On Thursday, 20-year-old Dakota Hilliard John Knife entered a guilty plea to manslaughter, down from the initial charge of first-degree murder for the shooting death of Tyrone Jacob Knife.

Tyrone, 21, was found fatally wounded on a trail on the reserve in September of last year and died before STARS air ambulance could assist.

Tyrone and Dakota were cousins and alcohol was a factor in this case, said Crown prosecutor Frank Atkinson.

The Crown and defense reached the plea deal because there wasn’t a likelihood of conviction on the original charge of first-degree murder, Atkinson said.

Intent to kill is what separates murder from manslaughter, and she said that would be difficult to prove in court.

Also, some family members did not want to testify, Atkinson said.

A pre-sentence report is being prepared, and sentencing is set for mid-November.