Thursday, June 30, 2011

New information in Merc News

New Information:

Joshua Melvin has published a new article in The Mercury News.

It seems that although the competency re-trial is scheduled for August 22, the DA will be deciding the week of July 18th if they intend to just accept ayres' "incompetence" claims.

As per usual, ayres' asshole defense weasel has "no comment" about the blood money he is accepting from ayres, who charged parents for the time he spent molesting their young boys. ayres may also have received money to assist in his defense from any number of dipshit sham shrinks in the area (like these incompetent, quack shrinks).

The asshole defense weasel supports his family with money that is earned via the pain of victims all over.

Good job defense weasel.

Go read the article.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Competency Mis-Trial Status Conference

[Original Post by DS: 06/29/2011 9:05AM PST]

Today's Status Conference Results:

The attorneys showed up at 8:45, disappeared into the judge's chambers for a few minutes, and then left. According to the bailiff, there is no information other than that the August 22 trial date stands, and nothing will be discussed in open court today. The bailiff apparently didn't have many other specifics.

There might be more to the story, as the court started watching this blog at 8:46AM, and has viewed the blog several times since then (seven times). Perhaps the news folks will talk to McKowan about behind-the-scenes discussion and maybe get another juicy "No Comment" quote from McDougall.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Competency Mis-Trial Hearing Wednesday

June 29th, 2011 8:45am
Status Conference after Competency Trial Mis-Trial

There will be a conference on Wednesday, June 29th at 8:45am to discuss next steps for case of william hamilton ayres, alleged psychiatrist, who molested many young boys under the guise of providing psychiatric care.

On June 17th, mistrial was declared in ayres' sham competency trial. The court has set a re-trial date for August 22, 2011, but there is a status conference on Wednesday, at which point this may change.

From discussions in court and in the paper, it seems that they may not go ahead with a re-trial for the competency portion of the case. Even if they do have a trial and determine that he is competent, there seems to be indication that there will be no criminal re-trial, and if he is found incompetent, he may get "outpatient" treatment.

At this point it's looking very much like ayres will walk, even though he's a habitual molester, and has been for many years. 

Please read the post and comments immediately below this one for discussion. There is an article in the San Mateo Daily Journal as well: Read More Here

Friday, June 24, 2011

Today's Hearing to Determine Future of Ayres case: No Decision Made Today

I don't have full details, but a parent of a victim who attended this morning's hearing says that no decision was made today about a retrial for Ayres' mental competency. Another hearing on this matter is set for this Wednesday, June 29.

While a date of August 22 was discussed among the attorneys for a retrial of the competency, prosecutor Mckowan told the mother of the victim that "there probably won't be another criminal trial."


Yesterday in Delaware, the notorious pedophile pediatrician Dr. Earl Bradley  who was indicted in February 2010 on 470 counts of raping and molesting children was CONVICTED yesterday - a mere SIXTEEN MONTHS after the indictment. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Profession

I've read some of the comments over the last few days, and frankly, I'm a little disappointed about some thing that you be surprised that I'd be disappointed about.

I've thought about not even posting my thoughts on this, because, in a sense, I'm "biting the hand that feeds me" (again).

There have been posts by a few people who claim to be shrinks, both here, and in the San Francisco Chronicle comments section. They express empathy to the victims of ayres, and they mention that ayres "Disgraced us all."

To be sure, I would STILL like to hear others in the profession comment on this, but what I REALLY want to know is: Where the hell were the comments like this BEFORE there was precious little chance of any conviction, and when speaking up might have made you a little out of place with your colleagues?

I can think of only a very small handful of people who were ASSOCIATED with ayres in the past who spoke up BEFORE or during the criminal trial, and one of those few was a judge, so doesn't really count. There is a laundry list of shrinks who sent out requests for support of ayres legal woes. ( some of them are pictured above) and one has supported ayres in public ( Etta Bryant).

But few have spoken up to clarify that:

A) It is a sham that ayres was claiming to do physicals. ( These were NOT physicals.)

B) Psychiatrists don't do physicals.

Where are all of you, why aren't you being vocal? You're complaining about your profession being disgraced: if you really care, then why didn't you speak up when it counted? If 50 shrinks in the bay area had stated in the press that this claim was bullshit, there would have been public outcry at the outcome of the first trial. If you had hounded the DA and the press about this "Disgrace" BEFORE the first trial, you all could have saved some of the disgrace brought to you profession.

You didn't.

When I spent years in therapy as an adult, wanting desperately to talk about the problem, and while displaying classic symptoms of an adult who had suffered child molestation, I was never asked once about where those symptoms might have come from. I was dying to be asked, and no shrink ever did.

I don't know that there's much disgrace left for your profession to suffer.

Well, so much for gratitude, right? I guess as this drags on and on, I have very little grace left in me. But at least I'm growing a pair of balls.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Comment Received via email

I received the following email from Tim Wulff through Michael Stogner:

This news article written by Joshua Melvin smacks of bias, distortion and misrepresentation of fact.

This was NOT a competency hearing.  It was an incompetency hearing.  Competency is presumed. Incompetency is not presumed.  The statement 'He cannot be retried on the criminal charges until he's deemed competent' is a false statement.  He will or will not be retried solely on the determination and decision of the DA's Office.

The fact of the mistrial on incompetency will raise issues on appeal.  That will be the DA's concern.
Further, in spite of the utterly unusual events surrounding the declaration of mistrial and the basis for it, not one word of comment is made by the reporter on this subject.  Why?

How often does such a high profile case terminate its deliberations so quickly?  Yet not a word from this person reviewing the event. 

 Further, although on-site observers of the trial are unclear as to whether there was a public hearing of the mistrial event, as has always been the case in my experience, there appears to be the possibility that the entire event was conducted in private.  This would be extraordinary if true, and certainly newsworthy.  

We all know from having seen events like this repeatedly, that it is common practice for a judge to admonish the jurors, consult and advise them according to the law and send them back to try again time and again.  Yet, in this case, the judge seems eager to accept the mistrial path and waste the taxpayer's hard-earned money.  Why?

None of these issues are addressed by the reporter and editor who seem to my mind intent on creating misinformation in an attempt to mislead the public.  If this is the case, it is reprehensible and irresponsible in the extreme.

There has already been a long series of events in this case of questionable actions and behaviors on the part of both Bay Area News Groups characterizations in their reporting of this horrid trial, as well as those of the DA's Office and the Courts in the conduct of this case.

Does Dr. Ayres have knowledge of the conduct of others within the government and judiciary of the County of San Mateo that requires those in power to take steps to collaborate in efforts to protect him  from the obvious consequences of his actions?  One can only speculate..

Friday, June 17, 2011

Competency Trial - Mistrial Declared

The competency trial for william hamilton ayres has ended in mistrial.

[Original Post by DS: 06/17/2011 6:53PM PST]
[Updates by DS: 06/18/2011 7:30AM PST]

According to the San Francisco Examiner, DA Wagstaffe has indicated that:
The case will continue next week, when the judge and attorneys will decide whether to retry the competency issue. Otherwise, Ayres is considered competent.

On the flip side, Joshua Melvin's article in the Mercury News indicates that prosecutor McKowan and Defense attorney McDougall will meet in court on Friday, June 24, 2011 to decide what to do next. 

Further, Melvin's article indicates that:
If prosecutors decide against a second competency trial, it could mean the end of the case against Ayres. He cannot be retried on the criminal charges until he's deemed competent.
There seems to be some conflicting information out there, but I think that it's likely that the story in the Examiner is either misquoting DA Wagstaffe, or Wagstaffe was just puffing up after a blow. Melvin seems to pay pretty good attention to these kinds of details.

On a personal note: I'm obviously very upset about the outcome ( As you can tell by my comments immediately after the post of this article. ) I've had it with all of the parties involved, and the continual delay tactic of the defense is holding grievous old wounds open. I'm not sleeping anymore and my health is poor.

In the past, I've switched between leaving comments open and moderating them first. Every time there is a setback, a select few people come out of the woodwork to attack me, a victim of william hamilton ayres, for stating my mind openly and frankly. They all fit into the category of either family and friends of the soulless subhuman ayres, or they are sick individuals with problems on par with ayres'.

I will not be posting for a few days.  In 24 hours this blog will autmatically send all comments to moderation, meaning that any comments that you have will wait until I decide to review them. So all of you asshole ayres supporters out there need to get your shots in now... 

Competency Trial Day - Day 9 - Deliberation

Updates for Friday, June 17, 2011 whenever I can get them:

9:00AM Jury is scheduled to resume deliberation.

11AM Court clerk indicates jury is still in deliberation.

2:00PM Clerk reports that the last entry shows the Jury went to lunch. So no verdict yet.

3:00PM Jurors seen on break, back to work at 3PM.

4:00PM Michael Stogner reports that jurors are still at work, and appeared relaxed and seemed to be getting along with one another.  Court clerk line is now closed, If we are able to hear more from Mr. Stogner, we'll relay it to you.

4:PM Michael reports that the jury has left.

Looks like they'll be back on Monday. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Competency Trial Day Eight - In the News

NOTE: The jury is still deliberating. They will return tomorrow, Friday June 17, 2011 at 9AM to continue deliberation.

Joshua Melvin has posted this evening's article in the MercuryNews. Please go read it.

Joshua mentions that in McDougall's closing statement, he says:

"Step back and think of this as humans,"  "He's not competent to assist in defending himself in the most important (moment) of his life."

ayres is not human. One must have a soul to be human. ayres has already faced the most important moment in his life, and it was that moment in which he surrendered his soul to follow his perverse, prurient sexual fascination with the first young boy. he re-confirmed the surrender of his soul each and every time he selected a new young victim, and he did it even though he was trained to understand the bleak damage that it would cause his victims.  Over and over and over and over again, he demonstrated willingness to participate in Evil.

ayres is an empty husk, a bankrupt proposition: devoid of value. his life has long since been forfeit.

Personally, I hope the weight of the lie in McDougall's statement does not press on the hearts of the jury. They too, are innocent bystanders burdened by the evil that william ayres has wrought.

Competency Trial Day Eight - Brief Updates

[Original Post by DS: 06/16/2011 10:15AM PST]

At 10:05AM the prosecution wrapped up their closing statement, Break until 10:20AM.

At about 11:00AM the jury was handed the case.

2:15PM - No word yet.

3:20PM - No word, no observer in court. Clerk reports no verdict yet, but I think it's possible that there is some delay between actual verdict and computer update.

4:10PM - Court office closes at 4pm  G#*%#!! Keep Checking the news for info. I'll report here when I know anything.

4:20PM - Just got word from Michael Stogner that the jury is finished for the day, but not done deliberating, and will be back in court tomorrow at 9:00AM.  (Thanks for keeping us so well posted for the past week, Michael!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Trial Day Seven - Letter from Parent of Victim

There is a new post from Wednesday's court proceedings below this one. I got this letter from a parent of an ayres victim tonight. (Thank you for this letter. It is very meaningful.)

I am the mother of one of ayres victims, a victim who has nothing to gain by this fiasco other than to hopefully see the truth be told and justice served. A real long shot.

Ayres is guilty of the charges against him. Ayres is the most vile subhuman.  He was trained in an esteemed profession, he took an oath to do no harm, he then used his profession to impose his perverted prurient interest on the most innocent among us.  He has victimized helpless children, not adults whose psyche's are formed.  He has victimized innocents who had no way to protect themselves.  He continued with his victimization knowing full well the damage he was causing, interfering with the normal healthy development of these children.    He has left horrific scars on countless victims.  He is responsible for all of this.  That is his legacy in life --  He has harmed innocents.

For ayres to profess to be innocent is a joke.   He is as guilty as they come.  He deserves every bit of the inconvenience that these legal cases have caused him in stress, depression, financial loss.   He is worse than worthless.

For any professionals who have supported ayres, who have believed him, I say that you are sadly mistaken.  You need to  look at yourselves and ask why you are so blinded.   What are you afraid of?  Does the fact that he fooled you make you question your own competence?   It should.

He is guilty.

A mother who wishes she could change history.

Competency Trial Day Seven - Prosecution Cleans Up!

[Original Post by DS: 06/15/2011 9:00PM PST]
ayres just got his ass kicked.

Today, Paul Good Ph.D took the stand for the prosecution. 
Good was one of the doctors appointed by the court to evaluate ayres for competency well before the competency trial.

Good was professional, credible, and a VERY strong witness overall. He flat out stated that ayres is competent, and he left little room for doubt. Defense attorney Jonathan McDougall poked, cajoled, and harassed to try to get Good to admit otherwise, but Good simply did not budge in his assessment.

On discussion about one of the tests, McDougall questioned Good on segments of the testing, and was trying to get Good to say that some level of incompetence was shown, and that ayres couldn’t answer simple story questions. Good told the jury that that the story he used in the test was very complex and abstract, and that it is THE most challenging test sample. He said that initially ayres refused to answer questions, and that if those non-answers were scored, he wouldn’t have passed, but Good says that because he knew that ayres is intelligent, he needed to have a challenging enough test to get him to cooperate, and when he actually got ayres to participate, ayres scored absolutely fine on the test. There seems to have been an implication here that the Defense doctors may not have been persistent and patient enough to overcome ayres stubborn refusals, and simply accepted non-response as a failure. 

McDougall kept hammering at Good about ayres’ off-topic rambling as was discussed yesterday by the Frumpy Liberal Hippy Ph.D.  Good was adamant that these instances were NOT off-topic rambling. He says that ayres clearly wants for his attorneys to understand his points, and ayres is trying to keep these points central to the discussion. Good says that ayres wants everyone to know that he was trained to “examine” young boys and that he does not want to plead guilty because he is not guilty.  When his attorneys stray from that topic, ayres is bringing the point to the center of attention again.

Prosecutor McKowan on several occasions asked Good about specific examples from the past that demonstrate that ayres  is, in fact VERY competent to remember and process information.  (Interestingly, most of these examples seem to also reflect on ayres typical stubborn, narcissistic arrogance.)

Good relayed that ayres sounded mildly paranoid about police and patients, He felt that an officer had lied in order to get a search warrant.  ayres complained about Dr. Ponton who testified in the 2005 civil trial and in the 2009 criminal trial against ayres.

McKowan points out that this shows well functioning memory, and it’s also a good example, because Ponton testified that “physical exams” are not standard practice, which causes ayres to laser beam focus on his sore point – his insistence that he was trained to do “physical exams.”

The “training” line of discussion allowed McKowan to discuss the fact that while ayres insists that he was trained to do “physicals,” while McDougall was preparing for the re-trial, he was unable to find a doctor willing to testify to that fact. Even Gil Kliman wouldn’t come back to testify.

Good also discussed ayres being upset about his attorneys. He says that they are deceptive and lie to him. ayres thought that Weinberg was lying to him. Specifically, a plea bargain was discussed  in the criminal trial, but ayres claims he didn’t know about it, but Solveig did. ayres insists that he won’t plead guilty to anything because is not guilty. [ NOTE: Joshua Melvin covers this better in his MercuryNews article.]

Good mentioned that ayres complained about a scientologist reporter who had a vendetta against him. McKowan asked Good if ayres had specifically mentioned Victoria Balfour to him. Good said that in fact ayres had: ayres told Good that Balfour got complainants to come out against him and that she has put up a web site against him!  At first, Good thought that ayres might have a problem with  paranoia,  but then Good said that he looked at the blog, and realized that ayres was fine. (I must admit: I very nearly choked to death laughing when i heard this! By the way: Victoria is NOT a scientologist.)

(I’ll take the moment to thank Victoria Balfour for her extensive contributions on my blog. She HAS made it a point to see that an animal who has hurt so many has finally been pushed into the justice system where he belongs. Her fact finding has been nothing short of amazing, and there’s no way I could accomplish what she has. I don’t have the necessary skills, and it’s too painful to keep all the fact straight. So, Thank You! )

ALL of these memories that ayres has recounted demonstrate that he is not at all incompetent. He clearly is able to focus when engaged. 

In the afternoon Dr. George L Wilkenson MD, a forensic psychiatrist, testified.

Wilkenson interviewed ayres in January and June of 2011. Wilkenson was reserved and seemed a bit more casual. He says that ayres IS competent, but that he probably needs some minor accommodations if he's going to testify, like the use of notes as was the case in the criminal trial, or more frequent breaks.

Wilkenson related a pair of questions that he asked ayres. In January, he asked ayres if he had any three wishes, what would the be. Ayres answers were: Legal problems solved, physical ailments solved, all of his lost cash back. Wilkenson said that these were selfish wishes. When he saw ayres in June, to the same question, ayres replied: Stop wars, Help people be kinder, A social justice system. Wilkenson said that these answers show an improved mental state, and are more altruistic.

Distracting a bit from Wilkonson’s testimony was that desperation had already set in, and the Defense team was behaving very badly:

For one thing, Frumpy Liberal Hippy Ph.D. had remained in the courtroom from her morning cross examination, and was sitting right in the front, disturbing the proceedings with antics that I easily could have predicted yesterday, had I known that she was planning to linger.  She rolled her eyes wildly while looking back at Solveig whenever she didn’t like Wilkenson’s answers. 

McDougall saw that Wilkenson was using notes, and he took the opportunity to use Wilkenson to show how hard it would be for ayres to use notes. McDougall aggressively would try to hurry Wilkenson whenever he would look at his notes. As McDougall was questioning Wilkenson, Frumpy Liberal Hippy Ph.D animatedly wrote a note on a big piece of paper, and put it up on the rail. Several times when McDougall paced nearer to her, she would wave around to get him to notice her. Finally she passed it over to him like a third grader passing illicit love notes to the class jock. 

McDougall then went on the attack: He asked Wilkenson to compare the scores from his test to the scores from the same test that another doctor did. As Wilkenson flipped through his notes McDougall harangued him more. Finally, he said to Wilkenson: “You don’t have alzheimer’s do you???” 

Needless to say, McKowan objected to the badgering going on. The judge agreed.  

Great job McDougall! You did a bang-up job demonstrating an easy accommodation if the prosecutor is pushing your client too hard. You can just ask the judge to intervene to slow things down a bit. Perhaps you should thank McKowan for helping you with your courtroom style.

The case is rested. The Jury will be given instructions tomorrow at 9am.

The jury was given extra specific instructions about researching the web given the mention of this blog during the trial.

I’m feeling pretty good about having put up my jury warning. I hope they do the right thing. 

Funny how all of these lovely Ph.Ds are sucking up to ayres. Maybe no one told them that ayres thinks that they are inferior, and that psychiatrists are better than Ph.Ds

Joshua Melvin has filed his story in the MercuryNews about today's testimony. He has lots of great information about the plea bargain, as well as some great quotes from Good, and from McKowan.
We also now know that the Frumpy Liberal Hippy Ph.D  has a name. Go read Melvin's article!

Competency Trial Day Seven - Brief Update

[Original Post by DS: 06/15/2011 12:45PM PST]
[Update by DS: 06/15/2011 3:15PM PST]
Brief update:

Testifying for the Prosecution is Paul Good. If this is the same Paul Good who I think it is, he is a Ph.D clinical and forensic psychologist. He was paid by the State of California to evaluate ayres. He is an "expert witness on mental state defenses, sexually violent predator commitments, sex offenses, death penalty cases, false confessions, Miranda waivers" according to his web site.

This morning, Good testified that he believes that ayres is totally competent to stand trial. Good is one of the doctors to file the initial medical evaluation reports requested by the court. We don't have additional information at this time.

For what appears to be the first time during the trial, ayres was taking notes.

Afternoon Update:
The other doctor hired by the State to evaluate ayres is now on the stand. I believe his name is Wilkenson.

Competency Trial Day Six - Summary

[Original Post by DS: 06/15/2011 12:35AM PST]
Some Notes from today's trial:

(I'm very sorry that I kept you guys waiting. Busy day today.)
Please also note that tomorrow may be the last day of witness testimony, and there is very possibly going to be NO coverage Wednesday, so there may be no update tomorrow night. I had early hopes that there was going to be heavier press coverage as there was on the second day of trial, but that doesn't seem to have panned out.

First to testify on day six was Dr. Jatinder Singh for the defense. Singh was one of the first two doctors appointed by the court to evaluate ayres before the competency trial was requested. On the day that the competency trial was to start, Singh mysteriously changed her mind, and thus another delay was achieved for ayres while we waited for a third doctor’s input. 

Reports are that Singh’s testimony was less then spectacular, seeming confused and hesitant.

Next up was a woman, a Ph.D. or other doctor and/or professor in the UC Hospital system, possibly a clinical neurologist. My coverage of her testimony starts about mid-stream, and I don’t have her name. I may be able to fill in details later. She looked very much the liberal professor type, long gray hair, frumpy looking, with black/grey/white plaid long dress, and thick framed glasses.  My understanding is that she was paid $250 per hour for her evaluation/testimony.

She had some kind of handout, apparently an outline to describe various categories of materials that she has in the past (perhaps for this trial, but not really clear) reviewed and categorized into areas applicable to determining competency with respect to standing trial. (And on, and on, and on, and ON.)

I don’t know that anybody was really following this. Mostly eyes were glazed over. I actually understand some of this stuff, and I was having trouble caring about what she was saying. She very much has the air of someone who IS intelligent, and who knows that she’s better than you are. On several occasions she says that the whole area of competence to assist in one’s own defense is a “new frontier.” She spent most of the time lecturing to the jury, but at the beginning of EVERY shift of the conversation, she would glance over to McDougall to see if he approved of the direction she was taking. On MANY occasions she would stop herself, and wait for the instant that it took for McDougall to redirect her. I’d have said that it was rehearsed, except for the fact that the question if it was OK to proceed was clearly present in her expression. 

Whenever the prosecutor objected to a line of questioning, she rolled her eyes as if to indicate that the prosecutor was being ridiculous. At one point the court recorder asked her to slow down, and she immediately shifted her rapid speech to a condescendingly slow gait, even slowly spelling out a three-letter acronym, one-miss-iss-ippi, two miss-iss-ippi, three miss-iss-sippi style. 

In spite of the long-winded, and seemingly irrelevant opening, her testimony could be quite damaging. 

When she finally got finished lecturing, she stated that ALL of the doctors who have interviewed ayres agree that ayres is suffering a progressive degenerative disease, and that he is NOT malingering, and that he is in fact very motivated to go to trial.  She arrives at this conclusion by reading through all of their reports, even though yesterday, some of those very doctors stated that they could not reach a conclusion either way about ayres’ malingering. (So either she is lying, or those who testified yesterday are lying. Or maybe there is just a misunderstanding.) 

She then spent a good deal of time talking about the types of reasoning that come into play in determining competency to assist in defense, but never really wraps it up with any kind of definitive statement. She also discussed evaluation methods, and that while they are “open ended” and subjective, there are enough scoring guidelines so that there can be consistent findings. 

At one point, she read a statement that ayres made when asked about his prior attorneys. He started with a rant about how they’re all deceiving him, and that they didn’t include him in decision making, and then rapidly digressed into fear of getting a spinal tap, and it got more confusing from there… 

She then read from many sections of the transcript of ayres’ testimony in the criminal trial.  Mostly from times that he became distracted in his answers, and/or asked for the question to be repeated. She states that this is indication that ayres was having severe incapacity even then.  

McDougall asked her if this kind of “forgetfulness” can be explained by being nervous or stressed about the circumstances. She states that this is the “LAST thing I would think of” as an explanation, based on his long career of public speaking. She mentioned his PBS “Sex Ed” program, and an “impromptu” speech that he gave when he was president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, for which he received a standing ovation, (etc, etc, etc… ) She spoke very glowingly of him.  She spent some time after court talking to him as he waited patiently on the street for Solveig to come pick him up.

The interesting (But probably lost on the jury) part of the testimony was that she was skipping over the parts of the testimony that most frequently seemed to get ayres off track. Prosecutor McKowan objected and tried to have her read the inclusive parts of the testimony, but the objection was overruled, with the understanding that McKowan would be able to specify problem areas later (I assume this will happen on cross.)

In short: much of the testimony that the witness chose to read from included discussions of boys genitals and/or discussions of “medical exams” that were given (She skipped over those parts as best she could.) But I maintain that ayres was VERY FREQUENTLY off track or off topic, and had to be reminded of the question EXACTLY when the topic of boys genitals came up. It is my (uneducated) opinion that ayres was distracted by his prurient interest in the topic, not out of nervousness or any kind of degenerative disease.
After the Defense finished their questioning, the court took a break.

Upon returning from break, it was announced that McKowan would not be able to cross examine the witness until later, as another of McDougall’s witnesses had a conflict for tomorrow, and would need to testify in the afternoon.

John Philipsborn, a criminal defense lawyer took the stand next.

McDougall questioned Philipsborn about what responsibility an attorney has with regard to a client’s competence to assist in his own defense. The lines of questioning also focused around Godinez v. Moran. Frequently discussion turned to questions about how to handle clients and their decisions to plead guilty (or not). This was brought up several times in the discussion. It was never clarified if there was a specific reason for this line of questioning, but it did appear to be very central.

McDougall clearly has respect for (or  at least feigns respect for…) Philipsborn. Often McDougall would ask an awkward question, and Philipsborn would rephrase the question properly for him and then answer it. 
McDougall asked if there were ever cases in which an attorney might raise the competence issues when a previous attorney did not (Answer: yes) 

McDougall also discussed jury instruction, and especially with regard to instruction about a witnesses ability to recall aspects of the situation, implying that an incompetent person would appear to be withholding information. The discussion was oddly vague at this point. I assume McDougall intends to tie all of this together in some kind of Perry Mason-like manner.

On cross examination, the prosecutor questioned Philipsborn about the nature of a defense, asking him if at a prior trial based on events of 15 years prior, would it be likely that there would be a strategy change in a re-trial with a new attorney. Philipsborn responded that it was not likely, but that it has happened.  Several questions were asked along this line, with all responses agreeing, but with caveat that “it has happened.”  

The prosecutor tried several ways to get the witness to agree that it’s possible that in a re-trial an attorney would not need as much input from the client, or that stresses on the client could be mitigated by various means, etc. This seemed to be of neutral success… The witness always seemed to indicate that it was possible, but that there would always be critical decisions (like guilty pleas) that an incompetent defendant should not be allowed to make.

The next line of questioning had to do with loss of memory as proof of incompetence. McKowan used examples that were relevant to the criminal trial, such as not remembering specific details of one event 15 years ago, that was one event of thousands of similar events. The prosecutor was successful with this line of questioning, many times with several examples, Philipsborn agreed without caveat that these kinds of examples do not indicate incompetence. However, after several repetitions of this line of questioning, the witness became wary, and less agreeable, eventually indicating that the memory loss may not indicate incompetence on its own, but that it could be one indication if the client was, indeed incompetent. 

McDougall then asked a few more questions. The questions revolved again around decisions to make a plea bargain, and then reversing that decision. Further, at this point the focus seemed to be on cues that a prior attorney missed that a COMPETENT ATTORNEY should have noticed. 

There was a sort of dark undertone during the questioning that was implying that Weinberg was not a competent attorney. 

Philipsborn's testimony on the witness stand was quite short, and ended somewhat ambiguously. Again, one would have to assume that McDougall will be tying up all of these loose ends that he's left dangling. We have some themes, but no real apparent direction.

At this point the judge stated that as it was getting late, everyone would go home early (about 4:30) and that tomorrow would start with the prosecutor’s cross examination of the earlier witness.

The judge further stated (unless this was misunderstood) that there would be TWO more witnesses, and then the trial would be finished. I can only assume that these two witnesses are the prosecutor’s witnesses. 

It seems that the trial will be coming to conclusion very soon. There have been quite a few witnesses stating that ayres is incompetent. According to Mike Aldax at The Examiner, Dr. Amanda Gregory was paid $20,000 to reach this assessment. I wonder if that's how much a soul costs these days?

I can only hope that these facts are not lost on the jury. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Up for tomorrow: cross examination of one witness from today, followed by two more witnesses, and then trial is done. More to follow.

Competency Trial Day Six - Breaking News

[Original Post by DS: 06/14/2011 10:20AM PST]

There is some indication that one of the 14 jurors has been dismissed. We have no more information at this time.

Competency Trial Day Six - Morning Note

[Original Post by DS: 06/14/2011 9:45AM PST]
Some Notes for this morning:

- There is a new post from yesterday's testimony (6/13/2011) immediately below this one.
- Notes for today may be somewhat thin, and as last night, will not appear until later in the evening.

There is a new article in the paper about yesterday's testimony:
Joshua Melvin's story appears in the MercuryNews. Go read it! In the article, Melvin mentions that Amanda Gregory testified yesterday that ayres was upset about his mental problems:

 "He didn't want to be found not competent," Gregory said. "He wanted a trial so that he could be exonerated." 

My comments on this: 

The definition of exonerated includes such language as: "to relieve of responsibility" and  "to clear from accusation or blame" A trial will not achieve this for ayres.

A jury finding of "not guilty" only shows that the case was not convincing enough to convict based on information that the jury was ALLOWED to see, and that the jury was PRESENTED with in a way that is convincing (or not convincing) enough.

Unfortunately, a trial will not achieve the "exoneration" which ayres seeks.

ayres will still be morally responsible for the damage he has caused to so many, and the accusations and blame will still remain wholly intact.

ayres has already settled one civil lawsuit for a substantial sum of money. Were ayres interested in a trial so that he could be legally clear of charges, he could have achieved that goal years ago. That ship has long since sailed.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Competency Trial Day Five

[Original Post by DS: 06/13/2011 8:30PM PST]

Notes from trial day five:

First to testify for the defense today was William Mcmullen, PHD, a specialist in Neuropsychology, head of neuropsychology at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

Mcmullen saw william hamilton ayres  (in August 2009?) on referral from Dr. Telfer who testified last Thursday. Mcmullen stated that the presenting complaint was forgetting names, etc, and further stated that Solveig came with ayres at the time of the appointment, and that she stated that ayres had noticed these problems for the last four or five years. Mcmullen reviewed ayres’ medical history and said that ayres’ history shows a strong possibility that vascular disease is the cause of the memory problems.

Defense attorney McDougall presented a chart with various tests and their scores. Most were normal except tests for verbal memory.  Visual memory tests showed good. The report back to Dr. Telfer show that ayres attention was average, language a bit weak, visual/spatial skills HIGH STRONG.  It stated that memory and language are the basic problem. The report shows that ayres SUFFERS DEPRESSION. (Cue violins…) The diagnosis was Cognitive Disorder (either vascular or Alzheimer’s)

On cross examination, the prosecutor, McKowan, asked if ayres might be “malingering.”  Mcmullen didn’t get that impression. She then asked Mcmullen if he had known about the trial, might he have made the assessment that there was some malingering, but the doctor didn’t go for that… he said that his assessment was clinical and not forensic, and that he didn’t do any tests that would help with that kind of assessment.

Another line of information that the prosecutor pursued related to the timing of the claims of memory loss.

Dr. Mcmullen reported that Solveig said that ayres had been having problems for four or five years, and that ayres himself stated one to two years. There was also some reference to testimony or other court record that shows that Solveig or ayres himself reported only having problems for about a month at the time reported. (The point, I think is that at the beginning of the first trial, memory had only been an “issue” for a short time, but that immediately after the trial, suddenly the problem appears to have been retroactively claimed to be “more persistent.”)

Second to testify today was Amanda Gregory, Ph.D. a UCSF neuropsychologist.
Gregory was contacted January 2010 by McDougall to do an evaluation of ayres. ( IMPORTANT NOTE: I’m not 100 positive about this date.) If this date is correct, then that means that McDougall was well aware of the competency results and had this defense tactic in mind THREE MONTHS before the scheduled start of the criminal retrial. And yet, he waited  until the pre-trial hearings to make his claim.  Also note that the Defense sealed ayres’ medical records way back in October, 2009 due to a “medical event.”  

Gregory wrote three reports after ayres assessment. She reviewed records from a 6/15/2009 report from Dr Firestone, the report from Dr. Mcmullen, an MRI, and information from Dr. Telfer.  She met with ayres 3 times in February and March - a total of 9 hours.

She also met with ayres  again LAST FRIDAY. Ayres was asked who testified, and he remembered that a doctor testified, but he couldn’t remember who, and that his wife testified, but he didn’t remember what she said, but that he thought she did a good job.

Solveig reported declined memory since 2003 (So now, the story has expanded to 7 or 8 years) Gregory used 15 neuropsychology tests and 3 symptom questionnaires.  She said that she gave three tests to make sure that there was no malingering.  Her tests indicate the same as Mcmullen’s poor scores on verbal memory, and visual/spatial are good.

Her recommendation was that he see a psychiatrist to get correct medications to treat the condition. She recommended the UCSF Aging Center. He went to Stanford Clinic instead and saw Telfer.  Gregory reviewed further information from Dr. Telfer and a Dr. Kirshner. Kirshner put less weight on a vascular diagnosis and more weight on an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

Gregory flat out stated that ayres is NOT competent to assist in his defense. 

On cross examination, prosecutor McKowan pointed out his lucid testimony during the criminal trial.  She read many examples from the transcripts that demonstrated his quick and pertinent responses about his past, medical diagnoses that he had made in the past, and quick and even fiery responses on cross examination when pressed. McKowan kept asking Gregory if that demonstrated enough functionality to assist in his own defense, to which Gregory always responded yes, AT THAT TIME.  This probably occurred 7 or 8 times during the cross.  McKowan also pointed out that the first test showing verbal memory problems was only ONE MONTH after the testimony read, and that there has not been significant decline between then and last Friday.

McKowan asked about tests that apply stringent criteria to make a competency evaluation, and asked if Gregory had administered any. Gregory’s response was that she hadn’t and that she had relied on her own independent assessment. McKowan pointed out that no one else would be able to comment on Gregory’s assessment, since there was no test record to corroborate the conclusion.

Other significant notes:

At some point, Godinez v. Moran was mentioned. This is interesting because the Court found that if a person is found competent to stand trial, they are likewise competent to plead guilty or to waive an attorney. It also appears to say that a single standard of compentecy should apply to the whole of the criminal proceedings. This may be to wave off any future defense malingering each time the proceedings enter a new phase.

McKowan asked questions revolving around ayres desire to testify and his level of trust for his defense attorney. One of the two doctors (Gregory, I think) indicated that ayres had responded that he was not clear about what he wanted to do, but that he wanted to do whatever was best for his wife.

Jurors: a few appear very attentive and taking notes. Some appear to be goofing around (chuckling in the back row) and a few seem barely able to stay awake. 

My comments on the day:

1) Thank you to the family and friends present in the courtroom for being there, and for putting up with my testy grilling about what happened. If there are any corrections or additions, please post them. I'm tired and angry. 

2) On Mcmullen’s diagnosis that ayres is depressed:
When ayres is so depressed that he frequently thinks about suicide (at least conceptually), has nightmares most nights about his family coming to harm, and wakes up every morning wishing he had died peacefully during the night, and when he does that retroactively for most of his adult life, or, when he engages in angry, risky behaviors that eventually kill him, THEN I will be satisfied that he is depressed enough.

Until then, he can go fuck himself.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Significant updates

Significant updates to today's post, immediately below this one:

Competency Trial Day Four - In the News

[Original Post by DS: 06/09/2011 01:10PM PST]
[Updates by DS: 06/09/2011 04:10PM PST]
[Updates by DS: 06/09/2011 11:45PM PST]

According to observers on the scene, there will be no court proceedings tomorrow, Friday June 10, 2011.

The trial proceedings will continue Monday June 13, 2011, at 9AM.

News Articles from Trial Day Four:

According to Chanel 2 KTVU News reports, opening statements have occurred and:
McDougall is claiming that ayres is too ill to face retrial, and that he can't remember such things as what he had for dinner, and his son Robert's name.

The prosecution has conceded that the court appointed doctors say there there is some degradation of capacity, but that he is well enough to understand the charges against him, and fit to stand trial.

Diana Samuels has also covered the story in this afternoon's MercuryNews:

The article highlights the first defense witness: Solveig ayres, william ayres' wife. Solveig details several "forgetful" behaviors that she alleges ayres has experienced. She claims that ayres was "worried" because he could not remember the names of victims who testified against him in his molestation trial. 

The MercuryNews article also says that McDougall could call as many as seven witnesses, and that the Prosecutor stated:  "I will never disagree with the fact that he has some cognitive impairment [...] That is going to be obvious."

There is a good amount of detail in the article, so make sure to go read it.

The San Mateo Daily Journal has an article tonight, with quite a bit of detail about the prosecutor's cross examination of Solveig, as well as references to ayres' adept sparring with the prosecutor during the first criminal trial.

The  San Mateo Patch reports that on cross examination, the prosecutor asked Solvig if she was aware that if a jury found her husband incompetent, he could avoid a criminal trial and a jail sentence, and the couple could possibly live on together like before.

From observers in the courtroom today, we heard the following:

From one observer, we heard that the trial was underway at 9:15AM and that Solveig, (ayres' wife) has taken the stand, and that she said that he has difficulty remembering stuff, including his son's name and words from lists.

From another observer, we heard about some of the doctor's testimony:
A neurologist, Dr. Robert Telfer, that ayres went to see a few months after his first criminal molestation trial on the recommendation of his primary care physician, (Dr. Rizzo, or Ritzo) testified that he put ayres on Aricept for treatment of Alzheimer's (or the dementia related to it) but that ayres didn't take to it, so they took him off of it. He also reported that ayres said that his father had suffered Alzheimer's. The person reporting this said that the neurologist was very measured and considered on the stand.

In July 2010, ayres had an MRI that showed minimal shrinkage of the brain (apparently normal for ayres' age)

Also noted by our observer was that ayres got a 26 out of 30 on his first mini-mental state examination (MMSE or Folstein test) but the second time he took it he scored 29 out of 30. This is significant information, for a few reasons. According to published information, a score of 25 or better is considered to be "normal." Further, the observer, who has knowledge of the results of these tests said that the scores trend lower over time in an Alzheimer's patient.

Apparently in November 2010, another doctor in who ayres was referred to stated that ayres "probably" had Alzheimer's but "wasn't sure" and that it was hard to tell. (It wasn't clear if this doctor testified, or was included in the testimony of Dr. Telfer.)

It was stated that an MRI that ayres had did NOT show "white matter" that usually shows up in Alzheimer's patients.

The 14 person jury is very young, mostly men, and appeared to the observer to be bored and/or dis-interested in the testimony.

My Comments:
Many of the articles and descriptions from today discuss Solveig's testimony, about forgetting their son's name once, about not remembering what was for dinner last night, about sometimes forgetting words or names, and that ayres then makes lists of words he forgets or accidentally substitutes.

The prosecutor is reported to have pointed out that this kind of logical processing indicates that while ayres might forget words occasionally, the capacity to understand is still all there..

The first thought I had when I read about forgetting the occasional word, not remembering dinner, etc.. is: STRESS

I have these kind of moments myself, and have had for quite some time. ESPECIALLY when there is high stress.

 In fact, I have experienced these symptoms frequently over the last few years, every time ayres has a trial or hearing, or yet another trial is delayed. I forget the word I have just on the tip of my tongue, I say the wrong, but similar sounding word sometimes (less frequently) and ever since this morning, I've been wracking my brain trying to remember what I had for dinner last night (nope.. no drinking or other mind altering substances) I still can't remember. I do recall that we were going to order pizza, but then we didn't. No clue. I don't think I was experiencing dementia or Alzheimer's. I do know that I was stressed though.

If I'm stressed about the fact that the guy who molested me as a child is on trial, I'm betting that he's pretty good and worked up about facing jail time.

That ain't dementia or Alzheimer's. Cut the crap, and stop malingering. It's pathetic. Man-up, asshole.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Competency Trial Day Three - No News

[Original Post by DS: 06/08/2011 06:20PM PST]
No news for today:

Observers were not able to get into the courtroom today, at least as of about 3:30PM. Jurors were standing room only, and it appears that no-one was released between 1 and 3:30pm. This could potentially mean that voir dire will continue into tomorrow. 

In any case, I don't know what the schedule is for tomorrow. I will try to call the court in the morning to see what the schedule looks like. Be aware that news may be thin from this blog AT LEAST through the end of this week. I will be watching the news to see if there are any reports, and post links, but I'm not holding my breath at this point. 

Note also that the Juror Warning above will continue to be displayed as the top post for the duration of the trial, and the latest information (if we have any) will always be the second article on the page. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Competency Trial Day Two

[Original Post by DS: 6/7/2011 03:50PM PST]
Almost a routine court business day:

Today was a jury selection day.

In the morning the courtroom was filled with jurors, and observers were not initially able to go in, as the courtroom was filled to capacity (about 70 prospective jurors). I’m not sure what exactly the process was, but mostly the business today was weeding out hardship excuses, probably through the juror questionnaire mentioned yesterday, and leaving those who were still qualified for more extensive questioning during voir dire on Wednesday afternoon.  In the afternoon, at 2pm, the same process was slated to happen with another set of jurors.  (I have confirmation that at 2pm another set of 70 jurors went into the courtroom.)  This process could presumably continue through tomorrow morning.

As I mentioned yesterday, at 1PM PST on Wednesday,  voir dire of the jurors will begin,  after which, they’ll have their jury.  It should be noted that seating will not be available for public (and public will be barred from the courtroom) until the point that enough of the jurors have been dismissed that seating becomes available.

Also as mentioned yesterday, ayres will be required to be present in the courtroom for voir dire at that point.  On Monday, McDougall noted the 977 waiver allowing ayres to miss everything up until voir dire.

Here’s what wasn’t so routine:

william ayres and his vacuous wife Solveig showed up in the courtroom in the morning! ayres had his usual prop walker, but appeared to be clean, healthy and alert; beard neatly trimmed, and apparently has possibly even shed a few pounds.

As McDougall walked in, and walked past them sitting there, he whispered something to them.  Something along the line of:  You didn’t need to be here, or You shouldn’t be here, or You’re not supposed to be here. He also mentioned that they had the 977 waiver.

This would seem to me to be just another sign that ayres is as arrogant as ever, and that his attorney has little, if any ability to exert control over the notorious control freak.  It is very likely that the last thing McDougall wanted was for ayres to be seen anywhere near the courthouse, let alone in the courtroom all day, before he was absolutely required by law to be there.

When McDougall presents his case that his client is so demented that he can’t even dress himself to get to the courthouse except when absolutely required by law, the jurors will all recollect him sitting there all day, even though his 977 waiver permitted him to be absent.

I have confirmation that ayres was present for the afternoon group of jurors too.

I don't know if: "My client is too fucking stupid and/or arrogant to follow instructions" counts as "dementia" or not, but I'm guessing probably not.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Competency Trial Day One

[Original Post by DS: 6/6/2011 4:13PM PST]
[Updates: 6/7/2011 06:15AM PST]

The 2pm continuance was extended to 3:30pm.

At 3:30pm trial logistics were discussed. Jury selection will begin tomorrow, Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Jury questions were compiled by the judge. Jurors expressing conflict of interest and jurors with hardships will be dealt with in separate locations.

At 1pm on Wednesday afternoon, voir dire will begin. ayres is required to be present in the courtroom at this point. ayres’ attorney Jonathan McDougall apparently made efforts to point out that ayres is incompetent at this point. (Fine... so wheel the drooling pervert in... let's see him mess his diapers.)

No electronic recording devices of any kind will be allowed in the courtroom.  (As was the case for his criminal trial. Pen and paper seem to confuse the courts these days.)

Discussed during the proceedings was the case Medina vs. California.

This would seem to indicate that McDougall will be pushing for the court to take the position that the  prosecution must show proof positive that the perverted molester is competent to assist in it's own defense, rather than relying on the defense to show that it is incompetent to assist in it's own defense. A subtle, but possibly powerful difference. The "traditional" view on an incompetence defense seems to be that the defense has the burden of the proof; after all, the defense is the one making the claim.

The implication of Medina vs California seems to be that the state has the responsibility not to put an incompetent person on trial. Possibly true. If so, then we need to try EVERY accused person for incompetence. And we should check to see if prison terms and financial hardship related to trial are going to exacerbate an prior, unrelated conditions of the offenders so that we don't burden them further. And if they become depressed or otherwise altered because of the punishment meted out to them, we should take steps to unburden them. And their families should be compensated for the inconvenience caused by a conviction.

Maybe we should just let them off without a trial at all.

Or maybe the offenders and their families should suck it up and take responsibility for the evil that has been done, pleading guilty to ALL charges that they are guilty of, and thereby relieving their victims of further hardship.

I wonder if anyone cares anymore about people getting away with doing grave harm to others. I think people like to hide behind the trappings of a "fair" system so that they don't have to face pain. If only we could make it so that no one was ever found guilty of the wrong they've done, we won't have to look into the eyes of the people they have hurt so grievously.

[Update:6/7/2011: The Mercury News posted a story last night, and this morning, San Mateo Daily Journal has finally published an article. You'll notice that they both mention that the defense has the burden of proof in this trial. They don't mention that Medina vs California was brought up and what the implications might be.]

Trial Continued until 2pm Today

Continued until 2pm TODAY.

ayres' competency trial has been continued until 2pm TODAY.
There was no apparent reason given.

ayres was not present in the courtroom, out on his 977 waiver as usual. (Document saying that he doesn't need to be present for proceedings that are just court business aspects of the trial.)

There is a blog item in the San Francisco Examiner today. Nothing new though.

Competency Trial Schedule to Start Today

Competency Trial TODAY 

william hamilton ayres is scheduled to stand trial TODAY, Monday, June 6th at 9am at the Southern Branch of Superior Court  at 400 County Center, Redwood City California. (Case #SC064366)

This is a competency trial, not the criminal re-trial. ayres’ attorney Jonathan McDougall is trying to convince the court that ayres should not be put on re-trial on charges relating to his molestation of many young boys, repeatedly, and over the course of many years, under the guise of providing psychiatric care. McDougall is claiming that his client is not competent to assist in his own defense in such a trial.

As of 7:30am Monday morning, Press coverage of the trial is simply stunning! With all morning editions apparently out already here are exactly ZERO stories in the local news as far as I can tell about the start of the trial of the monster, one time president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and  recipient of San Mateo County’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” nominated for “ his tireless effort to improve the lives of children and adolescents” by then Supervisor (now Assemblyman) Rich Gordon.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Competency Trial for ayres: Monday, 6/6/2011, 9AM

Reminder: Trial 6/6/2011 at 9am

william hamilton ayres will stand trial on Monday, June 6th at 9am at the Southern Branch of Superior Court  at 400 County Center, Redwood City California. (Case #SC064366)

This is a competency trial, not the criminal re-trial. ayres’ attorney Jonathan McDougall is trying to convince the court that ayres should not be put on re-trial on charges relating to his molestation of many young boys, repeatedly, and over the course of many years, under the guise of providing psychiatric care. McDougall is claiming that his client is not competent to assist in his own defense in such a trial.

ayres was slated for re-trial on April 12th, 2010, but McDougall managed to get the trial vacated on dubious claims that his client might not be competent to defend himself. Doctor’s reports were ordered,  and after delays due in part to the difficulty in finding an impartial pair of doctors to evaluate ayres, both reports came back stating that ayres is in fact COMPETENT to defend himself.

The defense weasel then asked for a jury trial to attain even further delays.

The competency trial was scheduled for January 10, 2011, but on the morning of the trial, one of the two doctors mysteriously changed their report to state that ayres was not competent. The trial date was then vacated, and a third doctor was asked to provide an evaluation. After more delays, the third report came back stating that ayres is in fact COMPETENT to defend himself.

The judge then reset the jury trial to June 6th, 2011.

Thoughts on Monday’s Trial:

If all goes well, and McDougall doesn’t pull any further delay stunts on Monday, it’s likely that the first couple of days will be logistics and jury selection. At the time that this new date was scheduled, McDougall was already whining about the availability of some of his witnesses, so even if the trial DOES actually get underway this time, some of his “witnesses” will not be available until June 13th. Previously, the estimates were for a two week trial, and if that still holds, I suppose we can probably anticipate the trial running for most of the rest of June.

McDougall has a habit of waiting until trial day to “report” whatever nonsense is the current delay-du-jour, so it’s likely that he’s spent the last 5 months or so waiting for the start of trial to pull the trigger on his next delay. Usually there’s nothing the court appears to be able to do about it, so I’m not putting great odds on the actual start of the trial on Monday.

william hamilton ayres, was one-time president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and  recipient of San Mateo County’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” nominated for “ his tireless effort to improve the lives of children and adolescents” by then Supervisor (now Assemblyman) Rich Gordon. ayres was also the low-bid provider for evaluation of juveniles in the juvenile court system for quite some time.  ayres has had significant backing and support of the San Mateo County political and legal machine over the years, in spite of several complaints made to therapists and police. Some of those who supported him in the past have either dug heels in, or have expressed deep sadness and regret. Either way, there is enough embarrassment about what the soulless ayres has dragged them through, that it appears that everyone is reluctant to deal with the mess, and it seems that everyone is hoping the whole thing just fades away so that no one has to face the obvious systemic culpability.