The trial for Brandon Giffen started at the Calgary Courts Centre Monday morning.
The Crown prosecutors rejected an attempt by the defence to enter a plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter Monday morning.
Kristian Ayoungman, 24, was found dead inside a vehicle outside of Strathmore on March 17, 2019.
Kody Giffen, Brandon’s younger brother, previously pled guilty to a charge of manslaughter connected to Ayoungman’s death and was sentenced to four years in prison.
On Monday, a trial by judge alone started for Brandon, who is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Ayoungman.
According to an agreed statement of facts that was entered into evidence, Ayoungman died after he suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.
Prosecutor Lynda Levesque said it’s the Crown’s theory that an altercation outside a Strathmore bar over a pack of cigarettes is what ultimately led to Kody and Brandon chasing down Ayoungman in a vehicle with a rifle in hand.
Levesque said Kody was upset after he purchased a pack of cigarettes from Ayoungman and it wasn’t full.
The prosecutor said the facts will show that it led to an altercation outside the King Eddy Pub in Strathmore, which spilled over to an apartment building in the town.
Eventually, Kody went inside and involved his older brother Brandon, who emerged with a shotgun, causing Kristian Ayoungman and his friends to flee in a truck.
The driver of the truck, Ayoungman’s friend Breeana Crawler, tried to evade the vehicle driving through the town of Strathmore and ended up south of the town on the highway.
Levesque said in her opening remarks that Kody pulled over and Brandon exited the vehicle and fired a shot from the rifle that hit Ayoungman and killed him.
A voir dire started mid-morning, which is essentially a trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of evidence.
The trial is scheduled to last three weeks.