ALLENTOWN — Amos Muir says he was leaving the Club Horizon in Allentown around 2 a.m. when a man he never met before began yelling aggressively in his direction.
The screaming man, Teddy Bell, had just been escorted out of the club on Airport Road after tussling with someone inside and was standing with a security guard when he saw Muir leaving. Bell believed he had been fighting with Muir, who had dreadlocks and was wearing a white tank top.
“That’s that (expletive) right there,” authorities say Bell yelled out. Bell then directed his friends to go toward the car Muir was getting into. Bell and his friends began banging on the car and Bell tried to punch out the window Muir was sitting by.
That’s when Muir, 39, of Wilkes-Barre, made the decision that changed so many lives. He pulled out a .45-caliber gun and blasted the 33-year-old Bell in the torso, killing him, and struck one of Bell’s friends, Gregory Fluker of Bethlehem. Fluker, 35, was shot in the shoulder and survived.
On Monday, shackled at the wrists and ankles during a hearing in Lehigh County Court, Muir admitted to the shooting but insisted he did so only to save his own life.
He pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter under “imperfect self defense,” meaning he fired the gun on April 15, 2012, under an unreasonable belief he had to in order to avoid serious injury or death. Senior Deputy District Attorney Tonya Tharp said Bell was unarmed.
Muir also pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment for shooting Fluker.
Under Muir’s deal, he’ll serve five to 10 years in prison. He’s scheduled to be sentenced next month by Judge James T. Anthony.
Muir had been scheduled to stand trial this week on homicide and other charges. If a jury convicted him of first-degree murder, he would have spent the rest of his life in prison.
Muir insisted he wasn’t the man who had battled with Bell inside the club.
“I didn’t have any altercation with Mr. Bell. I didn’t have an altercation with anybody. I assume he was mistaking me for somebody else. I believed these guys were going to hurt me and I didn’t even know these guys.”
Muir’s attorney, Robert Goldman, said he could have proven at trial that the man Bell tussled with wasn’t Muir. Authorities can’t say for sure whom Bell fought with. Goldman said five people at the club had dreadlocks and were wearing white tank tops.
Two others have served time for the shooting. Brian Francis, 31, of Wilkes-Barre, who was driving the car Muir shot from and drove from the scene, pleaded guilty in December to misdemeanor hindering apprehension. He served about a month and a half in prison.
Keith Brissett, 32, of Brooklyn, N.Y., spent about eight months in jail for felony hindering apprehension.
Brissett was a passenger in the vehicle and moved the gun to the car’s center console after the shooting, according to authorities.
Police later stopped the car on Route 22 near Route 309.