Garden City Homicide

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) A man pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the stabbing death of a Garden City man in March 2011.

Thirty-four-year-old Fred Schmidt Jr. of Garden City had been scheduled to go to trial next week for first-degree murder in the death of Jeffrey Nichols, who was stabbed 45 times.

The Garden City Telegram reports Schmidt instead pleaded guilty to the lesser charge on Feb. 11. He is scheduled to be sentenced March 28.

Garden City police say Schmidt told them he and Nichols fought near Nichols’ home. Schmidt claimed he killed Nichols in self-defense.