Defence lawyers Martin Peters and Frances Mahon addresses reporters outside of the New Westminster courthouse on Friday upon the conclusion of closing submissions in the trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson in November 2017. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Defence lawyers Martin Peters and Frances Mahon addresses reporters outside of the New Westminster courthouse on Friday upon the conclusion of closing submissions in the trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson in November 2017. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

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

If Oscar Arfmann is convicted, lawyers will make submissions on his mental state

If Oscar Arfmann is found guilty of the 2017 killing of Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson, a “mini trial” will be held to determine whether he is not criminally responsible (NCR) due to mental illness.

Closing arguments in Arfmann’s first-degree murder trial – which began in May – were heard Thursday and Friday in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

When both sides had finished their submissions, Justice Carol Ross said she was reserving her verdict, with the parties due back in court Sept. 25 to set a date for Ross’s decision.

Ross said if she finds Arfmann guilty, she wants both sides to be prepared to make submissions on his mental state at the time of the killing.

READ MORE: Witnesses in Const. Davidson murder case didn’t embellish testimony, Crown says

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

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.

However, Arfmann’s lawyers Martin Peters and Frances Mahon are hoping the case doesn’t get that far and that Ross will acquit Arfmann.

Peters argued Friday in court that the Crown did not prove that Arfmann killed Davidson nor did they establish a motive.

Peters said Arfmann had no reason to kill Davidson. They were complete strangers and Arfmann had no history with the Abbotsford Police Department, Peters said.

He also said some of the witness testimony was “tainted” because individuals had seen photos and TV coverage of the case before giving their statements to police and/or testifying in court.

“That evidence should be given no weight whatsoever. It is completely valueless,” Peters said of those witnesses.

Mahon addressed contradictions in witness testimony, including discrepancies in the description of the man with a gun seen at the Mt. Lehman Road business complex where Davidson was killed on Nov. 6, 2017.

There were two shooting incidents – one in which Arfmann allegedly fired two shots after he was confronted about a stolen Mustang by two employees of the Fraser Valley Automall and the other involving Davidson.

Peters said witness descriptions of the man involved in the first incident were consistent, but did not match the description from witnesses who had seen the shooter in Davidson’s killing.

He said the Crown also did not prove that the black Mustang seen driving away after Davidson was shot was the same black Mustang seen in the first shooting.

No licence plate or driver description was provided by witnesses from the period during and after Davidson’s shooting, Peters said.

Mahon said there were also inconsistencies from police regarding the description of the gun that was taken by officers when Arfmann was arrested and the one that was tested.

Mahon also said none of Davidson’s blood was found on Arfmann’s clothes, which were taken from him shortly after his arrest just minutes after Davidson’s killing, nor was any of his DNA found on any of the bullet casings found at the scene.

Mahon addressed the Crown’s submission about Arfmann’s blood having been found on the gun that was tested. She said several officers were involved in his arrest, when he was “bleeding profusely” after having been shot.

Any of those officers could have had Arfmann’s blood on them and transferred it to the gun, Mahon said.

Crown counsel Wendy Stephen responded to the defence arguments by saying that Arfmann had a clear motive to kill Davidson.

““Const. Davidson was acting in the course of his duties to catch a person who had just shot up a truck at Quizno’s. And Mr. Arfmann, not unreasonably, wants to get away,” she said.

During Thursday’s submissions, Stephen said, to surmise that anyone besides Arfmann killed Davidson, given all the evidence, “would be to speculate beyond the point of absurdity.”

Speaking outside of the courthouse after the proceedings, Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr said he is “very confident” in the Crown’s case.

“I’m so very impressed. They did an outstanding job of presenting the case, of laying out all the evidence, so we’re just very thankful for all the efforts of Crown,” he said.

Davidson’s family has been in the courtroom every day of the trial, and Serr said that, although hearing the defence arguments the last two days has been difficult, they understand that it’s an important part of the justice system.

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

READ MORE: Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop shows man with a gun

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

 

Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr addresses reporters outside of the New Westminster courthouse on Friday upon the conclusion of closing submissions in the trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson in November 2017. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr addresses reporters outside of the New Westminster courthouse on Friday upon the conclusion of closing submissions in the trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson in November 2017. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

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)

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)

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

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

Just Posted

A mallard duck swims through Salish Pond in Chilliwack on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Snow, rain in forecast for Fraser Valley

Fraser Valley has been treated to more than a week of mostly sunny weather, but it’s about to end

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment, hits milestones in break-out year

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near Chilliwack secondary

Third high-school related assault Rob Iezzi’s cameras have captured since beginning of 2021

A free online series on advance care planning is being hosted by two Abbotsford organizations on Jan. 27 and Feb. 3 and 10. (Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash)
Online workshop series addresses ‘advance care planning’

Three sessions hosted by Abbotsford Hospice Society and Association for Healthy Aging

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has recorded his first NHL career point (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants Bowen Byram records first NHL career point with Colorado Avalanche

Player with Langley-based WHL franchise assisted on goal against the Ducks

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Most Read