Ac­cused Fred­er­ic­ton shooter found fit to stand trial, asks to be set free

The Sault Star - - NATIONAL NEWS - KEVIN BIS­SETT

FRED­ER­IC­TON — A Fred­er­ic­ton man ac­cused of mur­der­ing two po­lice of­fi­cers and two civil­ians in an Au­gust shoot­ing ram­page has been found fit to stand trial.

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

“The con­clu­sion is, Mr. Ray­mond is fit to stand trial,” pro­vin­cial court Judge Ju­lian Dick­son said Tues­day af­ter re­ceiv­ing a re­port on a psy­cho­log­i­cal as­sess­ment of Ray­mond.

In court, Ray­mond — dressed in an orange jump­suit and orange sweat­shirt and car­ry­ing a file folder full of doc­u­ments — mo­tioned a num­ber of times that he wished to speak. He stood and ad­dressed Dick­son.

“My name is Matthew Ray­mond. I am in­no­cent,” he said, adding that his lawyers had failed to en­ter a plea of not crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble.

“I should have been in the Supreme Court by the sec­ond court pro­ceed­ing. This is a to­tal vi­o­la­tion of my rights. I should be freed im­me­di­ately, these cuffs re­moved and these (ex­ple­tive) an­kle bracelets now. My rights have been vi­o­lated. I should have been in the Supreme Court,” he said.

Dick­son has im­posed a pub­li­ca­tion ban on any in­for­ma­tion or ar­gu­ments deal­ing with the ap­pli­ca­tion for the psy­cho­log­i­cal as­sess­ments.

The case will be back on court Dec. 11, as the lawyers dis­cuss a longer as­sess­ment for the ques­tion of whether Ray­mond could be found crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble.

He is al­leged to have fired from his apart­ment win­dow with a long gun, killing the two civil­ians as they loaded a car for a trip on Aug. 10, and the two po­lice of­fi­cers as they re­sponded to the scene.

Fam­ily mem­bers of some of the vic­tims sat qui­etly in the court Tues­day.

Dur­ing ear­lier court ap­pear­ances, Ray­mond had said he felt he was not be­ing de­fended by his first lawyer — Nathan Gorham — and tried nu­mer­ous times to fire him.

Ray­mond sug­gested Gorham was with­hold­ing ev­i­dence that would al­low him to be “ex­on­er­ated” im­me­di­ately be­cause of tem­po­rary in­san­ity.

Costello, 45, was a 20-year po­lice vet­eran with four chil­dren, while Burns, 43, had been an of­fi­cer for two years and was mar­ried with three chil­dren.

Ro­bichaud, 42, had three chil­dren and had re­cently en­tered into a re­la­tion­ship with 32-year-old Wright when they were killed.

For­mer friends and ac­quain­tances of Ray­mond have of­fered vary­ing mem­o­ries of the ac­cused mur­derer, rang­ing from a boy who re­treated into video games, a pleas­ant su­per­mar­ket co-worker and an in­creas­ingly iso­lated loner in re­cent years.

Some busi­ness own­ers have de­scribed Ray­mond, who is in his late 40s, as be­com­ing reclu­sive and oc­ca­sion­ally un­pleas­ant in the year be­fore the al­leged shoot­ings.

THE CANA­DIAN PRESS FILES

Matthew Ray­mond, charged with four counts of first de­gree mur­der, is es­corted from pro­vin­cial court in Fred­er­ic­ton on Oct. 22.

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