A teenager who stabbed his father to death in March 2015 in Troy pleaded guilty Friday to manslaughter and received a sentence that will place him on probation for at least four years while enrolled in a juvenile detention program, according to his lawyer.

As part of a plea bargain, a charge of murder against Colby Hodgdon, 17, was dismissed, said his defense attorney, John Martin of Skowhegan.

At a hearing in Belfast District Court, Hodgdon was sentenced to eight years, all suspended, and four years of probation running consecutive to a separate juvenile misdemeanor case that was closed to the public, according to Martin.

Hodgdon “does feel guilt about this thing” and is “certainly disappointed,” and he decided to accept the plea deal so he could move on, Martin said.

He said his client feared for his life when confronted by his father.

“A fight ensued between him and his father, and there were prior acts of violence between him and his father,” Martin said. “We maintained always there was a self-defense component in the case, and I think a great deal of that was taken into account in the sentence.”

Hodgdon has been held at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland since his arrest in April 2015 and will be committed to the center’s program while living there as part of probation as a juvenile.

“He’s matured a lot” since the killing, Martin said. “He’s come a long way and ultimately it was up to Colby (to accept the plea deal). He’s doing good and particularly excited about – once he’s on the committed side (at Long Creek) – about finishing schooling, getting his GED, vocational side of things.”

He was charged with stabbing his father, Steven Hodgdon, 49, to death the night of March 6, 2015, in their home on Rutland Road in Troy. Steven Hodgdon was found dead early the next morning.

In interviews with the Morning Sentinel, family members said Colby had lived with his mother in California and Lewiston, but moved in with Hodgdon a few weeks before the killing.

Colby’s brother Stevie Hodgdon and others said they didn’t know what could have led to Hodgdon’s violent death. The elder Hodgdon was remembered as a hard worker who struggled with alcohol and had a number of criminal convictions.

Colby Hodgdon was transferred to the Lewiston school district after his father’s death. He was arrested on April 1, 2015, in Lewiston and charged with murder two days later in Belfast District Court. Hodgdon did not enter a plea at the time and the case was sealed by a judge’s order.

In October, lawyers in the case were preparing for a hearing on whether the 16-year-old should be tried as an adult, and competence evaluations were ordered to determine if he was fit to stand trial. Martin said he dropped that matter after determining his client was “clearly competent enough.”

“I think the state would agree … if it went to trial as murder, it would likely come back manslaughter,” Martin said.

Assistant Attorney General Leanne Zainea, who was prosecuting the case, didn’t return calls seeking comment Friday.

Hodgdon’s mother and sister were in court Friday to watch the plea, and neither spoke, Martin said.

A condition of Hodgdon’s probation is that he not contact his father’s parents, Martin said.

“I think it’s a great resolution for Colby,” Martin said of the plea and sentence. “The juvenile code looks to rehabilitate juveniles. He is still a juvenile, and this disposition will help him greater than sticking him in prison for years.”