The scene of the shooting in Hughes.

The scene of the shooting in Hughes. Photo: Karleen Minney

Kai Yuen has become the first person to plead guilty to murder in the ACT for more than 15 years.

Yuen, 28, pleaded guilty on Monday in the ACT Supreme Court to shooting dead Brendan Scott Welsh behind the Hughes shops in May 2010.

Mr Welsh, 28, was shot in the chest at close range as he was sitting in the driver’s seat of a car in Whittle Street.

Kai Yuen has pleaded guilty to the  murder of Brendan Scott Welsh. <i> Photo: ACT Policing </i>

Kai Yuen has pleaded guilty to the murder of Brendan Scott Welsh. Photo: ACT Policing

One bullet hit the frame of the driver-side door, and another shattered the windshield and struck the victim in the chest.

Yuen had previously pleaded not guilty, and switched his plea one week before he was due to stand trial in the ACT Supreme Court.

The gunman became the first person since 1997 to plead guilty to the only crime in the territory which can be penalised by a life sentence.

Brendan Scott Welsh.

Brendan Scott Welsh.

But prosecutors dropped a related conspiracy charge against Yuen.

Next week’s trial date has been abandoned and replaced. Instead, the case is listed to be mentioned on March 1.

Yuen’s sentence hearing is scheduled to be held on April 2.

Lawyers are preparing a statement of facts and pre-sentence report, and the defence has indicated that there may be a need to have a disputed facts hearing.

This happens when the prosecution and defence cannot agree on exactly what happened.

Yuen remains in custody.