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.

 

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

Snowfall warning for Kootenay and Paulson passes

Up to 30 cm expected in mountain passes Saturday and Sunday.

Readers’ theatre comes to Castle Wood Village

Volunteers and residents gather for a bit of fun at one of Castlegar’s senior residences.

Community Futures launches cannabis consultation program

The Cannabis Business Transition Initiative helps businesses move into the legal economy

Moose tests positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in northwest Montana

This is the first time the disease has been detected in the species in Montana

PLACE NAMES: More on the great Creston Kootenay debate

Members of the Lost Kootenays Facebook site weigh in on whether Creston is in West or East Kootenay

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Gord Turner: Obstacles stand in the way of recycling everything

Castlegar columnists looks at recycling challenges.

Most Read