Dates set for “re-fitness” trial for man accused of Fredericton murders

Matthew Vincent Raymond is escorted at Court of Queen's Bench in Fredericton on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Jury selection will begin March 16 for what a judge is calling a “re-fitness trial” for a man accused of killing two police officers and two civilians in Fredericton.

Matthew Raymond is accused of killing police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns, and civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright, outside an apartment complex on August 10th, 2018.

He faces four counts of first-degree murder.

READ MORE: Man accused of four murders in Fredericton to face a second fitness jury

Robichaud and Wright were killed as they loaded their car for a trip, and the officers were shot as they responded to the scene.

An earlier jury found Raymond unfit for trial in October, leading to a 60-day treatment period that included him receiving anti-psychotic medication.

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Psychiatrists have since given the opinion that he is fit following treatment, meaning he understands the charges and can communicate with his lawyer.

“I believe that he is able to communicate with me now that he’s had his involuntary treatment … but the jury will make that final determination,” defence lawyer Nathan Gorham said Wednesday outside court.

Click to play video: 'Man accused in Fredericton shootings now mentally fit to stand trial'
Man accused in Fredericton shootings now mentally fit to stand trial

If a jury finds Raymond fit, then selection of another jury for the criminal trial would begin in mid-May.

Gorham says if the trial goes ahead, he’ll likely use a defence that Raymond was not criminally responsible for the offences.

“At the risk of over-simplifying, the not criminally responsible defence is when a person has a mental disorder and it renders them incapable of understanding what they did was wrong, then they can be not criminally responsible,” he said.

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READ MORE: Lawyers to seek fitness hearing for accused in Fredericton quadruple murder case

Raymond was not in court on Wednesday, but appeared via video conference from the Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton, N.B., where he is being treated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 29, 2020.

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