Crown points out inconsistencies, psychiatrist says that's expected from 'deranged mind'

·4 min read

Crown prosecutors attempted to point out inconsistencies in Matthew Raymond's behaviour on the day he shot and killed four people and over the months after the incident.

But during the cross examination, Dr. Julian Gojer, who testified Raymond meets all of the not-criminally-responsible criteria, said people can't expect rational behaviour from "a deranged mind."

Raymond, 50, shot and killed Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright from his apartment at 237 Brookside Dr., then Fredericton constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello when they responded to calls of shots fired on Aug. 10, 2018.

Raymond has pleaded not guilty, and his defence team is arguing he was not criminally responsible for the shooting on account of a mental illness. Raymond previously testified he thought the end times had come and he was shooting demons, not humans, to defend himself.

Crown prosecutor Darlene Blunston suggested Raymond's behaviour was inconsistent.

Raymond testified he was shooting everyone that moved, but he did not shoot a couple who was standing by Robichud's body and later, when they were cowering behind a parked car.

He also resisted officers who were trying to apprehend him, but was calm and cooperative when he was in an ambulance after he was arrested. She said he also accepted the arresting officer's words when she said he can ask for a lawyer and explained to him his rights.

Shortly after his arrest, at the hospital, Raymond wrote a note saying "lady officer" and "lawyer."

But Gojer says it's difficult to "give a rational explanation to irrational behaviour."

Gojer testified he believed Raymond was operating under delusions that began in 2017 and reached a "crescendo" on Aug. 10 when Raymond thought he heard a child say "come out and play, baby" and interpreted that as a threat and a sign that the world is ending.

Gojer said Raymond did not reveal his belief in demons until Oct. 4, 2020. Gojer said that revelation was not a surprise to him, because he had already seen "a wealth" of evidence on Raymond's computer that showed he had been believing in demons, and pointing them out online, for months.

Blunston said Raymond could remember some things clearly, like eating lentils the morning before he shot people, but couldn't remember why he spent hours doing occult calculations and what the numbers meant.

Gojer said no one is suggesting Raymond had a "global" memory loss, and forgetting certain details does not "suggest his loss of memory is fabricated."

Blunston asked if it is inconsistent that he laid out newspapers and references to hoaxes and serpents on his bed, but when he was interviewed by police and in the hospital, he doesn't mention them?

Gojer said no, it is not, because when he was in the hospital he began realizing that the end times might not have happened.

"It's not that the delusions have gone," he said. "So, he has this vested interest in not sharing the information subsequently even though the information is left on his bed."

Gojer agreed that Raymond's behaviour "does not make sense."

Blunston said Raymond told Gojer he regretted his actions. Does that not mean he knew what he was doing was wrong?

Gojer said no.

"It's a regret that people died, but he still believed it was self defence and he did not know what he was doing was wrong," Gojer said. "I don't' believe that he would have shot anybody, even having delusions about demons, if he did not believe that he was trapped."

Blunston finally suggests: There are people with schizophrenia that can appreciate consequences and nature and know that they're wrong.

Gojer agrees.

No more witnesses

Dr. Gojer said he diagnosed Raymond with schizophrenia, and after reviewing evidence and interviewing Raymond multiple times, he came to the conclusion that Raymond didn't know what he was doing was wrong when he shot and killed four people in Fredericton two years ago.

The Crown and defence have agreed Raymond had a mental illness at the time of the shooting, meaning to get a not-guilty verdict, the defence must prove to the jury, on a balance of probabilities, that Raymond's mental illness either stopped him from knowing the nature and consequences of his actions, or knowing what he was doing was wrong.

Gojer said it's his opinion that Raymond could do neither on Aug. 10, 2018.

Gojer was the final witness in the eight-week trial. The jury has been excused until at least Tuesday morning as both sides work on their final summations.