BARRIE. ON – A plea has been accepted in the second-degree murder trial of Bracebridge’s Bryan Boland murder.

Boland was in a Barrie Provincial Court today agreeing to a plea bargain after nearly a year and half of pre-trial hearings that suggested a trial would be taking place this October.

The court accepted the joint submission by Boland’s lawyer John Fitzmaurice and Crown Attorney Peter Westgate. Sentencing is being held over until June 21st after Justice Michelle Fuerst accepted Boland’s guilty plea to second-degree murder.

The guilty plea carries an automatic life sentence, but the eligibility for parole has been set at the minimum 10 years.

“It’s a sentence the defence had been seeking for a long, long time and as soon as that happened the case was resolved,” Fitzmaurice told the newsroom.

Boland, 68, was facing a first-degree murder charge in the May 26th, 2017 death of his wife Wendy. His charge was later downgraded to second-degree murder.

Fitzmaurice said a change in the charge from first to second-degree murder was the pivotal moment in no longer seeking a trial.

“The chief thing that drove the resolution, in this case, was the judgement after the preliminary inquiry,” he explained. “The judgement was given in April reducing the charge from first degree to second-degree murder. It’s a lot easier to resolve the case as a second-degree murder for a low parole in-eligibility number.”