The common-law husband of a slain Morinville woman pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder in her death.

James Gary Urbaniak, 29, entered the plea in Edmonton's Court of Queen's Bench, days before his jury trial was set to start Monday.

Jessica Martel, 26, was found dead in her home on April 29, 2009 after police were called to the residence in the town 35 kilometres north of Edmonton.

Police said Urbaniak was in the home along with three children, all under the age of seven. He was taken to hospital with undisclosed injuries.

An autopsy determined her death was a homicide. Urbaniak was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in her death a week later.

Sentencing is expected to take place later this year.