A Port McNicoll man pleaded guilty in court today to manslaughter after he stabbed another man five times in heart, the abdomen and the chest.

Kevin James Lawrence, 41, who also goes by the name of “Snoop” was initially charged with the more serious crime of murder, but the Crown agreed to reduce the charges to manslaughter and avoid a lengthy trial.

The victim, James Pirie, 27, was stabbed during a party in Port McNicoll June 9, 2012.

Court heard the tragic event all began with celebration for the victim’s mother’s 50th birthday party. The party began with drinking at 11 a.m. – OPP attended twice because of noise complaints.

Later that night the party made its way to a back yard fire pit on Eighth Street and a fight broke out between two younger men, including Lawrence's 16-year-old son. Lawrence and Pirie joined in the brawl. Lawrence was punched and knocked to the ground then got up and quickly stabbed Pirie in the heart, chest, abdomen and back. It was over in seconds. Pirie staggered to his mother’s doorway and collapsed. He died hours later at the Midland hospital.

Police attended the scene and notice blood on Lawrence's face and hands. He had been drinking alcohol and snorting cocaine before the stabbing, court heard.

Lawrence remains out on bail and will be sentenced on April 4. He could be facing anywhere from house arrest to life in prison. The penalty for manslaughter has no minimum sentence.