A former friend of Raymond Cormier says he saw the man accused of killing Tina Fontaine with the duvet cover police found wrapped around her body.
“I recall seeing it because he had some clothes in duffel bags and he had it out on the floor. The blanket came out of the bag he had and he put stuff on top of it,” Ernest DeWolfe testified Tuesday at Cormier’s trial for second-degree murder.
Cormier, 56, is accused of killing Tina, a 15-year-old girl from Sagkeeng First Nation, in August 2014. He has pleaded not guilty and his trial, now in its 11th day, is being heard at Court of Queen’s Bench in Winnipeg by Chief Justice Glenn Joyal and a jury of seven women and four men.
The trial started with a jury of 12, but one juror was excused from duty because of a medical emergency in her family.
Tina’s 72-pound body was pulled from the Red River near the Alexander Docks in Winnipeg, wrapped in a duvet cover and weighted down with rocks, on Aug. 17, 2014. The cause of her death was never determined.
DeWolfe testified he met Cormier when the two were inmates at Stony Mountain Institution in 2011.
They also both lived at the same halfway house after being released, but had a falling out because Cormier didn’t pay back a loan. They lost contact after they were both sent back to prison.
They reconnected in the summer of 2014, and DeWolfe said he introduced Cormier to friends of his who lived at a house at 22 Carmen Ave. DeWolfe said he, Cormier and his friends Sarah Holland and Tyrell Morrison did drugs together at the house, and that is where he saw the duvet cover.
DeWolfe also said Cormier told him he “slept with” Tina. A 15-year-old girl is too young to consent to sex with an older man, so that would be sexual assault.
”I sort of thought ‘Really? She’s a child,'” DeWolfe said.
When asked how old he thought Tina was, DeWolfe said either 13 or 14, but Cormier told him she was 18.