Crime

Man accused of Clovis killings mentally incompetent, can’t stand trial, says doctor

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.
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. sflores@fresnobee.com

A psychiatrist who examined a British national accused of killing his wife and mother-in-law in Clovis believes the defendant’s mentally incompetent and unable to stand trial.

Dr. Luis Velosa’s opinion was announced Thursday by prosecutor William Lacy during a court appearance in Fresno County Superior Court for defendant Dave Thomas McCann, 51.

However, Judge David Gottlieb hasn’t ruled yet on the doctor’s findings. Gottlieb requested a supplemental report from the examination, and McCann’s scheduled to come back to court Jan. 31.

In the meantime, McCann’s proceedings remain suspended, as they have been since October. Back then, McCann’s mental health was first brought into question by his defense attorney, Scott Baly.

Baly questioned McCann’s mental ability to assist in the defense. McCann is accused of killing his wife, Tierney Cooper-McCann, 37, and her mother, Judith Cooper, 68, on May 7, 2016, in a home McCann and his wife once shared on the 700 block of West Omaha Avenue.

Dr. Venu Gopal, the county’s chief forensic pathologist, previously testified Cooper-McCann died from a cut to her neck. Her mother died from two stab wounds to her chest that punctured her heart and lungs.

During a preliminary hearing last summer, Clovis police Detective Dayna DeJong testified McCann stated to police that he was “a monster” and that “he snapped.” The couple’s marriage had been rocky, the two had split up and they were going through financial difficulties.

McCann was arrested days after the killings at a homeless encampment in Monterey County. He faces life in prison if he’s convicted on the two charges of first degree murder.

Lacy previously stated the District Attorney’s office will not seek the death penalty against him.

McCann remains in Fresno County Jail without bail.

Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado: 559-441-6304, @cres_guez
Related stories from Fresno Bee

  Comments