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Teen driver handed 12-year sentence for killing Calgary police officer

A young man convicted in the hit-and-run death of a Calgary police officer has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Sgt. Andrew Harnett, 37, died after he was dragged by an SUV and fell into the path of an oncoming car on Dec. 31, 2020.

The driver of the SUV, who is now 20, was days away from turning 18 and was charged as a youth with first-degree murder.

Court of King’s Bench Justice Anna Loparco convicted him of manslaughter and ordered that he receive an adult sentence.

In her sentencing decision Wednesday, she gave four years credit for the time the driver has already spent in custody, meaning he has eight years left to serve.

She noted that Harnett’s wife was pregnant with their first child when he was killed.

The young man apologized in court to Harnett’s family.

“I accept responsibility. I’m very sorry,” he said.

The Crown had asked for a sentence of 11 to 13 years, while the defence argued for 7 1/2 years minus credit for time already served.

The trial heard Harnett tried to stop the SUV after he noticed its licence plate didn’t match its registration.

The driver testified during his trial that he was scared when Harnett and another approached the SUV, and he saw Harnett put a hand on his gun.

Court heard the SUV took off with the officer holding onto the wheel, trying to get the driver to stop.

Loparco said the driver showed “callous indifference” to the officer and “engaged in a distinct, purposeful manoeuvre to dislodge Sgt. Harnett from the vehicle.”

A publication ban remains on the offender’s name until the end of an appeal period.

A passenger in the SUV, Amir Abdulrahman, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2021 and was sentenced to five years in prison.

He was granted day parole earlier this year.

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