PORTLAND — Maine’s highest court has rejected a York man’s appeal of his 20-year sentence for the 2008 stabbing death of a longtime friend after a night of partying.

Fifty-two-year-old Richard Dalli pleaded guilty to manslaughter last year in the death of 39-year-old John Wheeler at Dalli’s house on Sept. 2, 2008. A judge sentenced Dalli to 30 years, but suspended 10 years of the sentence.

In a unanimous decision today the Maine Supreme Judicial Court affirmed Dalli’s sentence in ruling that a lower court judge acted appropriately in setting the sentence.

Dalli was originally charged with murder, and pleaded guilty to the less serious manslaughter charge a month after a jury failed to reach a verdict at his murder trial.