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Man admits to fatally shooting nephew, sentenced to prison

Gerald Wayne Guinn. Photo provided by Oklahoma County Detention Center.
Gerald Wayne Guinn. Photo provided by Oklahoma County Detention Center.

A man who admitted fatally shooting his nephew during an argument pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Gerald Wayne Guinn, 69, was charged with first-degree murder in the Feb. 24 killing of Shane Bonitz, 44. Prosecutors agreed to amend the charge to first-degree manslaughter in exchange for a guilty plea by Guinn on Friday in Oklahoma County District Judge Timothy R. Henderson's courtroom.

" ... I shot and killed Shane Bonitz in the heat of passion," Guinn wrote in court paperwork obtained by The Oklahoman.

The defendant will be on probation for the rest of his life under the arrangement with prosecutors.

Guinn, also known as Larry Gene Bonitz, told Oklahoma City police he shot his nephew in self-defense while the victim was attempting to illegally enter his home, according to a court affidavit. Police found Shane Bonitz dead in Guinn’s driveway in the 3500 block of S Western Ave.

However, evidence at the scene didn’t support Guinn’s claim of self-defense, detectives said.A search warrant of his home uncovered numerous firearms, though Guinn had a felony conviction. Officers took him into custody after the shooting on a complaint of felon in possession of a firearm.

Tim Willert

Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers K-12 education, including Oklahoma City Public Schools and the state Education Department. Before that he covered district, federal and appellate courts in Oklahoma County. Prior... Read more ›

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