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16 years to life for man who killed his mom
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University of the Pacific grad Dawson McGehee, 27, of Manteca will serve 16 years to life in state prison for the Halloween night murder of his 56-year-old mother Katy in their home 15 months ago.

Manteca Police arrested Dawson McGehee driving on nearby Lathrop Road within hours after Katy’s body was discovered near the doorway with defensive knife wounds to her arms and hands and with her car keys held tightly in her grasp. The McGehees lived in their northwest corner of Manteca, east of Union Road and north of Lathrop Road.

Defense attorney Public Defender Katy Garrigan had used insanity as a defense in the case but a jury ruled against her attempt to prove that McGehee was not of sound mind when he killed his mother in October of 2011.  She said she doubted he would ever be released from prison.

He was found guilty of second-degree murder prior to the sanity hearing before a Superior Court jury in December.  He was originally charged with premeditated first-degree murder.

At his initial court appearance in Stockton on Nov. 3, 2011, he sat against a wall in the courtroom fidgeting with his fingers and hands, rolling his head and eyes backward during his arraignment. He appeared somewhat delusional as he responded to the judge with a simple yes when she asked if he understood the charges.

His father Thom and brother Justin both spoke emotionally Tuesday before Dawson was sentenced by Judge William Johnson.  The senior McGehee said his wife of more than 30 years continued to be a giver to Dawson in everything he needed.  His brother said he could not carry bitterness toward his sibling.

The judge told Dawson McGehee Monday that he would have to live with the memory of killing his mother for the rest of his life.

McGehee will be transported to DVI in Tracy for processing and then possibly to another state prison to live out his sentence.