Kelowna News

Kelowna killer to be sentenced six years after Chris Ausman's death

Steve Pirko is charged with the murder of Chris Ausman, who was found dead on a Rutland street in January, 2014.

In just over two weeks, Steven Pirko will be sentenced for the 2014 second-degree murder of Chris Ausman.

Pirko’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 30, according to court documents. That's within a week of the six-year anniversary of the Kelowna murder and nearly seven months after Pirko was found guilty.

READ MORE: Full trial coverage

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 aftermath of the guilty 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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