Lawyers seek judge-alone hearings for accused in Fredericton shootings

Lawyers for a Fredericton man accused of four counts of first-degree murder are seeking constitutional relief so that a fitness hearing and subsequent trial could be heard by a judge alone.

Matthew Raymond is accused of killing civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright, and Fredericton Police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns, on Aug. 10, 2018.

Last October, a jury found Raymond unfit to stand trial, but since then psychiatrists have said he has responded to medication and could be put on trial, which prompted the courts to schedule a “re-fitness hearing.”

Defence lawyer Nathan Gorham wants both the fitness hearing and any potential trial to be heard by judge alone, given a temporary hold on jury trials in the province.

The Crown has questioned whether the court even has jurisdiction to hear such an argument, so a hearing on that question is set for March 27.

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