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    Deputy cleared in fatal shooting

    By Times staff writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published October 24, 2002

    PALM HARBOR -- Prosecutors on Wednesday cleared a Pinellas County sheriff's deputy of wrongdoing in the recent shooting death of a drug suspect who lunged at the deputy in a patch of woods off U.S. 19.

    State Attorney Bernie McCabe ruled that the shooting was justifiable because the deputy feared for his safety and was protecting himself.

    Deputy Kenneth Kubler shot Dustin D. Dean, 21, of New Port Richey once in the chest from about 10 feet away, killing him, after Dean ran from a cocaine arrest on the night of Sept. 24 in Palm Harbor. Dean was unarmed, but Kubler could not see that.

    When Kubler found Dean, nearby deputies reported hearing Kubler shout, "Show me your hands!" six or seven times.

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