A construction worker has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, admitting he strangled actress Adrienne Shelly while trying to rob her in her Lower Manhattan apartment and then hanged her to make the death look like a suicide.

Diego Pillco, an illegal immigrant from Ecuador, admitted Thursday that he killed Shelly in her Greenwich Village apartment in November 2006. He will receive 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on March 6.

Pillco said Shelly had threatened to call police after she caught him stealing money from her purse.

Shelly appeared in the movies "The Unbelievable Truth" in 1989 and "Trust" in 1990. She wrote, directed and co-starred in "Waitress," which also featured Keri Russell.