Closing arguments in Matthew Raymond trial zero in on shooter's mental state

news-update

Crown and defence lawyers have concluded their cases in the trial of Fredericton mass shooter Matthew Raymond and both sides have put a fundamental question to the jury: did the accused know he was shooting at human beings when he killed four people two years ago, or did he see only demons and devils?
    
Crown prosecutor Darlene Blunston told the jury on Monday there was planning and forethought when Raymond purchased large amounts of ammunition, loaded a semi-automatic rifle that had been modified to shoot extra rounds and barricaded himself in his Fredericton apartment before he started firing at people in a parking lot below.
    
She said his actions before and after the shooting on Aug. 10, 2018 are inconsistent with those of a mentally deranged person in the throes of delusions of the apocalypse.
    
``The evidence shows that Matthew Raymond did understand the nature of his actions and knew they were wrong,'' Blunston said.
    
Raymond, 50, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first degree murder, with his lawyers arguing he should be found not criminally responsible due to mental illness.
    
Both the Crown and the defence have agreed that Raymond is mentally ill and that he is the person who killed the four people. 

The disagreement is over whether he understood what he was doing, knew who he was hurting and could comprehend right from wrong.