Blake Lapierre has been found guilty of manslaughter and assault with a weapon and not guilty of murder or aggravated assault, following a deadly fight at a Sudbury, Ont.-area pit party. 

The jury returned its verdict in a heavily guarded courtroom on Saturday afternoon. 

Lapierre was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Justin Dagenais, following a fight in August 2012. 

Dagenais died moments after Lapierre buried a knife up to the hilt in his chest — something both the defence and Crown attorney earlier put into an agreed-upon statement of facts.

Defence lawyer Bob Beckett argued that Lapierre acted in self defence and did not intend to hurt anyone. But Crown prosecutor Leonard Kim argued Lapierre acted aggressively and used lethal force on an unarmed man. 

The victim's mother, Michelle Dagenais, said she was glad to finally see the Lapierre family suffering a bit. She said she's been bedridden with grief.

The assault charges stemmed from a confrontation with another man just before the fatal stabbing.

Jury deliberations started on Friday afternoon.


With files from Kate Rutherford