Kelowna RCMP had their eyes on the man charged in Chris Ausman's death years earlier

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

KELOWNA - RCMP had their sights set on Steven Pirko long before he was arrested for the 2014 murder of Chris Ausman.

In video footage of Pirko’s November 2016 interrogation played in Kelowna court today, May 13, jurors see Cpl. Eric Boucher ask him about everything from whether he knew Ausman — the answer was no— and how long he’d been friends with Elrich Dyck, his companion the night Ausman was killed.

At one point, Pirko started a conversation about the night RCMP went to his house and seized his clothes.

“You keep talking about when they came to take the clothes, do you remember when it happened?” said Cpl. Boucher.

READ MORE: Accused Rutland killer was in withdrawal when police took him into custody

Pirko said was it was “the same year (the murder) happened,” maybe a month later.

“I was sleeping and they booted in my bedroom door,” Pirko told Boucher. “They took me to the car, I asked for a lawyer and they said no lawyer, they weren’t arresting me, they just wanted to take my clothes.”

RCMP ultimately told Pirko they were detaining him for the murder of Ausman. 

Then, as was the case in the early stages of the 2016 interview, he said he didn’t do it, but he has very little other information.

“I don’t remember that period of time … I was drunk and doing speed all the time,” he said, later adding that he doesn’t have an alibi because he can’t remember where he was.

What he’s sure of, he said, is that he didn’t kill anybody.

READ MORE: Chris Ausman was killed on Kelowna street in 2014 with a hammer

“I don’t know how drunk I was it’s not something I’m going to forget,” he said.

In his opening statement, Crown counsel David Grabavac told jurors that Pirko eventually did confess to hitting Ausman in the head with a hammer after he got the upper hand in a fight with Dyck.

He went so far as to demonstrate the action to a police officer who he spoke to two years after the incident.

Jurors have yet to see that evidence.

The jury has heard evidence thus far that Ausman had just left the Rutland 7-Eleven at around 1:30 a.m. Jan. 25, 2014, when he got in a fight with Pirko and his friend Elrich Dyck.

Within half an hour, the 32-year-old's warm, but lifeless body was found by an RCMP officer on the sidewalk of Highway 33, face up with two visible streams of blood coming from it.

Pirko is on trial for second degree murder. The trial is in its third week and expected to continue for two more. Grabavac said at the outset that up to 22 witnesses were scheduled to speak. Boucher is his 12th witness.

Find past stories on the case here.


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