Suspect charged in Abbotsford, B.C., police officer’s death makes brief court appearance

Oscar Arfmann, 65, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Const. John Davidson. The officer died on Nov. 6.

The man accused of killing a police officer in Abbotsford, B.C., earlier this month made a brief court appearance Tuesday morning.

Oscar Arfmann, 65, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Const. John Davidson. The officer, a 24-year veteran, died after a shootout on Mt. Lehman Road on Nov. 6.

Arfmann made a brief appearance at Abbotsford Provincial Court just after 9:30 a.m. PT and didn’t enter a plea. Security outside the courthouse was heavy.

Police said Davidson, 53, had been responding to a report of shots fired in the parking lot of a nearby shopping area.

Cst. John Davidson

Const. John Davidson was a 24-year veteran. He joined the Abbotsford Police Department in 2006, having worked with the Northumbria Police Department in England before that. Davidson left behind his wife and three children. (Abbotsford Police Department)

Arfmann, who’s from Alberta, was charged on Nov. 7. He was hospitalized after being injured in the incident, but was soon released. B.C.’s civilian police watchdog, the Independent Investigations Office, said it’s believed he was shot.

The Canadian Criminal Code states that the killing of a peace officer is automatically a first-degree murder charge.

 abbotsford courthouse
Two officers stand outside Abbotsford Provincial Court on Tuesday. Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Abbotsford Police Const. John Davidson, had a court appearance that morning. (Christer Waara/CBC)

Mental health struggles

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said that Arfmann has no criminal record. He also didn’t have a valid driver’s licence.

IHIT Cpl. Frank Jang said Arfmann used to have a firearms licence, but it expired in 2015.

The suspect’s sister-in-law, Hope Arfmann, said he struggled with mental health issues after his wife, Patricia, died five years ago.

Arfmann was admitted to a hospital northeast of Edmonton in July of 2015 for a mental evaluation, but was released after three days. Hope said his condition continued to worsen after that, but claimed he “refused to go to the doctor” when his family went looking for help.

Arfmann is expected to appear in court again on Jan. 12.

Source: Suspect charged in Abbotsford, B.C., police officer’s death makes brief court appearance

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