Jury selection for Matthew Raymond's fitness trial and, possibly, his criminal one will have to go into a third day Wednesday.
Five jurors were confirmed Tuesday on the second day of jury selection. This brings the total to nine, with four more jurors needed.
Monday marked the beginning of the first jury selection in the country to take place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Four jurors were chosen by the end of day Monday.
Raymond was charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of police constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello and civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright.
Raymond has been in custody since the shooting on Aug. 10, 2018.
He was found unfit by a jury last fall, when his lawyer said his mental state had deteriorated, making communication and building a defence difficult.
Raymond must be found fit by a jury before the criminal trial can go on.
The jurors are being chosen from a pool of only about 100. At the last fitness hearing, the pool was made up of 800 people.
Defence lawyer Nathan Gorham previously expressed concerns about a possible mistrial if the court goes through the entire pool without finding the 13 jurors needed. On Tuesday, he said seeing the pace of selection is reducing those concerns.
If the jurors who are selected decide Raymond is fit to stand trial, his criminal trial will start Sept. 15. Raymond can choose to keep this jury or ask for a new one.
Although the court conducted a separate pre-screening for jurors who wanted to be excused — and it excused about 70 — more than 40 people were excused over the last two days.
The issue of fitness to stand trial is distinct from criminal responsibility. It deals with the "here and now" of Raymond's mental health, and not his state of mind during the alleged crime.