By Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press
FREDERICTON — A Fredericton man accused of murdering two police officers and two civilians in an August shooting spree has been ordered to undergo a psychological assessment to see if he is fit to stand trial.
Matthew Raymond is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Fredericton police constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello, and civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright on Aug. 10 outside an apartment complex on the north side of the city.
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, and the two police officers as they responded to the scene
Provincial court Judge Julian Dickson has imposed a publication ban on any information or arguments dealing with the application for the fitness assessment.
Raymond sat quietly in the court during Wednesday’s hearing, occasionally nodding to acknowledge he agreed with points being made by his lawyer, Alison Menard.
Outside the court, Menard explained that a fitness assessment is usually performed by a psychiatrist and is completed to see if a person is fit and capable to stand trial.
“For example, they have to be able to understand the proceedings. They have to be able to understand who the participants are in the proceedings, among other things that have to be tested,” she said.
The case returns to court on Dec. 4.
Menard is the second lawyer Raymond has had since he was charged.
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.
“Mr. Raymond’s obviously mistaken belief that Mr. Gorham could present evidence to exonerate him at this stage of proceeding suggests that possibly he is unable to understand the nature of the proceedings,” Dickson said at the time.
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.