BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — He’s not a “bad killer,” Steven Caldwell told police, saying he acted in self-defense when he pulled a knife after another man instigated a fight near Caldwell’s Ridgecrest home.

Derrick Demetric White simply had “bad timing” when he rushed Caldwell and ran into the knife, according to the account Caldwell gave investigators. White, 31, suffered a stab wound to his neck and died within an hour.

Prosecutors brought a charge of first-degree murder against Caldwell following the April 22, 2019 stabbing, but on Wednesday he pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter, according to court records. The murder charge was dismissed.

Caldwell, 45, is scheduled for sentencing June 23.

White suffered a wound 5 inches deep that cut an artery during the altercation in the 200 block of West Wilson Street, according to court documents.

A witness identified Caldwell’s home as the place where the suspect fled, the documents say, and when Caldwell answered the door officers noticed blood on his wrist. He claimed he had a nose bleed and denied being in a fight, reports say.

Nevertheless, when police showed him a photo of the bloody knife, Caldwell admitted it belonged to him and they would find his prints on it, the documents say.

Caldwell told police he believed White envied him because he was doing better in life. He said White hit him, knocking him onto his back, then he defended himself.