Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Son charged in his mother's murder in Seminole

It's been five months since deputies found Diane Kyne strangled in her bedroom. There were only two people at her Seminole home with her at the time: husband Bill Kyne and son Kevin Kyne.

Both men called 911 that day. Each man accused the other of killing the 49-year-old. Her son was arrested in her death, but, in an unusual twist, he was released from jail as the investigation progressed. Authorities said they were still investigating which Kyne was responsible for the killing.

On Thursday, Kevin Kyne testified before a grand jury looking into Diane Kyne's death. Afterward, the grand jurors voted to indict him on a charge of first-degree murder.

Kevin Kyne, 23, was arrested Thursday afternoon as he waited for a ride outside the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center, deputies said. He was booked into the county jail next door, where he was being held without bond.

"I'm just absolutely thrilled that they're finally taking a look at the facts of the case," said Bill Kyne, "and getting my wife's murderer off the streets."

Court records show that Diane Kyne was about to throw her son out of their Seminole home. The son was abusive toward his mother, according to Bill Kyne, and couldn't be reasoned with. The only way Diane Kyne could communicate with her own son was by using e-mail, he said. Detectives subpoenaed those e-mails.

"You'd better figure out a better way of life for yourself," she e-mailed him Aug. 12, three days before her death. "I'm not going to have you or anyone (for) that matter slamming doors and throwing your weight around under my roof ever again."

Kevin Kyne was first arrested on Aug. 15 in his mother's death but was released from jail on his own recognizance on Sept. 2. Authorities let him go while they took a closer look at both men in the house.

Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett said the case against Kevin Kyne strengthened when investigators recently obtained DNA evidence linking him to the victim. He declined to say what that evidence was.

"There's been a lot of finger-pointing in different directions," Bartlett said. "But there were certain items of evidence that pointed in the direction of (Kevin) Kyne."

Grand jury proceedings are secret, so whatever Kevin Kyne told them is not public record. They're also usually dominated by the state presenting its case. But someone who is the subject of a grand jury proceeding has the option of testifying before the panel.

"Evidently, his story's been falling apart, from what I understand," said Bill Kyne, who did not testify for the grand jury.

Bill Kyne's former wife died in the same home in 2000. Krista Kyne, 44, was found dead in the home's swimming pool, but foul play was not suspected. He then married Diane Pamela Morton in 2002.

Bill Kyne also helped raise her son. He said he wrestles with which penalty his stepson should face. First-degree murder has only two possible sentences: life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

"For the past 10 years, I raised him as my own son," he said. "But he took away my life partner. I've got those feelings as well."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at or (727) 893-8472.

Son charged in his mother's murder in Seminole 01/20/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 21, 2011 7:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pence breaks tie, Senate takes up health bill


    The Senate has voted to move ahead on health care legislation aimed at dismantling the Obama health law.

    Vice President Mike Pence (R) and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus arrive on Capitol Hill, Tuesday in Washington, D.C. [Getty Images]
  2. Rubio helps GOP secure votes to proceed on health care debate


    WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans secured enough votes to proceed to debate on health care proposals, with Marco Rubio of Floirda joining in.

  3. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst


    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.
  4. Trump's political speech to Scouts inspires parental outrage


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's fiery speech at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia has infuriated parents and former scouts.

    President Donald Trump waves to the crowd of scouts at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit in Glen Jean,W. Va., Monday. [AP Photo/Steve Helber]
  5. Florida woman says she buried puppy in park because she couldn't afford cremation

    Public Safety

    When Ashley Duey's 6-month-old puppy was hit by a car, she was devastated.

    It took her four hours to say goodbye.

    Ashley Duey, of Polk County, is trying to raise money to have her pet cremated. She tried burying her puppy in a park, but city officials said it was against the law. (Facebook)