HINTON, Alta. - A man accused of killing a 14-year-old teen along a walking trail in Edson, Alta., has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Ross Edward Kleman had originally pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Emily Stauffer, which happened in September of 2008.

Kleman was set to begin his trial Monday in the death of Stauffer, a pastor's daughter who sang in her church choir and loved reading books about Jesus.

The Crown says that Kleman strangled Stauffer and slashed her throat and was linked to the crime by DNA.

Two boys riding bicycles saw a man attacking a girl on the path in the northwest part of Edson on the date in question.

By the time they alerted a woman who lived nearby and emergency crews arrived, it was too late.

The court will hear victim impact statements from the young girl's family on June 9.

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