A man accused of killing a Red Deer doctor says he wants a trial as soon as possible and wants to represent himself.
Deng Mabiour, 54, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dr. Walter Reynolds in his north-end walk-in clinic on the morning of Aug. 10.
Mabiour is also charged with assault with a weapon for allegedly attacking another doctor in the clinic with a machete, as well as assaulting one of the responding police officers.
Mabiour appeared in Red Deer provincial court on Friday through a closed-circuit video link with the Calgary Remand Centre, where Mabiour remains in custody.
Duty counsel Murray Shack told Judge Gordon Yake that he had spoken with Mabiour before his appearance.
“I tied to explain to him the benefit of having a lawyer,” said Shack. “I could not convince him there was merit in retaining a lawyer.”
Shack said Mabiour told him he did not believe a lawyer would follow his instructions.
Despite Shack assuring him he could fire his lawyer if he did not like the way he was being represented, Mabiour was adamant he does not want a lawyer and has no intention of applying for one through legal aid.
Yake asked Shack to speak with Mabiour again to see if he wants a preliminary hearing, and briefly adjourned his appearance.
Preliminary hearings are held to determine whether there is enough evidence to take a case to trial. The strength of the Crown’s case is also tested.
When Shack returned, he said Mabour was waiving his right to a preliminary hearing.
“He advised me his interest is in going to trial as early as possible,” Shack told the judge.
A previous judge ordered that Mabiour undergo a psychiatric assessment to determine if he was fit to stand trial.
In October, court heard that a psychiatric assessment ordered by another judge determined that Mabiour is fit to stand trial.
Yake ordered Mabiour to return to Court of Queen’s Bench on Dec. 7, when a trial date might be set.
Mabiour, who has loudly criticized the judge and the legal system in some of his previous appearances, was subdued and said little on Friday.
He complained of a sore leg and was given a chair to sit on in the video booth at the remand centre.
The Crown prosecutor raised the issue of whether a defence lawyer should be appointed for Mabiour.
Yake said he did not have the jurisdiction to do that, but a future judge in the case might.