Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 6, 2017.

UPDATE: Judge agrees to hearing on cop killer’s mental state

Oscar Arfmann convicted of first-degree murder, but could be found not criminallly responsible

Oscar Arfmann was convicted Thursday of the Nov. 6, 2017 fatal shooting of Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson, but the judge has agreed to a hearing on Arfmann’s mental state at the time of the killing.

Justice Carol Ross ruled Thursday morning in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster that Arfmann, 67, is guilty of first-degree murder.

But in the afternoon session, defence lawyer Martin Peters said his client has previously been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and he would like an assessment to determine whether Arfmann is not criminally responsible (NCR) due to a mental disorder.

Crown lawyer Theresa Iandiorio said that Arfmann has previously met eight times with a psychologist and on none of those occasions did he discuss the offence or what his state of mind might have been at the time.

Ross agreed that Arfmann should complete another assessment on his mental state by Nov. 29, and that a hearing on the matter would take place next year from Feb. 3 to 28.

Evidence that was not presented at his trial – including Arfmann’s mental-health history and statements from his family – will be included at the hearing.

In convicting Arfmann, Ross addressed defence assertions during the trial that the Crown had failed to prove that Arfmann was the man who had shot and killed Davidson, 53, in a business complex on Mt. Lehman Road.

Defence lawyers had pointed out some inconsistencies in witness descriptions of the man that had been seen during and after Davidson was shot.

They also questioned the handling of the rifle that was taken from the vehicle in which Arfmann was arrested minutes after the shooting.

But Ross said she had no doubt that Arfmann was the man responsible for the killing and everything that preceded it.

“I have concluded that, based on a review of the totality of the evidence, and giving consideration to areas in which there are inconsistencies and gaps in the evidence, that the Crown has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Arfmann is the man who committed the unlawful act of shooting Const. Davidson,” Ross said.

She said Arfmann had stolen a 2013 black Ford Mustang from the Fraser Valley Auto Mall two days before the shooting.

On the day of the killing, he shot at two auto mall employees who confronted him about the stolen vehicle. He then left the business complex and returned.

Witnesses had called police about shots being fired, and Davidson was the first to arrive on scene.

Ross said Arfmann shot Davidson twice from behind, once when he was already down on the ground.

Arfmann was arrested not far from the scene after police chased him, crashed into the vehicle he was driving and shot at him.

Among the items found on Arfmann and in the Mustang were three knives, a rifle, cartridges for the gun, and photo ID, including his passport.

Ross said blood found on the rifle was later shown to match Arfmann’s, and forensic testing proved that the rifle was the same one used in the two shootings at the business complex.

She said there was no other conclusion she could reach other than that Arfmann is guilty.

“In my view … there are simply no other plausible theories or other reasonable possibilities based on logic and experience applied to the evidence – or the absence of evidence – and not on speculation.”

Conviction for first-degree murder comes with an automatic life sentence with no parole eligibility for 25 years.

An NCR ruling would mean that the judge believes that Arfmann did not have the capacity to appreciate his actions and know right from wrong at the time of the offence.

Individuals who receive such a ruling fall under the mandate of the BC Review Board, which conducts an assessment to determine whether the person should be detained in a hospital, discharged in the community under certain conditions or discharged without conditions.

More to come …

RELATED: Const. John Davidson was ‘ambushed’ by shooter, Crown says on first day of trial

RELATED: ‘Not criminally responsible’ ruling a possibility for man accused of killing Abbotsford cop

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Vikki Hopes | Reporter

@VikkiHopes

Send Vikki an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

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

 

Oscar Arfmann listens to closing arguments on Aug. 1 during his trial for the first-degree murder of Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson. (Sketch by Felicity Don)

Just Posted

City of Nanaimo takes measures to protect people experiencing homelessness during pandemic

City to provide additional water sources and washrooms, council directs creation of food plan

Nanaimo Art Gallery teen art group creating COVID-19-inspired art

Code Switching group lives on online after physical meetings cancelled due to pandemic

Shoplifting way down, break-and-enters up in Nanaimo during COVID-19 pandemic

Break-and-enters to businesses increased 65 per cent in the last two weeks of March, say police

City of Nanaimo helps residents stave off boredom with ‘wellness bingo’

Recreation coordinators promote social well-being and physical activity through online platforms

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

North Cowichan to police popular trails to ensure physical distancing

“You can expect delays accessing Mount Tzouhalem, or even to be turned away.”

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read