The man accused of murdering a 15-year-old indigenous girl will be fighting charge.
Raymond Cormier, the man accused of killing Tina Fontaine last year will be fighting his second-degree murder charge, his lawyer said.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail on Monday, Mr. Cormier’s defence attorney, Pamela Smith, said “we will be contesting the charges.” Ms. Smith, who has represented Mr. Cormier in the past, said she had yet to see the evidence against her client.
“[The Crown’s office is] sending me a hard drive later in the week with disclosure on it,” she said, adding that no decision has been made as to whether Mr. Cormier, who has an extensive criminal record, will seek bail. Proceedings related to his case were put over Monday and are now slated for Tuesday morning. Ms. Smith said Mr. Cormier will not appear in court at that time, and said she expects the case will be pushed forward again.
Police arrested Cormier in the Vancouver area on Dec. 9 and transported him back to Winnipeg.
Cormier is being held at the Winnipeg Remand Centre.
A provincial court document says police allege Cormier, originally from New Brunswick, killed Tina “on or about the 10th day of August in the year of 2014” – the first indication of a possible date of death since the girl’s body was pulled from the city’s Red River on Aug. 17, 2014. A Winnipeg Police Service spokesman said in an e-mail police believe she died Aug. 9 or Aug. 10.
The Sagkeeng First Nation teen was last seen alive Aug. 8 of last year. On that date, she was in contact with paramedics, a Child and Family Services contract worker, and police, who did not take her into their care despite the fact that she was listed as a missing person. Tina, who was in foster care had been placed at a downtown Winnipeg hotel.
Cormier’s criminal file contains at least 92 prior convictions across Canada, with recent offences involving crystal meth possession and assault with a weapon.
At a press conference Friday afternoon, lead investigator Sergeant John O’Donovan, declined to elaborate on the relationship between Tina and Cormier, or disclose the motive.
Sgt. O’Donovan told reporters: “Tina was a child – an exploited child … You guys can figure it out. There was definitely some exploitation going on.”