A judge has found a teen involved in the hit-and-run death of a Calgary police officer guilty of manslaughter.
Sgt. Andrew Harnett died in hospital on Dec. 31, 2020, after being dragged by a fleeing SUV and falling into the path of an oncoming car.
The driver, who cannot be identified because he was 17 at the time, had testified he was scared when Harnett and another officer approached the vehicle during a traffic stop and he saw Harnett put his hand on his gun.
The teen’s lawyer said his client was guilty of manslaughter, but not first-degree murder.
Justice Anna Loparco agreed, saying that although the accused had “outright lied” about the gun, he was in a “panicked state” when he decided to flee and unable to know his actions would cause Harnett’s death.
The Crown says it will be seeking an adult sentence.
Loparco says Harnett’s behaviour was “exemplary” and there was no indication that he posed a threat to the accused.
“There’s no doubt he (the accused) should have realized it was likely to cause death,” Loparco said Thursday.
“But I’m unable to conclude this accused turned his mind to the consequences.”