On Friday the trial for the accused in the shooting death of a promising young Strathmore hockey player continued.
Brandon Giffen was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 24-year-old Kristian Ayoungman after a fight outside a Strathmore bar in March 2019.
The prosecution rejected a plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter for Giffen.
Ayoungman was found dead in his vehicle east of Calgary on March 17, 2019.
On Friday a ballistics witness testified as the trial continued at the Calgary Courts Centre.
Outside the court, supporters gathered to help the family as they continue to struggle with his death and the court process.
Melodie Ayoungman-Hunt, Kristian’s mother, said that the ceremonies of traditional song and dance were a comfort during a difficult time for Ayoungman’s family and friends.
“Every time court comes it brings back all those memories of that day,” his mother said. “It changed my life, and our entire lives forever.”
Ayoungman was a talented hockey player and his former teammates wore jerseys in his honor outside the courthouse.
Captain of the Siksika Buffaloes Colten Wildman said it’s been a huge loss to the team and the community.
“He loved what he was doing no matter what it was,” Wildman said. “It’s just hard to go on without that presence, without it in our dressing room. Not just in our dressing room — in life in general.”
The trial is expected to conclude next week.