Saturday, October 16, 2021
ADVT 
National

N.B. shooter delusional when 4 killed: lawyer

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 15 Sep, 2020 06:02 PM
  • N.B. shooter delusional when 4 killed: lawyer

Lawyers for Matthew Raymond acknowledge their client shot and killed two Fredericton police officers and two civilians on Aug. 10, 2018, but they say he was not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.

The admission was made Tuesday morning as Raymond's trial on four counts of first-degree murder opened in Fredericton.

"We agree that on that day, Matthew Raymond shot and tragically killed Bobbie Lee Wright, Donnie Robichaud, Constable Sara Burns and Constable Robb Costello," defence lawyer Breana Vandebeek said.

She said they made the admission because "it's the truth" and it will reduce the number of people who would need to testify and relive the events of that morning.

"It helps you focus on the real issue in this case, which is Mr. Raymond's state of mind at the time of the shooting," Vandebeek said in her opening remarks to the jury. "That is, whether or not he is not criminally responsible for reason of mental disorder."

Raymond pleaded not guilty to the charges as they were read. Otherwise he sat quietly inside the convention centre ballroom that has been converted into a courtroom to allow for adequate physical distancing.

Even the members of the seven-woman, five-man jury sat two metres apart from each other. The province has said Raymond's trial will be the first full jury trial in Canada since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Crown Prosecutor Jill Knee used her opening statement to detail the events of the morning of the murders.

"On Aug. 10, 2018, the accused started shooting a little after seven in the morning," she said. "Approximately 37 minutes later, the shooting stopped. At the end of those 37 minutes, four victims lay dead in the parking lot at 237 Brookside Drive, and Fredericton police had shot the accused once through his apartment window."

The Crown says the killings were planned and deliberate, and it plans to call 39 witnesses during the trial, which is expected to last four weeks.

Knee said Robichaud was shot five times, Wright was shot twice, Costello was shot four times and Burns was shot twice.

All victims were hit at least once in the head, and one of the shots pierced Costello's bullet-resistant vest.

Knee said investigators seized a semi-automatic rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun from Raymond's apartment. They found 22 spent casings and seven spent shotgun shells in two different rooms. There were also close to 2,000 live rounds of ammunition in the apartment, she said.

She said the jury will see video from July 25, 2018 that shows the accused complaining about noise around the apartment.

The defence said Raymond was delusional and paranoid at the time of the crimes.

"On Aug. 10, 2018, Matthew Raymond suffered from a mental disorder, and that mental disorder made him either incapable of appreciating the nature and consequences of his actions, or of knowing that those actions were wrong," Vandebeek said.

She said at the time, Raymond was making all kinds of strange calculations and biblical references — often using the numbers 33 and 666.

She said he felt people were after him and pounding on his walls, and he had delusions of a child in the courtyard taunting him.

"He was panicked, scared and frightened," she said.

Justice Larry Landry of the Court of Queen's Bench told the jury at the start of the trial that the Crown must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. "You are the sole judges of the facts," he said.

MORE National ARTICLES

$10M mark surpassed by Surrey Makes PPE manufacturers

$10M mark surpassed by Surrey Makes PPE manufacturers

The program’s goal is to ensure that critical PPE is produced, sourced and are readily available to Canadians.

$10M mark surpassed by Surrey Makes PPE manufacturers

MLA Sonia Furstenau wins B.C. Green leadership

MLA Sonia Furstenau wins B.C. Green leadership

Horgan set off election speculation last week when he said the Green party he made an agreement with three years ago that allowed the NDP to form a minority government has changed.

MLA Sonia Furstenau wins B.C. Green leadership

B.C. announces early lung cancer screening program

B.C. announces early lung cancer screening program

Premier John Horgan says 70 per cent of all lung cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage, but the program expected to begin by the spring of 2022 would improve survival rates.

B.C. announces early lung cancer screening program

Ministers warn COVID researchers of threats

Ministers warn COVID researchers of threats

Signed by Industry Minister Navdeep Bains, Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, the statement recommends strong cyber- and physical-security protocols.

Ministers warn COVID researchers of threats

Study examines sexual assaults in post-secondary setting

Study examines sexual assaults in post-secondary setting

The study says sexual assaults in the postsecondary setting during that period most often took the form of unwanted sexual touching, which accounted for 86 per cent of incidents for women and 83 per cent for men.

Study examines sexual assaults in post-secondary setting

Champagne: talks continue but tariffs loom

Champagne: talks continue but tariffs loom

The list of potential targets includes goods such as appliances, drink cans, office furniture, bicycles and golf clubs.

Champagne: talks continue but tariffs loom