Fredericton shooter Matthew Raymond tells his murder trial he believed in demons
By The Canadian Press
By The Canadian Press
FREDERICTON — The man on trial for the 2018 Fredericton mass shooting testified in his defence Tuesday, telling jurors he believed that major news events were fake and choreographed.
Matthew Raymond, 50, is standing trial on four counts of first-degree murder in the Aug. 10, 2018 deaths of Donnie Robichaud, Bobbie Lee Wright and Fredericton police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns.
The defence and Crown agree Raymond killed the victims and that he had a mental illness. Raymond’s lawyers are trying to prove he should be found not criminally responsible because the mental disorder rendered him incapable of appreciating the nature of his actions.
“Everything in the news, major happenings, even traffic accidents, I felt were staged,” Raymond told jurors, about the thoughts he said began in 2017. “I thought some court cases were also fake. I thought the lawyers were real but knew it was not a real happening.”
Defence lawyer Nathan Gorham asked, “Do you still believe that now?”
“No,” Raymond replied.
Raymond told the jury he stopped believing those things around the time he was being treated in hospital in 2019.
Gorham showed the court images Raymond had saved on his computer in 2017 about the Moncton court case of Marissa Shephard, who was charged in the murder of 18-year-old Baylee Wylie.
Raymond told the court he recorded images off television and from internet news. He said by using numerology he concluded the Shephard trial was a government hoax.
“That’s what I believed,” he told the jury.
He said numerology helped him uncover who was a demon and what events were hoaxes.
“I came to that conclusion more often than not,” Raymond said. He explained that the number 33 1/3 indicated angels cast out of heaven.
The numbers he came up with, he said, often corresponded to the time of day or the timestamp from the moment he stopped a video to capture a still image. Raymond told the jury he thought he had been given the power by God to stop the videos at important moments.
He testified that in August 2018, he still believed in the hoaxes.
Earlier Tuesday, the court heard a recording of the police interview with his mother, Shirley Raymond, on the day of the shootings.
She told police she thought her son was disturbed but never thought it would result in him harming anyone.
His mother told police Raymond had been spending a lot of time on his computer and that she thought he may have been chatting with someone “who was turning his mind.”
She told police she had said to her son, “I don’t know what you’re watching on that computer but it has warped your brain and you need help.”
At one point during the police interview she broke down crying, saying, “people are dead, and could I have done something?”
Raymond’s testimony continues Tuesday afternoon.
– Kevin Bissett
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2020.