Kelowna man accused of 2nd degree murder takes the stand
It was a bloody street fight that ended with a Kelowna man dead.
In the early hours of Jan. 25, 2014, Steven Pirko was walking along Highway 33 to the 7-11 store in the city’s Rutland area with his friend Elrich Dyck to grab some late-night chicken.
The two got involved in an altercation with Chris Ausman, 32. The fight ended with Ausman dying.
On Monday morning, the second-degree murder trial for Pirko entered its sixth week with the accused taking the stand to describe the night Ausman died.
Pirko said he had walked over to Dyck’s house to celebrate a birthday.
He said he along with Dyck had comsumed quite a bit of alcohol. They also consumed drugs.
Later on that night, the two decided to walk over to the 7-11 store.
Pirko said as they walked along Hughway 33, Dyck and another man, who was walking across the street, started yelling at each other.
Pirko said next thing he knew, that man, Chris Ausman, was running across the road and a fight between him and Dyck erupted.
Pirko told the jury he watched in shock as punches between the two men were being thrown.
He then told the court that when Dyck started losing the fight, he started yelling for Pirko to help him.
Pirko said he grabbed a seven-inch hammer he had in his knapsack and hit Ausman twice in the legs.
When that didn’t work, he said he then used the hammer to hit Ausman in the head twice.
Pirko said Ausman then fell to the ground, adding Dyck threw two more punches before the two fled the scene.
Ausman’s body was discovered about a half hour later by a passing RCMP officer. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
When asked by defence why he had a hammer with him that night, Pirko said he had been carrying it for about two weeks prior to the incident, telling the court that he was being threatened by an ex-girlfriend’s current boyfriend.
Defence is arguing that Pirko never intended to kill Ausman, a husband and father, and that he was merely coming to the aid of his friend yelling for help.
Earlier in the day, court heard from a friend of the victim.
Ryan Caig told the jury he had been at a poker party with Ausman earlier that night, where drugs and alcohol were also being consumed.
Caig told the jury that Ausman left the party on foot.
Crown is expected to cross-examine Pirko on Tuesday.
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