If you happen to have been following the second-degree murder trial of Raymond Cormier, the man accused of killing 15-year-old Tina Fontaine, you’ll know that the trial came to an end yesterday afternoon.
What you may not know is that local lawyer Andrew Synyshyn is co-counsel to Winnipeg lawyer Tony Kavanagh, a defence team that was brought together to the case through Legal Aid.
The jury trial began on January 29 in Manitoba’s Court of Queen’s Bench and was expected to last for five weeks, but with defence closing arguments heard on Tuesday afternoon, the case wrapped up earlier than expected.
Synyshyn graduated in 2010 from the University of Manitoba with a law degree. He’s been practicing for seven years (called to the bar in December 2011) and opened his own firm, AJS Law, just over one year ago in Brandon.
“Our practice focuses on criminal defence and child protection law. One of the reasons why I started my own firm was to make sure that everyone who wanted or needed representation could get it,” said Synyshyn.
This defence team has been working on the case for over a year and a half, but now it’s up to the 11-person jury to decide on whether Cormier is guilty or not. Synyshyn said that this is the highest profile case that he’s been involved with directly.
When AJS Law opened in December 2016, the firm started with Synyshyn and office administrator Danielle Guenther. However, they’ve since grown; lawyers Melania Cannon and Jennifer Janssens, as well as legal assistant Kristen Thomas are now part of the team.