WINNIPEG – The man accused of killing 15-year-old Tina Fontaine will be heading straight to trial instead of having a preliminary hearing.
Raymond Cormier is facing a charge of second degree murder in connection to Fontaine’s death.
On Tuesday, Manitoba Justice confirmed the case against Cormier will proceed by direct indictment.
It’s unusual for someone charged with such a serious crime to not have a preliminary hearing but the one scheduled for this May in Cormier’s case has been cancelled.
“The Crown decided they would bypass that, so they’ve yanked away the opportunity for a preliminary inquiry and now we’re going straight to a trial. The problem that causes is, it loses the opportunity for my client to test the evidence, to get a sense of what the crown’s case is,” said Cormier’s lawyer Tony Kavanagh.
While it is unusual for prosecutors to proceed by direct indictment, there are circumstances under which it’s preferred, according to Manitoba Justice.
Some of those include if a witness is thought to be at risk, if there’s a need to protect the identity of an informant and if a police investigation needs to be protected.
Cormier was charged with Fontaine’s death in December, 2015, more than a year after her body was discovered in the Red River.
Kavanagh said the case may not go to trial until late this year or even 2018
– Global News Reporter, Sean Leslie