FREDERICTON -- The head of New Brunswick's court system says the greatest challenge in planning for jury trials in the province is physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Court services executive director Nancy Grant spoke Friday at a case conference hearing for a Fredericton man facing four counts of first-degree murder.

Matthew Raymond is accused of killing civilians Donnie Robichaud and Bobbie Lee Wright, and Fredericton Police constables Robb Costello and Sara Burns, on Aug. 10, 2018.

A jury needs to be chosen for an August 17 hearing to determine Raymond's mental fitness to stand trial on the charges.

Grant told the court that even with large arenas, there are strict limitations on the size of a potential jury pool because of physical distancing and the need for multiple entrances and exits to control the flow of the crowd.

Judge Fred Ferguson said the processes used for the fitness trial could become the template for other hearings and trials going forward.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 12, 2020.