Bail denied for man accused of murdering Calgary police officer

One of the two men accused of killing a Calgary police officer will not be released on bail pending trial.

Amir Abdulrahman, 19, is charged with first-degree murder in New Year’s Eve death of Sgt. Andrew Harnett, 37, who was killed when an SUV he had pulled over took off, dragging the officer more than 400 metres.

Another teen, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident and cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has already been denied bail. 

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice David Gates released his 28-page decision Wednesday afternoon after hearing arguments in February.

All of the evidence and arguments presented at the bail hearing are protected by a publication ban. Gates’s reasons for detention are also under a ban. 

Fellow officers tried to save Harnett

Around 11 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2020, Harnett pulled over the SUV because its headlights weren’t on.

At that time, Abdulrahman, the alleged passenger, was wanted on four warrants, including one for assault and three for failure to comply with court orders, according to court documents.

After speaking with the driver, who police allege is the younger teen charged, Harnett was in the process of issuing traffic tickets related to the driver’s graduated licence and headlights.

Harnett was carried 400 metres before he was flung from the fleeing SUV.

Fellow officers who were at the scene tried to revive Harnett but he died in hospital about an hour later.

Prosecutors would seek adult sentence 

Prosecutors have indicated that if convicted, the Crown would seek an adult sentence for the youth, which would mean life in prison with no eligibility for parole for 10 years.

During the February hearing, prosecutor Mike Ewenson argued for Abdulrahman’s detention while defence lawyer Balfour Der asked that his client be released pending trial.

Abdulrahman’s parents and three younger brothers were in court for the hearing.

A trial date has not yet been set for either accused. 

Abdulrahman is due back in court on Friday.

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