A 41-year-old man accused in last September’s stabbing death of his fiancée killed himself last month on the same day he was scheduled to appear in state court to be arraigned on a manslaughter charge, his attorney said Wednesday.

Beau Brock, who represented William Lee Jackson, said his client’s Aug. 24 suicide came as a complete shock.

“I talked to him in the morning and he said he was on his way,” said Brock, who later learned that Jackson, who was out of jail after posting bail, had shot himself.

“Something else must have been going on unrelated to this case,” he added. “I do not believe he killed himself because of this case.”

An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury indicted Jackson on a manslaughter charge Aug. 5. He had been booked on counts of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice. Jackson faced up to 40 years in prison if convicted of manslaughter.

He was accused of stabbing Lekeisha Duncan, 32, to death in her Courtland Circle home Sept. 27. Jackson, of Woodville, Mississippi, also was stabbed during the incident.

Jackson told officers that he killed Duncan after an argument, but police alleged in an affidavit of probable cause that he first tried to hide any evidence that might link him to the stabbing by changing out of bloody shorts, washing the knife in the kitchen sink and throwing the knife into the kitchen trash can.

Brock said Jackson would have claimed self-defense at his trial.

“We definitely believe we had a strong defense to the case,” he said. “Unfortunately, we won’t be able to vindicate his honor in court.”

“It’s a family tragedy,” Brock noted. “We feel bad for both families.”