Kevin Kyne, found not guilty of mother's death, is back in jail after pool hall fight

Published Sept. 20, 2016

SEMINOLE — Kevin Kyne was once sentenced to life in prison for strangling his mother in 2010. But that conviction was overturned, and last year a second jury found him not guilty. After more than four years behind bars, he walked out a free man.

Now he's back in jail, deputies say, this time for a pool hall brawl.

The 29-year-old Kyne, who also goes by his birth name Kevin Karakash, was arrested Saturday on a charge of felony battery, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

"The community is safer now with him back behind bars," William Kyne told the Tampa Bay Times in an email about his arrested stepson.

The Kyne case spent years in the spotlight. It has been the subject of TV shows on the Discovery Channel and NBC's Dateline.

READ: Jury finds Kevin Kyne not guilty in death of his mother

Diane Kyne, 49, was found strangled in her bedroom in August 2010. The only people at the Seminole home at the time were her husband William Kyne and her son Kevin Kyne.

Both stepfather and son called 911. Both accused the other of murder.

Kevin Kyne was first arrested in 2010, but released as the investigation continued. He was arrested again in 2011 after a grand jury indicted him for first-degree murder.

In 2012, a jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to life in prison. Two years later, an appellate court granted him a new trial. Last year that second jury found him not guilty.

While Kevin Kyne has blamed his mother's death on his stepfather, the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office said they were confident they put the right Kyne on trial.

The incident took place at about 9:38 p.m. on Sept. 5, according to the arrest report. Deputies said Kevin Kyne got into an argument with a man at Softails Eatery & Pub on Seminole Boulevard. Kyne struck him with a triangle rack, according to the arrest report, and grabbed his shirt, causing it to tear. The incident was caught on video surveillance.

During his trials, prosecutors argued that his mother wanted to kick him out of the house before her death. After his release, Kevin Kyne created a GoFundMe webpage using the name Kevin Karakash to raise money to re-start his life. He said he had nothing to his name because all his property was "destroyed by (his) stepfather." So far he's raised $780 of his $5,000 goal.

"I never would have thought my mother (MY BEST FRIEND) would have left my life at such a young age let alone be murdered ...," Kevin Kyne wrote on the GoFundMe page. "On top of all that, I would have NEVER thought I would be framed for her murder and have my life turned completely upside down!"

Kyne was being held in the Pinellas County jail on Tuesday in lieu of $2,500 bail.

William Kyne said he's writing a book about his wife's death.

Contact Sara DiNatale at or (813) 226-3400. Follow @sara_dinatale.