Matthew Raymond is escorted at Court of Queen's Bench in Fredericton on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. Justice Larry Landry is expected to give instructions to jurors today before they begin deliberations in the Matthew Raymond murder trial. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Jurors begin deliberations in Fredericton mass murder trial

Jurors begin deliberations in Fredericton mass murder trial

FREDERICTON — The jury has begun its deliberations at the mass murder trial of Matthew Raymond, a case that is testing the defence of not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

Raymond, 50, has been charged with four counts of first-degree murder as a result of a shooting in Fredericton on Aug. 10, 2018, in which four people were killed, including two city police officers.

The agreed facts in the case include that Raymond was the shooter and that he is mentally ill. But Crown prosecutors have told the jury they believe the shootings were planned, deliberate and Raymond knew he was shooting at human beings — not demons as he claimed.

Raymond has pleaded not guilty. His defence team has argued he was not criminally responsible for the killings because of a mental disorder that made him believe the end times had arrived on the morning of the shootings and he was under attack by demons and devils.

Justice Larry Landry of the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench delivered a lengthy charge on Tuesday, telling the 11-member jury they have to decide whether the Crown has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Raymond understood what he was doing on the day of the shootings, or whether he is not criminally responsible, as the defence has argued.

“The Crown’s position is Matthew Raymond’s delusions were not intense enough to prevent him from having the intent to murder,” Landry said, summarizing the prosecution position.

Landry said the defence carries the burden of proof when it comes to a verdict of not criminally responsible, on “a balance of probabilities.” The judge noted that several witnesses at the trial described Raymond in earlier times as quiet, docile and loath to hurt anything, even insects.

“Good character by itself is not a defence for a charge,” Landry said, adding it’s up to the jury to decide on the weight and value of the evidence.

Proceedings were delayed late on Tuesday afternoon after a juror raised concerns about a person in the public gallery possibly taking a photo of the jury with a cell phone. The public was cleared from the courtroom and jurors were questioned about the allegation.

Ultimately, defence and Crown lawyers agreed to continue with the trial, and police are investigating the allegation.

The trial has been plagued by delays. Originally, it was expected to take three to four weeks. It now has lasted over nine weeks with a total of 44 witnesses presenting evidence. There are 11 members on the jury after one juror was dismissed earlier in the trial.

Landry said killing police officers on duty automatically carries a first-degree murder charge, if proven. Fredericton police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns were in uniform and carrying out their duties when they arrived at the Fredericton apartment complex on the morning of the shootings to investigate what was happening.

Also killed were local residents Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright. They were packing their car for a trip when Raymond started shooting from his apartment in the complex.

Raymond, who testified in his own defence, told the jury he only saw demons in the parking lot that day.

Landry said that in addition to a possible verdict of first-degree murder for all, some or none of the four counts, the jury also has the option of second-degree murder or manslaughter, as well as a finding of not criminally responsible.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2020.

Chris Morris, The Canadian Press

Mass shootings

Just Posted

A rodeo south of Bowden drew a huge crowd on May 1 and 2, 2021. (Photo courtesy Mom’s Diner’s Facebook page)
Organizers of central Alberta anti-lockdown rodeo plead not guilty

Ty and Gail Northcott charged under the Public Health Act

(Black Press file photo.)
Road closures at both ends of Red Deer next week

Red Deer motorists should expect delays with road closures in the north… Continue reading

(File photo by Advocate staff)
37-year-old from Red Deer dies in highway crash

An individual from Red Deer has died after a collision on Highway… Continue reading

Grade one teacher Heidi Dimou arranges the desks in line with physical distancing policy in her class in preparation for the new school year at the Willingdon Elementary School in Montreal, on Wednesday, August 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta students expected to return to in-person learning next week

Kids can anticipate a return to the classroom next week in Alberta.… Continue reading

This grizzly bear had been hanging out near Aurum Lodge and the Cline River area and was later killed by Fish and Wildlife, says an area resident. (Contributed photo)
Grizzly sniffing for human food west of Nordegg killed

Lodge owner reminds campers to keep all food away from wildlife

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

(CPAC)
Trudeau says he knew about investigation into general overseeing vaccines weeks ago

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he learned weeks ago that… Continue reading

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Canadian residents are allowed to head to the United States for a COVID-19 vaccine and avoid quarantine on return if they meet some straightforward conditions, the Public Health Agency of Canada confirms.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Canadians can drive to U.S. for COVID-19 vax and avoid quarantine, Ottawa confirms

TORONTO — Canadian residents are allowed to head to the United States… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Quebec can modify part of the Canadian Constitution unilaterally: Trudeau

MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Quebec can unilaterally modify part… Continue reading

In this Thursday, April 29, 2021, file photo, giant bucket-wheel excavators extract coal at the controversial Garzweiler surface coal mine near Jackerath, West Germany. Canadian environmentalists are welcoming a report from the International Energy Agency that says new fossil fuel investment must end if the world is to meet its climate goals. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Martin Meissner
Canadian environmentalists happy with International Energy Agency report

Environmentalists say a report from the International Energy Agency that concludes investment… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Ceasefire needed in Israeli-Palestinian conflict to avoid loss of more civilians: PM

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is calling for a… Continue reading

A forest fire burns late into the evening northeast of Prince Albert, Sask., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis
Saskatchewan wildfire grows, forcing evacuations in the area to expand

PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. — Dry conditions and strong winds caused a large… Continue reading

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto's Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Tam hopeful for summer even as Canada hits grim death milestone in COVID-19 pandemic

OTTAWA — Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam says she expects… Continue reading

Sheffield United’s Daniel Jebbison celebrates after scoring his side’s opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Sheffield United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Sunday, May 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Alex Pantling/Pool via AP
Canadian teenager Daniel Jebbison turns heads with Premier League goal

Jebbison, 17, is the youngest player in Premier League history to score on his first start in England’s top tier

Most Read