A judge has convicted a Thunder Bay man on several charges related to the death of 66-year-old Edgar Marion, whose remains were found in his burnt car almost four years ago.
The convictions followed Leif Hobson's unexpected plea of guilty to second degree murder.
On Thursday, Superior Court heard that Hobson had asked police to come to see him in the Thunder Bay District Jail on February 13, where he gave a videotaped statement of what happened between the late evening of July 8 and the early morning of July 9, 2009.
At the time, Hobson was 19 years old and a friend of Marion.
According to an agreed statement of facts presented in court, the two were selling Marion's prescription oxycocet pills.
They got into an argument related to that arrangement in Marion's basement apartment on North Algoma Street, escalating to the point that Hobson beat Marion with his fists and a wooden knife block. The victim died from the assault.
Hobson told police he decided to clean up the apartment as much as possible, wrapped the body in a blanket and put it in Marion's car.
He also took a television, computer, cell phone, cash and other items.
Hobson then drove Marion's car to pick up a friend, who helped him get two jerry cans filled with gasoline. He returned to the apartment, set it on fire and drove to a wooded area off the Thunder Bay Expressway. There, Hobson burned the car with the victim's remains in the trunk.
Accused hopes family 'will get the closure they need'
During his statement to police in February, Hobson expressed remorse and said he wanted to tell them what happened to make everything right for the victim and his family.
On Thursday, Hobson told the judge he understood the consequences of pleading guilty to second-degree murder. He also pled guilty to three other charges related to his actions following Marion's death: offering an indignity to human remains by burning the body; stealing property; and recklessly causing damage by fire.
Hobson wrote a letter of apology to the Marion family, which was filed in court.
"I feel there are no words for what happened back in July 2009 that would adequately fit or feel sincere enough, and a simple 'I'm sorry' doesn't cut it," he wrote. "I'll live the rest of my life knowing I killed my own friend ... I hope the Marion family will get the closure they need."
Hobson will return to court to be sentenced on July 4.