The trial of Steven Randy Pirko, who has been charged with second-degree murder in the 2014 death of Christopher Ausman, continued at B.C. Supreme Court in Kelowna Wednesday.
The jury for the trial was asked to leave the court several times due to evidence that had to be presented during a voir dire.
Evidence used voir dire isn’t yet admissible in court.
Kelowna RCMP officer Cpl. Stuart Smith was called to the testify following one of the voir dires as he had been on the Serious Crime Unit at the time of Ausman’s death.
Smith described the early morning events of Jan. 25, 2014, when he received a call from another Kelowna RCMP officer that the body of a man had been found and they would be working on what appeared to be a homicide.
Crown David Grabavac asked Smith to review several exhibits. After reviewing the exhibits, Smith described them to the courtroom as a series of photographs — of Highway 33 near the scene, and of a tent and tarp, white dots of snow and a forensic identification placard from within the scene.
Grabavac then showed an forensic identification continuation document with a list of exhibits catalogued from the scene.
Pirko’s defence lawyer Jordan Watt took issue with the introduction of the continuation document to the trial and the jurors left the room for voir dire discussion about its admissibility.
Justice Allan Betton presided over all proceedings.
Ausman was found dead in Rutland in January 2014 and Pirko was charged with second-degree murder in November 2016, nearly three years after Ausman’s body was found on the sidewalk along Highway 33.
The trial began on April 29, 2019 and is set to last eight weeks.