People enter the Law Courts in Winnipeg for the trial of Raymond Cormier, Tina Fontaine’s alleged killer. A jury has finished hearing evidence in the trial for a man accused in the death of an Indigenous teen whose body was found wrapped in a duvet filled with rocks in Winnipeg’s Red River. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Jury finished hearing evidence in trial for man accused of killing Tina Fontaine

WINNIPEG — A jury has finished hearing evidence in the trial of a man accused in the death of an Indigenous teen whose body was found wrapped in a duvet filled with rocks in Winnipeg’s Red River.

The defence has closed its case without presenting any evidence in the second-degree murder trial of Raymond Cormier, who is 55.

Cormier is accused of killing 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, whose 2014 death sparked renewed calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

The jury has heard that Tina was raised by her great-aunt on the Sagkeeng First Nation, but went to Winnipeg to visit her mother and became an exploited youth.

Court was told there were no witnesses to Tina’s death and no DNA linking her to the accused, while experts testified they don’t know how she died.

The jury is to hear closing arguments on Tuesday.

Crown prosecutors closed their case on Wednesday by presenting audio recordings from a six-month undercover investigation. Police bugged Cormier’s apartment and audio captured him, often mumbling and stuttering, telling multiple people he was attracted to Tina and had sex with her.

In one recording, Cormier was heard telling a woman that he would make a bet that Tina was killed because “I found out she was 15 years old.”

In another, Cormier was heard arguing with a woman, saying there was a little girl in a “grave someplace screaming at the top of her lungs for me to finish the job. And guess what? I finished the job.”

Defence lawyer Andrew Synyshyn told court the audio on the tapes could have been misheard and the transcripts could have errors.

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