A four week jury trial has been scheduled in November for a man accused in the killing of a family doctor at a medical clinic in central Alberta.
Deng Mabiour, 54, is also insisting on representing himself on the charge of first-degree murder. Dr. Walter Reynolds was slain at the Village Mall Walk-In Clinic in Red Deer last summer.
Mabiour spoke in court by phone Monday and set the trial for Nov. 22 to Dec. 17.
Mabiour has been urged several times to obtain a lawyer, and Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Paul Belzil repeated the request.
“Sir, I strongly, strongly recommend that you get a lawyer. You’re facing a very, very serious charge here,” Belzil said.
“The penalty is life in prison if you’re convicted. It’s very, very serious.”
But Mabiour insisted he won’t accept the help of a lawyer.
“To have a lawyer represent me? No, no, no, no,” he told the judge.
Court previously ordered a psychiatric exam for Mabiour after a number of bizarre exchanges with the judge, and he was found fit to stand trial.
Mabiour told court Monday he doesn’t trust the governments of Alberta or Canada.
“They ignore my case because I am a Black man and this kind of abuse is very serious abuse. I don’t believe it when the government of Canada says Canada is a leader of human rights.”
The judge asked the Crown prosecutor in the case to request to an avicus or friend of the court be appointed to assist Mabiour, who immediately objected.
“This lawyer would help the court. It’s not your lawyer, OK?” Belzil explained.
“I cannot force you to get a lawyer. So if you want to represent yourself, you may do so. I assure you sir, you will get a fair trial.”
Mabiour earlier pleaded not guilty to the murder charge, as well as to charges of assault with a weapon and assaulting a police officer.
Belzil ordered Mabiour to appear in Red Deer court in person on Mar. 22 for a second arraignment.
Reynolds, a 45-year-old father of two, was attacked with a weapon while working at the clinic on Aug. 10. He died 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.
Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press