ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — The trial for a man accused of killing a fellow patient at a state mental hospital has been postponed until February after the defendant became ill.

Jury selection was to begin Monday in Howard County Circuit Court for the trial of 51-year-old El Soundani El-Wahhabi, also known as Saladin Taylor. He is charged with first- and second-degree murder in the death of 45-year-old Susan Sachs at Clifton T. Perkins State hospital in Jessup last year.

A spokesman for the Howard County state’s attorney’s office said Monday prosecutors were told El-Wahhabi had been taken to a hospital, but the nature of his illness was not disclosed. On Tuesday, a judge rescheduled trial for Feb. 27.

Court documents state video shows El-Wahhabi entering Sachs’ room not long before their bed check.

Sachs had been sent to a Maryland mental hospital for the fatal stabbing of a Chevy Chase psychiatric social worker was found slain at the hospital on Sunday, Maryland state police said.