FREDERICTON — The trial of the man accused of four murders in Fredericton in 2018 has been told he spent much of the year before the shootings trying to identify "demons."
Matthew Raymond is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Donnie Robichaud, Bobbie Lee Wright and police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Aug. 10, 2018.
The defence has acknowledged Raymond killed the victims but says he should be found not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.
The defence continued Tuesday with the cross-examination of RCMP Cpl. Aaron Gallagher, a computer forensics expert.
The jury was shown screenshots of conversations between Raymond and Rob Lee — the host of a conspiracy theory YouTube channel that includes videos about spotting serpents and demons.
Defence lawyer Nathan Gorham said the conversations extended from the fall of 2017 to the summer of 2018. He said it appears Lee asked Raymond to identify demons on his website.
"I'm aware that serpents, shills and fake Christians are on my channel," Lee wrote.
"When I know them, they need to be checked and outed," Raymond replied. "I am sick of being surrounded by these beings."
Gorham said the screenshots show a falling-out between the two after Raymond sent Lee a list of names of people active on the website who Raymond believed to be demons. Lee told Raymond he would look crazy if he accused people without proof.
On Monday, the court was shown a video from the Rob Lee Truth channel on YouTube that had been saved to Raymond's computer. The 30-minute video described how demons could be spotted by the way they look and the numbers and symbols they use — namely 33 1/3 and 666.
On Tuesday afternoon, the defence showed another Rob Lee video found on Raymond's computer. This one — an hour in length — was called 23 Demons, Prophecies and Signs.
It spoke of false prophets and questioned the reality of space, accusing NASA of using only computer-generated images and making up the distance between the earth and the sun. "Who got out a tape measure and measured 93 million miles to the sun?" the voice on the video asks.
The video often flashed pictures of entertainers and politicians, pointing to what it claimed was evidence of slit eyes and serpent tongues.
Raymond watched the video intently as it was played on a monitor next to where he was seated in the courtroom.
Under questioning from Gorham, Gallagher confirmed he found evidence of Raymond using his computer to search other YouTube videos and news sites for demons. He said some of the videos were from July 2018, the month before the shootings.
The trial resumes Thursday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 6, 2020
Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press