Shrubsall pleads guilty to bail jumping, awaits March sentencing

Jan 30, 2020

William Shrubsall, a Niagara Falls native who fled to Canada to avoid serving prison time for a 1996 sexual assault conviction, pleaded guilty Thursday to bail jumping in State Supreme Court.

Shrubsall, who later changed his name to Ethan MacLeod,  faces two to six years in prison when sentenced by State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch on March 26.

William Shrubsall, seen here in 2019, pleaded guilty to bail jumping Thursday in State Supreme Court in Lockport. He faces two to six years in prison when sentenced in March. He's already serving prison time for a 1996 sexual assault conviction, from which he fled to Canada to avoid incarceration.
Credit WBFO file photo

Shrubsall is better known in Western New York for killing his mother on the eve of his 1988 high school graduation. Having argued he was the victim of years of mental and physical abuse by his mother, Shrubsall was sentenced for manslaughter as a youthful offender and served only 16 months in prison.

In 1995, he was arrested and charged in a case involving a then 17-year-old girl who, prosecutors said, had been sexually abused by Shrubsall after she became drunk and passed out at a local party. He was convicted but free on $20,000 bail as a jury was set to begin deliberations. Rather than return to court, Shrubsall faked his suicide, leaving a note behind suggesting he went over Niagara Falls, and fled into Canada.

He settled in Nova Scotia, where in 1998 he was arrested and later convicted of separate violent attacks, one of them including sexual assault, on three women. He had been imprisoned indefinitely by Canadian authorities until August 2018, when he was paroled for purposes of deportation. Shrubsall was taken into custody upon his return to the United States in January 2019 and began serving the the two-and-a-third to seven year sentence handed to him in absentia for the 1996 conviction.

He originally pleaded not guilty last January to Bail Jumping in the first degree and Criminal Contempt in the second degree, and later attempted unsuccessfully to have the case dismissed.