DAVENPORT, Fla. (WFLA) – Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a 39-year-old man who allegedly beat and stabbed three of his coworkers to death in the home they were sharing while doing work for a Lakeland Publix property.
In a news release sent Tuesday, the state attorney’s office said the killings of Kevin Lanusse, Dewlon “Dew” Donell, and Gregory Dolezal were “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel.” The state also said the murders were “committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any pretense of moral or legal justification.”
Shaun Paul Runyon was in Polk County working for J&B Electric, Inc., a Pennsylvania electric company, at Publix Supermarket’s corporate office, according to Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
On Oct. 2, at around 2 a.m., Judd said Runyon got into a fight with Lanusse who was his supervisor, and left the area. A 911 call came to the sheriff’s office around 9:45 a.m., telling them there had been a murder in unincorporated Davenport.
According to the sheriff, the murders happened after Lanusse and Runyon got into a fight when Lanusse told him he wasn’t working fast enough.
The sheriff said Runyon had returned to the home the company had been renting for its employees with a knife and a baseball bat, then went inside and stabbed and beat several people. Seven individuals were in the home at the time, according to the sheriff.
“Three others, including a child, were able to escape the home and harm,” Judd said.
“He (knew) they’re going to be in bed asleep because they’ve been working overnight,” Judd said. “He (knew) their pattern.”
Authorities say Lanusse and Donell were asleep when they were brutally beaten with the baseball bat and were hit so hard they were never conscious during the ordeal.
Dolezal fought back but was fatally stabbed, the sheriff said.
“They fought upstairs, and then Greg was able to come downstairs onto the front porch where he collapsed and died,” Judd said.
Runyon is said to have also attacked another coworker with the baseball bat, but the man, identified in a police document as Witness 1, managed to escape from his assailant. That victim also had his wife and 7-year-old daughter in his home, but they escaped unharmed.
At the time of the murders, Runyon was out on bond after being arrested in Pennsylvania on May 21 on charges of strangulation, endangering welfare of a child, terroristic threats, two counts of recklessly endangering another person, assault, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, and harassment.
Runyon faces three charges for first-degree murder and one for aggravated battery.