The man charged with killing an on-duty Abbotsford, B.C., police officer nearly two years ago has been found guilty of first-degree murder.
Oscar Arfmann, sitting in the prisoner's box, did not move as B.C. Supreme Court Justice Carol Ross delivered her verdict in a New Westminster courtroom late Thursday morning.
The judge found Crown prosecutors had proved Arfmann's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, but the conviction has not yet been entered, because defence is asking Arfmann's mental health be assessed again to determine whether he's criminally responsible.
Const. John Davidson, a veteran policeman and father of three, was shot and killed as he responded to reports of a stolen vehicle on Nov. 6, 2017.
The prosecution argued Arfmann ambushed the 53-year-old officer as he got out of his vehicle, shooting him twice from behind. Ross said she found Arfmann intended to kill Davidson, fully aware he was a police officer in the line of duty.
Davidson's wife and three adult children sat in the courtroom's front row during the sentencing. Abbotsford police Chief Mike Serr and Const. Renae Williams, Davidson's partner during his time with the department's traffic unit, were seated next to the family.
The rest of the courtroom was packed with plainclothes and uniformed police officers from Abbotsford, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder throughout the hearing.
There was a gasp of relief in the courtroom as the verdict was delivered.
Arfmann, who was arrested the day of the shooting after a police takedown, had pleaded not guilty. Crown attorney Wendy Stephen told the trial that a man matching Arfmann's description stole a vehicle two days earlier and shot at the dealership managers who confronted him, left the area, then returned and killed Davidson to escape arrest.
In their closing arguments more than two months ago, defence lawyers said Arfmann had no motive to kill Davidson and that the Crown's case depended on conflicting witness accounts.
On Thursday, the judge told the court she had found the witnesses to be "credible" with a considerable amount of audio and video evidence matching their testimonies.
Defence lawyer Frances Mahon also questioned the Crown's assertion that the rifle accepted as the murder weapon was linked to Arfmann.
Ross rejected that argument.