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Man pleads guilty to murder, sentenced for killing neighbor

Published On: Feb 01 2013 03:47:14 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 01 2013 11:13:29 PM EST

Man sentenced for shooting neighbor in dog dispute


A Berks County man who shot and killed his neighbor over a barking dog was sentenced Friday.

Bruce Muth pleaded guilty to 3rd degree murder and was ordered to serve 25 to 50 years in state prison.

Muth, 50, shot and killed Bobby Goda, 64, on the front porch of Goda's home in Laureldale on Aug. 21 because Muth was upset about Goda's barking dog.


Muth also shot a Irvin Ojea, a handyman who was working in the area, after Ojea found Goda's dog.

Muth said he would take the pain out of Ojea's arm and put it into his own body if he could. Muth said, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry every day."

But Goda's friends said they felt Muth never apologized for the murder.

"There was nothing brought up with Bobby, nothing at all," said David Kupp. "He had no remorse whatsoever with Bobby, and I think it should have been there."

"But of course, he's still here, where Bobby isn't," said Robin Adams. "Bobby's not here to live the rest of his life with us." 

Kupp and Adams now take care of Brody, Goda's dog. Muth often complained about Brody going on his side of the yard.

"It's sad over a dog," said Adams. "And he was a dog lover to begin with. The killer was. So we know he wouldn't go after the dog, but why did he have to go after Bobby?"

Muth's explanation was he was up for four days and was suicidal.

"In essence, for a man 50 years of age, it's essentially a life sentence," said District Attorney John Adams.

Goda was a fire police officer.  Kupp was his friend and partner.

"I think it was fair. That's what I think he needed to have," said Kupp.

The judge said in court he realized sentencing cannot undo Muth's actions. Goda cannot be brought back, but his friends said having Brody around is a great reminder of their friend.

"Having Brody at the house brings a part of Bobby to the house," said Adams.

Ojea told Muth in court he went to the ground after he was shot, and he thought Muth would take his own life, not that he wanted him to. Ojea said he had no words for what Muth did.