Judge reserves decision on bail for accused in Calgary police hit-and-run death

·2 min read

CALGARY — A judge has reserved his decision on whether to grant bail to a man charged with first-degree murder in the hit-and-run death of a Calgary police officer.

Police allege that Amir Abdulrahman, 19, was a passenger in an SUV that Sgt. Andrew Harnett tried to stop on Dec. 31, after he noticed its licence plates didn't match its registration.

Harnett was hit and dragged.

Police have said the SUV sped off and a second, unrelated vehicle may have come into contact with Harnett on the road. The officer later died in hospital.

A bail hearing for Abdulrahman was held Friday, but details are under a publication ban.

Before the hearing, Crown prosecutor Michael Ewenson said he is recommending a direct indictment to proceed directly to trial. If approved, there would be no preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for a trial.

Justice David Gates didn't give a date for when he would rule on release.

Abdulrahman was wanted on outstanding warrants, including for failing to appear in court, at the time of his arrest.

A youth court judge previously denied bail to the SUV's alleged driver, who was 17 at the time and cannot be identified. He also faces a charge of first-degree murder.

Balfour Der, who represents Abdulrahman, said his client is doing well considering the circumstances.

"There are good days and bad days and he's a young man in jail. It's a pretty tough place — to be charged with a serious assault ... you can understand it's quite a weight on him," Der said outside court.

While the Crown opposed bail for Abdulrahman, Der said he thinks there's a good argument to be made for his release.

"One of the primary things is he's not going to just get out — he's going to be under 24-hour house arrest," he said.

"He will be in one of his parent's company at all times. He will never be alone ... so we're saying any danger to the public, any risk that he might not show up, would be eliminated by virtue of him being in the care of his parents all the time."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 12, 2021

Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press