American woman makes unexpected guilty plea in Halifax mall murder plot case

An American woman has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in a plot that envisioned the use of rifles and gas bombs to kill shoppers at a food court in a Halifax mall.

Lindsay Kantha Souvannarath of Geneva, Illinois, was one of three people involved in the plan to shoot shoppers at the Halifax Shopping Centre in the city's west end.

Chris Hansen, a spokeswoman for the public prosecution service, says the plea by the 25-year-old woman was unexpected and came during a routine appearance before the Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Souvannarath had plotted the attack with Randall Steven Shepherd, who made his guilty plea last November to a charge of conspiracy to commit murder.

An agreed statement of facts has said that Shepherd and Souvannarath, along with James Gamble, a 19-year-old man found dead in his Halifax-area home, had planned to attack the mall on Valentine's Day in 2015.