Defence lawyers for the man accused of fatally shooting a police officer in Abbotsford says he had no motive to pull the trigger.
Closing arguments are underway in the trial of Oscar Arfmann, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Const. John Davidson in 2017.
The case is being heard by judge alone at the B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.
Arfmann’s lawyer Martin Peters says there isn’t a “scintilla” of evidence linking Arfmann to Davidson, or any other Abbotsford police officer, before the shooting.
He says the Crown’s case depends on conflicting witness accounts indicating suspicion, but not proof.
The Crown has argued Arfmann ambushed the 53-year-old officer as he got out of his vehicle, shooting him twice from behind.
It alleges Arfmann stole a vehicle two days earlier and shot at the dealership managers who confronted him, left the area briefly, then returned and shot Davidson when he arrived.
Witnesses identified a black Mustang and man wearing a black leather jacket with a gun at the scene of the shooting, and that proves he’s guilty, the Crown alleges.
But Peters argues there was too much variation in witness descriptions of the shooter to be sure, including one witness who reported the shooter had short curly hair, not Arfmann’s shoulder-length mostly straight hairstyle.
“There is not a single witness who can say, ‘It was Mr. Arfmann who did it,’” says lawyer Frances Mahon, who is part of a legal team defending Arfmann.
Mahon also questioned the Crown’s assertion that the rifle accepted as the murder weapon was linked to Arfmann.
Arfmann’s DNA was found only on a small area of the gun and, since he was bleeding profusely at the time of his arrest, it’s possible that DNA was transferred by an officer at the scene, she says.
None of Davidson’s blood was found on Arfmann, nor was Arfmann’s DNA confirmed on bullet casings found at the scene, Mahon says.
“The Crown’s case is really only as strong as the foundation it rests on,” Mahon says. “We say it is not so solid as it appears at first glance.”
Amy Smart, The Canadian Press