By Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press on October 13, 2020.
FREDERICTON – The Crown wrapped up its case Tuesday in the Matthew Raymond murder trial after it introduced videos of police interrogating the suspect in hospital following his 2018 arrest.
Raymond, 50, is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Donnie Robichaud, Bobbie Lee Wright and Fredericton police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns, in August 2018.
In the first recording, taken from an interview with Raymond at a Fredericton hospital on Aug, 19, 2018, the suspect talked about being shot by police.
RCMP Cpl. Annika Faa, who had been flown in from British Columbia, asked Raymond how he was doing. He said he could feel a bullet lodged in his back.
Faa asked if he knew what he was charged with. “Four counts of murder, that’s what I heard,” Raymond replied.
“How do you feel about that?,” Faa asked.
“Not good, but it’s just one of those things; I can’t talk about it,” he said.
Faa tried to make a lot of small talk to keep the conversation going — asking him about how he liked living on Brookside Dr., and asking him about his siblings and mother.
In another video, from Aug. 20, 2018, Raymond started the conversation by saying he wanted his lawyer present. He repeated that request later in the recording.
Faa made small talk with Raymond and said she was “missing part of the story.” She said, “Something has happened to put you in this position.”
“That’s your opinion,” Raymond responded.
She said police spoke to members of his family who said he had changed and become withdrawn over the past year.
Police showed Raymond videos from his cell phone that showed him in a wooded area shooting a gun and narrating his actions. The conversation drifted to other topics such as religion, politics and the media.
RCMP Cpl. Mark Blakely told Raymond the gravity of what had happened.
“This is national news,” Blakely said in the video. “This is right across the country. People across the country have heard about it, so have people in the jails.”
Blakely said two of the people killed were police officers.
“Yes, I’m aware,” Raymond replied, adding, “I don’t remember any of that.”
When police tried to direct the conversation toward the killings, Raymond said he wanted to speak with his lawyer.
Faa questioned Raymond about Rob Lee, a conspiracy theorist whose videos Raymond had viewed.
Last week, jurors were shown several videos by Lee that were found on Raymond’s computer. The videos discussed how to identify demons, shape-shifters and serpants.
Raymond said in the video interrogation he was “blocking out” Lee.
Last Friday, the Crown and defence issued an agreed statement of fact that Raymond suffered from a mental disorder when he shot the victims.
The defence argues he should be found not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.
Raymond’s lawyers called their first witness Tuesday — Alex Pate, a lawyer with the defence team.
Pate said he was still a law student in 2018, but was involved in most of the meetings with Raymond over the last two years.
The trial continues Wednesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2020.