William C. Shrubsall  (John Hickey/News file photo) William C. Shrubsall (John Hickey/News file photo)

William C. Shrubsall, who fled to Canada while being tried in a sexual abuse case in 1996, pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to first-degree felony bail jumping and misdemeanor criminal contempt. His trial was scheduled to begin March 30.

He admitted his crimes before State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr.

Shrubsall, a Niagara Falls native who killed his mother with a baseball bat in 1988 but received youthful offender status on appeal, was convicted of assaulting several women in Canada and was held in prison there from 1998 until January 2019, when he was deported back to the United States.

Shrubsall – who while in Canada changed his name to Ethan Simon Templar MacLeod – is now serving a 2 1/3-to-7-year sentence for the sexual abuse charge of which he was convicted in absentia in 1996. The bail-jumping conviction could have doubled that sentence.

But Kloch said he would cap the sentence to two to six years in prison.

"I do wish to provide for a resolution of this dated matter and avoid the expense of trial," Kloch said.

Shrubsall will be sentenced March 26.