FREDERICTON — Jurors in the Matthew Raymond murder trial heard on Wednesday that the kinds of videos the accused viewed online took a dark turn in the year before the 2018 mass shooting.
Alex Pate, a lawyer with Raymond’s defence team, said there were hundreds of thousands of videos and images on the accused’s computer hard drive.
Images and videos from 2015 and 2016 were mainly of video games, mountain biking, animals and family, the lawyer told the court. But starting in March 2017, videos started appearing about the terror group ISIS, about beheadings and about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Raymond is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Donnie Robichaud, Bobbie Lee Wright and Fredericton police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns in August 2018.
“The user did not like Justin Trudeau — based on comments I read,” Pate told jurors. He said it appeared that Raymond believed Trudeau was trying to turn Canada into a Muslim country.
Pate said files on the computer downloaded after May 2017 made reference to demons and to Satan. Some of the videos, Pate said, had been downloaded from a conspiracy website run by a person who identifies as Rob Lee.
One of the videos from the hard drive shown to jurors was entitled, “How Muslims have invaded Canada.” It had been downloaded in May 2017.
Pate said Raymond staged a one-person protest in front of the New Brunswick legislature in Fredericton in June 2017.
Jurors were shown a video published by Fredericton blogger Charles LeBlanc, in which Raymond is interviewed wearing a sandwich board inscribed with the words, “No Sharia Law.”
In the video, Raymond complains about demands by Muslims to have a cross removed from a church in St. John’s.
“There are groups of them coming in and demanding things,” Raymond said in the video.”This is what they do in every country they go to.”
When LeBlanc questions him on the source of his news, Raymond responds, “the internet,” and says the news media is biased and doesn’t always tell the exact truth.
Raymond’s defence team has admitted their client killed the four victims but says he should be found not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.
The trial continues Thursday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2020.
Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press