Tina Fontaine's alleged killer drops complaint against Winnipeg police
Raymond Cormier is charged with second-degree murder in death of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine
The man charged with second-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, whose body was found in the Red River in 2014, has dropped his formal complaint against Winnipeg police.
Raymond Cormier initially filed the complaint with the Law Enforcement Review Agency in 2016, alleging members of the Winnipeg Police Service fabricated evidence and ensnared him during the investigation that concluded with his arrest in December 2015.
In his complaint, he stated police engaged in a "clear and malicious act to deliberately manufacture and fabricate false evidence in an attempt to establish a link between me, the murder suspect, with Miss Tina Fontaine."
That complaint was thrown out because it fell outside the LERA mandate to investigate public complaints, but Cormier appealed the decision.
On Wednesday, one of his lawyers confirmed Cormier had withdrawn his appeal on the advice of counsel due to jurisdictional issues given his upcoming trial, scheduled for January 2018.
- Tina Fontaine's alleged killer says police fabricated evidence
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"Mr. Cormier still maintains that the police acted inappropriately," said Tony Kavanagh, the senior litigator on Cormier's defence team.
"But the reason the matter was withdrawn, quite simply, was because of the technical appeal process and the jurisdictional issues around why the commissioner didn't proceed with this particular matter before LERA."
Kavanagh said lawyers will address Cormier's concern in the trial itself.
Cormier headed straight to trial
Tina Fontaine's body, wrapped in a duvet cover, was pulled from the Red River near Winnipeg's Alexander Docks in August 2014.
Cormier alleges he was the subject of a Mr. Big sting, a controversial technique in which police create a fictitious criminal organization and invite the target to join.
The technique is typically used in cases in which police have a suspect in mind, but don't have enough evidence to lay charges.
Police have told CBC News they used a variety of investigative and covert techniques.
In February, Cormier was directly indicted in a Manitoba court, skipping preliminary hearings and set to proceed straight to trial.
With files from Katie Nicholson