Another delay for prison assault case involving man who killed Moncton Mounties

Justin Christen Bourque, 34, appeared in Miramichi provincial court by video on Feb. 8, 2024.  (Andrew Robson - image credit)
Justin Christen Bourque, 34, appeared in Miramichi provincial court by video on Feb. 8, 2024. (Andrew Robson - image credit)

The man who killed three Mounties in Moncton almost a decade ago was back in court Thursday on charges alleging a prison assault, but the case was delayed until March.

Justin Christen Bourque, 34, faces two charges. The first alleges he committed aggravated assault by wounding Chase Spence on May 3, 2022. The second, on the same date, alleges he had a shank, a homemade weapon. Bourque is co-accused with another man.

It's alleged the incident happened in the Atlantic Institution, a maximum security prison in Renous about 30 kilometres southwest of Miramichi.

Bourque appeared briefly in Miramichi provincial court by video from the prison. His co-accused in the case was present in the courtroom prisoner's box.

Defence lawyer Gilles Lemieux, who represents Bourque's co-accused on a separate murder charge, said he expects to be retained to represent the man in the assault case.

Lemieux asked for the case to be adjourned, or delayed, until March 4. He said that should be enough time for him to be named as the man's lawyer and to apply for disclosure of the Crown's evidence.

Because the two men are charged together, they will be tried together. That generally means their appearances happen at the same time.

"These matters are co-accused and they should stay together," Simon Wood, Bourque's lawyer, said to Judge Matthew Cripps.

The judge agreed to adjourn the case to March 4.

That's the date the co-accused also returns to court on the murder charge in the Court of King's Bench.

Police say 28-year-old injured in assault

New Brunswick RCMP said in a statement last year that officers from the Blackville detachment were called around 2 p.m. on May 3, 2022, for a report of an assault at the prison.

Police say a 28-year-old inmate was injured. The inmate was taken to hospital with what were believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.

Bourque and the co-accused, a 31-year-old man from Halifax, were charged on Sept. 11.

Bourque is serving life sentences for fatally shooting RCMP constables Dave Ross, Fabrice Gevaudan and Douglas Larche, and for wounding constables Darlene Goguen and Eric Dubois in Moncton on June 4, 2014.