Suspect in Sanford double murder appears in court, family hopes to have closure

SANFORD, N.C. (WNCN) – A Sanford man accused of killing his wife and stepdaughter in July appeared before a judge in a Lee County courtroom Tuesday.

Police said Billy Jo Mclean killed his wife, Calandra Mclean, and 13-year-old stepdaughter, Tashonna Cameron in July.


Their bodies were discovered after Sanford firefighters responded to an apartment complex in response to a strong gas odor. The firefighters found smoke coming from a nearby apartment and found Mclean and Cameron.

Police said Billy Jo Mclean fled North Carolina with his 17-year-old stepson, Tobias Mclean.

After a multi-state manhunt, Mclean was found at a Royal Inn in Wildorado Texas. Tobias Mclean was also found unharmed.

Billy Jo Mclean is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the case. He had been fighting extradition from Texas.

The judge granted Mclean a court appointed attorney and told him he could face the death penalty.

Family members told WNCN Tuesday that it has been a tough couple of weeks, but they said seeing Mclean off the streets and in court will help them find closure.

“It’s been painful; a long haul for me myself. It felt like someone was pulling teeth without anesthesia,” said Sandra Steadman, Calandra Mclean’s aunt.

Steadman said that Tobias was holding up and he’s doing as well as can be expected. He’s continuing in the ROTC program at school and getting ready to graduate next year.

Mclean’s next court date is Nov. 16.

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