Christopher Ausman with a friend in 2014.

Jury finds Kelowna man guilty of second-degree murder

A Kelowna jury found Steven Randy Pirko guilty of the second-degree murder

Steven Randy Pirko has been found guilty of the second-degree murder of Christopher Ausman.

Ausman’s body was discovered by an RCMP officer on the sidewalk of Highway 33 in January of 2014.

Pirko was charged with the second-degree murder Nov. 18, 2016, nearly three years after Ausman’s death.

Pirko admitted killing Ausman with a hammer in a police video recording from 2016.

READ MORE: A Kelowna man lied to RCMP for three years about his part in a 2014 killing

Pirko told the two officers that he and his friend Elrich Dyck were drunk the night of Ausman’s death, on Jan. 25, 2014, walking down Highway 33 in Rutland when Ausman ran up to them.

Pirko said Ausman grabbed Dyck and started hitting him repeatedly. In the video, Pirko stood up with the officers to re-enact the incident.

He said he didn’t want his friend to get hurt and he had a hammer in his pocket for protection, so he used the hammer to hit Ausman in the leg, to no effect.

READ MORE: Kelowna court hears, 2014 murder victim had a history of violence

RCMP evidence of Pirko’s clothing, text messages and video surveillance on the night of Ausman’s murder, is what pinned Pirko as a prime suspect during a three-year investigation.

A Kelowna jury is recommending Pirko serve 12-years in prison before he is eligible for parole. Pirko will be back in B.C. Supreme Court for sentencing on July 2.

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