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

BREAKING: LSS evacuated after reports of ‘gas smell’

Students were evacuated to Frank Jameson Community Centre, but have since returned to class

Ladysmith Art Council announces new Poet in Residence

John Edwards will serve as the inaugural Poet in Residence

‘Snowmaggedon 2020’ has passed, but 20-30 milimetres of rain expected Friday

Residents should brace for rain and clear drains to prevent localized flooding

What happens in the Cowichan Valley when an earthquake strikes

When an earthquake does happen, will the Cowichan Valley be ready for it?

Exploring life, the afterlife, and near death experiences with Dr. Lynn Echevarria

Echevarria will deliver a talk to the LRCA Seniors Centre Tuesday, January 21 at 1:30 pm

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

Canadian law firm launches class action on behalf of Iran flight victims

Flight 752 was shot down by Iran shortly after take off

Mission Hill cellarman fired after mistakenly dumping $162K of wine down the drain

The former employee filed a grievance with the West Kelowna winery but was unsuccesful

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

WATCH: Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

Nanaimo hospital’s new 5,000-kilogram MRI magnet delivered

$1.97-million magnet will boost NRGH medical imaging capabilities

Police suspect foul play in Cowichan Tribes death

Police are looking at foul play in relation to a death on… Continue reading

Most Read