A man accused of killing a family doctor at a medical clinic in central Alberta has pleaded not guilty and insisting on representing himself at trial.
Deng Mabiour, 54, is charged with first-degree murder in the summer slaying of Dr. Walter Reynolds at the Village Mall Walk-In Clinic in Red Deer.
Mabiour spoke by phone during a brief court appearance Monday.
He repeated earlier assertions that he doesn’t want a lawyer, doesn’t trust the Canadian legal system and intends to represent himself.
Justice John Hopkins warned Mabiour about the perils of self-representation.
“You are facing a serious charge of first-degree murder… If convicted the maximum sentence is life in prison.
“If you wish to represent yourself, you have every right to do so. If you represent yourself, you will be at a disadvantage unless you have had extensive legal training,” Hopkins said.
“It is much more likely that a trained lawyer will be able to advance your defence fully and effectively. My opinion, sir, is it would be in your best interests if you were represented by a lawyer.”
Mabiour said he still intends to act as his own lawyer at trial. The Crown said a trial would last about four weeks.
“A lawyer cannot do anything about my case. No lawyer is good for me in Canada. I’m a Black man,” Mabiour told the judge.
“There is no lawyer good for me to defend me.”
Prosecutor Dominique Mathurin said the Crown is prepared to proceed to trial and Mabiour has made his position clear.
“We’ve had many discussions around Mr. Mabiour finding counsel and that seems to be his decision at this point,” she said.
The judge said it’s “premature” to set a trial date and ordered the case set over until Feb. 1.
“I expect this is something that we should have a fairly extensive pretrial conference on,” Hopkins said.
Mabiour also pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with a weapon and assaulting a police officer.
The court previously ordered a psychiatric exam and was found fit to stand trial.
Reynolds, a 45-year-old father of two, was attacked with a weapon while working at the clinic on Aug. 10. He died later in hospital.
One witness told media that she was in the waiting room when she heard cries for help and saw a man with a hammer and a machete.
RCMP have said the crime was not random and the two men knew each other through the clinic, although they have not said if Mabiour was a patient of Reynolds.