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Driver who killed Calgary police officer to be sentenced later this month

The driver who killed Calgary police Sgt. Andrew Harnett will learn his sentence later this month.

Now 20 years old, the driver was 11 days away from his 18th birthday at the time of Harnett’s death. Because he was a youth at the time of the crime, his identity is protected by a publication ban. 

CBC News will identify him as A.M.

Originally charged with first-degree murder, A.M. was convicted of manslaughter by Court of King’s Bench Justice Anna Loparco.

Prosecutor Mike Ewenson successfully applied to have A.M. sentenced as an adult. Ewenson argued A.M. should spend 11 to 13 years in prison while defence lawyer Zachary Al-Khatib proposed a seven-and-a-half year sentence.

Appearing in court Friday, lawyers confirmed Loparco will deliver A.M.’s sentence on Sept. 27.

Deadly traffic stop

On New Year’s Eve 2020, A.M. and two passengers, including Amir Abdulrahman, were pulled over after Harnett noticed the SUV’s lights weren’t on. The second passenger has never been identified.

After a brief investigation, Harnett, for a second time, approached the driver’s side window to speak with A.M. who then took off with the officer clinging to the side of the vehicle.

Harnett was dragged 400 meters before he was flung into the path of an oncoming car on Falconridge Boulevard. 

In May, Loparco ruled A.M. would be sentenced as an adult after finding the three-year maximum youth sentence for manslaughter would not be sufficient to hold him accountable for his crime.

Typically, A.M. could be identified after he receives his sentence but at the suggestion of his lawyer, the judge imposed a publication ban which will extend through the 30-day appeal period. 

The media was not given the chance to oppose the ban. 

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