MAYS LANDING, N.J. (AP) -- A New Jersey man has admitted that he killed one of Britain's most eligible bachelors more than three years ago but claims it was in self-defense.

Robert Davies said Wednesday that he mistook Lavern Paul Ritch of Penarth, Wales for part of a gang of Mexicans bent on harming or killing him when he lashed out with a pocket knife, piercing Ritch's heart.

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Prosecutors say Ritch was actually intervening in a fight between Davies and a man who had punched him in the face moments earlier, thinking he was helping Davies.

Davies says Ritch ran up to him from behind and surprised him, causing him to lash out with the knife.

Ritch was a contestant on a British reality TV show and was judged to be among England's most eligible bachelors by two British publications.