A Hay River, N.W.T., man charged with manslaughter testified at his trial in Yellowknife Monday, explaining why he punched Brent Nixon.

Nixon died Aug. 14, 2010 after falling to the ground outside the Hay River legion around closing time.

Mark Glen Larsen shook and cried as he recounted hitting Nixon. Larsen said he was smoking outside of the legion when Nixon approached the building yelling and swearing.

He testified Nixon came within an arm's length of him then shoved him twice, once on the shoulder and once in the face.

Larsen said he was scared. He told the jury he didn't want to injure Nixon, he wanted the man to get out of the way, so he could go back into the legion.

Larsen says that's when he punched Nixon in the jaw. Nixon fell and Larsen says he heard him snoring.

When someone checked Nixon's pulse and found it was weak Larsen offered to help with CPR.

He broke down as he explained that he performed artificial respiration and had to spit out Nixon's blood as he attempted to breathe into the man's mouth.

They stopped trying to resuscitate him when an ambulance arrived.

The Crown questioned whether Larsen is telling the truth.

The prosecutor showed audio and video recordings of Larsen's statements to police in the days after the incident.

On the stand Larsen admitted to lying to police initially. The accused said he was scared, worrying about his children and afraid he would get in trouble.

The trial continues Tuesday.