Judge finds man guilty of murdering a police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — A judge found a man guilty of first-degree murder Thursday in the death of a police officer who was gunned down moments after stepping out of his vehicle at an outdoor mall in Abbotsford, B.C.

Justice Carol Ross of the B.C. Supreme Court found Oscar Arfmann guilty in the death of Const. John Davidson in November 2017.

The gallery was packed with members of Davidson’s family and dozens of police officers as Ross told the court that the Crown had proven “all the elements of the charge” against Arfmann.

She said there was no reasonable doubt that Arfmann was the man who pulled the trigger, that he knew Davidson was a police officer and that he shot to kill.

“There are simply no other plausible theories or other reasonable possibilities based on logical experience applied to the evidence, or the absence of evidence, and not in speculation,” Ross said.

Arfmann, dressed in a red sweatsuit, sat with his arms crossed and leaned back in his chair as Ross read her reasons for the judgment.

Defence lawyer Martin Peters filed a motion after the verdict seeking further assessment of whether Arfmann is criminally responsible for the death.

“As you have found him guilty, we now raise the issue of insanity,” Peters told the judge.

In reserving her decision in August, Ross advised the Crown and defence that they should be ready to make submissions about the potential role of Arfmann’s mental state during the time of the shooting if she found him guilty.

In closing arguments, the defence said Arfmann had no motive to kill Davidson and that the Crown’s case depended on conflicting witness accounts.

The prosecution said Arfmann ambushed the 53-year-old officer as he got out of his vehicle and shot him twice from behind.

Crown attorney Wendy Stephen told the trial that a man matching Arfmann’s description had stolen a vehicle two days earlier, shot at dealership managers who confronted him, left the area, then returned and killed Davidson to escape arrest.

Ross said that while some elements of the witness testimonies were in conflict, they painted a picture in totality that placed Arfmann at the scene of the shooting, and the allegation was backed up by supporting evidence like dash-cam and surveillance footage.

“I found all of these witnesses to be credible. They were in my view honest,” she said.

Arfmann and Davidson may have been strangers in their personal lives, but the evidence supports the argument that the two were “related” as suspect and responding officer, she said.

While Davidson was in an unmarked police vehicle when he pulled up to a Ford Mustang stolen by Arfmann, he had activated red and blue flashing lights and was wearing a police uniform when Arfmann shot him, Ross said.

“(Arfmann) was standing at close range, three or four feet, when he fired the second shot. This shot was fired when Const. Davidson was lying face down on the ground,” she said.

“He was aware of the probable consequences of his actions.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fracking caused March 2019 earthquake near Sylvan Lake, say scientists

4.18 earthquake south of Sylvan Lake rattled doors and windows as far as Red Deer

Possible Red Deer cougar sighting creating a stir

Many have posted their own cougar stories online since Advocate story ran last Friday

Red Deer’s emergency management team is watching to learn how Newfoundland handles its massive snowfall

“We’ve had extreme snowfalls before,” says co-ordinator Karen Mann — and will again

Red Deer city council wants answers before re-zoning for women’s shelter expansion

Is the creek escarpment stable enough for construction?

Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Military personnel armed with shovels spread out across… Continue reading

WATCH: Canadian kid shovelling snow video goes viral

Rory might just be Canada’s most popular toddler right now, thanks to… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

David Marsden: Warm tales about the cold

The recent deep freeze has rocked all of us. Every Red Deer… Continue reading

Soldiers trade rifles for snow shovels to help dig out St. John’s

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Military personnel armed with shovels spread out across… Continue reading

Canadian airlines feel the pressure of flight-shaming and the ‘Greta effect’

MONTREAL — Swedish may not be the lingua franca of the aviation… Continue reading

Trump thanks farmers for backing him through China trade war

AUSTIN, Texas — President Donald Trump thanked farmers Sunday for supporting him… Continue reading

CETA can serve as template for post-Brexit Canada-U.K. trade deal

CALGARY — Canada’s trade agreement with the European Union should serve as… Continue reading

MEC cuts costs, boosts perks in effort to turn around struggling retailer

VANCOUVER — Mountain Equipment Co-op is making major changes as it “needs… Continue reading

Most Read