OTTAWA - A suspended Mountie charged with stabbing an Ottawa police officer to death has fired his lawyer.

The move by Kevin Gregson brought a prompt end to proceedings at a local courthouse Tuesday and sets his trial back indefinitely.

Neither Gregson nor his lawyer, Israel Gencher, gave reasons for the dismissal.

A preliminary hearing set for Oct. 1 has been cancelled and a remand hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Const. Eric Czapnik, 51, died after he was attacked Dec. 29 while sitting in his cruiser outside an Ottawa hospital.

Gregson, 43, is charged with first-degree murder.

Gregson was suspended with pay in September 2006 after allegedly threatening a Mormon bishop in Regina. His pay was revoked after he pleaded guilty in April 2007.

He lost his service weapon, access to pepper spray and all other work-related tools and identification.

The RCMP then launched an internal disciplinary process, overseen by an adjudication board. In July 2008, the board ordered him to resign or be dismissed. He appealed the ruling and remains on unpaid suspension.

Czapnik, who was married with four children, joined the police force in his late 40s. The Polish immigrant moved to Canada in 1990 and eventually followed in the footsteps of his father, who was an officer in Poland for 30 years.