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Montco Man Pleads Guilty To Killing Rival With Baseball Bat

(Photo provided by Montgomery County DA's office)

(Photo provided by Montgomery County DA’s office)

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A Hatboro, Pa. man has admitted in Montgomery County Court that he beat another man to death with a baseball bat earlier this year in a jealous rage over a woman.

Thomas Bellezza (above) pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and possession of an instrument of crime stemming from the February 9th incident.

Bellezza, 51, admitted that he struck 53-year-old Robert Masten of Horsham.

Montgomery County prosecutor Rebecca Strubel says she plans to seek a state sentence for Bellezza.

“While this was not intentional homicide, it was not a justifiable case of self-defense,” she said on Monday. “At some point the defendant did have an opportunity and a duty to retreat from the fight — which he didn’t.”

Strubel says Bellezza did call for help after striking Masten. He faces a maximum of 7½ to 15 years behind bars.

The defense attorney is expected to ask for a county sentence, claiming his client is remorseful over what happened that day.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060.