GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – A man who Clay County deputies say stabbed his girlfriend to death in front of her 14-year-old daughter Wednesday night before he died in a car crash while fleeing the scene had spent time in prison.
Shelly LaBine, 43, was stabbed about 6:30 p.m. in the St. Johns Landing Apartment the couple shared in Green Cove Springs. The Florida Highway Patrol said the victim's boyfriend -- 39-year-old Derrick Allen -- died a few minutes after the stabbing when he was ejected after losing control of LaBine's BMW SUV while taking a curve on Russell Road at a high rate of speed. The vehicle struck two mailboxes and a fence before overturning on some small trees in the front yard of a home.
Allen, who troopers said was not wearing a seat belt, was taken to St. Vincent's Hospital Clay County Campus, where he died.
News4Jax has learned that Allen had multiple arrests and three felony convictions, including aggravated battery (2003), armed carjacking (1997) and grand theft auto. He was released from prison in 2013. He had other convictions related to domestic violence.
The Clay County Sheriff's Office said LaBine was stabbed during a domestic dispute.
"We're not sure if it's an ongoing problem," Lt. Wayne McKinney said. "We've been told since residing here, we haven't had many issues."
According to LaBine's Facebook page, she entered a relationship with Allen in 2013, and they became engaged last summer.
James Brady, a neighbor, said he will never forget the sound of a woman's scream just a few doors away from his apartment. He said what he saw next terrified him.
"I looked out. I saw him come out the door, blood on his shirt, on his hands and on his pants," Brady said.
Brady said the man he saw was Allen. He said he watched Allen throw LaBine's SUV in reverse and then hit the brakes going out of the complex, narrowly missing other cars.
"He just had these big, piercing eyes, kind of like the color was draining from his face," Brady said.
The daughter, who deputies said witnessed the stabbing, was in CCSO custody Wednesday night while authorities worked with the Department of Children and Families to place her with her mother's parents, who live out of state.
A neighbor and friend of LaBine who called 911 after the stabbing described her as a wonderful, loving mother, and said LaBine's daughter was "her world." The woman said she was organizing a motorcycle ride to raise money for the daughter.
LaBine's co-workers at Shaft Batteries have helped friends and family set up a Go Fund Me account in her name to assist with funeral costs and the daughter's care.
"Shelly was a great employee here at Saft and will be missed by all of us," wrote Makenzie Choate of Saft human relations.