Jury selected for Edmonton man accused of trying to run down, stab police officer

A jury of seven women and seven men will hear evidence in the trial of a man accused of trying to kill an Edmonton police officer.

Two years ago, Abdulahi Hasan Sharif is alleged to have run down Const. Mike Chernyk with a vehicle before stabbing him outside Commonwealth Stadium. He’s also accused of using a U-Haul to run down four other people that night, Sept. 30, 2017.

A U-Haul truck rests on its side after a high-speed chase with police in Edmonton Alta, on Saturday Sept. 30, 2017. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

In total, Sharif faces 11 charges, including five counts of attempted murder.

In court on Monday, those charges were formally read to him. Wearing an orange inmate jumpsuit, Sharif stood with his arms crossed. He quietly said “not guilty” through his interpreter after each charge was read.

The high-profile nature of his case and the expected length of the trial led to extraordinary measures at his jury selection.

Five-hundred and forty potential jurors were summoned to the courthouse. They filled three courtrooms as they waited to see who would be needed to hear this six-week trial.

Sharif, who is representing himself, did not challenge any juror and neither did the Crown prosecutor. A jury was selected in about an hour.

The Crown has indicated that more than 40 witnesses could be called to testify, including Chernyk and the four others Sharif is accused of hitting with the U-Haul.

The first evidence will be heard on Wednesday. It’s expected the trial will last until Nov. 8.

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