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At least eight people from area police and government agencies will help decide if William C. Shrubsall is a "dangerous offender" and should remain behind bars indefinitely.

The presentencing hearings in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, which gets under way Feb. 26, will weigh Shrubsall's criminal history.

A Niagara Falls native, Shrubsall, 29, was convicted most recently of sexually assaulting a woman in Halifax in May 1998 and beating a store clerk with a baseball bat in February 1998.

Shrubsall was convicted of beating his mother to death with a baseball bat in Niagara Falls in 1988, hours before he was scheduled to graduate from LaSalle Senior High School as class valedictorian. He served about four years on a manslaughter plea.

He fled from the Niagara County area in 1996 to avoid facing jail time for sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl during a Town of Niagara party in 1995.

Headed to Halifax are Niagara County Parole Officer Jim L. Gibbons; Stephen P. Shierling, the principal law clerk for Niagara County Judge Peter L. Broderick; State Police Investigators Gary B. Kopacz and Eldred T. Green; Niagara County Probation Officer Michael Brady; retired State Police Investigator Frank Panza; Niagara Falls Detective Frank Coney; and retired Niagara Falls Detective John Donner are among those set to testify.

"I've been digging up information about his past, his past actions and tendencies. I've conducted a number of interviews with people who have a direct knowledge about his past, and I expect to be asked about that," Kopacz said.

Kopacz said he believes "a wide array of people, as many as 30 from this area, who knew him and dealt with (Shrubsall) in several capacities," have been invited to testify.

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