Adam Christopher Awender, 38, pleaded guilty on Thursday, March 12, in Richland County District Court to a Class AA felony of murder, which carries a maximum punishment of life in prison without parole.
Awender was arrested after the Wahpeton Police Department started investigating the March 25, 2019, stabbing death of Billy Joe Phillips, who was pronounced dead at the scene with stab wounds to his leg and chest, according to court documents.
Police believe Phillips and Awender, who fled the scene, were in romantic relationships with the same woman, according to court documents. Awender admitted to stabbing Phillips but said it was an accident, the criminal complaint said.
Awender was scheduled to appear Friday, March 13, for a pretrial conference, and his trial would have started March 23.
A sentencing date has not been scheduled, and Awender will have to participate in a presentencing investigation to determine his punishment.