TRURO - The Quebec man picked up on Friday afternoon in Truro has a lengthy criminal history spanning more than two decades that includes manslaughter and attempted murder convictions.
Those details are contained in documents obtained by the Truro Daily News Tuesday from the National Parole Board.
Robert William Simpson, 47, is currently serving his third federal sentence of two years for accessory after the fact to commit robbery since October 2007. He was also serving time for breach of a recognizance.
"The offences occurred approximately seven weeks after you reached the expiry date of your second federal sentence," the board wrote in a June report.
After being released Simpson was having a hard time adjusting in the community and started a friendship with a man he met in jail.
Simpson denies being a part of the robbery but said the man told him what he had done.
An October 2008 parole board report says Simpson "expressed a desire to change" his ways and "refrain from association with negative peers." While he had not incurred institutional or outside charges to that point his request for full or day parole was denied because he did not have a viable release plan.
The board said Simpson has a poor history of compliance for supervision and conditional release.
"You were released on statutory release on Feb. 26 and you went unlawfully at large the very same day," the board wrote in a June 2009 report.
"In fact, you admitted in the post-suspension interview that your mind was quite set on leaving (unlawfully at large) before you set foot in the halfway house."
Simpson had access to a large amount of money and decided to take a limousine ride and get a room in a luxurious hotel instead of heading back to the halfway house.
The next day he bought a train ticket with intentions of reconnecting with a daughter he had not seen since 2001.
After running out of medication Simpson turned himself in after being unlawfully at large for a week.
"You tried to obtain medication in a pharmacy, even in hospital. Despite your effort, it turned impossible without prescription," the board said.
Simpson returned to a penitentiary but was on statutory release again in August. He was not allowed overnight leave privileges but left within a few days of his arrival.
The RCMP issued a Canada-wide warrant for Simpson on Aug. 25 detailing more than 15 tattoos he has on his chest, legs and arms. It also said he had gone by the following aliases: Robert Johnston, Jimmy Spangler and Spaz.
He was arrested Friday in Truro while using a pay phone outside a Willow Street business. A 42-year-old Colchester County man was also arrested and has been charged with possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking as well as possession of a narcotic.
Simpson's parole was supposed to end in November 2009 but because he was on the run, the time at large will be added to his sentence. If he is convicted of any further charges while he was unlawfully at large, his time could be extended.
Simpson's manslaughter conviction dates back to 1995 while the attempted murder was from 1984. He also has convictions for armed robbery, assault with a weapon, theft, and aggravated assault.