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A judge found the Calgary teenager not guilty of the sergeant’s murder.Harnett’s death

Royal Court Judge Anna Lopalco ruled that the King failed to prove murderous intent

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A Calgary teenager whose flight from a traffic stop that resulted in the dragged death of a city police officer was acquitted of first-degree murder on Thursday.

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The King’s Court Judge, Anna Lopalco, ruled that a teenager (who could not be named because he was a young man at the time) intended to indict Sergeant. Andrew Harnett inflicted bodily harm while getting out of the car, but Crown could not prove murderous intent.

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Instead, she found him guilty of manslaughter.

“The Crown established that the accused intended to cause Sgt. Harnett to cause bodily harm,” Loparco said near the end of the two-and-a-half-hour oral decision.

However, she said the question is whether the accused are aware that death is likely to follow.

Loparco, now 19, has refused to testify much about his intentions in the fatal incident just before midnight on December 31, 2020.

The defendant panicked when Harnett approached him to give him a ticket for not turning on his headlights for more than 30 minutes after he stopped near Falconridge Boulevard.NE

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As he slowed, officers grabbed the SUV and, instead of following Harnett’s instructions to stop, drove him down the road at a speed of 80 to 90 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

“There was a chaotic scene,” said Loparco.

“We acknowledge that the confusion and panic testified by the accused has continued and possibly increased.”

She noticed that both his passenger and the police on scene were shouting instructions to him to stop or flee.

“I admit the accused was scared. His anxiety was going through the roof at the time,” Loparco discovered.

“Maybe he wasn’t thinking rationally about the possible fatal consequences.”

She said the turmoil in the incident supported “his claim that he failed to turn his mind to the potentially fatal consequences of his actions.”

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The judges were overenthusiastic about what happened, even Harnett’s decision to keep the vehicle as it regained traction and speeded down a thoroughfare after temporarily stalling on a snow-covered trail. shows the nature.

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“His decision to maintain vehicle retention … in my view reflects the chaos of the situation,” Loparco said.

However, she said she was simply doing her job as a police officer, so she was not prosecuting the actions of a police officer.

“Of course, it is the accused, not the sergeant. We have taken steps to that end.

“It was the defendant who could have avoided the tragic situation and chose the path of death instead.”

She said the criminals may have intended fatal consequences for their actions, but that wasn’t enough.

“It takes more than proving that the defendant is probably guilty.”

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Crown prosecutor Mike Ewenson, who had previously indicated his intention to seek an adult sentence, said he would continue to do so on reduced charges.

Defense attorney Zachary Al-Khatib asked Roparco to order a pre-sentence report and an update on the detention status of his client.

A sentencing date is not set until January 13, after the offender turns 20.

He remains in custody until then.

If convicted as an adult, you could face a sentence of up to life in prison, which is extremely rare in manslaughter cases. His maximum sentence as a youth is three years for him combined with custody and district supervision.

KMartin@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @KMartinCourts

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A judge found the Calgary teenager not guilty of the sergeant’s murder.Harnett’s death

Source link A judge found the Calgary teenager not guilty of the sergeant’s murder.Harnett’s death

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