A 28-year-old Long Beach man was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years and 6 months in prison for fatally stabbing a 33-year-old man in Belmont Shore nearly two years ago.

Sergio Alvarez was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter last year after jurors decided his actions in the slaying of 33-year-old Gavin Clason on the night of March 6, 2022, did not meet the criteria to convict him of second-degree murder. Jurors also found Alvarez guilty of petty theft and attempting to dissuade a witness. They also found true the allegation that Alvarez used a deadly weapon during the commission of the crime.

Authorities previously said that Alvarez, then 26, stabbed Clason in the chest following an interaction between the two men in the 3900 block of East Ocean Boulevard. Clason died at the scene.

Alvarez, who was 26 at the time of the stabbing, was taken into custody the following day in the area of 10th Street and Gardenia Avenue. He has remained jailed in lieu of $2.1 million bail ever since.

At trial in June, prosecutors admitted Clason first approached Alvarez that night but argued that Alvarez “went overboard” when he stabbed Clason.

“There was no danger to (Alvarez) at the time he chased Gavin down and stabbed him in the street,” Deputy District Attorney Jacqueline Mac told jurors.

Mac added that Alvarez went on to tell a fast food worker not to tell police what happened and then went home to shave his head to cover up his tracks.

But Alvarez’s attorney Joe Gibbons, said Alvarez was simply protecting himself when he attacked Clason, who had confronted him and was acting erratically.

Gibbons argued that Alvarez acted in self-defense, as Clason was the aggressor and was much larger in stature than Alvarez.

“I submit to you he acted in a very, very reasonable way given the circumstances,” Gibbons said during the trial, urging jurors to acquit Alvarez of murder and to consider the lesser crimes of voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.