A Kelowna man has been sentenced to life in prison, with no chance of parole for 11 years, for committing second-degree murder.
On Friday, Steven Pirko was handed his sentence after being found guilty last summer in the 2014 death of Chris Ausman.
Pirko was accused of killing Ausman with a hammer during a late-night street fight along Rutland Road and Highway 33 in January 2014.
His sentencing hearing began Thursday morning.
Pirko was given a credit of 947 days for time served while in custody. Those days will count towards his parole countdown.
Pirko addressed Ausman’s family in court.
“I’m very, very sorry for everything,” said Pirko. “It makes me sick how sad the little girl and the family is.”
He then went on to say “I would give almost anything to take it back.”
After the sentence hearing was finished, Ausman’s brother spoke to Global News outside the courthouse.
“I know that we (the family) will be able to find some closure,” said Kelly Ausman.
“I’ve been holding on to his ashes for six years. I’ll be spreading them on the golf course.”
Kelly Ausman said the past six years have been extremely difficult, adding he and Chris lived and worked together.
“I never thought one of the hardest things for me, when I lost him, was going back to work to our van,” said Kelly Ausman. “That, to me, was one of the hardest moments of my life.”
Members of Ausman’s family said they were satisfied with the sentencing.
“We can move forward now with our lives,” said Anne Hutton, Ausman’s mother.
“When I walk down these courthouse steps, I’m done, I’m done. Tomorrow is a new day.”