Judge denies bail but reserves 2nd decision for teen in Calgary officer's death

·2 min read

CALGARY — A judge denied bail Thursday for a young man charged with first-degree murder in the hit-and-run death of a Calgary police officer but reserved a decision on a second application that could still see him released.

The accused was 17 when he was arrested following the death of Sgt. Andrew Harnett on New Year's Eve.

He has since turned 18 but cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Youth court Judge Steve Lipton rejected releasing the teen on bail then heard what's called a responsible person application Thursday afternoon.

If granted, the application argued by defence lawyer Kaysi Fagan would allow an underage accused to be placed in the custody of a responsible individual who is able to exercise care and control over the young person.

Lipton reserved his decision until Monday.

Police have said Harnett was hit and dragged while attempting to stop an SUV after noticing its plates didn't match its registration.

A second unrelated vehicle was also involved and police say it may have come into contact with Harnett on the road.

Paramedics and fellow officers rushed to the scene within minutes and tried to revive Harnett but he died in hospital nearly an hour later.

Officers allege the accused youth was driving the vehicle and have also charged a 19-year-old passenger with first-degree murder.

The Crown said it opposed bail for the safety and protection of the public. It has also served notice that it will seek an adult sentence if the younger accused is convicted.

An adult sentence for a young offender found guilty of first-degree murder is life in prison with no parole eligibility for 10 years.

The co-accused in the case, Amir Abdulrahman is to appear in court Feb. 4. His lawyer, Balfour Der, has said he intends to seek bail on Feb. 12.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan, 28, 2021

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Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press