Clovis double murderer punished, blamed for a third death

Thursday, December 1, 2022
Clovis double murderer punished, blamed for a third death
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The British national who killed his wife and mother-in-law in Clovis six years ago is now serving a life sentence.

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- The British national who killed his wife and mother-in-law in Clovis six years ago is now serving a life sentence.

Tierney and Judy Cooper left a big impression on this community before they were killed.

Tierney's sister escaped from the house while Dave McCann killed his wife and mother-in-law.

Cortney Rider didn't live long enough to see the murderer.

Tierney Cooper spent her 37 years of life putting other people first, according to her friends and family members.

She cracked silly jokes, gave strong hugs, and wanted to help.

"I miss and think about her every day," said friend Shannon Johnson.

Tierney had recently started working at the Community Regional Medical Center burn center and she wanted to become a nurse.

But on Mother's Day weekend in 2016, Tierney's estranged husband killed her and her mother a day after she'd asked for help from Clovis police.

Her sister saw Dave McCann slash Tierney's throat and heard him tell Judy Cooper she was next.

Cortney Rider got out of the house and told police everything, but what she saw left her with PTSD and she died from aggressive cancer in 2021 at the age of 50.

"There's a known link between acute traumatic stress and cancer, and I have no doubt that witnessing the horrific deaths of her mother and sister contributed to her premature death," said Dr. Sara Edwards, a cousin to Tierney and niece to Judy.

"In my mind, I feel that Dave is part of her death, too," said Tricia Miller, also a cousin to Tierney and niece to Judy.

For his part, McCann said he's experiencing loss, grief, and sadness beyond comprehension.

He asked for forgiveness, but he didn't take responsibility.

"Most people think I deserve only hate," the double murderer said. "I would not wholly disagree if I'd carried out these actions with malice or any premeditation. This is not the case."

Evidence from the investigation proves that statement false.

McCann broke into his estranged wife's house wearing gloves, cut her throat, stabbed her mother several times, and left for the Central Coast, where he hid.

He even wrote a letter threatening to kill the rest of the family.

McCann also had a return ticket to his native England.

And he ultimately dropped an insanity plea and pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree murder, which means he admitted to malice and premeditation.

Tierney's family members and friends say McCann is a controlling, manipulative narcissist who doesn't care how his crimes affected anyone else.

"I wake up feeling like I was the one who was stabbed to death," said Tierney's friend Susanne. "What I feel like is that my heart has been ripped out and stabbed 100 times, over and over, by Dave."

McCann made his Fresno County court appearance via Zoom from Atascadero State Hospital, but he'll go directly from there to prison.

He'll serve a sentence of 52 years to life.