STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) — A divorce attorney says a California family counselor suspected by police of killing his estranged wife and two of her relatives before taking his own life had been in a contentious divorce that included a fight over a home and orchard.
Attorney Dennis Duncan told the Record of Stockton (http://bit.ly/P2C5g6) on Tuesday that divorce proceedings between suspect Colin McGrattan and his estranged wife, Jackie Arata, had been tense and focused on Arata's family ranch in nearby Linden.
Duncan represented Arata and said she inherited the property from a family trust, and McGrattan thought he had a claim to the property valued between $500,000 and $1 million.
Police say McGrattan killed Arata, her sister, Kathleen Arata, and an aunt, Chizuko Kanieshi, before taking his own life on Monday. McGrattan and Kanieshi died in a senior home.
As a counselor, McGrattan mediated arguments between squabbling couples and helped parents and their children through behavioral issues.