A state appeals court panel Wednesday upheld a Long Beach man’s conviction for fatally stabbing an acquaintance with whom he had been arguing in May 2015.

The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that the trial court had erred in failing to instruct jurors in Phillip Lester Vargas’ trial on the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Vargas was convicted in March 2017 of voluntary manslaughter and a knife use allegation for the May 30, 2015, killing of Kustanya Buckhalter during a dispute in the 100 block of Pacific Avenue in Long Beach.

The 36-year-old man died of a stab wound to the chest, authorities said.

Vargas was arrested a day later by Long Beach police.

The two men—who lived among Long Beach’s homeless population and would frequently meet on the streets or in Lincoln Park with other homeless people to talk and drink beer—had argued that morning, and resumed their argument after encountering each other at the park that evening, the appellate court panel noted in its 16-page ruling.

“At some point Vargas threw a beer bottle at Buckhalter at close range. The bottle hit Buckhalter in the face, cutting him and causing him to bleed. Vargas then stabbed Buckhalter in the chest with a knife, kicked him in the stomach and pepper sprayed him. Vargas fled from the scene and did not seek help for Buckhalter,” the justices wrote.

Vargas testified during the trial that he did not intend to kill Buckhalter and simply wanted to immobilize him so he could get away, according to the ruling.

Vargas—who admitted that he had served two prior prison terms—was sentenced in April 2017 to 14 years in state prison.