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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.