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

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

Chamber names new board for 2020

And emphasizes that Houston is open for business

Houston to host high speed electric vehicle charging station

It will be installed and paid for by BC Hydro

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read