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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.