Four jurors were confirmed Tuesday morning on the second day of the jury selection for Matthew Raymond's fitness and possibly criminal case.
Monday marked the start of the first jury selection in the country, held during the COVID-19 pandemic. Four jurors had been selected by the end of the day on Monday. Today's selection includes a total of eight jurors. If necessary, the court will attempt to select the five remaining Tuesday afternoons or Wednesday mornings.
Raymond was charged with four first degree murders in which police officers Robb Costello and civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright were shot. Raymond has been in custody since filming on August 10, 2018.
Raymond was found unfit by a jury last fall when his lawyer said his mental health had deteriorated, hampering communication and building a defense.
Matthew Raymond is charged with four first degree murders in which two Fredericton police officers, Sara Burns and Robb Costello, and Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright, were shot dead. (Hadeel Ibrahim / CBC)
He must be found fit by a jury before the criminal proceedings can continue.
The jurors are selected from a pool of only around 100 people. At the last fitness hearing, the pool consisted of 800 people.
Raymond's attorney, Nathan Gorham, previously raised concerns about a possible lawsuit if the court went through the entire pool without finding the 13 jurors needed. On Tuesday, he said the pace of selection is reducing those concerns.
The selected jury will decide whether he will be on trial this week. If found fit, Raymond will be on trial on September 15th. If he is found fit, he can keep this jury or ask for a new one.
Despite the fact that the court ran a separate pre-examination for jurors who wanted to be excused – and about 70 excused – more than 20 people have been excused in the past two days.
The question of suitability to stand before a court is different from criminal liability. It's about the "here and now" of Raymond's sanity, not his state of mind during the alleged crime.