A Moncton man has pleaded guilty to murdering Joshua Daley a year ago, entering the plea only days before he was set to stand trial over several weeks.
Jake Kristian Mischiek was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the May 21, 2020, shooting death of 27-year-old Daley in a downtown Moncton apartment.
Jury selection was set to begin May 29 for the trial scheduled to last four weeks.
However, Mischiek pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder on Friday during an appearance before Court of Queen's Bench Justice Robert Dysart.
First-degree murder is one that is planned and deliberate, while second-degree occurs without planning or doesn't meet other categories of first-degree murder.
The charge carries a minimum sentence of life in prison with no parole for 10 years, but sentences can be as long as life in prison without parole for 25 years.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Mischiek had spent the weeks leading up to May 21, 2020, using several drugs. On that day, he consumed a large amount of hydromorphone, methamphetamine and cannabis and hadn't slept for four or more days.
That evening, he was in a Sangster Street apartment with Daley, Daley's girlfriend, Daley's son and another person.
Daley and his girlfriend got into an argument, and Daley grabbed her by the throat. Later, Daley went downstairs to answer the door and Daley's girlfriend asked Mischiek for help.
Mischiek later left the apartment before returning.
Mischiek was in the kitchen with Daley and Daley's girlfriend. According to the agreed facts, he said, "don't touch her again," pulled a sawn-off .22 calibre semi-automatic rifle from a pocket and shot Daley once.
Mischiek then left the apartment.
Codiac Regional RCMP were called at 9:19 p.m. and Daley was taken to hospital with a faint pulse. He later died.
Mischiek was arrested at his home, where the firearm was found.
Daley's death occurred two months after the New Brunswick Review Board released Mischiek from the Restigouche Hospital Centre.
The board's decision says Mischiek was previously diagnosed with schizophrenia and substance use disorder, which led to him being deemed not criminally responsible for charges laid in 2017.
The decision said that every time Mischiek uses methamphetamine, he "automatically gets into trouble" and described him as a "significant threat to the public."
Mischiek is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 1.
The case was one of three murder trials set to occur in Moncton over the summer.