Alleged Fredericton gunman Matthew Raymond’s claims of temporary insanity have prompted the Crown to seek a psychological assessment to determine if he is able to stand trial.
In a court outburst last week, Raymond said he should be “exonerated” immediately because of temporary insanity. He said he has evidence that will show his innocence in the deaths of Fredericton police constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello, and civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright.
The four were gunned down Aug. 10 outside an apartment complex in the city; Raymond is charged with four counts of first-degree murder.
“I had concerns based upon what he had said in court,” Crown prosecutor Darlene Blunston told Judge Julian Dickson Monday of her request for an assessment to determine if Raymond was not criminally responsible at the time of the offence.
“The Crown’s position will be that the accused has put his mental capacity for criminal intent into issue, as well as the fact that the accused has raised the issue of fitness, based primarily on his utterances in court,” she said.
In court Monday, the 48-year-old Raymond motioned to Dickson that he wished to speak again.
Wearing an orange jump suit and oversized grey sweatshirt, Raymond stood and addressed the court, saying he had tried to fire his lawyer, Nathan Gorham, four times and “now it’s going to be five times.”
“What happened in the past is something else, but right now I know what’s been going on,” he said.
Another defence lawyer, Spencer MacInnis, asked the court for a bit of time to prepare for the Crown’s application.
Dickson will hear the application next Monday for a psychological assessment that Blunston said will take 60 days.
The lawyers and family members of the victims refused comment as they left the courthouse.
Raymond is alleged to have fired from his apartment window with a long gun, killing two civilians as they loaded a car for a trip, and two police officers who responded to the scene.
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.
Last Monday, Raymond had interrupted his lawyer to address the judge.
“Your honour, may I interrupt? I have something really important to say, I have a statement to make,” Raymond said during that appearance.
“I should not have been in prison at all. I am not guilty due to at least temporary insanity. The evidence is all right there … it shows exactly what has happened. I am not guilty.”
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 as becoming reclusive and occasionally unpleasant in the year before the alleged shootings.
Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press