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.
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.