Emotional, tearful day of closing arguments at Raymond Cormier trial

Tina Fontaine was 15 years old when she disappeared. Her body was found in the Red River in Winnipeg. Winnipeg Police Service handout / The Canadian Press

It was a day of tense, emotional moments at the second-degree murder trial of Raymond Cormier.

Cormier is accused of killing 15-year-old Tina Fontaine whose body was pulled from the Red River in August 2014, wrapped in a duvet cover and weighted down with rocks.

READ MORE: Closing arguments in Raymond Cormier trial set to begin

After three weeks of testimony, lawyers for both sides presented their closing arguments to jurors.

“This is a true whodunnit,” Crown attorney Jim Ross said. “The answer, ladies and gentlemen, was given to you by Mr. Cormier. His own words identified himself as the killer of Tina Fontaine.”

Ross said there are two likely causes of Tina’s death: smothering or drowning. He also told the 11 jurors to disregard Cormier’s denials of being the killer. Instead, asking them to focus on “confessions” heard in secret audio recordings made during an undercover police sting.

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“The words he speaks are admissions of murder. Plain and simple,” Ross said. “Believe what he says and convict him of what he did.”

As the Crown spoke about Cormier having sex with Fontaine, her family members began loudly sobbing in the packed courtroom.

Fontaine’s birth mother, Valentina Duck, stuck up her middle finger at Cormier and shouted: “F—ing sick bastard!”

READ MORE: Raymond Cormier talks sex, Tina Fontaine and drugs in wiretaps, Defence prepares

She had to be escorted from the room until she could get her emotions under control.

In the afternoon, the jurors had a chance to hear from Cormier’s defence team.

Defence lawyer Tony Kavanagh told the jury to take caution, reminding them not to convict on someone’s character.

“He’s a thief, he steals bicycles, he’s done drugs. He’s not a saint,” Kavanagh said. But you have to look at the evidence. There is no cause of death. Even if you find there is an unlawful cause of death, there is no evidence Mr. Cormier is responsible.”

There is no DNA or forensic evidence linking Cormier and Fontaine and pathologists were unable to give a definitive cause of death.

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“Justice for Tina Fontaine does not rest on creating an injustice for Raymond Cormier,” Kavanagh said. “You must acquit.”

Justice Glenn Joyal will provide the jury with charging instructions on Wednesday and it’s expected deliberations will start that afternoon.

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