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Wife's slaying is a grim replay for Seminole man

SEMINOLE — William Kyne was watching NASCAR on Sunday, trying to focus on the race and not the argument in the other room.

His wife, Diane Kyne, and her 23-year-old son, Kevin, had been arguing off and on for hours. The conflict centered on the fact that Kevin had changed the access code to the computer so no one else could use it.

Diane Kyne, 49, wanted him to restore the computer to normal. She also wanted her son out of the house in five weeks.

A little before 3 p.m., Kyne heard his wife say her son's name — loudly. Then the arguing stopped.

Kyne found the silence perplexing. After three or four minutes, he went to see what was happening.

When he opened the bedroom door, he saw Kevin — 6 feet tall, 220 pounds — astride his much smaller mother, who was lying on her back.

He had his hands around her throat, Kyne said. Kyne wrestled his stepson off of her, but it was too late.

Pinellas sheriff's deputies have arrested Kevin Kyne on a charge of first-degree murder. Preliminary autopsy results show she died from strangulation, sheriff's spokeswoman Marianne Pasha said.

It is the second time a wife of William Kyne's has died at his house at 8918 134th St. N. In 2000, his first wife of 23 years, Krista, was found dead in the pool. Foul play was not suspected.

Several months after his first wife died, Kyne was sitting at a Spoto's restaurant waiting for a blind date to show up. He noticed a striking blond through the window of a neighboring nail salon.

He talked his daughters, Rebecca and Anita, into getting their nails done there. He would pop over and strike up a conversation with Diane Morton, who worked at the salon.

"Finally my daughters told me, 'Dad, we're not going to be your guinea pigs anymore. You're going to have to ask her out,' " he said.

They married in 2002. Kyne, a 53-year-old real estate investor, was elated to have found love twice. "Most people don't find that once," he said. "I felt like the luckiest guy in the world."

Diane adored animals and kept two Yorkshire terriers, two Malteses and a goat named Laci — after Laci Peterson, the California woman who was murdered by her husband. After the oil spill, she brought rags to the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary.

In recent years, Diane had a business on eBay and had filled bedrooms with her merchandise.

Kevin Kyne was her only child and her biggest challenge. He legally changed his name to his stepfather's last name.

"He thought that the world owed him a living," William Kyne said. "He said that because Diane had him, she was responsible to him for the rest of his life."

Kevin had dropped out of Seminole High School, but later got a high school equivalency.

He has been arrested several times, starting at age 12, on charges that include battery, marijuana possession, resisting arrest and criminal mischief.

Kevin liked pain pills and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, his stepfather said, and could become violent — especially when taking Xanax. His mother and stepfather entered him into drug treatment, set him up in jobs and paid for his apartments.

He kept a job at a neighboring Circle K for months, but most jobs lasted just days or weeks.

Without a job, Kevin had no place to stay — except home. He was argumentative, his stepfather said, and had kicked in a bathroom door. Twice, his mother and stepfather evicted him with the help of the Sheriff's Office, most recently in 2008.

She always took him back.

"She worried he would be violent," William Kyne said. "She never thought he would be violent toward her."

After William pulled Kevin off his mother Sunday, the two men slammed through the house, wrestling with each other.

Kevin Kyne called 911 to report he was being attacked, his stepfather said. Then he fled. Kyne didn't realize his wife had been fatally injured. Without checking on her, he went to the kitchen to make his own call to 911.

By this time, rescuers had arrived. They went into the bedroom and found Diane Kyne's lifeless body. They told her husband, who was still in the kitchen, that she was gone. They urged him to spare himself the sight of his dead wife and stay out of the bedroom, which he did.

As for his stepson, Kyne said: "I thought he might hurt her. But I never in a million years thought it would come to this."

Times researcher Carolyn Edds and staff writer Andy Boyle contributed to this report. Andrew Meacham can be reached at (727) 892-2248 or ameacham@sptimes.com.

Wife's slaying is a grim replay for Seminole man 08/16/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 10:23am]
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