Fredericton shooter trial adjourned for the week before cross-examination

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The man who shot and killed four Fredericton residents had to stop testifying Thursday because of the side-effects of his antipsychotic medication.

Justice Larry Landry sent the jury in the Matthew Raymond trial home early and adjourned the case until Monday. He said Raymond received an injection Wednesday, and it was affecting his concentration and ability to pay attention to his testimony.

Raymond, 50, has admitted to killing 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.

He has pleaded not guilty, and his defence team is arguing he was not criminally responsible for the shooting on account of mental illness.

Thursday marked the third day of Raymond's testimony in his own defence. In the first few hours in the morning, Raymond said he had trouble paying attention and said he was "daydreaming" at one point.

'I'm very sorry for it'

On Wednesday, Raymond testified on Aug. 10, 2018, he opened fire because he thought he was under attack by demons. On Thursday, he testified it wasn't until this year, after receiving medication for several months, that he realized they were human.

"I believe now that they are people and I'm very sorry for it," he told the court.

He said he currently believes demons don't exist in the "real world" but do exist in Hell.

Defence lawyer Nathan Gorham asked Raymond how, once he realized they were human, he felt about having killed them?

"I felt terrible," he said. "I'm definitely fully against hurting any person."

He said he feels "horrible" about injuring people, "because they were scared."

At that point Raymond wiped tears with a tissue. Family members of Sara Burns and Robb Costello cried in the gallery.

Raymond also said he didn't start believing he had a mental disorder until the doctors kept telling him he did.

Raymond said when he shot people he thought he was defending himself from attack and didn't think what he was doing was wrong.

The Crown and defence have agreed Raymond had a mental illness at the time of the shooting. Dr. Ralph Holly testified he diagnosed Raymond with schizophrenia. Dr. Scott Woodside said he diagnosed him with delusional disorder.

To get a not-guilty verdict, the defence must prove to the jury that Raymond's mental illness either stopped him from knowing the nature and consequences of his actions or from knowing what he was doing was wrong.