Cormier trial hears testimony of undercover operation from police
An undercover police operation known as Project Styx was used to gather evidence in the Tina Fontaine homicide investigation and a number of scenarios were designed in order to manipulate Raymond Cormier, court heard Wednesday.
Cormier, 56, has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder in connection with Fontaine’s August 2014 death.
Jurors heard Winnipeg police obtained a warrant to put listening devices in a Logan Avenue apartment where Cormier was told he could live as part of a special rent-free program.
As part of the operation an undercover officer used the name Mohammed to pose as a tenant who lived in a suite near Cormier’s.
Court heard the officer posed as the owner of a moving company and paid Cormier to help him move boxes.
The undercover officer wore a body pack during a November 2015 conversation with Cormier which court heard took place in Mohammed’s apartment.
In that conversation, the undercover officer testified Cormier brought up Tina Fontaine.
In the recordings played Wednesday morning for the jury Cormier spoke fast. The officer testified he thought Cormier may have been high on drugs at the time. Court heard Cormier told the undercover officer he used meth, but the officer told court he never saw Cormier use the drug.
Court heard Cormier tell the officer: “I was arrested for the murder of Tina Fontaine. I didn’t do that and I didn’t.”
He later said, “I don’t want to [expletive] go down for something I didn’t do. I won’t do it.”
During the conversation court heard Cormier mention to the undercover officer an argument he had with Fontaine about a bike.
“She got pissed off and I got pissed off and I took her bike,” Cormier tells the undercover officer, Mohammed. “She stole a bike from somebody and I took the bike. She wanted to sell it for pot anyway.”
“I’m just trying to get her to stop and talk and finally she stops. Stopped and talked I said something and off she went and off I went. And I took her dope on feet, she didn’t know I had the dope.”
At one point in the conversation Cormier tells the officer it’s unfortunate what happened to Fontaine.
“I should have [expletive] grabbed her and brought her back in. Get the [expletive] inside.”
Court heard the undercover operation lasted six months and that Cormier was brought to Vancouver as part of Project Styx where he was eventually arrested in December 2015.
Cormier’s lawyer, Andrew Synyshyn, asked the officer if other topics like religion and Cormier’s drug use were discussed during the recorded conversations.
“When we hear these conversations…there are other conversations you had with him where he did not bring up Tina Fontaine, correct?”
The officer testified: “Yes.”
The trial continues.