Close X

Long Beach Man Sentenced to Prison for Killing Friend

Posted by Fay Arfa | Apr 20, 2017 | 0 Comments

A 53-year-old man was sentenced today to 14 years in state prison for fatally stabbing his friend in 2015, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.

On March 23, a jury found Phillip Lester Vargas of Long Beach guilty of voluntary manslaughter in case NA101954.

Jurors also found true a special allegation that the defendant personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife, during the commission of the crime.

Additionally, the defendant admitted that he was previously convicted of second-degree commercial burglary and forgery in 2005 and using tear gas in 2011.

Deputy District Attorney Karen Brako, who prosecuted the case, said on May 30, 2015, Vargas and his friend, Kustanya Buckhalter, 36, got into an argument in the 100 block of Pacific Avenue in Long Beach.

During the altercation, Vargas stabbed Buckhalter, the prosecutor said.

Following the assault, the victim was taken by paramedics to the hospital for medical treatment but ultimately succumbed to his injuries.

The next day, Vargas was arrested in connection with the killing.

The case was investigated by the Long Beach Police Department.

Los Angeles County District Attorney / case NA101954 / April 19, 2017

About the Author

Fay Arfa

Fay Arfa has the distinction of being Certified as a Specialist in two separate areas of law – Criminal Law as well as Appellate Law – by the California State Bar, Board of Specialization. The National Board of Trial Advocacy has also awarded her a board Certification in Criminal Trial Advocacy. ...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Board Certifications

Contact Us Today

Fay Arfa is committed to answering your questions about Trials, Appeals, Habeas Corpus, State Crimes, Federal Crimes, and Sex Crimes law issues in California.

We offer a free telephone consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.