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Murder trial delayed after accused changes lawyer

Police released these surveillance photos of the "person of interest" in Dawns Baptiste's murder. Curtis Jade Tyson Healy was charged with first-degree murder Feb. 15, 2015. Calgary Police

A trial for a man charged with killing a 31-year-old Calgary mother is being delayed after the accused has changed lawyers.

The new lawyer for Curtis Healy also expressed concerns in court Thursday about his mental health.

Healy is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 31-year-old Dawns Echoes Baptiste, a mother of four whose body was found in a Whitehorn backyard on Feb. 12, 2015.

Dawns Echoes Baptiste.

Maggie O’Shaughnessy said she is worried Healy is unable to instruct counsel and asked for a mental health fitness assessment to be ordered.

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Curtis Healy is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 31-year-old Dawns Echoes Baptiste, a mother of four whose body was found in a Whitehorn backyard on Feb. 12, 2015.

A three-week jury trial was scheduled to begin February 13.

Police allege Healy and Baptiste met on Feb. 10 2015 and spent the evening together traveling to various parts of the city on the CTrain. They got off the train at Whitehorn Station just before midnight.

Police believe Baptiste was then attacked and dragged into a nearby yard, where she was sexually assaulted and later died of her injuries. Her body wasn’t discovered until about 36 hours

Thursday the judge in the case agreed with the application. Healy will now be sent to the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre for a 30 days assessment.

The trial is now tentatively scheduled for three weeks beginning October 2, 2017.

A voir dire (trial within a trial to determine admissibility of evidence) has already begun on the case. That will now continue May 29.

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