The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG – Jurors at the trial of a man charged in the death of a 15-year-old girl in Winnipeg are being told that the accused’s own words convict him.
Prosecutor Jim Ross says in his closing arguments that audio recordings police made in Raymond Cormier’s apartment are all the jury needs to find him guilty of second-degree murder.
Ross says Cormier admitted to several people that he had sex with Tina Fontaine.
Ross also says Cormier found out Tina was underage, which gave him a “powerful motive” for killing her.
During the trial, the Crown presented audio recordings from a six-month undercover investigation in 2015 during which police bugged Cormier’s apartment.
Tina’s body, wrapped in a duvet cover and weighed down by rocks, was pulled from the Red River in Winnipeg several days after she disappeared in August 2014.
The recordings captured Comier, often mumbling and stuttering, telling multiple people he was attracted to Tina and had sex with her.
In one recording, Cormier was heard telling a woman that he would make a bet that Tina was killed because “I found out she was 15 years old.”
In another, Cormier was heard arguing with a woman and saying that there was a little girl in a “grave someplace screaming at the top of her lungs for me to finish the job. And guess what? I finished the job.”
“This case can be quickly decided because the words he speaks are admissions of murder, plain and simple,” Ross told the jury Tuesday.
He said Cormier wanted to make sure Tina didn’t follow through on a threat to go to police.
“He’s exposed here legally … it could make him a pedophile.”
“You all know who the little girl in the grave is,” Ross said to jurors.
The defence told court last week that the recordings could have been misheard and the transcripts could have errors.
Ross also said that repeated denials from Cormier don’t mean that he is innocent.
“What kind of man admits to the murder of a child? He would be a pariah. It’s hardly surprising for a man to deny that crime,” Ross argued.
“Mr. Cormier says a lot of things. His admissions are more telling than his denials,” he added. “The truth is not in his denials. His denials are tailored for the police or his associates.”
Court has already heard that Tina was raised by her great-aunt on the Sagkeeng First Nation, 120 kilometres north of Winnipeg, but went to the city to visit her mother. It was there that the girl became an exploited youth.