Christopher Ausman’s brother donning a shirt in his honour at the Kelowna Law Courts on Jan. 30. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

BREAKING: Kelowna murderer, Steven Pirko, sentenced to life in prison

Steven Pirko will serve 11 years before he is eligible for parole

UPDATE: 12:10 p.m.

Steven Pirko will serve life in prison with 11 years before he is eligible for parole, BC Supreme Court Justice Allan Betton decided today.

Pirko will receive two years and seven months (947 days) of pre-sentence credit for time served towards his sentence, meaning he will be eligible for parole in 2028.

Life in prison was a forgone conclusion with the conviction of second-degree murder in June, but through sentencing, Betton decided some additional period of parole ineligibility is necessary.

“He has expressed remorse and in my view, it’s sincere,” said Betton.

Second-degree murder carries a parole eligibility range of 10 years minimum up to a maximum of 25 years.

The Crown suggested a 12-15 year period of parole ineligibility, while defence was arguing for the mandatory minimum of 10 years.

In June, the convicting jury recommended 12 years.

More to come.

———-

Christopher Ausman’s friends and family broke into tears as the man convicted of killing their friend, son and father faced them and expressed his regret in a Kelowna courtroom this morning.

“I just want to say I’m very, very sorry for everything,” said Steven Pirko. “It makes me sick how sad that little girl is and how sad all of you are. I feel horrible and I always will. I’d give almost anything to take it back.”

Pirko, 27, was convicted of second-degree murder by a jury in June 2019 for the January 2014 killing of Ausman, a Cranbrook man. While a life sentence is required for a second-degree murder conviction, the sentencing hearing will determine how long Pirko will serve before he’s eligible for parole.

During Crown counsel David Grabavac’s submissions on Thursday morning, he told Justice Allan Betton a 12 to 15 year period would be fitting and in line with the 12 years recommended by the convicting jury.

Defence counsel Jordan Watt is seeking the minimum amount of time before Pirko’s parole eligibility at 10 years, calling Crown’s suggestion “unreasonable and excessive.”

“There’s not a day that goes by that he doesn’t feel regret; there’s not a day that goes by he doesn’t feel remorse,” said Watt during Thursday’s proceedings.

“Mr. Pirko is still a young and immature person, however, he is not the same person as he was five years ago and in 10 years he will not be the same person he is here in this courtroom.”

The pain felt by Ausman’s family became apparent as they shared their victim impact statements on Thursday, which moved most in the courtroom to tears.

Anne Hutton, Ausman’s mother, said she has been trying to find the words to explain her grief for the past six years and called it “every parent’s worst nightmare.”

“What is left is nothing short of a living hell,” she said. “My shattered heart will never heal.”

Ausman’s daughter, Dylynn Couttie, now 16-years-old, was just 10 years old when she lost her father.

“I will never be able to know who my father was. I can only hear about who he was,” she said. “I will never remember what his voice sounded like or how he dressed.”

Ausman’s family and friends filled up the courtroom again on Friday.

BC Supreme Court Justice Allan Betton is anticipated to give his decision later this morning.

READ MORE: Kelowna murderer responsible for installation of cameras that caught him


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

TFA celebrates Valentine’s Day with Hearts and Treats assembly

Students sang, danced, and recited poems for Valentine’s Day, The Fernie Academy way

Local girl skates her way to BC Winter Games

Thirteen-year-old Bree Chardonnens will be representing the Kootenay region at the games

Fernie Seniors Centre offers support to Angel Flight

On February 13, Jim Booth, president of the Fernie Seniors Centre and… Continue reading

Fernie novelist launches third book with a party

Matt Clarke celebrates the completion of his third self published novel, The Dark Reflection.

Winner takes home snowboard in annual Rock Paper Scissors competition

Jordan Tostevin, a visitor from the United Kingdom won this year’s competition

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read