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William Danielson Pleads Guilty to Second Degree Murder

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Jurors were surprised Wednesday morning to find William Danielson waived his right to a trial and instead plead guilty to second degree murder.

He'll face sentencing within the month. Danielson confessed to robbing and beating to death his ex-girlfriend Lucinda Knoll in front of their seven-year-old son, in late December of 2013.

Her family is relieved that her son will be spared testifying in open court.

"We have temporary custody of Salvatore, he has been going to council at Catholic Charities, they've been great with him, they're giving him tools to deal with his anger," said Sheila Strobl, mother of the victim.

"They don't have to worry about appeals, the matter is resolved. He'll be sentenced next month and most importantly young Salvatore wont be involved and have to testify in this matter," said Joe McBride, Chenango County District Attorney.

Police say that the murder was motivated by a custody battle that Danielson had recently lost.

"Just speaking with family members, some of the evidence found at the victims residence and the defendant's residence had court paperwork, he had just had a family court matter not turn out in his favor," said Detective Kevin Bowell.

McBride says mounting evidence forced Danielson to plea guilty. No sentencing date has yet been chosen, but prosecutors say it will be sometime next month.

Danielson faces 20 years to life in prison. From Norwich, Alex Howard, Fox 40 HD News.