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Steven Pirko sentencing for murder set for Jan. 30-31

Pirko faces life sentence

Chris Ausman's killer will be sentenced later this month.

A jury convicted 27-year-old Steven Pirko of second-degree murder in June, but almost seven months after the conviction, he has yet to be sentenced.

On Monday, Pirko's sentencing date was set for Jan. 30 and 31.

Over six weeks of trial, the Crown explained how Pirko and his friend Elrich Dyck had left a birthday party in the early hours of Jan. 25, 2014, after drinking and using speed. 

Pirko testified Dyck had been trying to pick a fight with strangers as they walked east along Highway 33. As they neared Rutland Road, Dyck got the fight he was looking for.

At 1:38 a.m., Ausman, who had been playing poker at a friend's house that night, ran across Highway 33 towards the pair, and began fighting with Dyck. Ausman was caught on surveillance camera running across the road, but the altercation occurred just out of frame of the camera.

Pirko said Ausman quickly got the upper hand in the fight, and Dyck began calling out for help. Pirko had a hammer concealed in his pants, and pulled it out, hitting Ausman in the back of the legs to subdue him. But, a forensic pathologist testified there was no evidence of injuries to Ausman's legs. Pirko then struck Ausman in the head several times, dropping him, before he and Dyck fled the scene.

Pirko returned briefly to pick up an iPod he had dropped.

“That's when I realized he was dead,” Pirko testified. “You could see the blood.”

Police identified Pirko as a suspect in the murder within days, but he wasn't arrested and charged until almost three years later, on Nov. 18, 2016. After two days of interrogation, Pirko confessed to police.

Despite Pirko's claims that he had only attacked Ausman to protect Dyck, the jury found Pirko's actions were not "reasonable under the circumstances,” and convicted him of murder.

Second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence with no possibility of parole for between 10 and 25 years. The length of time until parole eligibility will be determined at Pirko's sentencing. He has remained in custody since his 2016 arrest.



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