Warning: some details may contain disturbing content.
The trial for the man charged with killing Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson began this morning.
After Oscar Arfmann entered a not-guilty plea, Crown counsel opened by describing the day in question. Crown said Arfmann was confronted about his stolen vehicle at a shopping complex near the Abbotsford Auto Mall. He proceeded to pull a gun from his vehicle and fire two shots, counsel said. He then “ambushed” Davidson when he was the first officer to arrive at the scene.
Abbotsford News reporter Vikki Hopes is in the courtroom, tweeting about the opening of the trial. Refresh this story regularly for the latest. The most recent tweets will appear first.
Crown said the main issue at trial is the identification of Arfmann as the man who shot Davidson.— Vikki Hopes (@VikkiHopes) May 27, 2019
Crown said a bullet that was later found in a business where the shooting occurred is believed to have been the first shot fired at Davidson.— Vikki Hopes (@VikkiHopes) May 27, 2019
About 30 witnesses are expected to testify, including those who were in the Mt. Lehman business complex where the shooting occurred.— Vikki Hopes (@VikkiHopes) May 27, 2019
When they confronted Arfmann and said they were going to call the cops, Arfmann said something to the effect that they would see what he would do the cops when they got there, Crown said.— Vikki Hopes (@VikkiHopes) May 27, 2019
Crown is presenting an application for a publication ban on the identities of any undercover officers who testify. This is standard for these types of investigations/trials.— Vikki Hopes (@VikkiHopes) May 27, 2019
Arfmann stands in court and pleads not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder.— Vikki Hopes (@VikkiHopes) May 27, 2019
Justice Carol Ross has entered the courtroom.— Vikki Hopes (@VikkiHopes) May 27, 2019
Klein was found not criminally responsible (NCR) due to a mental disorder and is currently in a psychiatric hospital. I wonder if Arfmann will also be going for an NCR plea.— Vikki Hopes (@VikkiHopes) May 27, 2019
Arfmann's lawyer is Martin Peters, the same man who defended Gabriel Klein, the man charged with the Abbotsford Senior Secondary fatal stabbing of Letisha Reimer in 2016.— Vikki Hopes (@VikkiHopes) May 27, 2019
Arfmann just came into the courtroom. He's wearing dark sweat pants and a sweatshirt and looks much thinner than in previous appearances. His hair is scraggly and longer than before.— Vikki Hopes (@VikkiHopes) May 27, 2019
Proceedings are scheduled to begin at 10 am. Many of Davidson’s family members and fellow officers are in the courtroom.— Vikki Hopes (@VikkiHopes) May 27, 2019
Oscar Arfmann, 67, is expected to stand trial for first-degree murder in the killing of Davidson, who was gunned down in November of 2017.
The trial is expected to begin around 10 a.m. in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. It is expected to last about eight weeks. Arfmann had initially elected to have a trial by jury, but that has since been changed to a judge-only trial.
The Abbotsford News and Black Press will have ongoing coverage of the trial, including opening statements Monday. The start of a trial usually begins with Crown counsel providing an overview of the circumstances of the case.
Arfmann, an Alberta resident, was charged the day after Davidson was killed.
The 53-year-old officer was the first on scene after police received reports of shots being fired at civilians at a strip mall on Mt. Lehman Road in Abbotsford.
READ MORE: Abbotsford police officer killed in shootout
READ MORE: Slain Abbotsford police officer identified
Davidson was struck by gunfire and was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after.
Arfmann was arrested not far from the scene following a brief police chase that ended in a crash and with more shots being fired. He was injured in the incident and was taken to hospital.
Arfmann was originally scheduled to begin his trial on Jan. 21 of this year, but the date was changed to May 21 and now to May 27.
READ MORE: Suspect charged in killing of police officer