits his next court date on Nov. 15, citing an insufficient release plan.

After Justice Richard Schneider reached that conclusion, Palumbo — who has been an animated presence throughout his trial, twice previously interrupting Twain's video testimony with loud protestations — swore under his breath before shouting at the court.

"You know you're all very sick, you really are — it's so sad," Palumbo said. "Have fun, because I'm going to keep having fun, wherever I am. ... What a bunch of psychopaths. Woo hoo.

"Shame, shame, shame. Shame on all of you!"

Last month, Palumbo pleaded guilty to criminal harassment and one count of failure to comply with a court order. He pleaded guilty after listening to testimony from Twain.

Prosecution lawyer John Flaherty requested at the time that Palumbo undergo a psychiatric evaluation before sentencing. While Dr. Helen Ward's report concluded that Palumbo suffers from bipolar disorder and a narcissistic personality disorder, she also deemed him criminally responsible for his actions.

But after Palumbo testified earlier this week, Flaherty asked for further clarity on the evaluation and Schneider agreed it was necessary. Ward will testify on Nov. 15, and Palumbo could face sentencing.

Last month, Twain testified via video link and described the numerous lovelorn letters Palumbo had mailed to her residences in Ontario and Switzerland, and discussed the feelings of fear and vulnerability conjured by his unwanted visits.

He was seen at her family cottage, her grandmother's funeral and at the Juno Awards in March, where he was arrested. He's remained in custody since then.

A day after Palumbo told court about the uncomfortable conditions he has endured in jail, Schneider expressed some regret in extending his incarceration.

Defense lawyer Gary Barnes had proposed that Palumbo would return to his last residence, Toronto's Royal York hotel. He added that Palumbo would abstain from contacting Twain and would agree to pursue any treatment plans deemed necessary by the court.

However, no one in Palumbo's family volunteered to care for him and Schneider said "some degree of supervision" might have been necessary for his release.

"Nobody at this juncture wants to see Mr. Palumbo in custody unless it's demonstrably necessary," Schneider said, before adding that he didn't think his lawyer's proposed plan would "mitigate the risk he poses."