Video of Chris Ausman's final moments before death played for Kelowna jury

Christopher Ausman's body was found on the sidewalk in the 100 block of Highway 33 early in the morning on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2014.
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KELOWNA - Every moment of a brief and grainy video taken less than an hour before Christopher Ausman died is being scrutinized as the trial for his accused killer moves into its second week.

The footage shows Steven Pirko, who is charged with Ausman's second degree murder, and his friend Elrich Dyck on Jan. 25, 2014 as they made their way along the busy stretch of road near the Rutland 7-Eleven.

As they're tracked by cameras, they can be seen walking, at times with their arms up, at others facing toward the other side of the highway. At one point it appears as though one of the men is crouching. 

As they reach the outer reaches of the camera's view, another figure streaks across the screen to meet them.

That was Ausman and the time is just after 1:30 a.m., less than an hour before his lifeless body was found by RCMP on the sidewalk.

In his opening remarks, Crown counsel David Grabavac said that video footage to be entered into evidence would show the two men, who were in their early 20s, as they crossed paths with Ausman. They'd been taunting people as they walked down the street, said Grabavac, ultimately provoking a fight and setting the stage for a fatal hammer-attack Pirko is accused for.

In cross examination of the RCMP officer who collected video evidence from the Greek Taverna in Rutland, another view of that footage is being hinted at.

READ MORE: IT WASN'T THE FIGHT

Defence lawyer Alexander Watt ran the tape forward in increments of a few seconds at a time, and asked the RCMP officer who collected the footage how she interpreted what was onscreen.

"They're standing there, they could be doing anything," said Alexander Watt, pointing to one still image of the footage.  

"I agree that they are standing there," said Cpl. Judith Bertrand in response.

Looking at another still image from a couple seconds later, they note that Pirko is angled toward the intersection, though it's unclear what he's doing.

Then he's seen standing with his "arms stretched toward the 7-Eleven" right before Ausman comes into view.

"That's Ausman running across the street," said Watt. "Do you agree he's running across the street?"

Bertrand agreed. 

Watt stopped his questioning there.

The trial is expected to carry on for four more weeks.


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