The trial of an Alberta man accused of murdering a B.C. police officer wrapped Friday, with defence arguing that prosecutors couldn’t prove a motive in the case.
Crown alleges Oscar Arfmann “ambushed” Abbotsford police Const. John Davidson, fatally shooting him in the back and the neck on Nov. 6, 2017.
Arfmann was arrested in a stolen black Ford Mustang with a rifle and ammunition inside. Crown alleges Davidson was responding to a call about that same stolen Mustang when he was shot by Arfmann.
Arfmann has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, and on Friday, appeared emotionless as Davidson’s family sat in the gallery behind him.
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In final submissions, defence asked for an acquittal, arguing that otherwise the court risked a wrongful conviction.
Arfmann’s defence argued that there was no evidence linking the accused to Davidson or any member of the Abbotsford police.
It also argued that police conducted no pre-trial identification process, such as a suspect lineup or mugshots. Instead, it argued, the court only considered circumstantial evidence and heard from witnesses.
Defence argued those witnesses were tainted by media reports, and that the “hole in the doughnut” of Crown’s case was testimony and evidence that provided suspicion, but not proof.
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No witness who testified in the case actually saw Arfmann pull the trigger, and defence made the case that someone else killed Davidson with a different weapon.
On Thursday, Crown made its own closing arguments, arguing the case hinged on the question of the shooter’s identity, and arguing only Arfmann could have fired the gun.
Crown also defended witnesses’ reliability, arguing that small inconsistencies in their testimony demonstrate that they were not colluding with one another.
The judge presiding over the case has reserved her decision.
However, if Arfmann is found guilty there will be no sentencing hearing as a first-degree murder conviction will automatically deliver a life sentence, with no chance of parole for 25 years.
— With files from Neetu Garcha
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