Manitoba

Raymond Cormier, accused in Tina Fontaine homicide, has at least 92 past convictions

Raymond Cormier, the man accused of killing 15-year-old Tina Fontaine in Winnipeg has at least 92 past criminal convictions across Canada and was described in court earlier this year as posing a "danger to the public."

Cormier, 53, has prior criminal convictions in New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta

Raymond Cormier, the man accused of killing 15-year-old Tina Fontaine in Winnipeg has at least 92 past criminal convictions across Canada and was described in court earlier this year as posing a "danger to the public." 2:18

The man accused of killing 15-year-old Tina Fontaine in Winnipeg has at least 92 past criminal convictions across Canada and was described in court earlier this year as posing a "danger to the public."

Raymond Cormier, 53, was arrested this week and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Fontaine, whose body was recovered from the Red River in August 2014.

"Cormier has been involved in criminal activity throughout his adult life," Winnipeg police deputy chief Danny Smyth said Friday as he announced the arrest.

"He has numerous convictions from across Canada. These convictions have ranged from simple breaches to serious violent offences. He has been in and out of correctional institutions throughout his life."

Fifteen-year-old Tina Fontaine's body was recovered from the Red River on Aug. 17, 2014. (CBC)
Police say Cormier is originally from New Brunswick and moved to Winnipeg about three years ago. Officers arrested him in the Vancouver area on Wednesday.

Cormier's criminal record dates back to when he turned 18 years old, with convictions in New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, according to court documents obtained by CBC News.

He was convicted at least five times in Ontario, and in Alberta there are at least 15 cases dating back to 2004. In Medicine Hat, Alta., he was sentenced in 2009 to seven years in prison for a knifepoint robbery on Valentine's Day.

'Doing life on the instalment plan'

In Winnipeg, Cormier was convicted this past February of possessing methamphetamine in July 2014.
Raymond Cormier, 53, has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, Winnipeg police announced Friday.

He was convicted of assault with a weapon in March after he brandished a screwdriver at a Safeway grocery store employee while trying to steal meat on Aug. 23, 2014. He was sentenced to 10 months in jail.

At a sentencing hearing on March 12, a Crown prosecutor noted Cormier's 92 prior convictions and said that in the last 10 years alone, he was convicted of the following:

  • Obstructing a peace officer.
  • Break and enter.
  • Mischief.
  • Possessing property obtained by crime.
  • Theft.
  • Obstructing justice.
  • Numerous weapons-related charges.
  • Various drug-related charges.
  • Robbery.
  • Fleeing from a peace officer.

"We've heard defence counsel coin the term, 'Mr. Cormier is doing life on the instalment plan,' if you'll note how many times he's been in and out of federal penitentiaries in the past," the prosecutor told the court.

The prosecutor added that Cormier has been released on parole numerous times, only to have that parole revoked.

"Mr. Cormier is a danger to society when he's out in the public, and at this point Mr. Cormier has to be removed from the public in order to protect them for as long as this court deems appropriate," court was told.

On Friday, Smyth said Cormier and Fontaine were acquaintances, as they both frequented a home in the city's Elmwood area.

"It is believed that Tina and Cormier had several encounters, and that he murdered her on their last encounter," he said.

Police said they will work with other police agencies across the country to determine if Cormier is connected to any other cases involving missing or murdered women.