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Man accused of murdering Red Deer Doctor to be assessed on whether he is mentally fit to stand trial

Click to play video: 'Accused in Red Deer doctor’s death to appear at hearing to determine if he’s fit to stand trial' Accused in Red Deer doctor’s death to appear at hearing to determine if he’s fit to stand trial
WATCH: Deng Mabiour, 54, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dr. Walter Reynolds. Mabiour will appear before the Alberta health review board to determine if he is fit to stand trial. Jenna Freeman reports – Mar 22, 2021

A Red Deer justice has asked that 54-year-old Deng Mabiour be assessed to determine whether he is mentally fit to stand trial.

Mabiour was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dr. Walter Reynolds in August 2020.

He appeared in Red Deer court via CCTV from the Calgary Remand Centre Monday afternoon.

Read more: Psychiatric exam ordered for man accused of killing Alberta doctor at walk-in clinic

Justice Paul Belzil requested that Mabiour’s mental health be reviewed by the Alberta Review Board at a hearing to determine if he is fit to stand trial, which is scheduled to happen on Wednesday, March 24.

Mabiour had previously been found fit to stand trial, but in court Monday, the judge said that Mabiour had been certified under the Mental Health Act.

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It’s unclear what happened in custody that resulted in Mabiour being certified, which means he has been flagged as a possible danger to himself or others.

Read more: Red Deer doctors working to make safety changes following shocking killing of physician

Reynolds was attacked while he was working at the Village Mall Walk-In clinic on Aug. 10, 2020. Witnesses reported hearing cries for help from an exam room and seeing a man with a machete and a hammer.

Mabiour was charged with first-degree murder, assault with a weapon and assaulting a police officer.

RCMP said the two men were known to each other but did not say whether Mabiour was a patient of Reynolds.

Read more: Man accused of murdering Alberta doctor will represent himself at trial set for November

In court on Monday, Belzil also expressed concern about a severe physical condition that was brought to the court’s attention by a physician.

Crown Prosecutor Bina Border said out of privacy concerns, she was only notified that Mabiour was scheduled to have an appointment at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary.

Belzil said when he last spoke with Mabiour over the phone, Mabiour had expressed he still did not wish to have a lawyer represent him. When Belzil asked to confirm if that was still the case, Mabiour responded: “yeah.”

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Click to play video: 'Community gathers to remember slain Red Deer doctor' Community gathers to remember slain Red Deer doctor
Community gathers to remember slain Red Deer doctor – Aug 15, 2020

Lawyer Jason Snider was appointed as amicus curiae, which means he acts as a “friend of the court” to help ensure that the accused understands the process, given that Mabiour does not wish to be represented by a lawyer.

Mabiour is scheduled to appear in Red Deer court on April 14 following the Alberta Review Board Hearing on Wednesday.

A four-week jury trial is scheduled for Nov. 22-Dec. 17.

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