FREDERICTON -- A Fredericton judge has rejected a request for constitutional relief so that a fitness hearing for a man accused of four counts of first-degree murder can be heard by judge alone.

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.

Last October, a jury found Raymond unfit to stand trial, but since then psychiatrists have said he has responded to medication and could be put on trial, prompting the courts to schedule a "re-fitness hearing."

Defence lawyer Nathan Gorham wants that hearing to take place in front of a judge alone, but the Crown argues that until there is a finding of fitness, Justice Fred Ferguson doesn't have jurisdiction.

In a 38-page decision released Monday, Ferguson says Raymond is unable to adequately respond in his current medical circumstances.

He says the defence motion cannot proceed while Raymond is still "unfit to stand trial."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 6, 2020.