Matthew Raymond found fit by review board, awaiting second fitness hearing

The New Brunswick Review Board has found Matthew Vincent Raymond fit to stand trial and has returned him to the jurisdiction of the court to continue his prosecution.

Raymond, who's facing four first-degree murder charges in the shooting deaths of two Fredericton police officers and two civilians, appeared in court in Campbellton on Wednesday for the review board hearing. 

Raymond was found unfit to stand trial by a jury in early October. Under a 60-day treatment order, he received antipsychotic medication against his will.

The review board was tasked with deciding whether the treatment was enough to return him to fitness, as the treatment order expired Dec. 4.

The board is made up of provincial appointees and decides what happens to people who, like Raymond, are found unfit to stand trial. They decide when and under what conditions accused people should be returned to the jurisdiction of the Court of Queen's Bench to face their charges.

This decision clears the way for court to have a second fitness hearing, where a jury will have a final say on whether Raymond is fit to stand criminal trial.

"If the review board finds Mr. Raymond fit … then Mr. Raymond will be returned to the jurisdiction of the Court of Queen's Bench and then fitness jury trial dates can officially be confirmed," said Andrea Hull, clerk for the judicial districts of Fredericton and Woodstock.

Being held at Restigouche

The panel made the decision after about 15 minutes of deliberations, having heard evidence from one person, a psychiatrist at the Restigouche Hospital Centre.

There's a publication ban on any evidence presented Wednesday.

Raymond has been kept at the Restigouche Hospital Centre for the past few weeks.

In a previous proceeding, Justice Fred Ferguson indicated there may be a need for a second fitness hearing in front of a jury, which could be scheduled for next month.

The number of jury summonses and exact dates haven't been agreed upon yet.

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It's not clear why there needs to be a second jury fitness hearing after the review board found Raymond fit.

Raymond is charged in the shooting deaths of Const. Sara Burns, Const. Robb Costello, and Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright. They were killed on the morning of Aug. 10, 2018, at an apartment building on Brookside Drive on Fredericton's north side. 

The panel was chaired by Campbellton lawyer Lyne Raymond. The other members were retired psychiatrist Dr. David Addleman and Maurice Theriault. 

Alex Pate, articling student for Raymond's lawyer, appeared as the defence. The Crown was represented by Darlene Blunston and Claude Haché, who appeared by video conference.