Kelowna killer has yet to be sentenced | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna killer has yet to be sentenced

Steve Pirko is charged with the murder of Chris Ausman, who was found dead on a Rutland street in January, 2014.
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July 02, 2019 - 12:03 PM

KELOWNA - It’s been two weeks since Steven Pirko was found guilty of second-degree murder in the 2014 death of Chris Ausman, and the courts are no closer to reaching a sentence.

Pirko’s sentencing hearing won’t be scheduled until July 22, which is five weeks after the verdict was rendered. At the conclusion of the trial, the court heard that sentencing date would be scheduled today, July 2.

The mandatory minimum sentence for second-degree murder is life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years. Along with the verdict, the jury recommended Pirko serve 12 years in prison before becoming eligible for parole.

Jurors had been asked to consider whether Pirko fatally hit Ausman in the head Jan. 25, 2014 because he was trying to protect his friend, Elrich Dyck, or if he jumped into a fight he wasn't a part of, knowing perfectly well that his actions could kill. The second-degree murder guilty verdict indicates jurors saw the latter view. 

The trial took place over seven weeks, most of which was taken up by Crown counsel David Grabavac's evidence, which showed, among other things, that Ausman had been brutally beaten in the moments before his death. 

Not only did he have three significant injuries to the side of his head consistent with hammer blows, Ausman also had a dozen more cuts and abrasions to his face. 

In the wake of the decision being handed down, defence lawyer Jordan Watt said that Pirko wasn’t faring well.

"It's been horrible," he said. "It's a tragic situation for him and obviously for the Ausman family."

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