Skip to main content

Matthew Raymond is escorted at Court of Queen's Bench, in Fredericton, on Dec. 18, 2019.

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

The judge in the case of Matthew Raymond, who is accused of shooting four people in Fredericton two years ago, has been replaced.

Court of Queen’s Bench Judge Fred Ferguson was prepared to conduct a fitness hearing for Raymond, accused of killing Fredericton Police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns as well as civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright, on Aug. 10, 2018.

Instead, Chief Justice Tracey DeWare presided at a pre-trial conference Friday and said Ferguson will be replaced by Justice Larry Landry.

Story continues below advertisement

No reason was given, but defence lawyer Nathan Gorham had applied for Ferguson to recuse himself due to the judge’s alleged bias against Raymond.

Gorham’s application stated that since July 26, 2019, “the defence attempted various applications and initiatives to ensure that Mr. Raymond receives a fair and reasonably expeditious trial in light of his mental disorder. The trial judge’s conduct during these phases of the proceeding has been unfair and supports an inference of bias.”

DeWare said that application is now moot.

A jury will be chosen for a fitness hearing Aug. 17, and if Raymond is found mentally fit, a trial will begin Sept. 28.

To be considered fit to stand trial means an accused understands the charges against them, the consequences of the case, and is capable of instructing their lawyer.

DeWare said about 450 people will receive summons for jury duty, adding a pre-screening process beginning Aug. 11 should reduce that number to about 150 potential jurors.

Gorham said outside the court Friday his client “has been anxious for the last 10 months that we have the trial as quickly as possible. We are thankful that we are on the home stretch here and hopefully will be getting to trial soon.”

Story continues below advertisement

Gorham said the defence is prepared to make a number of admissions in an effort to shorten the length of trial.

“This is just an issue of Mr. Raymond’s state of mind,” Gorham said. “We’re not going to spend resources and days and days talking about issues that don’t really matter because they obviously are true.

“For example, Mr. Raymond was the shooter. We all know that. The issue is what was his mental disorder and what impact did that mental disorder have.”

Gorham said his biggest concern is being able to safely complete a trial during the pandemic. The case is being held in a large meeting room at the Fredericton Convention Centre to allow for physical distancing.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons or for abuse. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies