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Trial for 2016 parking lot death underway

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The trial for a man accused of killing a B.C. man in the parking lot of the Grande Prairie Home Hardware got started Monday. 34-year-old Nikkolas Steenhuisen of Abbotsford died from injuries he sustained in an altercation on May 14, 2016.

At the time, RCMP said Steenhuisen had come out of the store to find a stranger in his truck. The suspect ran to another pickup to try to drive off, but Steenhuisen was on its running board and got pinned when it hit a parked vehicle.

He was severely injured and passed away in an air ambulance on the way to an Edmonton hospital. The stolen pickup truck was found burned out in a rural area outside of Grande Prairie later that day, and police say evidence from the scene and witness testimony led to the arrest of Michael Ginter on May 16th.

The then-30-year-old Grande Prairie man was originally charged with second degree murder and possession of property obtained by crime exceeding $5,000. After a preliminary hearing in March 2017, the Crown is now trying him for manslaughter, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death, failing to stop at the scene of an accident involving bodily harm or death, and possession of the proceeds of crime.

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The trial at the Grande Prairie Provincial Courthouse was slated to start the morning of September 17th but was pushed back to the afternoon. It is scheduled for all week in front of a judge alone.

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