Man charged with killing Alberta doctor tells court he doesn't remember attack
RED DEER -- At a first court appearance in Red Deer, Alta., on Wednesday, a man charged with the first-degree murder of a local doctor said he didn't remember when asked whether he understood the charges against him.
Deng Mabiour of Red Deer, Alta., is charged with the first-degree murder of Dr. Walter Reynolds, a 45-year-old father of two.
Mabiour, 54, also faces one count each of assault with a weapon and assault of a police officer, charges that stem from an attack at Red Deer’s Village Mall Walk-In Clinic on Aug. 10.
At the hearing on Wednesday, Mabiour, unrepresented by any legal counsel, failed to answer whether he understood the charges against him.
“When I get healthy, I will remember everything,” he told court before a short recess.
When asked a second time, he denied an interpreter and said, “I don’t remember because I am sick.”
In the midst of a rambling response, Mabiour requested to see a doctor and said he had lost his memory.
He will be sent a copy of the charges to read, and is scheduled to reappear on Sept. 9.
IN 27-YEAR CAREER, ‘NEVER SEEN… THAT’: RCMP OFFICER
According to RCMP, the fatal Aug. 10 assault was not random; Mounties say Mabiour and the dead doctor knew each other through the clinic. Another physician, Dr. Peter Bouch, told CTV News Edmonton Mabiour was Reynolds' patient.
“In 27 years of policing I've never seen a doctor attacked like that,” RCMP Supt. Gerald Grobmeier said on Tuesday.
RCMP received a 911 call Monday reporting an assault in progress at the Village Mall Walk-in Clinic just after 11 a.m. Mounties arrived within minutes.
Reynolds was rushed to hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Grobmeier would not say what weapons were used in the slaying, but according to court records, the accused was armed with a real or replica machete during the assault on the second doctor.
That doctor was not hurt, police said, but the first officer to respond to the scene sustained minor injuries when Mabiour allegedly threw a blunt object at the Mountie.
Mabiour was arrested at the scene.
DOCTORS ‘QUITE ANXIOUS’AFTER ATTACK
A candlelight vigil in Reynolds’ memory has been planned for Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at Red Deer City Hall.
The attack on the doctor in a medical clinic in broad daylight has shocked many physicians.
“I think a lot of them are looking over their shoulder today and are quite anxious,” said Dr. Peter Bouch, who works at a different Red Deer clinic.
Bouch said physicians need to speak to the mayor and RCMP to figure out how to make exam rooms and offices safer.
Grobmeier said RCMP are willing to consult with doctors if they want to enhance safety protocols but he said attacks like this are rare.
“You just can't overreact. This is devastating. There's no doubt about it but this also is not the norm,” he said.
“I do want to assure the public that they are safe. This was not a random attack.”
Both Bouch and Reynolds were originally from South Africa.
The organizer of a fundraiser for Reynolds’ daughters’ education says the father and husband moved to Red Deer in 2006.
Johan Myburgh called Reynolds sharp witted, loyal, and dedicated to both his family and the public.
“If there was a race to run, then he was there. He ran from marathons to mud races, from Sinister Seven to Spartan challenges. He would be frequently seen jogging with his wife around the neighbourhood, or sweating it out at the gym,” Myburgh wrote in a statement.
“With this same energy and dedication Walter put into life, he gave to each of his patients. From the delivery room to the Hospice, he dedicated himself one hundred percent. If there was a task at work that needed to be done, he would step up to the plate. If a patient needed help, he walked the extra mile... and then some.”
The campaign had nearly reached $160,000 by Wednesday morning. Its goal was originally set at $20,000.
Myburgh warned a fraudulent campaign had also been started under the name Christopher Edwards, and almost identically copied the write-up by Myburgh.
CTV News spoke with Mabiour's landlord on the condition of anonymity.
He says police called him to inquire about Mabiour, and only then learned he was accused of murder.
"I had no problems with him over many many years not one issue. So really shocking this comes out," he said.
He said he saw Mabiour "monthly" and that he had been in his office several times.
" I never had any fear," he said. "Never had any worries around him."
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nahreman Issa and CTV News Red Deer's Nav Sangha