Missouri man pleads guilty to murder in 2015 attack

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (AP) - A southeast Missouri man has pleaded guilty to murder in connection with a 2015 attack.

The Southeast Missourian reports that 34-year-old William Pickard pleaded guilty in Bollinger County Circuit Court on Thursday to second-degree murder, first-degree assault and armed criminal action. The plea came after the state filed amended charges.

Authorities say Pickard killed 31-year-old Joshua Sharar in August 2015 by shooting and stabbing him.

The amended charges say Pickard also shot and stabbed Vickie Williams. Authorities say those actions were a "substantial step" toward attempting to kill her.

Pickard says he was romantically involved with Williams, who was living with Sharar.

Court documents say Pickard "thought he was being mistreated and began to have premeditated thoughts of killing Williams."

Pickard's sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 3.

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