Aston Barth admitted killing 35-year-old Jason Campbell during an argument in Barth's Ferndale Boulevard home in December of 2012.
In his statement to police detectives, Barth said he used an axe to partially decapitate the corpse, and that he wrapped the body in a blanket and trash bag before putting it in his closet.
His mother and brother found the body there on Christmas Eve.
Campbell's family, who described Barth as a close friend for more 20 years, was present for the plea and expressed relief they would not be forced to endure the retelling of the murder during a trail.
Barth will be sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison on February 26.