A preliminary inquiry to determine if evidence is strong enough to proceed to trial is ongoing in Kelowna for a man charged with the 2014 murder of Christopher Ausman.
Steven Randy Pirko was charged with the second-degree murder of Ausman on Nov. 18, 2016.
Ausman’s body was discovered lying on the sidewalk along Highway 33 in the early hours of Jan. 25, 2014.
“From the early on-set of this investigation there were key factors to suggest that Christopher’s death was suspicious in nature, as such the Kelowna RCMP Serious Crime Unit (SCU) assumed conduct of the investigation into his death,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, in a press release issued at the time of the incident.
Pirko has had other charges against him in the past. He was also sentenced to nine months in prison in June for unrelated charges after pleading guilty to two counts of break and enter and another charge of possession of stolen property.
“I’m sorry for my actions,” Pirko told the court via the video feed from the Okanagan Correction Centre, where he’s been held since his November 2016 arrest.
“I wouldn’t have done these things if I wasn’t addicted to heroin … I’m trying to make the best of a crappy situation.”
The evidence at the preliminary hearing is protected under a publication ban. The hearing began Monday and will decide if there is enough evidence to move the case to a trial. It’s expected to last three days.