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Pasco jury convicts Michael McAdams of first-degree murder in the deaths of wife, new boyfriend

Michael McAdams, right, looks toward the jury box earlier this week. He showed little reaction Friday, but while being led away, he told three friends in the courtroom that he loves them. 

STEPHEN J. CODDINGTON | Times

Michael McAdams, right, looks toward the jury box earlier this week. He showed little reaction Friday, but while being led away, he told three friends in the courtroom that he loves them. 

DADE CITY — The verdict came quickly Friday. Michael McAdams was guilty of first-degree murder for killing his estranged wife and her boyfriend in a jealous rage.

The victims' families spoke of heartbreak and loss.

"You have shattered the lives of many," said Carol Andrews, who lost her stepson.

McAdams, 49, showed little reaction to any of it, leaving Mrs. Andrews with a question.

"Are you remorseful?" she asked across the courtroom. "I just have to know."

He didn't answer.

McAdams didn't deny killing the pair, but his attorneys argued it was a spontaneous crime of passion — a manslaughter.

He and his wife of 24 years, Lynda, had recently separated, and she had become romantically involved with William Ryan Andrews, 37, a co-worker.

In a taped interview with detectives, McAdams said he had told his wife she could see other men — just not in their house. He still loved her and hoped to one day win her back.

When he drove to the Palamino Lake Drive house they shared in Darby the night of Oct. 18, 2009, he saw an unfamiliar truck in the driveway.

When he knocked on the door, he said his wife answered the door naked. He and Andrews began arguing, McAdams said, with Andrews taunting him and insulting his manhood. McAdams said he decided to leave.

But when he looked in a window, he said he saw the couple "going at it." He walked back into the house, grabbing a gun he said was hidden near the front door, and fatally shot them both.

He left but said he couldn't sleep, so he returned to the home, cleaned up the crime scene and drove the bodies to some woods in Hernando County and buried them.

Defense attorney Dillon Vizcarra said McAdams, who had worked for years as a carpenter at Pinellas schools and had never been arrested, was a broken man faced with losing his family and his home.

"He snapped," Vizcarra said on the first day of trial, arguing for a manslaughter conviction.

But prosecutors say the fact that McAdams walked away from the situation and then returned showed an intent to kill.

Some of his claims about how the shooting unfolded didn't add up. McAdams claimed his wife was naked when he arrived, but her body was fully clothed when it was unearthed. Andrews' T-shirt had two apparent bullet holes in the back.

Lynda and Michael McAdams had two daughters, now grown. Both testified in the trial about how concerned they were when they couldn't reach their mother.

McAdams played along, too, for a while, telling two Pasco detectives in the interview five days after the killings that he believed his wife was still alive.

When asked where he thought she and Andrews could be, he answered, "I know she loves St. Augustine."

Circuit Judge Susan Gardner sentenced McAdams to two consecutive life terms with no possibility of parole.

As he was led away, he told three friends in the courtroom that he loves them, his only words throughout the trial.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at moorhead@sptimes.com or on Twitter at mmoorheadtimes.

Pasco jury convicts Michael McAdams of first-degree murder in the deaths of wife, new boyfriend 06/17/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 17, 2011 8:47pm]
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