WINNIPEG — Two men have pleaded guilty in the murder of a Winnipeg teenager that sent shockwaves through the community.
Jaime Adao Jr., 17, was fatally stabbed on March 3, 2019 during a home invasion.
New details in the teen’s killing were read out in court Tuesday morning as two accused admitted responsibility, sparing the boy’s family a trial.
Ronald Bruce Chubb, 31, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and Geordie Delmar James, 36, pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
Both men, who are in custody at Headingley Correctional Centre, appeared in court remotely through a video feed from the jail, which is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19.
Adao’s parents, Imelda and Jaime Adao Sr., were permitted to sit inside a small courtroom with video capabilities to observe the proceedings.
Given the size of the room and the need for video conferencing, reporters attending the courthouse were barred from entering and were instead given a conference call number to listen in on from the hallway.
An agreed statement of facts was provided to media after the hearing and read aloud in court by Crown attorney Vanessa Gama.
Court heard on the night of Adao’s homicide, video surveillance from a Maryland Street beer store at around 8:45 p.m. captured Chubb and James entering the backyard of the Adao’s McGee Street home. James forced open the door and both men went inside.
Adao, who was upstairs with his grandmother, phoned 911 to say he heard loud banging downstairs.
Court heard Winnipeg police were dispatched for a break and enter in progress.
According to the agreed statement of facts, James took a black knife, 17 ¼ inches in length, from the kitchen before going downstairs where he stole several items, putting them in a blue laundry basket.
Court heard Chubb went to the basement and asked James to go to the second floor with him. Both men went to the main floor and then Chubb, armed with ‘Deli Pro’ kitchen knife, with a 7 ¼ serrated blade, made his way to the second floor.
That’s where court heard he became involved in a struggle with Adao – the sounds of which were captured on the 911 call.
According to the agreed statement of facts, when police arrived they heard the struggle, went upstairs, and saw Chubb holding a knife.
“Police demanded Chubb drop the knife,” reads the agreed statement of facts. “After Chubb refused to drop the knife, he was shot by police.
“Chubb suffered gunshot wounds to his chest and left arm.”
Adao suffered several sharp force injuries, including a deep stab wound to his back, and died of his injuries.
Court heard James wasn’t directly involved in the struggle with Adao. Gama told Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Chief Justice Glenn Joyal, manslaughter is the appropriate offence for James because when he broke into the home with Chubb the lights were on and there was a foreseeability of bodily harm.
According to the agreed statement of facts, James, who was unaware police were in the home, ran from the scene after hearing the struggle and the sounds of gunshots.
“Still in possession of the stolen items from the basement, James exited out the front door of the residence, whereupon he observed a police cruiser parked out front,” reads the agreed statement of facts.
“Fearing that police officers were inside of the vehicle, James tossed the stolen items into the front yard, and ran back through the main floor of [the home] and exited out the back door.”
Chubb, who survived after being shot by police, was taken to hospital in critical condition and later charged.
James was arrested and charged about a month after the attack.
According to family, Adao, who was known by many as “Jimboy,” wanted to study culinary arts once finishing high school so he could take over the family-owned bakery.
The 17-year-old was in his senior year at Tec Voc High School when he was murdered.
Outside court Tuesday, Adao’s parents, who have previously spoken about their son many times, made no comment about the guilty pleas.
It’s expected they may have more to say when Chubb and James are sentenced. That’s scheduled to happen on Jan. 15, 2021.
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