Calgary husband pleads guilty to killing wife, burying her body in backyard

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Meeshika Sharma
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Joshua Burgess,31 a Calgary man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing his wife because he wanted her to "stop talking" before hiding her body outside the home they shared.

Burgess pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Monday on what was supposed to be the first day of his trial in Calgary.Comedian and aspiring actress Shannon Madill, who was 25, was reported missing Dec. 1, 2014, after failing to show up for a family event.

Crown prosecutor Susan Pepper told court the couple had dated for four years before getting married, but it wasn't long before the marriage was in trouble.

She said Madill and Burgess were separated and dating other people in November 2014 and Madill was packing up her belongings for a "dream job" in Edmonton.

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Pepper said Burgess came in after midnight on Nov. 27 and the two started talkingBut it wasn't long before the pair were arguing.

Pepper read from an agreed statement of facts,"Shannon said things to the accused that night that he did not want to hear. She told him that she regretted marrying him and she did not need him."

"In an attempt to get her to stop talking, the accused put his hand over Shannon's mouth. This did not work and she bit him. The accused then got on top of Shannon and strangled her with both of his hands so that she could not speak or scream."

Court heard Burgess put Madill's body into a plastic container and moved it to the patio of their home where it remained until spring. That's when he buried her in the front yard and covered the spot with dirt, branches and cement slabs.

He admitted what he had done when officers arrived on July 2, 2015, with a search warrant for the home.He said, "I killed Shannon."

Burgess read an apology to the family members prior to his sentencing for the "anguish and pain" that he had caused.

Justice Patrick Sullivan accepted a joint recommendation from the Crown and defence that Burgess be eligible for parole after 10 years.

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