Crime

Criminal proceedings suspended against Clovis man accused of double murder

Clovis double murder suspect Dave McCann appears in court

Suspected killer Dave McCann made his first court appearance on Friday, May 13, 2016. McCann is being held on two counts of murder with a special circumstance for having committed multiple murders; he is accused of the May 7, 2016, stabbing deaths
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Suspected killer Dave McCann made his first court appearance on Friday, May 13, 2016. McCann is being held on two counts of murder with a special circumstance for having committed multiple murders; he is accused of the May 7, 2016, stabbing deaths

Criminal proceedings have been suspended against Dave Thomas McCann, who is accused of breaking into his estranged wife’s home near Buchanan High School in Clovis and fatally stabbing her and her mother in May 2016.

At a hearing Thursday in Fresno Superior Court, defense lawyer Scott Baly called into question McCann’s mental ability to assist in the defense to the murder charges.

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Dave McCann, right, appears for his arraignment which was postponed with public defense attorney, Scott Baly, on Friday, May 13, 2016, in Fresno County Superior Court in Fresno. McCann is being held on two counts of murder with a special circumstance in the stabbing deaths of his estranged wife and mother-in-law in Clovis days earlier. BEE FILE ART sflores@fresnobee.com

Judge David Gottlieb suspended court proceedings and ordered Dr. Luis Velosa, a psychiatrist, to examine McCann in the Fresno County Jail, where he is being held without bail.

McCann, 51 and a British citizen, is charged with killing his estranged wife, Tierney Cooper-McCann, 37, and her mother, Judith Cooper, 68, of Paso Robles on May 7, 2016, in a home that McCann and his wife once shared on the 700 block of West Omaha Avenue.

His competency was called into question on the same day he was to be arraigned on two counts of murder.

At the hearing, prosecutor William Lacy also announced that the district attorney’s office would not be seeking the death penalty against McCann. He still faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

At McCann’s preliminary hearing in July, Clovis police detective Dayna DeJong testified that McCann told her: “I’m a monster.” DeJong also said McCann told her that his estranged wife and mother-in-law had verbally abused him during the marriage.

“He said he snapped,” DeJong testified.

But McCann also said the two victims did not deserve to die, the detective said.

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