Long Beach Man Sentenced to Prison for Fatally Stabbing Friend at Lincoln Park in 2015

A Long Beach man was sentenced to 14 years in state prison today for fatally stabbing his friend during an argument in downtown Long Beach two years ago.

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A jury found Phillip Lester Vargas, 53, guilty of voluntary manslaughter and also found true a special allegation that he used a knife during the commission of the crime, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The defendant also admitted he was previously convicted of second-degree commercial burglary and forgery in 2005 and using tear gas in 2011.

Authorities said Vargas stabbed his friend, 36-year-old Kustanya Buckhalter, during a physical altercation in Lincoln Park the night of May 30, 2015.

Buckhalter was transported to a local hospital where he later died of his injuries.



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