Matthew Raymond’s murder trial delayed due to illness

Click to play video: 'Matthew Raymond trial on hold as lawyer awaits  COVID-19 test'
Matthew Raymond trial on hold as lawyer awaits COVID-19 test
WATCH: The first degree murder trial of Matthew Vincent Raymond, who killed four police officers in the 2018 Fredericton shooting, has hit another unexpected delay. Yet this time, the issue isn't related to the case itself, but rather to the COVID-19 pandemic. Silas Brown has more – Sep 25, 2020

The first-degree murder trial of Matthew Vincent Raymond has been adjourned until Monday after one of the lawyers involved in the case fell ill and will be tested for COVID-19.

The trial began last Tuesday, but due to unexpected delays, the court has heard just three days of witness testimony.

Raymond stands accused of four counts of first-degree murder for the shooting deaths of Bobbie Lee Wright and Donnie Robichaud, as well as responding Fredericton Police officers Robb Costello and Sara Burns, on Aug. 10, 2018.

Despite the symptom scare, Ross Gorman, the regional director of New Brunswick court services said he’s confident in the protocols that have been put in place to allow the trial to happen safely.

Read more: Matthew Raymond trial continues after week-long delay

Story continues below advertisement

“The wearing of masks is mandatory until such a time as they’re seated, inclusive of any potential witnesses, all court participants. As you can see by the infrastructure we have laid out within the room, six-foot social distancing is to be respected at all times,” Gorman said.

The case is one of the first jury trials to begin across the country since the lockdown, and to make it happen, the Court of Queen’s Bench in Fredericton was moved to the convention centre.

All chairs inside the courtroom are properly distanced, including the tables set up for lawyers and the seats for jurors. Audio-visual equipment has been set up to allow everyone to see and hear what is going on in all relevant parts of the room.

But figuring out how to hold jury trials safely in the face of a pandemic that few planned for is a constant work in progress.

“We’re figuring it out as it plays out on a day-by-day business,” Gorman said.

“Certainly, we have guiding principles and we’re engaged with the department of public health, and we work with them very closely and so on, but it is a work in progress.”

Read more: ‘Am I next?’: Officer who responded to Fredericton mass shooting testifies at trial

Story continues below advertisement

While no jury trial in New Brunswick has ever been delayed for a COVID-19 test, it is common for illness to throw a wrench into court proceedings.

“Colds, flus, floods, natural disasters — that type of thing,” Gorman said. “It’s not uncommon for the judicial system to have to address these situations and work within them.”

For now, the trial is scheduled to resume on Monday morning, pending the results of the COVID test.

Sponsored content