New Brunswick

Crown won't appeal verdict Fredericton man was not criminally responsible for 4 deaths

The Crown prosecutor's office will not appeal a jury's decision to find Matthew Raymond not criminally responsible for shooting and killing four Fredericton residents.

Matthew Raymond will continue being held at the Restigouche Hospital Centre 'indefinitely'

Victims of the shooting in Fredericton, from left to right: constables Robb Costello, 45, and Sara Burns, 43, and civilians Donnie Robichaud, 42, and Bobbie Lee Wright, 32.

The Crown prosecutor's office will not appeal a jury's decision to find Matthew Raymond not criminally responsible for shooting and killing four Fredericton residents.

"After a thorough review, Public Prosecutions Service of New Brunswick has made the difficult decision not to appeal the jury's verdict in that there is no reasonable prospect of success on appeal," Pierre Roussel, director of Public Prosecutions, said in a news release,

This decision concludes the two-year prosecution of the 50-year-old Raymond, who shot and killed Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright, and Fredericton constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello on Aug. 10, 2018.

Raymond admitted to being the shooter and firing the high-powered rifle, but after a two-month trial he was found not criminally responsible for the killing. The defence argued he was delusional and believed he was shooting demons coming to kill him, not human beings.

With their verdict, the jurors said they believed Raymond's delusions stopped him from understanding what he was doing or that it was wrong.

Roussel said trusting the jury's verdict is not a form of "blind faith."

"It is a reflection of the well-earned trust and confidence that has been built up over centuries of experiences in courtrooms throughout the Commonwealth," he said.

He said to appeal a decision the Crown must find an error of law during the trial, and conclude that that error had an impact on the jury's verdict. He said the Crown has not found that.

"While this was undoubtedly an extremely tragic event, the Crown's office must nonetheless respect the jury's verdict," he said.

Matthew Raymond will continue being held at the Restigouche Hospital Centre 'indefinitely.' (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

This decision comes a week after family members of the victims read out victim impact statements at Raymond's disposition hearing. The eight statements show family members are still suffering from anxiety, depression and grief after their loved ones were killed. 

Raymond has been held at the Restigouche Hospital Centre, where he will receive treatment until a tribunal finds he's no longer a threat to the public.

Raymond was also designated a high-risk accused, which means if the Review Board finds he's no longer a threat to the public, it must ask a judge to remove that designation before he's released, either with or without conditions.

"[Raymond] will continue to be detained indefinitely," Roussel said. "The Review Board takes the protection of the public extremely seriously."

The office declined a request for interview.

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