Lawyers for a Fredericton man accused of four counts of first-degree murder are seeking constitutional relief so that a fitness hearing and subsequent trial could be heard by a judge alone.
Matthew Raymond is accused of killing civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright, and Fredericton Police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns, on Aug. 10, 2018.
Last October, a jury found Raymond unfit to stand trial, but since then psychiatrists have said he has responded to medication and could be put on trial, which prompted the courts to schedule a “re-fitness hearing.”
Defence lawyer Nathan Gorham wants both the fitness hearing and any potential trial to be heard by judge alone, given a temporary hold on jury trials in the province.
The Crown has questioned whether the court even has jurisdiction to hear such an argument, so a hearing on that question is set for March 27.
Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice Tracey Deware has suspended trials for at least two months because of concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2020.