The man found not criminally responsible in the 2018 killing of four people in Fredericton has been deemed “high-risk” and ordered detained in a high-security hospital.
Matthew Raymond looked toward the floor and shuffled his feet as Judge Larry Landry of the Court of Queen’s Bench ordered he be returned to the Restigouche Hospital Centre in Campbellton, N.B.
Raymond shot and killed Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright, as well as Fredericton police constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello on Aug. 10, 2018.
During the nine-week first-degree murder trial, the defence argued Raymond had a mental illness and believed he was defending himself from demons. On the fourth day of deliberations, jurors decided he was not criminally responsible for the killings.
Psychiatrist Dr. Ralph Holly had diagnosed Raymond with schizophrenia. On Thursday, Holly told the court via video link that Raymond needs to remain on antipsychotic drugs and receive treatment.
“Currently, Mr. Raymond remains a significant threat to society and he needs further stabilization at the Restigouche Hospital Centre,” he said.
Members of Raymond’s treatment team testified Thursday that he must continue to take his medication and receive treatment to avoid a relapse of his condition.
“One important factor that could trigger violence for the subject would be the non-compliance to take his medication,” wrote clinical psychologist Kimberly Wilson. “He did not admit that he suffers from schizophrenia during the interview,” she said.
Members of the victims’ families sobbed and held each other as impact statements were read to the court.
“Robb was the love of my life and the man of my dreams,” said Jackie McLean, the widow of Const. Costello. She shook and cried as she read her statement.
“It’s like someone took the air from my lungs, the blood out of my being, and the heart out of my chest, and yet I still have to live,” she said. “How can I live in a world in which my sunshine is gone?”
Lawyers read a statement written by Stephen Burns, the husband of Const. Sara Burns. “The accused committed a crime that has changed my life and the lives of my family forever,” Burns said, adding that he didn’t feel justice had been served.
Burns’s sister, Emma Pirie, also wept as she read her statement at the front of the large makeshift courtroom at the Fredericton Convention Centre, directing her comments to Raymond. “Sara was my big sister,” she said. “I will never get to hear her voice and see her smile again. You took that away.”
The victims were killed in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Brookside Drive in Fredericton. Robichaud and Wright were killed while packing their car for a trip they had planned to take later that day. The two officers were gunned down as they responded to reports that shots had been fired.
Raymond was shot in the abdomen by police and taken into custody after officers stormed the apartment from where he had been shooting. The Crown and defence admitted at trial that Raymond was the shooter and that he suffered from a mental illness.
In determining that Raymond was high risk, Judge Landry said he had taken into account evidence from the trial and from the doctors’ reports and victim impact statements. Landry said Raymond will continue to be considered high risk until a court deems him otherwise.
A New Brunswick review board is to meet within 90 days to review the treatment order for Raymond and will meet annually to review his status. Landry said his written ruling will be released at a later date.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 17, 2020.