A Pelican Narrows man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and assault in what was initially reported as a snowmobile accident last year in northern Saskatchewan.

25-year-old Thurston Jack Thomas had been charged with second degree murder but he pleaded guilty Friday in La Ronge, Sask. to the lesser charge of manslaughter. He also pleaded guilty to assault.

Thomas received concurrent five-year prison sentences on the two convictions. That means he can serve both sentences at the same time. The court also credited Thomas one year on his sentence for time already served.

On Feb. 23, 2013, John James Ballantyne, 39, was rushed to hospital in Flin Flon, Man. Medical staff and police were told he'd been involved in a snowmobile crash while travelling to a camp west of Creighton, Sask.

He died in hospital.

A police investigation revealed Ballantyne's injuries were not consistent with a crash.

Subsequently, Thomas was charged with murder.