BANGOR — A man police describe as a transient has been acquitted of a manslaughter charge in the fatal stabbing of another man in Bangor.

A judge on Monday cleared 42-year-old Jason Trickett of the May 2102 stabbing death of Andy Smith during an altercation.

The judge said the unreliability of witnesses and inconsistencies in some of their testimony made it difficult to determine what truly happened.

Trickett’s defense team said it was a case of self-defense after Trickett came to the defense of two women with whom Smith was arguing.

WABI-TV reports that the judge said “Smith was about to use unlawful deadly force” and Trickett had “no opportunity to retreat.”

Trickett’s lawyer said his client was remorseful.

Smith’s family left the court in tears and had no comment.