Witness testifies accused had a conversation with Tina Fontaine three days before she was found dead
Published Tuesday, February 13, 2018 2:12PM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, February 13, 2018 7:35PM CST
A former acquaintance of Raymond Cormier, the man charged in the August 2014 death of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, testified at the 56-year-old's second degree murder trial Tuesday that Cormier told him about an argument he had with Tina Fontaine in August 2014 and that Cormier had later talked to her about it.
Ernest DeWolfe, 51, testified the conversation he had with Cormier took place on Aug. 15, 2014 and that Cormier told him he had talked with Fontaine a day earlier.
"I asked what happened. He said he straightened it out and talked it over with her," DeWolfe told court.
Fontaine’s body was found in the Red River Aug. 17, 2014 wrapped in a duvet, weighed down with rocks. A pathologist has testified no cause of death could be determined. Court has previously heard the last time she was seen alive was on Aug. 8, 2014. A missing persons report was filed Aug. 9, 2014.
DeWolfe told court that Cormier told him the argument in question involved Fontaine running away from him because he made sexual advances towards her and that she was going to call the police.
DeWolfe testified he was concerned about the police getting involved because it may mean officers would visit a townhouse where they hung out with friends doing drugs.
He testified that Cormier, earlier in August, told him he had sex with Fontaine.
“Ray told me that he slept with her,” DeWolfe testified. “I just told him she’s kind of young,”
“He said she was 18,” DeWolfe told court. “It sort of shocked me.”
Court heard DeWolfe contacted police about the case around six weeks after Fontaine’s body was found.
DeWolfe testified on Sept. 30, 2014 he was in Milner Ridge Correctional Centre and got word to detectives he wanted to speak with them about the Tina Fontaine case because he had something he felt was prudent to tell police.
“Because it involves a child,” DeWolfe told court about why he wanted to speak with investigators. “I have beliefs and morals.”
DeWolfe testified that on Dec. 4, 2014, nearly four months after Fontaine’s body was found, he told police about a blanket with “a fall scene and brown leaves” that Cormier had at a townhouse on Carmen Avenue.
“I just remember seeing it because he had some clothes in a duffel bag,” DeWolfe testified. “He had it out on the floor.”
Court heard police showed DeWolfe a photo of the blanket after he described it to investigators.
During cross-examination defence lawyers suggested DeWolfe had a conversation about the blanket with Sarah Holland who lived at the Carmen Avenue townhouse and who had also been speaking to police about the case.
DeWolfe testified that conversation never took place.
Cormier’s lawyer Andrew Synyshyn also challenged DeWolfe about his memory of the Aug. 15 conversation with Cormier.
“If I suggest to you sir you were high Aug. 15 is that possible,” said Synyshyn.
“It’s possible,” DeWolfe testified.
Court heard DeWolfe and Cormier spent time together in Stony Mountain Institution but had a falling out once released from prison and ended up back in custody.
Synyshyn suggested to DeWolfe that’s why he went to police about the case and not because of his morals.
“You saw an opportunity to get back at Mr. Cormier and you took it,” Synyshyn said.
DeWolfe testified: “No.”
Cormier has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder.
The 12-member jury in the trial is down to 11 people. One of the jurors was discharged for compassionate reasons due to a serious medical emergency in her family.
The trial continues Tuesday afternoon.