1. News

Transient arrested in slaying of Largo woman

After weeks of leads, detectives linked William S. Coffin, 32, to the death when his DNA was found at the scene, police said.
Published Feb. 27, 2014

LARGO — Patricia Canon King invited her killer home, authorities said.

She met William S. Coffin III, whom police say is a transient, as he ambled through her Largo neighborhood west of Clearwater-Largo Road N earlier this month.

King, 50, invited him into her house.

Within hours, Coffin stabbed King to death inside her home at 1008 10th Ave. NW, Largo police said. Officers discovered her body about 3 a.m. on Feb. 6.

After weeks of investigating leads, detectives linked Coffin, 32, to King's slaying when his DNA was found at the scene, police said.

He was arrested Tuesday and faces a charge of first-degree murder.

According to an arrest affidavit released Wednesday, Coffin told police that he stole some of King's jewelry when she invited him into the house.

He left, but later returned and the pair hung out in her back yard.

He told detectives he had the knife then and thought about killing her, according to the affidavit.

Later, after the two had sex in the bedroom, Coffin cut King's throat twice and stabbed her several times in the neck, the affidavit states.

Coffin moved things around inside the home to make it appear a robbery had occurred and tossed evidence linking him to the killing into several trash cans, police said. Coffin also stole some of King's money before leaving the house, they said.

According to state records, Coffin has been arrested about a dozen times in Florida. Coffin was booked into the Pinellas County jail, where he remained Wednesday without bail.

Times staff researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report.


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