The Crown is withdrawing a second-degree murder charge after the accused was assaulted at a psychiatric hospital in northern New Brunswick and later died.
Ronald Savoy, 49, was charged with the murder in the death of 38-year-old Serge Chamberlain of Campbellton in 2021.
RCMP previously said they found Chamberlain's body outside a home on Tingley Crescent in Campbellton, and later arrested Savoy and charged him.
Savoy had been going through prosecution since the summer of 2021.
RCMP have said he was assaulted at a medical facility on Nov. 16 and died of his injuries at the Campbellton Regional Hospital on Dec. 23.
Days later, Vitalité Health Network confirmed the medical facility where Savoy was assaulted was the Restigouche Hospital Centre.
Restigouche is a psychiatric hospital that provides specialized services, including forensic psychiatry and examinations to determine a person's fitness to stand trial. The heath authority also confirmed Savoy was a patient there.
On Thursday, at a brief hearing at the Campbellton Court of King's Bench, Crown prosecutor Louis Plourde said he had to inform Chamberlain's family of the developments first, before withdrawing the charge.
"That's why we needed to wait until today before proceeding," he said.
Justice Larry Landry said the only way to proceed is to accept the Crown's motion to withdraw the charge.
"It will mean that the file will be closed forever," Landry said.
RCMP have previously said a 25-year-old man was arrested for allegedly assaulting Savoy. Police have not released the man's name, or said why he was also at Restigouche. Police and Vitalité also said they will not disclose why Savoy was at the hospital centre.
On Thursday, RCMP Sgt. Pierre Chiasson said the 25-year-old has not yet been charged in relation to this case. He said RCMP are investigating Savoy's death as a homicide.