New Waterford man pleads guilty to second-degree murder in death of Sydney businessman

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Sydney financial planner and real estate developer James Matthews was killed in 2017. (Submitted - image credit)
Sydney financial planner and real estate developer James Matthews was killed in 2017. (Submitted - image credit)

A 32-year-old New Waterford man has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of James Matthews, a Sydney businessman.

In 2017, Matthews was found dead in his apartment in the Prince Street Market building he owned in downtown Sydney.

This week, Aaron Shaun Young pleaded guilty in the death of the 54-year-old financial planner and real estate developer.

According to an agreed statement of facts presented in Nova Scotia Supreme Court, while Young may not have intended to cause death, "the parties concede that the injuries inflicted by Young were such that he meant to cause ... bodily harm that Young knew was likely to cause Matthews' death, and was reckless whether or not death ensued."

According to court records, video cameras in Matthews's building show Young going in with Matthews on Sunday night, Aug. 27, 2017 and leaving alone 24 minutes later.

Matthews was found dead two days later after friends and family became concerned about his whereabouts.

James David Matthews owned the Prince Street Market and lived in a flat above the shops and businesses.
James David Matthews owned the Prince Street Market and lived in a flat above the shops and businesses.(Nic Meloney/CBC)

Matthews's blood was found throughout the apartment, suggesting a struggle.

The businessman had sustained at least 27 injuries and his throat had been cut.

Young's fingerprint was found on a glass.

He was arrested the day after the murder on a series of unrelated offences.

Young was not a suspect at the time, but a week later while on remand in jail, he was charged with second-degree murder and robbery.

In a statement to police, he admitted to killing Matthews and taking $40 from him.

In exchange for the guilty plea to second-degree murder, the robbery charge was dropped.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 26.

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