Chief justice to instruct jury ahead of deliberations at Raymond Cormier trial

Chief justice to instruct jury ahead of deliberations at Raymond Cormier trial

Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal will give his instructions to the jury Wednesday on how they should apply the law when determining whether or not Raymond Cormier is guilty of killing Tina Fontaine.

Over the course of three weeks, the jury heard from around 50 witnesses, as well as listening to hours of conversations with Cormier in interviews with police, as well as secretly recorded conversations made during an undercover police operation.

Cormier, 56, has pleaded not-guilty to second-degree murder in the death of the 15-year-old girl from Sagkeeng First Nation.

Her 72-pound body was pulled from the Red River near the Alexander Docks on Aug. 17, 2014. 

tina-fontaine-feature

Tina Fontaine, 15, was found dead in the Red River on Aug. 17, 2014. (Winnipeg Police Service)

Cormier’s trial is being heard by a jury of seven women and four men. A 12th juror was dismissed partway through the trial due to a family emergency. 

Crown and defence wrapped up their closing arguments on Tuesday.

The Crown had no scientific or forensic evidence tying Cormier to Tina’s killing. Their case relied on statements made by Cormier in those secretly recorded conversations, which the Crown argued amounted to admissions to the crime.

They also relied on testimony from witnesses who said Cormier had the same kind of duvet cover found with Tina’s body, that he had sex with the underage girl, and that he had a stolen truck that would have provided the means to dispose of her body.

Cormier’s defence argues that the Crown’s case is a “house of cards” built on inferences made from statements in recordings that are difficult to hear. The defence argued that Cormier’s statements, rather than admissions of guilt to the killing, should be interpreted as expressions of guilt that Cormier didn’t do more to help girl. 

The defence also challenged the reliability and credibility of the Crown’s witnesses.

The jury will begin its deliberations as soon as Joyal finishes giving them his instructions, expected Wednesday afternoon. 

Published at Wed, 21 Feb 2018 06:00:00 -0500