The man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter for his role in the 2020 hit-and-run death of Calgary police Sgt. Andrew Harnett has been sentenced to five years behind bars.
Amir Abdulrahman learned his fate in a Calgary courtroom Friday morning. With credit for time served, Abdulrahman has three years and five months remaining on his sentence.
Abdulrahman was originally charged with first-degree murder in the Dec. 31, 2020 death of Harnett, but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in early December.
The Crown had sought eight to nine years behind bars for Abdulrahman, while the defence was asking for a two-year sentence followed by a two-year probation period.
The justice who handed down the sentence said Abdulrahman was a minor participant in the flight of the vehicle in 2020 and said he can be rehabilitated.
Police have said Harnett tried to stop an SUV after he noticed its licence plates did not match the registration. Harnett was struck by the vehicle and dragged before he fell and was struck by another vehicle.
An agreed statement of facts was read in court in December, which outlined that Harnett activated his flashing lights at 10:19 p.m. and began the traffic stop in the community of Falconridge.
Body-worn camera video from the officers that were at the scene, including Harnett, was also played in court.
According to the agreed statement of facts, the accused’s vehicle’s headlights were not working. The vehicle turned into a nearby parking lot, where the driver identified himself but said he did not have a driver’s licence. The driver said the passenger, Abdulrahman, had a licence, which Harnett asked him to produce.
A third male was seen in the back of the vehicle, but the Crown said at the time that he remains unidentified, despite public pleas for help in the case.
Shortly after pulling over the vehicle, officers on scene referenced Abdulrahman’s outstanding warrants, at which time the driver reached for the gear shift.
Harnett opened the vehicle’s door in an attempt to stop it from leaving the scene, but the force of the vehicle driving away slammed the door shut.
Harnett was able to hold on to the open window as the vehicle continued to drive.
Two other officers approached the vehicle with their guns drawn. The vehicle then drove up onto a berm and onto Falconridge Blvd.
In video played in court, the accused can be see grabbing the steering wheel, turning it three times. Abdulrahman reached for the wheel several times while the driver attempted to push Harnett from the vehicle by kicking and pushing the door open.
The agreed statement of facts outlines that Harnett was dragged 427 metres from the site of the traffic stop.
The fleeing vehicle eventually crossed over into oncoming traffic, where Harnett fell from the vehicle. He was struck by an oncoming vehicle.
The accused’s vehicle was later found abandoned.
The alleged driver, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, is charged with first-degree murder. He is now 18 and is scheduled to go to trial on Monday.