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No parole eligibility for 25 years for Alberta man who killed Abbotsford officer

Last Updated Feb 3, 2020 at 8:54 pm MDT


Oscar Arfmann, who killed Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson, was sentenced to life, with no parole for 25 years

Arfmann was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Davidson

The conviction of first-degree murder is an automatic life sentence of 25 years before parole can be considered

NEW WESTMINSTER — The man who killed Abbotsford police Const. John Davidson more than two years ago has been sentenced to life in prison, with no parole eligibility for 25 years.

The B.C. Supreme Court trial heard the officer was ambushed by Oscar Arfmann, who shot him twice from behind, in November 2017 while responding to reports of a stolen vehicle. Davidson was hit while climbing out of a police cruiser.

A psychiatrist said Arfmann had psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia at the time of the murder, but was capable of understanding his actions, although he denied killing the officer even after the conviction.

His lawyer, Martin Peters, said it was open to the court to find Arfmann not criminally responsible for the murder because of mental disorder. However, instead, Peters said Arfmann directed him to tell the judge that he wanted to be sentenced for first-degree murder.

“He thinks he is the victim of a car accident. According to him, he was just driving along when his car was rammed by a police officer,” he told reporters, adding the motive is still unclear and Arfmanm is “always full of conspiracy theories.”

The conviction of first-degree murder is an automatic life sentence of 25 years before parole can be considered. Monday’s hearing, which is expected to begin at 10:00 a.m. will also allow for victim impact statement from Davidson’s family, friends, and co-workers.

Const. John Davidson is shown in this undated handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO – Abbotsford Police Department)

After Arfmann’s was found guilty last year, Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr said he felt a wave of emotions as he welcomed the verdict.

“I don’t know if there is ever justice,” he told reporters outside of B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. “I’m pissed off, I lost a very good police officer, and the city lost a very good man. And this decision, while we’re very happy that it’s a guilty verdict, nothing will bring John back.”

“We are a very tough, resilient, and proud police department. But this will forever be with us and it’s a part of our history. We will honour John as we move forward,” Serr said.

A memorial service for Davidson drew thousands of people from across the country and even from overseas.

The judge described the loss to Davidson’s family and friends as being too big to express during his sentencing decision.

With files from David Zura