2 men plead guilty in 2019 home-invasion killing of Jaime Adao Jr.

The family of Jaime Adao Jr. has been spared the anguish of a two-week murder trial that was scheduled to start Tuesday.

But the parents of the Winnipeg teenager, who was brutally stabbed last year, will have to wait until next year to see their son’s killers in person, and find out how long the two men will spend behind bars.

Both men charged with the Adao killing entered guilty pleas for their roles in the teen’s murder at a hearing Tuesday morning.

Ronald Bruce Chubb pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. Chubb, who was 29 when he was arrested, was the first to be charged with the teen’s murder.

His accomplice, Geordie Delmar James, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the 17-year-old’s death.

According an agreed statement of facts, Adao was killed after Chubb and James broke into the Adao family’s McGee Street home on March 3, 2019.

Chubb, whose lawyer said he was “quite intoxicated'” during the robbery, stabbed Adao in the back, neck and arms with a seven-inch kitchen knife.

Imelda and Jaime Adao Sr. leave the courthouse Tuesday after hearing the two men responsible for their son’s murder enter guilty pleas. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Court heard that video surveillance showed both men entering the family’s backyard. James forced open the back door and Adao, scared for his grandma who was sleeping, called 911 after hearing loud banging downstairs. 

James had been stealing items from the family’s basement when Chubb told him to go upstairs. Armed with the knife, a struggle ensued with Adao, which was heard by a 911 operator.

Escaped while police were in home

Police arrived and demanded Chubb drop the knife. He refused, and police shot him.

James, who stole a 17-inch knife from the kitchen, was in the living room looking for other items to steal when he heard the sound of a struggle, and then gunshots. 

The agreed statement of facts said he fled through the front door but turned back after seeing a police car. He dumped the stolen items in the front yard and ran back through the house and escaped through the back door. Police didn’t arrest him until more than a month after the murder.

The home invasion shook the city and left the tight-knit Filipino community reeling.

The Adao family is well known in the city for their business Jimel’s Bakery, which has two retail stores and sells products to grocery stores both in Manitoba and out of province. 

Adao was getting ready to graduate high school when he was killed. The teenager’s dreams included going to Red River College to become an executive chef in a hotel and learning about business.

The high school senior was given honorary high school and college diplomas after his death. His friends remembered him as a kind, talented baker and basketball player.

Chief Justice Glenn Joyal is expected to sentence the two men next January. The judge wants the men, who appeared remotely via video from jail in Headingley, to appear in person for the sentencing.