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)

Witnesses in trial for alleged killer of Abbotsford police officer didn’t embellish testimony, Crown says

Crown and defence to deliver closing statements at trial of Oscar Arfmann

Closing arguments began Thursday in the trial of the accused killer of Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson, with Crown counsel arguing that testimony from witnesses, forensics, and surveillance video all firmly connects Oscar Arfmann to Davidson’s death.

Davidson, 53, was killed Nov, 6, 2017, at a business complex on Mt. Lehman Road when he was the first to arrive on the scene of a shots-fired call.

Arfmann was arrested in a stolen black Mustang not far from the scene after a police pursuit that involved ramming the vehicle and shooting at Arfmann.

Crown counsel Wendy Stephen said there is no doubt that Arfmann was the same man who witnesses saw at the business complex prior to the shooting, and who then shot and killed Davidson and fled from the scene.

“This real issue in this case is can Crown prove that the same man, in the same Mustang, with the same gun is the one who shot Const. Davidson, and we say we can do that,” Stephen said in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

She said Crown had presented “a host of honest, credible and reliable” witnesses through the course of the judge-only trial.

Arfmann’s first-degree murder trial began in May, and witnesses included two employees from the nearby Fraser Valley Automall who testified that they noticed a stolen Mustang of theirs in the Mt. Lehman business complex prior to the shooting.

When they blocked in the stolen vehicle, Arfmann approached them and fired two shots, they testified. Their call to police resulted in Davidson arriving on the scene.

Stephen detailed the different witness accounts, stating that all who testified gave similar descriptions of seeing an older man wearing a black leather jacket, a checkered shirt and a baseball cap, and driving a black Mustang.

Some provided the car’s licence plate or noticed that the plate was from Alberta, Stephen said.

RELATED: Defence won’t call evidence on behalf of accused killer of Abbotsford police officer

Other witnesses, including one who followed the Mustang as it left the business complex and then returned, said they saw the man holding a rifle.

But only one person indicated that he saw a shot being fired at Davidson. That witness, an employee at one of the nearby businesses, said he heard a shot, looked out the window and saw a police officer on the ground and a man in a black leather jacket holding a rifle.

The man was standing about three or four feet away from the officer, pointed the gun down towards him and fired a shot, the witness testified. The witness then took pictures of a black Mustang as it left the complex.

On dashcam video from another witness, who had been in the nearby Starbucks at the time of the shooting, two loud shots can be heard and a black Mustang can be seen driving away. But the footage did not capture the shooting itself.

Surveillance video from Starbucks shows Davidson’s white police truck pulling up near the black Mustang, and Mustang driving away, but the view of the truck blocks the shooting.

Stephen said that when Arfmann was arrested about eight or nine minutes after the initial 911 call, the items found in the black Mustang he was driving included three knives, a loaded rifle, ammunition, and a passport and other ID in his name.

Stephen said forensic testing later showed that blood found on the rifle matched Arfmann’s DNA.

The Crown concluded their arguments Thursday afternoon, and lawyer Martin Peters began defence arguments by saying the Crown’s case had “very significant problems,” including the “reliability and credibility” of the witnesses.

“The case is not as strong as it looks,” he said.

Peters said the case is circumstantial and lacks direct evidence that ties together the gun, car and suspect. He said the Crown has failed to prove that Arfmann was even on the scene when Davidson was killed.

Arfmann was originally supposed to testify on July 24, but changed his mind, and no other defence witnesses were called.

Peters continues his arguments on Friday, after which Justice Carol Ross could render her verdictor or reserve judgment for a later date.

If Ross finds Arfmann guilty, there will be no sentencing hearing, as a first-degree murder conviction comes with an automatic life sentence with no parole eligibility for 25 years.

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

RELATED: Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun


@VikkiHopes
vhopes@abbynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

 

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

Just Posted

Coastal GasLink stresses pipeline ‘on a schedule’ as B.C. appoints liaison for Wet’suwet’en

670-kilometre pipeline is schedule to be completed by end of 2023

Jonathan Dieleman announces his retirement from competitive swimming

The Bulkey Valley paralympic swimmer made the announcement early Monday morning.

Witset chosen for housing innovation funding program

Proposal to build healing lodge for at-risk youth one of four selected in B.C.

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and hereditary chiefs agree to future meeting

Scott Fraser was in Smithers on Jan. 22 and spoke with Office of the Wet’suwet’en representatives

Unist’ot’en Camp say RCMP have changed 27 kilometre roadblock rules

Footage shows RCMP telling an unidentified lawyer they can’t re-enter the checkpoint

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

First-place Canucks beat Blues 3-1 for ninth straight home win

Miller nets pair as Vancouver defeats Cup champs

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

Most Read