Man claims self-defense in girlfriend's stabbing death; family holds fundraiser for her 4 children

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Hours before defendant John James McQueen stood before a judge on murder charges, he was already claiming self-defense in the death of his girlfriend.

In new court documents, McQueen told detectives the victim, Kelaina Adkins attacked him first and he was simply trying to save his own life.

McQueen says the two were arguing because Adkins wanted him to remove an old tattoo of his ex-wife.

The argument got heated and quickly turned physical.

McQueen explained, "She was coming at me with a knife. I went into defense mode. I took it from her and I used it."

Prosecutors say he slit Adkins' throat. The young mother of four died from her injuries.

McQueen went told investigators, "She was trying to make my life a living hell."

In court Tuesday, McQueen was hoping to be released on bond but his public defender, Jamie Kane asked for more time to prepare for the hearing.

"It does not prejudice the state to have to this off for five days. It’s perfectly within the rules to allow a continuance," argued Kane.

Prosecutor Ron Gale fought it.

"We have a deceased victim, we have a confession by the defendant,” Gale pointed out.

However, the Hillsborough Circuit Judge Frances Perrone agreed with the defense and McQueen will get his chance at bond on Friday.

Meanwhile, Kelania Atkins' family and friends are planning a pancake breakfast fundraiser Sunday, to raise money for her four children. It will be held at the Kindercare Temple Terrace, 11501 N 53rd Street, Temple Terrace, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.