Village Mall Walk-in-clinic employees, front row, and health-care workers attend a vigil for Dr. Walter Reynolds who was killed at a walk-in clinic earlier this week, in Red Deer, Alta., Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Village Mall Walk-in-clinic employees, front row, and health-care workers attend a vigil for Dr. Walter Reynolds who was killed at a walk-in clinic earlier this week, in Red Deer, Alta., Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Wants to be own lawyer: Trial date to be set for suspect in slaying of Alberta doctor

Deng Mabiour, 54, is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying last summer of Dr. Walter Reynolds

A trial date is expected to be set today for a man who wants to act as his own lawyer when he is tried in the killing of a family doctor at a medical clinic in central Alberta.

Deng Mabiour, 54, is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying last summer of Dr. Walter Reynolds at the Village Mall Walk-In Clinic in Red Deer.

Mabiour has said he intends to act as his own lawyer. At his last court appearance in December, despite a judge warning him about the seriousness of the offence, Mabiour insisted he did not want legal representation at his trial.

“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.”

Mabiour has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge, as well as to charges of assault with a weapon and assaulting a police officer.

A University of Calgary law professor says she’s not aware of any other case this serious in which an accused has acted as his or her own lawyer, but it may have happened.

“It’s that person’s right to have (a lawyer) or not,” Lisa Silver said in an interview. “Some people are difficult or some people just don’t want one. It can happen.”

Silver expects the judge in Mabiour’s case will make every effort to ensure that he receives a fair trial. That may mean appointing an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, to help out in some instances, she said.

“Sometimes they will do that particularly when expert evidence is called … or sometimes for legal arguments that an unrepresented person wouldn’t be able to make on their own,” Silver said.

Mabiour was found fit to stand trial following a psychiatric exam ordered by the court after a number of bizarre exchanges with the judge.

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

AlbertaCrime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears shoes designed in her honour, as she views her image at the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on July 3, 2020. (Darryl Dyck - The Canadian Press)
Celebrating Vernon women in leadership this International Women’s Day

Pandemic highlights women excelling in critical response roles

Mya Kondor, owner and trainer of Canines and Co. in Kelowna. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Kelowna dog school offers puppy socialization classes amid COVID-19

Canines and Co. has adapted to the pandemic to provide training essential to puppies’ development

Providing seniors with tablets in order to stay connected is just one of the services offered by the Lake Country Health Planning Society. (Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society photo)
Support helps Lake Country society reduce COVID impacts on mental health

District grants funding to Health Planning Society

Elementary students from Vernon Christian School are looking to spread some cheer through their Carnation for Seniors campaign. (VCS - Contributed)
Vernon students spread cheer through carnations

Vernon Christian School hosting carnation campaign to bring joy to seniors in town

Butter and sourdough bread is shown at a house in Vernon, B.C. on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. A Quebec dairy farmers’ group is calling on milk producers to stop feeding palm oil or its derivatives to livestock as controversy churns over how these supplements affect the consistency of butter. (THE CANADIAN PRESS - Jesse Johnston)
Poll: Care to spread your feelings on butter?

Reports of hard butter have rattled the Canadian dairy industry

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Chase RCMP arrest intoxicated man running into highway traffic

The man was wanted on several warrents in Alberta; was held overnight but released

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Most Read