The cross examination of lead Manteca Police detective Wayne Miller by public defender defense attorney Katy Garrigan is expected to wind up a three-day preliminary hearing today into murder charges against Dawson McGehee in the death of his mother Oct. 30.
Stockton Superior Court Judge Richard Mallet has been listening to evidence against the 26-year-old Mantecan to determine if there is sufficient cause to hold him for trial that would be expected to take place in late fall – a year after the murder.
A 2009 graduate of the University of the Pacific, McGehee has been charged with deliberate, premeditated murder and the personal use of a non-firearm weapon in the alleged stabbing death of his mother. He is being held in the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp without bail.
Manteca patrolman George Crowley was the first officer to respond to the family’s Golden Pond home in the Union Ranch neighborhood east of Del Webb at Woodbridge in North Manteca in October. He was one of the officers first to testify at the Stockton Courthouse hearing this week.
Two Department of Justice criminalists were also called to testify about their findings in the case.
Miller noted that the finding of Kathleen McGehee’s body by Officer Crowley was on the evening of Halloween, October 31. He clarified that she had actually been killed sometime Sunday afternoon, October 30.
Crowley had been dispatched to the Manteca home to do a welfare check. He reportedly located her lifeless body near the door to her bedroom in what was described as a grisly scene.
McGehee’s first court appearance in November of 2011, after his arrest, saw a man handcuffed in a red jail jumpsuit who appeared to be neurologically handicapped. He showed signs of twitching and shaking his head as well as rolling his eyes. The suspect was seen to be much calmer and in control of himself in court this week.
When police made a traffic stop on the suspect on Lathrop Road just hours after the discovery of his mother’s body, McGehee was reportedly wearing a leather jacket with blood stains that were matched to Kathleen McGehee’s DNA, lab technicians testified.
Kathleen McGehee attended a morning church service in Stockton on that Sunday, went grocery shopping in Manteca and talked with family members on the telephone. Police said they had based the formation of their case on the statements of witnesses and relatives.
McGehee’s husband was in China on business at the time of her murder, officers said.
The prosecutor on the case is San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Sherri Adams.