A Wichita man pleaded guilty Wednesday to voluntary manslaughter in a Jan. 1, 2012, stabbing death that occurred during a brawl in southwest Wichita.
Christopher A. Cervantes, 22, was scheduled to stand trial this week for second-degree murder, but he agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge after a jury had been selected in his case.
Cervantes was charged in the death of Bradley J. Wellbrock, 30, who was stabbed in the chest after intervening in a dispute between a man and woman in the 2500 block of West Wildwood, according to police reports.
“I felt outnumbered and scared,” Cervantes told District Judge Greg Waller as he entered his plea. “I pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed Mr. Wellbrock.”
Cervantes also pleaded guilty to an aggravated battery charge that was filed in connection with injuries that another man suffered in the brawl.
Defense lawyer Mark Sevart said his client pleaded guilty under a part of Kansas law that defines voluntary manslaughter as an “unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force.” He said Cervantes never intended to kill anyone.
“Its a tragic deal for everybody involved,” he said.
Cervantes will be sentenced by Waller on April 24.