Crime

Clovis double murder trial on hold: Judge rules McCann incompetent, sets drug therapy

Dave McCann, the British national accused of killing his wife and mother-in-law in Clovis, is incompetent to stand trial, a Fresno County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday.

The case against McCann remains suspended until it can be determined if the 51-year-old defendant can regain his competency to stand trial on double murder charges. McCann’s attorney Scott Baly has questioned whether his client has the mental ability to assist in his 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 near Nees and Willow avenues.

Judge David Gottlieb ordered that McCann be evaluated to determine the appropriate place for him to be housed and treated.

Gottlieb asked McCann if he would agree to take anti-psychotic and psychotropic drugs to see if the treatment helps him regain his competency. McCann, who has complained previously about his treatment in Fresno County Jail, said that he would, based on the recommendation of Dr. Luis Velosa, a psychiatrist who examined McCann.

“I do not believe that this jail is currently equipped to deal with my medical and mental health needs,” McCann said. “I would with respect, consider Dr. Velosa’s professionalism to his advice toward psychotropic medications....”

Gottlieb said he will review McCann’s progress on Feb. 22.

McCann faces life in prison if found guilty of the two charges of first degree murder. If he can not regain competency, it remains to be seen where he will be housed.

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