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Interrogation shown in court

The interrogation that led to the confession from an accused murderer was played in Kelowna court Tuesday afternoon.

The Crown is on its tenth day of submissions in its case against 27-year-old Steven Pirko for the 2014 killing of Chris Ausman.

Police found the body of the 32-year-old father on the sidewalk of Highway 33 just after 2 a.m. on Jan. 25, 2014. An autopsy determined he had been killed by a hammer strike to the head.

Within days, Pirko was identified as a suspect in Ausman's death, but he wasn't arrested until almost three years later.

The Crown says Pirko's friend Elrich Dyck had picked a fight with Ausman on the night of the killing and, after Dyck began losing the fight, Pirko struck Ausman with a hammer he had been carrying.

A video for the two hour and 40 minute interrogation on the afternoon of Nov. 19, 2016 was shown in court Tuesday. In the video, Sgt. Eric Boucher and Const. Jessica Coutney showed Pirko the evidence they gathered against him over the past three years, which included surveillance footage from the night of Ausman's death, Ausman's DNA found on Dyck's jeans, witness statements placing the pair at the scene and damning text messages.

In a text message to a friend, Dyck says: “just walked home with Pirk,” “ya, but he thinks we killed some guy,” and “never mind, you don't need to know.” Several days later, Dyck texted the person back and told them to delete the text messages. Const. Coutney told Pirko the police are able to recover deleted texts.

“We're trying to show you how the police do their work, and why this is such a strong case,” Sgt. Boucher says to Pirko during the interrogation. 

“Your fate is tied to Elrich's ... You have to think about Elrich's role in this. You have to think about how Elrich would react if he were asked questions by us.”

At one point in the video, Pirko tries to counter a piece of evidence he's shown with an alternate explanation. 

“We're not asking you whether or not you were there, we know you were there and we know Elrich was there and we know that this fight took place,” Const. Coutney says. “We know those things. I've been on this file for three years.”

Later in the interrogation, the officers played a video recording of an “emotional appeal” by Elrich Dyck's father, Lesley Dyck.

“Mr. Pirko began to sob, and then made some statements that suggested that he had been involved and that he had killed Mr. Ausman,” Sgt. Boucher testified Tuesday, although that portion of the interrogation video has not yet been shown to the jury.

Dyck was never charged in relation to Ausman's death, and both him and his father Lesley will be testifying against Pirko later in the trial. During the interrogation, Pirko says he and Elrich Dyck have been close friends for many years, and some of the tattoos on his arms were done by both Elrich and his father Lesley.



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