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An impromptu memorial for Dr. Walter Reynolds, who died after he was attacked in an examination room, rests outside the Village Mall walk-in clinic in Red Deer, Alta., on Aug. 11, 2020.Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

A man who was to face trial later this month in the slaying of a family doctor at a central Alberta medical clinic has died.

Deng Mabiour, 54, was charged with first-degree murder in last year’s death of Dr. Walter Reynolds at the Village Mall Walk-In Clinic in Red Deer.

Mr. Mabiour had been representing himself in court and a jury trial was to start Nov. 22.

Red Deer lawyer Jason Snider, who was appointed as an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, to help Mr. Mabiour, said he died in a Calgary hospital.

“I can confirm from the information I received from the correctional authorities that he has died in the Foothills hospital,” Mr. Snider said in an email to The Canadian Press on Tuesday.

“I do not know the cause of death. It has not been shared with me.”

At a court appearance in March, the Crown said a letter from psychiatrist Dr. Yuri Metelitsa indicated Mr. Mabiour had an appointment at the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary for “a serious medical condition.”

Mr. Mabiour had previously undergone two assessments after exhibiting erratic behaviour but was found mentally fit to stand trial.

Dr. Reynolds, a 45-year-old father of two who was originally from South Africa, was attacked with a weapon while working at the clinic on Aug. 10, 2020. He later died in hospital.

At the time, 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 that the two men knew each other through the clinic. Although they have not said if Mr. Mabiour was a patient of Dr. Reynolds.

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