Bearded and shaggy-haired, wearing light blue prison-issue pants and shirt, the accused in the Moncton murders faced a judge and was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.
Hands clasped one over the other, a thin Justin Bourque stood in Courtroom 1's prisoner box, staring ahead as his future was discussed before him: a July 3 morning court appearance, and no psychiatric evaluation at this time.
The courthouse was nearly packed as the public, media and about a half-dozen Crown attorneys in the viewing gallery got their first glimpse of the suspect since he sent this city into mourning.
A friend of the Bourque family took his seat in the third row, there as a show of support to the family and tearful as he described, before the proceedings began, his friends grappling with heartbreak.
The high-profile court proceeding took place under the protection of heavily armed officers, wearing camouflage, protective eye-wear and carrying assault rifles. One stood inside, guarding the door to the hallway.
Neither Michel Desneiges as his duty counsel, nor two provincial Crown lawyers, sought a psychiatric evaluation, though Mr. Desneiges said after the appearance Mr. Bourque's hired counsel might seek one. "That's always an option," he said.
With Judge Irwin Lampert presiding, the lawyers decided July 3 was adequate time for Mr. Bourque to seek counsel and for disclosure.
The charges were read and decisions on next steps made in a matter of minutes Friday afternoon, with onlookers retreating to the hallway afterward. Two men, visibly tense, signalled they were somehow tied to one of the victims, though neither would take questions.