Raymond Cormier no ‘saint’ but didn’t kill Tina Fontaine: defence lawyer

“We say Mr. Cormier was telling the truth when he said he didn’t kill Tina Fontaine.”

A jury will soon decide if Raymond Cormier killed Tina Fontaine in the summer of 2014 as closing arguments were made Tuesday.

Defence lawyer Tony Kavanagh told the jury in his closing statement that Cormier was a drug addict, a thief and even politically incorrect but not a killer.

“He’s not a saint but you’ve got to look at the evidence,” Kavanagh said.

“We say Mr. Cormier was telling the truth when he said he didn’t kill Tina Fontaine.”

Crown prosecutor Jim Ross said police intercept recordings caught Cormier saying otherwise during a six-month undercover operation.

Cormier was heard arguing with a woman and saying that there was a little girl in a “grave someplace screaming at the top of her lungs for me to finish the job. And guess what? I finished the job.”

“He’s exposed here legally … it could make him a pedophile,” Ross argued. “You all know who the little girl in the grave is.”

Ross said in his closing argument that the intercepts are the heart of the case.

He said the motive was to silence Fontaine, 15, after she threatened to go to the police over a stolen truck.

Fontaine’s body was recovered from Winnipeg’s Red River in August 2014 wrapped in a duvet cover weighed down with rocks.

While Ross relied heavily on intercept recordings, many of the recordings were difficult to hear and sometimes hardly understandable.

Kavanagh reminded the jury that they were told by Chief Justice Glenn Joyal that they can only rely on the recordings, not the transcript provided by police.

Cormier was captured on multiple recordings admitting to his attraction to Fontaine and saying how he had sex with her.

Ross said those recordings are an admission of guilt and any denials Cormier has made are lies.

Kavanagh said to consider that Cormier is truthful and it’s just as likely that some of the witnesses are lying.

He questioned the accuracy and truthfulness of Ida Beardy’s testimony, the woman who positively identified the duvet cover as Cormier’s, saying that she already had animosity towards Cormier.

He said Beardy’s testimony is put under further question because cigarette burns claimed to be seen were actually holes visible in the duvet cover caused by police “hooks”.

Kavanagh also went on to say that the way the police asked Beardy about the duvet cover were prejudicial and subject to bias. He says the photograph should have been presented in a line-up of photos especially in consideration of the clear animosity towards Cormier.

In addition, Kavanagh said there was no DNA or other forensics connecting Cormier to the duvet cover.

He went on to say there was no forensic evidence connecting Cormier to the truck or the body.

Joyal is to give jurors their instructions Wednesday.

-with files from The Canadian Press


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