Sarnia man pleads guilty to killing friend after a fight over drugs

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Matthew Gerard Theriault admitted to killing his friend in a drug and alcohol fueled fight.

The Sarnia man plead guilty to manslaughter Friday in the killing of Jesse Mowat-Caudle in April 2019.

The 32 year-old had been charged with second-degree murder.

Several family members of the victim were in court to watch the 15 minute guilty plea.

Theriault spoke only to answer questions from Justice Bruce Thomas, including whether he understood the charge and was willing to give up his right to a trial with the guilty plea.

The court heard there was an argument between Theriault and Mowat-Caudle over the purchase of weed at a Maxwell St. home earlier in the day. After drinking and smoking together Mowat-Caudle went outside to cool down and Theriault followed with a knife.

Theriault stabbed Mowat-Caudle twice in the driveway, causing severe injuries. Police arrived on the scene just after 4 pm and immediately arrested Theriault.

“I didn’t mean it, he attacked me,” Theriault said at the time. However a self-defense argument was not pursued by defense lawyer David Stoesser.

Mowat-Caudle was bleeding heavily and taken to hospital in London, but succumbed to his wounds just after midnight the following day. He was just 26-years-old. Mowat-Caudle’s death was Sarnia’s first homicide in three years.

Theriault will return to Superior Court for sentencing on Jan. 12, 2021.