Justin Bourque found fit to stand trial in Moncton shootings
Bourque charged with 3 counts of murder, 2 counts of attempted murder in Moncton Mountie shootings
Justin Christien Bourque, the man accused of killing three Mounties and wounding two others in Moncton, N.B., last month has been found fit to stand trial.
Bourque is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in connection with the June 4 shootings in the southeastern New Brunswick city. He has not entered any pleas.
Bourque elected Thursday to be tried by judge and jury and waived his right to a preliminary inquiry as about 50 people looked on.
Codiac RCMP Supt. Marlene Snowman was among the spectators gathered. She sat in the front row, looking directly at Bourque throughout the proceedings, while a small group of plainclothes officers stood at the back of the room.
Bourque's father, Victor Bourque, was also present for his son's appearance in the small, second-storey courtroom.
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At one point, a spectator stood up and tried to take a photograph of Bourque using his smartphone. Sheriff's officers quickly surrounded the man and seized the phone.
The entire court proceeding lasted only a matter of minutes.
Bourque sat expressionless in the prisoner's box with his hands in cuffs, looking around the courtroom.
Veteran defence lawyer David Lutz did all of the talking for his client, except when Judge Irwin Lampert asked Bourque if he understood, and he replied, "Yes."
Lutz requested a publication ban on the contents of the psychiatric assessment report, which included a videotaped interview with Bourque.
The judge granted the publication ban, but said he did so reluctantly.
The courts are normally reluctant to restrict any information to the public, said Lampert. But in this case, the report could be prejudicial to Bourque's defence and his right to a fair trial, he said.
Bourque is scheduled to appear in the Court of Queen's Bench on Aug. 8 before Justice David Smith, when the case will be transferred to the higher court.
Bourque had been ordered earlier this month to undergo a 30-day assessment to determine if he is fit to stand trial and whether he was suffering from a mental disorder at the time of the alleged offences that would exempt him from criminal responsibility.
An affidavit from Bourque's father stated that his son had been gripped by "paranoia" in the days before the alleged shooting spree.
The affidavit was in support of a request by Bourque's lawyer to have his client undergo a psychiatric assessment.
Bourque was arrested just after midnight on June 6, following a two-day manhunt that involved hundreds of police officers from across the country and caused a lockdown of much of the city.
Police found him when they responded to a complaint of someone being in a backyard.
The Crown prosecutors handling the case are Cameron Gunn and P.J. Veniot.
Judge Irwin Lampert is presiding.
The RCMP officers who were killed on June 4 were:
- Const. Douglas James Larche, 40, from Saint John.
- Const. Dave Joseph Ross, 32, from Victoriaville, Que.
- Const. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45, originally from Boulogne-Billancourt, France.
Constables Éric Stéphane J. Dubois and Marie Darlene Goguen were wounded.