Bail denied for teen charged with murder of Calgary police officer

CALGARY — A judge has denied bail for a teen charged with first-degree murder in the hit-and-run death of a Calgary police officer.

Sgt. Andrew Harnett, 37, was killed on New Year’s Eve after he was hit and dragged during a traffic stop in Falconridge. Other officers and paramedics tried to save him, but he died in hospital about an hour later. 

Police charged two teens with first-degree murder. The charge is automatic in deaths involving a police officer. They turned themselves in to police on New Year’s Day. 

The younger accused, the alleged driver of the SUV, was 17 years old at the time of his arrest. Even though he has since turned 18, he cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. 

Judge Steve Lipton heard arguments during a bail hearing last week. Evidence presented at the hearing is under a publication ban.

Defence lawyer Kaysi Fagan argued her client should be released on bail. 

Prosecutor Doug Taylor said he is opposed to release over concerns of the safety and protection of the public and to maintain confidence in the administration of justice. 

Taylor has indicated he will seek an adult sentence if the accused is convicted. An adult sentence for a young offender convicted of first-degree murder is life in prison with no parole eligibility for 10 years. An adult convicted of the same charge would face life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. 

Harnett had been a member of the Calgary Police Service for 12 years and previously spent time as a military police officer. His partner is expecting the couple’s first child this summer. 

Defence lawyer Balfour Der, who is representing 19-year-old Amir Abdulrahman, said a bail hearing for his client is scheduled for Feb. 12. 

Abdulrahman, the alleged passenger in the SUV, was wanted on outstanding warrants for assault and failure to comply with court orders.

This is a developing story. It will be updated once a bail decision has been confirmed.

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