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'I love you forever': Passenger pleads guilty in hit-and-run death of Calgary officer

·3 min read

CALGARY — The wife of a Calgary police officer killed in a hit and run says she lost her love and best friend at what should have been the happiest time in their lives.

Chelsea Goedhart's victim impact statement delivered in court says they were looking forward to the birth of their first child and she was 15 weeks pregnant when she was told her husband had died.

A jury trial for Amir Abdulrahmen was to begin this week on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Sgt. Andrew Harnett of the Calgary Police Service.

Abdulrahman, who is 20 and one of two people charged in Harnett's death, pleaded guilty today to the lesser charge of manslaughter.

Police have said Harnett, who was 37, tried to stop an SUV on the evening of Dec. 31, 2020, when he noticed its licence plate didn't match its registration, and was hit and dragged before he fell and was struck by another car.

Abdulrahman was a passenger in the SUV.

"I lost the love of my life, my best friend, my travel partner, my confidante, my steady anchor, my cheerleader and my companion and the parent of our child," Goedhard said in Court of Queen's Bench on Wednesday.

"Because of the criminal actions of Mr. Abdulrahman, the joy of my pregnancy was stolen. We were never going to get to be a family."

Goedhart said being a single parent is difficult and her child will never know his father.

"We remain alone. At the end of the day, there is no one coming through the door. My son's innocence was taken before he was born."

Harnett's mother said her son was a man on a mission and wanted to be a police officer.

"I love you forever, and as long as I'm here, your very proud mother I'll be," Valerie Harnett said.

She addressed Abdulrahman who was sitting in the prisoner's box.

"I sincerely hope that you will take this time to reflect on your life and your future and take positive, proactive steps to develop the tools to help you move forward and to help you make wiser and better choices," she said.

"I wish you very well on that journey."

With Harnett's family out of the room, court played video of the officer being dragged as the vehicle sped off. He yelled, "Stop the car" several times before he fell away.

Court heard that Abdulrahman pulled at the steering wheel a couple of times to help the vehicle and driver get away.

Crown attorney Mike Ewenson asked Justice Robert Hall to impose a sentence of between eight and nine years. The victim impact statements show Harnett's death has affected the entire community, Ewenson said.

"They are powerful. They speak to a devastating loss. It affected the city as a whole with an outpouring of grief."

Ewenson said Abdulrahman's actions show a lack of compassion.

"When Sgt. Harnett's grip finally failed and he fell to the road and was struck by the oncoming vehicle, Mr. Abdulrahman was … heading off into the night," he said. "He left Sgt. Harnett to die on the cold hard pavement of Falconridge Drive and he did nothing to assist.

"He acted in pure self-interest without an ounce of compassion."

A teen who was the alleged driver is also charged with first-degree murder, but cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. His trial is to begin Jan. 31.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2021.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had Amir Abdulrahman's age as 19.

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