New Brunswick

Jury selection starts in Cormier kidnapping case

The Moncton Coliseum's Agrena was transformed into a temporary courtroom on Monday as hundreds of potential jurors were called to the complex at the start of the trial of Romeo Jacques Cormier.

The Moncton Coliseum's Agrena was transformed into a temporary courtroom on Monday as hundreds of potential jurors were called to the complex at the start of the kidnapping trial of Romeo Jacques Cormier.

Cormier, 63, is facing six charges, including kidnapping, unlawful confinement, sexual assault, theft of money using violence, assault with a weapon and uttering threats, in connection with the month-long disappearance of a Moncton woman in February 2010.

The woman, whose identify is protected by a publication ban, escaped from a basement apartment.

Cormier answered not guilty to each of the six charges on Monday.

When he arrived at the Moncton Coliseum, he was wearing black pants, a black shirt, a leather jacket, and no handcuffs.

He said to the reporters, "Nice weather, eh?"

The Department of Justice issued 1,500 jury notices to participate in the high-profile trial.

The list was whittled down to roughly 500 by Monday.

Small groups of 25 potential jurors were being chosen by lottery on Monday and those people will be later called to the Moncton courthouse over the next few days for the next phase of the jury selection.

The judge said Cormier's trial is expected to last 25 days. The defence lawyer said on Monday that he does not expect to call any witnesses.

Cormier was arrested in March 2010. After a psychiatric exam, Cormier was deemed fit to stand trial in May 2010.

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