Jury selection underway in fitness hearing for accused Fredericton shooter

FREDERICTON — Jury selection will continue Tuesday in the hearing to determine if Matthew Raymond — accused of killing four people in a shooting spree in Fredericton in August 2018 — is fit to stand trial.

Justice Fred Ferguson of the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench ruled earlier this month that the threshold to question fitness of the accused had been met.

Fitness means that an accused understands the charges against them and can instruct a lawyer on how they wish to be defended.

Jury selection for Raymond’s fitness hearing began in a hockey arena because of the large number of potential jurors.

Hundreds of people lined up outside the venue Monday morning, waiting to pass through security and be registered.

A makeshift courtroom was set up in the rink, with a desk and chair for the judge on a raised platform at what would normally be centre ice.

The second phase of jury selection will begin Tuesday morning at the Fredericton courthouse.

Raymond is charged with the first-degree murders of Fredericton police constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello and civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright.

Robichaud and Wright were killed in the parking lot outside their apartment building, and the officers were killed when they responded to the shootings.

Raymond wore orange pants and an orange shirt and appeared unshaven as he was led into a separate pre-trial hearing with the judge and lawyers Monday morning.

That hearing to discuss pre-trial issues was held in a dressing room normally used by members of the Fredericton Red Wings of the Maritime Hockey League.

A publication ban was placed on anything said at the proceeding.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2019.

Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press

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