An Elsipogtog man is facing a prison sentence after he changed his plea this week to guilty of manslaughter in the shooting death of a Saint-Ignace woman nearly three years ago.
Noel John Sock, 34, admitted he killed Erika Ann Vautour, 39, with a firearm on March 8, 2020. The plea came just as his month-long trial was set to begin in Moncton's Court of King's Bench.
Vautour was found unresponsive inside a home on Saint-Ignace Road in the eastern New Brunswick community, located about 19 kilometres north of Elsipogtog. She was transported to hospital, where she later died.
Sock was one of three people charged after her death.
On Tuesday, the Crown withdrew the other charges against Sock, which included reckless discharging of a prohibited firearm, robbery with a prohibited firearm and wearing a disguise with intent to commit an offence.
Faces minimum 4 years
Justice Richard Petrie ordered a pre-sentence report and victim impact statements. Sock remains in custody and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 16 at 9:30 a.m.
Manslaughter where a firearm is used carries a minimum sentence of four years in prison and a maximum sentence of life.
In September, Sock's co-accused Rhona Melissa Elizabeth Joseph, 47, of Elsipogtog was sentenced to four years and three months in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter with a firearm and wearing a face mask with intent to commit an indictable offence.
The Crown withdrew charges of attempting to rob Vautour while using a prohibited handgun and discharging a firearm in a reckless manner.
Joseph is prohibited from possessing firearms, crossbows, restricted weapons, ammunition or explosive substances for 10 years. The judge also sentenced her to an additional 360 days after she pleaded guilty to two unrelated charges of possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking in October 2021 and April 2022.
Co-accused Kelsey Marie Dawn Clair, 30, of Elsipogtog was sentenced last March to two years and one day in prison after pleading guilty to attempting to rob Vautour of drugs while using a prohibited handgun.
The Crown withdrew the other charges, including manslaughter using a handgun, discharging a firearm in a reckless manner, and wearing a face mask with intent to commit an indictable offence.
The judge also issued a 10-year weapons prohibition order for Clair.