Defense Arguing Manslaughter at Pasco Murder Trial
Lynda and Michael McAdams had been married for 24 years when Michael moved out of the couple’s Pasco County home in October 2009. Lynda began dating a co-worker, William Ryan Andrews.
Prosecutors claim that, on October 18, 2009, Michael returned to the marital home and found Lynda and Andrews together. After a confrontation, authorities allege Michael shot Andrews and Lynda with a .38-caliber gun. They say he then buried the bodies in Hernando County.
Michael McAdams is on trial this week, charged with two counts of first-degree murder. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is found guilty as charged.
In opening statements, Michael’s defense attorney acknowledged that he shot his estranged wife and her friend but argued that the appropriate charge was manslaughter and not first-degree murder – because there is no evidence of premeditation.
Michael McAdams gave a detailed confession to investigators. He told them that he had gone to the house on the night of the shooting, discovered his wife there with Andrews. There was an argument and Michael decided to leave. He then saw Lynda and Andrews having sex through a window.
He told police that he then grabbed a gun from the porch and re-entered the house, shooting Andrews twice in the back and once in the back of the head. He then shot Lynda above the right eye.
Michael told police that he then drove back to his apartment but returned to the house to clean it up. He wrapped the bodies in a tarp and drove them to western Hernando County where he buried them.
On Wednesday, defense attorneys elicited testimony that an attorney, hired by Michael McAdams’ parents, was not allowed to see Michael during his interrogation. Jennifer Christensen, the second Pasco detective in the interview, testified that she determined that an attorney could not invoke another person’s right to have a lawyer present during questioning and she did not advise Michael that an attorney was there to see him.
Defense attorneys moved to have Michael McAdams’ entire confession excluded from the trial because of this but the trial judge previously decided it was admissible because he was not in custody when he made the statements.