Updated: Jan 29
Amir Abdulrahman, one of two young men involved in the death of Andrew Harnett, the police sergeant who was killed in a hit-and-run, was sentenced to five years in prison..
Harnett was killed by Muhammad and his accomplice Al-Azan Shah Muhammad on New Year's Eve 2020 after being struck by their car while fleeing a traffic stop, dying the next day in hospital care.
Muhammad was tried as a youth as he was 17-years-old at the time of the murder, which occurred 11 days earlier before his 18th birthday; in light of this, the Crown pursued a stricter sentence after he was convicted. The Crown also denied for Muhammad.
Muhammad was allegedly driving the vehicle at the time of the murder, whereas Abdulrahman was seated in the passenger seat.
"(Abdulrahman) had only moments to process the fact that he was in a vehicle fleeing from police before he decided to assist by grabbing the wheel. Based on the fact that events were unfolding extremely quickly, his involvement was largely spontaneous or reactionary," Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Robert Hall said Friday in sentencing Abdulrahman.
"While he was a participant in the offence, in my view, his role was moderate to minimal."
Hall said there is no proof Abdulrahman was involved in any plan to take off, nor was he at any point in full control of the SUV.
But the public takes a dim view of attacks on police officers and the punishment had to be higher than the two years recommended by the defence, the judge added.
"An appropriate sentence in this case must also provide justice to the family of the victim and the community in general," said Hall.
"The senseless death of Sgt. Harnett caused devastation, not only to his family and colleagues, but to the city as a whole who mourned the loss of an exemplary officer."
Abdulrahman was given credit for the time he has been in custody since his arrest, which means he faces another three years and five months.
His lawyer argued the sentence was excessive.
"Any time it involves a police officer, it’s a serious case and sentences are across the board always higher. But from my client’s minimal involvement, it was higher than I’d hoped for," Balfour Der said outside court.