Alleged Fredericton gunman says he’s innocent, citing ‘temporary insanity’
FREDERICTON — The man charged with murder in a Fredericton shooting spree that left four people dead says he should be “exonerated” immediately because of temporary insanity.
“This has to be settled now, so I will be exonerated today,” Matthew Raymond told the judge during what was supposed to be a brief appearance Monday in provincial court.
“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, he has every bit of evidence, it shows exactly what has happened. I am not guilty.”
The lean, bearded 48-year-old 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.
The four were gunned down Aug. 10 outside a Fredericton apartment complex in a siege that ended when police shot the gunman.
The case returned to court Monday to set a date for a preliminary hearing, but Raymond interrupted as his lawyer addressed Judge Julian Dickson.
“Your honour, may I interrupt? I have something really important to say, I have a statement to make,” Raymond said.
“I am not guilty by, at least, temporary insanity.”
Dickson told Raymond he would have an opportunity “to purse every possible defence available to you,” but Monday’s hearing was not the time.
“This is a violation of my rights,” said Raymond, who ignored defence lawyer Nathan Gorham’s plea to sit down.
Gorham said the Crown has revealed most of the evidence against his client, including witness accounts and Raymond’s own statements. He said he was trying to help the court move things along quickly.
Raymond, wearing an orange jumpsuit and a grey sweatshirt, told the judge his life has been threatened while in jail, including someone who threatened to cut his head off. And he objected to the clothing he had been given to wear.
“The clothes I have on, I have on every time I come in here. I do not have the proper clothing at all, it’s a violation of my rights,” he said.
“I should not even be in these clothes. I have never been given the proper clothes.”
Raymond has not yet made a formal plea. The case will return to court Oct. 29 to set a date for a preliminary hearing on the first-degree murder charges.
Raymond is alleged to have fired upon four people 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.
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
News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc., 2018
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