A 48-year-old man sentenced to 13 years in prison for kidnapping his wife at gunpoint while out on bail for beating the woman with a hammer at a South San Francisco motel is facing a life sentence for assault charges in the earlier case.
Raymond Bepland McCowan, of American Canyon, was convicted in the subsequent crime in San Francisco before San Mateo County prosecutors could try him in the Feb. 8, 2010 motel incident. In October, a jury deliberated 70 minutes before finding him guilty of felony domestic violence, assault and weapons use. He was also convicted of resisting arrest.
On Wednesday, prosecutors were set to seek 25 years to life for McCowan but he requested a new defense attorney and returns to court Jan. 11 on a motion for new trial.
Although voters changed the state’s Three Strikes law in November, McCowan still qualifies because of his violent record which includes prison time for assault with a deadly weapon and a conviction for pimping and pandering.
In the new case, McCowan and his wife of 19 years were checking out of the La Quinta Inn in South San Francisco when two employees reported seeing him hit her repeatedly with a hammer or crowbar inside their car. Police responding to the 911 call for help stopped the couple and their young son as they were driving out of the parking lot and reported McCowan was uncooperative and the woman denied being assaulted. Police reported finding two knives and a hammer in the driver’s area of the car and several circular marks matching the hammer pattern on the woman’s legs.
At the preliminary hearing the woman testified the injuries came from slipping on ice the previous night.
McCowan posted bail in the case and after, attacked his wife in San Francisco, kidnapping her at gunpoint and holding her hostage until arrested by SWAT officers.
He is currently in custody on $150,000 bail.