A young Nova Scotia man charged in a stabbing that left another man paralyzed has pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

Shane Edward Matheson entered the guilty plea in Pictou provincial court Thursday morning.

The 19-year-old Trenton man was arrested following an attack in downtown New Glasgow in the early morning hours of Oct. 12.

The stabbing left the 27-year-old victim, Scott Jones, paralyzed from the waist down.

In addition to attempted murder, Matheson was initially charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and possession of a dangerous weapon. Those charges have been withdrawn.

Members of Jones' family have said they believe he was targeted because he is gay, but police have said there is no evidence to support that claim.

Hate crime charges were not filed in the case.

“I’m not going to comment on what the facts are because we haven’t submitted the facts to the court so I prefer not to comment on that,” says Crown attorney Jody McNeill.

Friends of Jones and community residents say they are pleased to see a guilty plea in the case so a trial can be avoided.

“I think we’re trying to move forward, look forward, and we don’t really want to sort of, reflect back too much more than we need to,” says Stephanie Cooper.

“It’s good to not see it be a drawn-out process that will take time and resources and it’s good to see the justice system working the way we like to see it working,” says Meghan Breen.

“I think that avoids some unnecessary pain perhaps for both families,” says Wendy Snell.

Matheson is due in court for sentencing on June 12.

The Crown and defence plan to file a joint recommendation for sentencing. The maximum sentence for attempted murder is life in prison.

McNeill says he’s not certain whether Jones will be in court when Matheson is sentenced.

“That’s going to be up to him. He certainly has that option to review his victim impact statement in court if he wishes to do so,” says McNeill.

“Apart from reading a victim impact statement in court aloud, I don’t expect he’ll make any other comment.”

With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh