Second man pleads guilty to manslaughter in Breau homicide

One of three men set to face trial this fall for the 2022 murder of Justin David Breau has instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Evan Louis Tobias, 29, appeared Thursday in Saint John provincial court and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Breau's Aug. 17, 2022, homicide. He was one of six people initially charged with first-degree murder in Breau's death, four of whom have now pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

A publication ban covers all details of the hearing except for Tobias' plea and the fact that he is to be sentenced Aug. 26, Justice Kathryn Gregory said Thursday.

Charles William Shatford, 49, and Donald Robert Walker, 51, are charged with first-degree murder and will face a six-week trial starting in September. Dustin Trey Walker-Hammond, 25, was sentenced in May to two years in jail on a charge of manslaughter, while Travis Earl Boudreau, 34, and Sarah Jean Belzil, 37, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to murder and were sentenced in April to 12-month community sentences.

At the time of Breau's death, police had said that three masked individuals broke into his Charles Street apartment Aug. 17, 2022, and fatally stabbed him before fleeing on foot. Breau had previously been found not guilty of second-degree murder in the 2019 shooting death of Mark Shatford, Charles Shatford's brother.

"I am grateful that he did the right thing and pled guilty," Breau's mother Susanne Breau said in a statement following Tobias' plea.

Tobias' lawyer Gilles Lemieux declined a request for comment.

Andrew Bates, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal