Joshua Burgess, accused of killing his wife Shannon Madill and burying her body in front of their Calgary home has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Joshua Burgess was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of his wife Shannon Madill.

Police were originally notified about the incident as a missing person’s case, when Madill went missing on November 30, 2014 after failing to meet with her brother.

As the investigation progressed, detectives turned their attention to Burgess. A thorough search of their home, in the 1900 block of Spiller Road S.E., discovered Madill’s body buried in the backyard.

After Burgess entered his plea on Monday morning, the court heard that Madill was preparing to leave Calgary to seek work in Edmonton as their marriage was failing.

On November 27, 2014 the court heard that the couple began to argue and it soon turned to a physical altercation. Burgess eventually strangled Madill until she passed out, continuing his assault until she was dead.

Burgess hid her body in a plastic bin for a number of months until the following spring, when he buried the bin in a hole near his sidewalk.

When police arrived in July 2015 with warrants to search his phone and his car, Burgess locked himself inside the home and confessed to the killing while on the phone with officers, the court heard.

He attempted to commit suicide, but was unsuccessful and was arrested.

Burgess told police in an interview that he killed Madill to get her to 'stop talking' and chose the spot near the home to bury her because 'he didn't want her to leave'.

In a victim impact statement read at court on Monday, Madill's sister Erin  said that her heart was broken at her loss and wasn't sure if 'it will ever heal'.

The second-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence.

The Crown and defence have agreed on a term of 10 years before Burgess is eligible for parole, and the judge has agreed to that term.