Bayhead man sentenced in 2017 murder of Susan Butlin

Ernie Ross 'Junior' Duggan is led into Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Truro on September 14th, 2018. (Staff photo)

A North Shore man has been sentenced for the brutal 2017 killing of his neighbour, 58-year-old Susan Butlin.

Ernie Ross "Junior" Duggan, of Bayhead, was originally charged with first-degree murder, but, in June, pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder.

A sentence of life is automatic in a second-degree murder case, with parole eligibility between 10 and 25 years.

On Monday, the judge accepted the joint-sentencing recommendation of parole eligibility after 20 years with credit for time served. Duggan's credit for time served against his parole sentence starts from his first day of custody on September 18, 2017.

On the evening of September 17, 2017, Duggan went to Butlin's Bayhead home, knocked on the window of her door and then shot her when she came to answer.

Several hours later, police spotted Duggan just outside of Tatamagouche and a high-speed pursuit ensued, which ended in a standoff at the Lockerbie Cemetery on Sand Point Road.

Both Duggan and police fired shots during the standoff, with Duggan injured in the incident.

~ With files from CBC Nova Scotia