Man pleads no contest to manslaughter

VIERA – A central Florida man has pleaded no contest to manslaughter for killing another man in a fight.

As part of a deal with Brevard County prosecutors, 44-year-old Jesus Lara entered his plea last week. He had been schedule to stand trial for second-degree murder.

Lara will likely be sentenced to 15 years at an April hearing. Lara was charged in the slaying of Joel Cruz in January 2010. Police responded to a fight in Melbourne, where they found Cruz lying in the street. Cruz was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Lara, who is an immigrant from Honduras, maintains his innocence. He said in court through an interpreter that he was accepting the plea because it was in his best interest.