Tina Fontaine's alleged killer hires Brandon-based lawyer

Legal Aid has allowed Raymond Cormier to hire lawyer Andrew Synyshyn now that a senior Winnipeg counsel has also joined the defence team.

Raymond Cormier, charged with second-degree murder, parted ways with several lawyers

Raymond Cormier is awaiting trial for second degree murder in the death of Tina Fontaine, 15.

The man accused of killing Tina Fontaine has a new legal team.

Legal Aid approved Raymond Cormier's request to hire Andrew Synyshyn. The Brandon-based lawyer was called to the bar in 2011 and because of his junior status, Legal Aid required an experienced lawyer to come on board and supervise Cormier's defence.

Former Crown Attorney Tony Kavanagh confirmed he will fill the role of senior counsel on Cormier's team.

Cormier had been without legal representation for more than a month after parting ways with several lawyers, some of whom were never even officially on the books.  He had been pushing Legal Aid to allow him to hire Synyshyn since October.

"The struggle was finding someone to assist or supervise and I look forward to working with Mr. Kavanagh," Synyshyn said.

"I met with Mr. Cormier on Saturday and told him the good news and he's very happy and we're looking forward to actually getting things going," Synyshyn said.

Cormier is facing second-degree murder charges in connection to Tina Fontaine's death.  The Winnipeg teen was pulled from the Red River in August 2014   Police say she was vulnerable and exploited.  Cormier does not deny knowing the teen, but maintains his innocence.

Cormier also alleged police fabricated evidence against him in an elaborate Mr Big Sting.  He filed a Law Enforcement Review Agency complaint about the matter but it was thrown out.  Cormier appealed that decision and another LERA date has been set for January.

A preliminary hearing for Cormier's murder charges is scheduled for next May in Winnipeg.

Synyshyn just left Meighen, Haddad LLP where he specialized in cases involving child protection to start his own firm, AJS Law.