Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man guilty of killing mother despite attempt to blame stepfather

LARGO — Kevin Kyne was on trial for killing his mother, but that didn't stop his attorney from pointing to Kyne's stepfather during closing arguments and suggesting he was the real killer.

The two men were the only other people at their Seminole home the day Diane Kyne, 49, was strangled to death in August 2010. They both called 911 to report her death, each accusing the other.

Assistant Public Defender John Swisher suggested to jurors that William Kyne killed his wife to collect on a $500,000 insurance policy and get rid of her son, who at 23 was unemployed and living with them.

But Tuesday evening, jurors sided with prosecutors, who argued that Kevin Kyne killed his mother because he was mad that she had given him a deadline to move out.

The jury found him guilty of second-degree murder. He will be sentenced Aug. 2 and could get up to life in prison.

William Kyne said he suspected he might be accused on Tuesday, but "didn't think it would hit me as hard as it did."

He noted that the trial began last week on his wife's birthday and ended Tuesday, his 55th birthday. "We both got justice on our birthdays," he said.

His initial reaction to the verdict was one of aggravation, he said, because the jury convicted his stepson of second-degree murder instead of premeditated first-degree murder. But, after thinking about it, he said the jury might be right that Kevin "probably just snapped and wound up killing his mom."

During the trial, William Kyne testified that the day his wife was killed he and Kevin were preparing to watch NASCAR. Kevin went into his mother's bedroom, and when William later went to check on her, he saw Kevin on top of her and "it appeared that he (Kevin) was choking her because her head had turned reddish-purple."

To counter claims that William Kyne was the killer, prosecutors countered that the insurance policy had been taken out five years earlier. "Alert the press," said Assistant State Attorney William Loughery, "married couple has insurance on each other."

Loughery said the drops of Kevin Kyne's blood found on his mother's body was a key piece of evidence. Loughery also jabbed at Swisher for pointing to William Kyne in the courtroom during his closing arguments.

Outside the courtroom, William Kyne said he treated Kevin as a son, and part of the sadness he felt was losing Kevin from his life as well.

"Kevin and I were pretty close," he said. "We went to the store together, we went to (auto) races together. … I loved the guy."

William Kyne said the fact that he was accused was ridiculous.

But another father had another reaction. Karl Karakash, Kevin Kyne's biological father, said he believed the defense had proved his son's innocence.

"My kid's still innocent," he said.

Curtis Krueger can be reached at ckrueger@tamapabaay.com or (727) 893-8232.

Man guilty of killing mother despite attempt to blame stepfather 07/24/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 11:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. State Dept.: U.S. to block Americans from traveling to North Korea

    World

    The Trump administration plans to prohibit Americans from traveling to North Korea, the State Department announced Friday, citing serious risks of arrest and imprisonment in the isolated totalitarian state.

    Student Otto Warmbier, 22, died June 19 after being released from North Korea in a coma.
  2. Man dies after losing control of pickup in Dade City

    Accidents

    DADE CITY — A man died Friday after he lost control of his pickup truck through a bend in the road and collided with an oncoming car, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

  3. Teens recorded drowning man and laughed, but face no charges

    Criminal

    Authorities say a group of teens who watched, laughed and made a video as a man drowned in a retention pond can be charged with failure to report a death.

    Jamel Dunn, 31, drowned July 9 in Cocoa.
  4. After huge sinkhole opens, residents weigh future with unease

    Public Safety

    LAND O'LAKES — The wood floors creak each time Kendra Denzik dashes inside her darkened home to grab fresh clothes. She can't help but panic when they do.

    Eleven families along Ocean Pines Drive in Land O’Lakes homes are fenced in due to the massive sinkhole from last Friday on Thursday, July 20, 2017. The Doohen’s are among 11 families who had to evacuate from their homes.
  5. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]