ELYRIA — A Lorain man who was shot at a gas station on New Year’s Day has been sentenced to four years in prison for his involvement in what police have described as a gun battle earlier that night.
Damien Bell, 26, pleaded guilty to attempted felonious assault and weapons charges last month as part of a plea agreement in which prosecutors agreed to drop murder and other charges in connection with the death of Herman Seagers.
Seagers, who wasn’t involved in the dispute between Bell and Desmen Noble, was shot and killed when Noble opened fire at Liberty Gas on Broadway in Lorain.
Bell and two other men, Alan Tate and Tallis Moore, also were hit, but survived their injuries.
Lorain police have said the incident began about 20 minutes before the gas station shooting when Bell and Noble had a confrontation in the parking lot at the Cotton Club in Lorain.
A surveillance video at the gas station later showed Noble getting out of a rented Chevy Malibu and opening fire at a crowd of people.
Noble is serving a prison sentence of 18 years to life after pleading guilty to murder and other charges at an October court appearance.
Bell didn’t comment during his appearance Monday before Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Raymond Ewers, but after the hearing, defense attorney Kenneth Lieux said his client was armed on New Year’s Day because Noble was hunting him.
“Our position all along was he was a victim of Desmen Noble’s shooting,” he said.
Prosecutors originally charged Bell with murder because he was involved in the altercation that led to Seagers’ death. But Lieux said the plea agreement made sense because it was Noble, not Bell, who was responsible for the killing.