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The poor health of a man accused of murdering his three-year-old son and the boy’s mother more than 40 years ago may prevent him from standing trial, a court has heard.
William MacDowell, 79, allegedly killed 36-year-old Christina ‘Renee’ MacRae and her son Andrew, and the couple were last seen leaving Inverness on November 12, 1976.
In June, his attorney, Murray Macara QC, pleaded not guilty to all charges on his behalf and presented special alibi and indictment defenses.
In Paisley Superior Court on Friday, Macara said MacDowell, who was absent from court, suffers from heart failure, liver failure and lymphoma.
Causes of Death
MacDowell, of Penrith, Cumbria, changed his GP in April and his current practice “did not feel safe to express an opinion on his fitness for trial,” Macara told the court.
A medical expert was instructed to review MacDowell’s medical records over the next week to see if he is fit enough to stand trial on the charges, the defense attorney said.
Renee and Andrew MacRae missing
Renee MacRae was 36 when she was last seen (Scottish Police / PA)
Judge Lord Armstrong said: “The first and most urgent problem is clearly the aptitude of William MacDowell.
“We need to obtain the necessary information before making any decisions on other matters.”
He set a date for 9:30 a.m. M. From September 28 at Glasgow High Court for the next preliminary hearing in the case, which MacDowell was unable to attend in person.
Prosecutors allege that MacDowell assaulted his son and Ms. MacRae at a siding on the main A9 road near Dalmagarry, or elsewhere, on November 12, 1976 and caused them injuries by unknown means as a result of what which died and murdered. they.
He is also accused of attempting to thwart the ends of justice by disposing of the two bodies and their personal effects by means unknown to prosecutors.
In addition, he is accused of ditching a stroller, setting a BMW vehicle on fire and discarding a Volvo vehicle boot hatch to conceal alleged crimes and avoid detection, arrest and prosecution.