State

Preliminary hearing to start in Terhune murders

A 25-year-old man charged with killing his parents this year in their Del Rio home is scheduled to be in court today for a weeklong hearing to decide whether he will face trial.

Cameron Terhune has pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder in the deaths of Ken Terhune, 65, and Diane Terhune, 56.

Terhune is believed to have shot his parents Jan. 13, two days before their bodies were found inside their Stewart Road home. The Terhunes ran a mail- order business that marketed products related to the wine industry.

In a preliminary hearing scheduled to begin today and end Friday, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Ricardo Córdova will decide whether there is enough evidence for Terhune to stand trial.

The district attorney's office said in March that it would not seek the death penalty.

Along with the murder charges, the criminal complaint alleges Terhune acted intentionally, deliberately and with premeditation. It also alleges Terhune used a firearm, causing great bodily injury or death to a person.

In a March jailhouse interview with The Bee, Terhune said he struggled with mental health problems, had daily headaches, problems with mood swings and took prescription medications to deal with the symptoms of schizophrenia.

Terhune is housed in the downtown jail on $2 million bail. He was arrested Jan. 16.

Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at mbalassone@modbee.com or 578-2337.

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