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Wednesday, Oct 22, 2014

Clearwater man gets 40 years in prison for killing neighbor

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CLEARWATER — A Clearwater man pleaded guilty this morning in the July 4, 2012, shooting death of a neighbor at a mobile home park off U.S. 19.

Bruce K. Schunk, 67, was sentenced to 40 years in prison, based on the terms of a plea bargain between his attorney, Bruce Howie, and the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office.

Schunk was charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree murder as part of the deal.

Schunk shot Keith Alan Lewandowski, 46, when Lewandowski stepped in front of a gun Schunk had pointed at Lewandowski’s wife, Sandra, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

The shooting happened about 12:30 p.m. at the Riviera Estates mobile home park, at 29141 U.S. 19 N., just north of State Road 580.

There had been an ongoing feud between Schunk and some of his neighbors, including Lewandowski, according to the sheriff’s office.

Leading up to the shooting last summer, Schunk barged into Lewandowski’s home, saying he was not going to take it anymore, sheriff’’s officials said. Schunk pointed the gun at Lewandowski’s wife after she threatened to call 911 unless he left. Schunk shot and killed Lewandowski after he ran in between them, sheriff’s officials have said.

Schunk then ran home and briefly refused to come out when deputies arrived. He was extremely drunk when he surrendered, authorities said.

sthompson@tampatrib.com

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