Monday, May 21, 2018
Public safety

Two men charged in Wesley Chapel man's murder

WESLEY CHAPEL — Two men have been charged with murder in last week's killing of 33-year-old Timothy Leigh Skowronski in Wesley Chapel.

According to Pasco sheriff's reports, two men went to Skowronski's home on Eastport Drive on Oct. 9 to rob him. Matthew Brian Tillman, 25, knocked on Skowronski's door and called out the name "Nick." When Skowronski opened the door, Tillman leveled a semiautomatic handgun at him. Skowronski grabbed for the gun, Tillman fired and Skowronski was struck in the head, the reports state.

Skowronski was put on life support and died Friday.

He had been working his way out of a rut, said his father, Scott Skowronski. Tim, as he was known to most, did odd jobs around the Elk's Lodge in Edgewater, south of New Smyrna Beach, where he lived with his father.

Since he dropped out of Mainland High School, Skowronski made a living with his hands laying carpet, doing carpentry and mechanical work. But smoking pot often kept him from being hired, his father said.

He had two daughters, 11 and 4, and was estranged from his wife, a schoolteacher living in Stuart.

He met a woman from Tampa and had come to stay with her in Wesley Chapel to help her out of an abusive relationship, the elder Skowronski said. He told his son that the woman was "bad news."

"He was a good kid," the father said. "He was being true to his heart and trying to help and it got him killed."

Skowronski sent gas money to get his son back to Edgewater the weekend before the shooting.

Tim Skowronski drove back to Wesley Chapel that Sunday night. It would be the last time they talked. Detectives called the elder Skowronski on Thursday to tell him his son had been shot.

Tillman, of 6300 Tulip Drive in Wesley Chapel, and 27-year-old Joseph James Berenguer each face a charge of first-degree murder.

Reports say Berenguer told deputies that he and Tillman went to the house to rob Skowronski. The two fled in Berenguer's Toyota Camry.

Tillman and Berenguer are being held without bail in the Land O'Lakes jail.

Most recently, Tim Skowronski was hired to help charter a commercial fishing boat, the Pastime Princess off the east coast, his favorite job of all. His family is scheduling a ceremony in coming weeks to pour his ashes off the boat.

"That was where he was the happiest," his father said. "No matter what life dealt him, he would grab his fishing pole and he was at peace with the world."

Contact Alex Orlando at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.

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