WALKER, Minn. (AP) -

A Walker man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for a fatal stabbing in northern Minnesota.

Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie says Sheldon James Smith, 21, was sentenced Monday.

Smith had earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder for the March 21 killing of Jason Dale Howard, 22.

An investigation found two groups had been getting into physical and verbal confrontations in the days before the stabbing. Smith stabbed Howard during a fight between the two groups.

Howard was airlifted to a Brainerd hospital, where he died.A Walker man has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for a fatal stabbing in northern Minnesota.