May 17, 2019 7:54 pm
Updated: May 17, 2019 8:29 pm

Officer cross-examined in Kelowna murder trial


The second-degree murder trial for the man charged with killing another man by striking him with a hammer continues in Kelowna.

Steven Pirko is charged with killing 32-year-old Christopher Ausman in January of 2014.

The defence had the opportunity to cross-examine the officer who interviewed Pirko following his arrest.

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Much of the cross-examination focused on Pirko’s comfort during the lengthy interrogation, which spanned several days.

Pirko wasn’t arrested until almost three years later.

During the interview with the officer, Pirko admitted that he and a friend, Elrich Dyck, were walking the streets of Kelowna after a night of drinking.

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He said Dyck was yelling at strangers, looking for a fight, when Ausman ran across the street and an altercation began.

When Pirko saw that his friend was in a losing battle, he struck Ausman in the head with a hammer.

Under cross-examination, Sgt. Eric Boucher testified that Pirko told him he struggled with substance abuse, using two to three points of heroin a day.

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He was repeatedly asked if Pirko was showing signs of withdrawal during the interview.

Boucher conceded that Pirko did show symptoms of heroin withdrawal, including throwing up several times, but felt this was unavoidable.

He also felt Pirko was fit enough to continue with the interview.

The trial continues next week.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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