Doctor tells jurors he's unable to determine if Raymond was criminally responsible

FREDERICTON — A psychiatrist told jurors Friday at the Mathew Raymond murder trial that he didn't have enough information to determine whether the accused was criminally responsible for the killings.

The defence admits that Raymond, 50, shot dead Donnie Robichaud, Bobbie Lee Wright and police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns in August 2018. But they are trying to prove he wasn't criminally responsible because of a mental disorder.

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Dr. Scott Woodside, a forensic psychiatrist from Toronto, told the jury he thought Raymond suffered from delusional disorder. Raymond, however, refused to talk about the shootings during their meetings over the last two years, he said.

Therefore, Woodside testified, he couldn't make a link between the accused's delusional disorder and his actions.

Another psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Holly, who testified last week, diagnosed Raymond with schizophrenia.

Woodside said both schizophrenia and delusional disorder are major mental illnesses. "Both are capable of causing symptoms of psychosis,'' Woodside told jurors.

Raymond, he said, thought the end of the world was coming and that people wanted to harm him. "Mr. Raymond was quite guarded, quite paranoid,'' Woodside said.

Earlier in the trial, the jury was shown many examples of videos and images Raymond had been viewing on his computer dealing with conspiracy theories, hoaxes and ways to allegedly identify people as demons.

Woodside said that during their meetings, Raymond refused to discuss any of those issues or the shootings. "He told me he had no recall, he had no control, he didn't feel like it was him,'' Woodside said.

The doctor said he believed Raymond could recall more than he let on. He said Raymond told him certain issues could only be talked about in court. There were no indications, however, Raymond was faking his mental illness, the doctor said.

Woodside said Raymond was able to describe events that scared him. He said Raymond told him he heard the voice of a young boy under his window saying, "come out and play baby."

Woodside said Raymond told him he was hearing noises late at night that he took to be threats, and that he couldn't sleep and removed his guns from his bag.

"He couldn't really articulate what the threat was or what he took it to mean," Woodside said.

Woodside said Raymond told him that a week before the shootings, he would have known that shooting someone was morally and legally wrong. But, Woodside said, "he wasn't willing or able to articulate what his thinking was at the actual time of the offence."

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Jill Knee, Woodside said Raymond told him he had no prior connections with the people who were shot.

The trial continues Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 23, 2020.

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