'She was going to make my life a living hell,' Brandon man accused of killing girlfriend tells deputies

John McQueen described in detail how and why he killed 25-year-old Kelaina Adkins, the mother of one of his children, in their apartment on Tuesday, an arrest report shows.
Published May 24

BRANDON — John McQueen told police he slit his girlfriend's throat because he knew she'd make him miserable if he didn't.

There were lots of ways Kelaina "Keke" Adkins made him miserable, McQueen told Hillsborough County Sheriff's detectives hours later. She could keep him from the daughter they shared, make him pay child support and bother his next girlfriend.

"She was going to make my life a living hell," McQueen, 26, told investigators. "I felt like she was never going to leave me alone, so I made sure that she would."

The new details in the events that led to McQueen's arrest in the murder of the 25-year-old mother of four are included in an arrest report released this week.

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McQueen and Adkins lived together in the Charleston Landings apartment complex. They began to argue Tuesday morning, McQueen told detectives. He said Adkins was angry that he hadn't removed a tattoo of his wife's name.

McQueen said he tried to leave, but Adkins attacked him with a knife in the bedroom. He was able to push Adkins down onto the bed and take the knife, but she got up and wanted to fight, he said. He pinned Adkins down on the bed again and told her he'd kill her if he kept bothering her, the report says. Adkins was lying on her back as McQueen began to strangle her with his hands.

The knife was on the bed at that point, and McQueen acknowledged that Adkins was no longer an imminent threat to him, the report says.

When Adkins tried to scream, he squeezed harder. The expression on her face changed from "aggressive" to "scared" and she began to cry, he said.

When Adkins went limp, McQueen rolled her over on her stomach. She began to cough, and he told detectives he thought that if she lived, she would be able to talk about what had happened, the report says.

"If she doesn't, she won't be able to say nothing," he told detectives.

McQueen said he lifted her head up by her forehead and cut her throat, twice, the report says. Afterward, McQueen called his wife and confessed to what he'd done, the report says.

The wife, who is not named in the report, told investigators McQueen called her about 10:40 a.m. and asked to meet him at the 7-11 near Hillsborough Avenue and North 50th Street.

As they drove west, McQueen told her he should be on the show Snapped, a true-crime documentary series on Oxygen that chronicles murder cases, "because he snapped," the report says. The wife dropped McQueen off at an unspecified location and called 911.

Deputies went to the Charleston Landings apartment about 1 p.m. and found Adkins’ body. Tampa police officers detained McQueen about half an hour later at a gas station in the 6200 block of N 40th Street. He was charged with first-degree murder with a weapon and remained in the Hillsborough County Jail on Friday without bail.

Tuesday's violence was the final chapter in a relationship marred by violence. At the time of his arrest Tuesday, McQueen was still on probation stemming from a battery arrest in April 2018, when he struck and strangled Adkins during an argument, records show.

In addition to the 3-month-old daughter with McQueen, Adkins had two other daughters, 6 and 5, and a 2-year-old son. All four were at day care at the time of the murder.

Contact Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.

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