British Columbia

Killer of Stanley Park photographer pleads guilty to 2nd-degree murder

The man who stabbed a photographer on the Stanley Park seawall nearly three years ago has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Tyler Anthony Lagimodiere entered plea Thursday in 2017 death of Lubomir Kunik

Lubomir Kunik was an avid amateur photographer. He was found dead on the Stanley Park seawall on Feb. 1, 2017. (Viera VIKI Veidner/forevermissed.com)

The man who stabbed an amateur photographer to death on the Stanley Park seawall nearly three years ago has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Tyler Anthony Lagimodiere entered his plea during a short appearance in B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday. He was first charged with first-degree murder in the death of Lubomir Kunik, but Crown confirmed he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge.

Kunik, 61, was found dead on the seawall between Second Beach and Third Beach on Feb. 1, 2017. Lagimodiere, then 29, was arrested and charged on Jan. 8, 2018.

Investigators said Kunik and Lagimodeiere hadn't known each other and the killing was believed to be random.

Police shut down a portion of the seawall after Kunik was found dead. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Police were only able to make a connection between the two men through forensic analysis of evidence found at the scene. Lagimodiere's DNA has been on file since 2009, when he was required to submit a sample as part of his sentence in a violent home invasion, according to court documents.

"Our investigators worked diligently and used a variety of investigative tactics and resources to solve this crime," Vancouver police Supt. Mike Porteous said in a statement at the time the charge was laid in 2018.

Lubomir Kunik moved to Vancouver at a young age, according to a memorial page created shortly after his death. (Juraj Salak/forevermissed.com)

After Kunik's death, friends said they suspected the amateur photographer had been in the park the night of his death to take pictures of the night sky.

A memorial page said Kunik, known as "Lubo" or "Bobor" among friends, was born in Slovakia and moved to Vancouver at a young age.

Lagimodiere has previous criminal convictions for uttering threats to cause death or serious harm, possession of a handgun, break-and-enter and robbery. 

Sentencing on the second-degree murder charge is set for Feb. 27.

The issue during sentencing will be determining when Lagimodiere will be able to apply for parole, as second-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison with parole eligibility of between 10 and 25 years. 

With files from Bethany Lindsay

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