Central Valley

DA won't seek execution for Modesto man accused of killing parents

The Stanislaus County district attorney’s office won’t seek the death penalty in a murder case involving a young man who is suspected of shooting his parents to death in their Del Rio home, a prosecutor said this morning.

With the death penalty off the table, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Ricardo Córdova set bail for Cameron Richard Terhune at $2 million. Terhune, 24, of Modesto, had been held without bail since his arrest Jan. 16.

"Based on the review of the reports, and discussions with the family, the people are, at this time, waiving the death penalty," said Deputy District Attorney Richard Mury.

Terhune has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder in the deaths of Ken Terhune, 65, and Diane Terhune, 56. The Terhunes ran a mail-order business that marketed products related to the wine industry.

In a jailhouse interview this week, Cameron Terhune told The Bee that he struggled with mental health issues, had daily headaches, problems with mood swings and took prescription medications to deal with the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Cameron Terhune waived his right to a speedy trial; he returns to court May 29.

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