Kingsburg double murder suspect deteriorating physically, now mentally incompetent to stand trial

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Kingsburg man accused of killing his estranged wife and her mom may never get out of custody, but not because of a conviction.

A judge found Alan Dupras mentally incompetent Wednesday, meaning he'll go to a state mental hospital soon.

From his booking photo to his first court appearance days later, Alan Dupras' appearance had already changed, but only because of a black eye he got while correctional officers booked him. A year later, it's hard to see the same man.

"He's significantly different in appearance," said his defense attorney, Mark Broughton. "He exhibits certain symptoms that were very concerning. For example, he's unable to move his arms, both of them now actually. He has difficulty in remembering and understanding."

The 59-year-old denied killing Jennifer Dupras and Cynthia Houk inside Houk's home, where Jennifer moved after filing for divorce.

A collection of circumstantial evidence tied him to the crime, but he may never go to trial.

Court-appointed psychiatrist Dr. Howard Terrell says his mental condition has deteriorated to the point where he doesn't know what's happening.

Dupras had an empty look on his face Wednesday and rolled his head occasionally, but didn't converse with anyone. He needed help to stand up.

The cause of his decline is a mystery.

"He could've had a stroke that caused some mental consequences, or he could have a tumor, or he could've been injured," Broughton said. "As you know, he's had several occasions where he's had physical violence used against him."

The psychiatrist said Dupras needs a neurological exam to figure out the root cause and whether he can ever regain his mental competency.

"In my experience with the treatment that's given by the jail to their inmates, I doubt seriously they're going to do the appropriate treatment," Broughton said. "But it should be done."

Several defense attorneys told us they've had clients who never got proper treatment in the Fresno County jail.

A spokesman for the sheriff's office, which runs the jail, told us they haven't gotten a request for a neurological review on Dupras and wouldn't commit as to whether he'll get one before he leaves Fresno County custody.

A judge decided to put the case on hold and send Dupras to a state mental hospital in five weeks, which means he'll go to a mental hospital, but he won't go free.

"The public's going to be protected," said legal analyst Tony Capozzi. "He's going to be in the medical facility until he's found to be competent again, brought back, put on trial."

But for now, it's justice delayed: No new evidence revealed in court, no change of venue motion, and no trial unless his mental status improves.
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