February 21st, 2018

Witness at murder trial saw accused arguing with girl before her body was found

By The Canadian Press on February 9, 2018.

Raymond Cormier is seen in this photo taken of evidence provided by the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench in Winnipeg on Friday, February 2, 2018. Raymond Cormier has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the August 2014 death of Tina Fontaine, a 15-year-old Indigenous girl. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Lambert

WINNIPEG – A witness told a Winnipeg murder trial he saw a man accused in the death of Tina Fontaine fighting with the 15-year-old shortly before her body was found.

Raymond Cormier, who is 55, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of the Indigenous girl whose body was found wrapped in a duvet filled with rocks in the Red River in August 2014.

Tyrell Morrison, who is 30, told court he drank and did drugs, including crack and meth, with Cormier the summer Tina was killed.

Morrison testified that the last time he saw Tina a few weeks before she disappeared, she was fighting with Cormier about a stolen truck and a bicycle.

He told court when Cormier learned about the teen’s death and her age he said: “I guess that’s why she didn’t put out.”

During cross examination, defence lawyer Tony Kavanagh suggested Morrison also had an “equal opportunity to assault or harm Tina Fontaine.”

Court has heard Cormier told police in a videotaped interview two months after Tina’s death that he and Tina did indeed argue on the street. He said Tina was angry because he had sold her bicycle for drugs and walked away. He returned to the house and never saw her again, he told the officers.

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