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Landlord Who Shot, Dismembered Tenant Sentenced to Prison

March 7, 1996

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) _ A landlord who shot and dismembered a tenant, then tried to burn some of the body parts, was sentenced Wednesday to 19 years to life in prison.

Peter Earl Burza, 42, was convicted Jan. 26 of second-degree murder in the death of Craig Kensinger.

Prosecutors said Burza became angry and killed Kensinger in October 1994 after the tenant took drugs _ something Burza had expressly forbidden his tenants to do.

Burza claimed he shot in self-defense after Kensinger, 42, gave him a ``Charles Manson-type look and it scared him,″ said Deputy District Attorney David Vaughn.

Burza was caught after employees at a service station checked a bin where Burza had just dumped something and saw a toe protruding from under a sheet. Police who approached Burza’s house that same day saw smoke coming from the chimney and could smell burning flesh, Vaughn said.

Burza had been charged with first-degree murder, but jurors convicted him on the lesser charge because they couldn’t determine whether the killing was premeditated.

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