Saturday, June 6, 2009

Summary from June 4th

DS is pretty swamped tonight, and asked me to help publish the compiled notes that were taken by people at the courthouse on the 4th. They follow below. DS also added some commentary to a few of the items, so I've incorporated that as well. Thanks to all of the courtroom observers! - Please post any comments to the first posting on the top of the main blog page!

Thursday June 4, 9:30 AM:

Ayres and his walker lumber into the courtroom, with Solveig right behind. Weinberg, alas, has yet to show up.

We wondered if Solveig reads our blog, because we notice that she was wearing a new outfit today - white jacket and dark blue pants. Also, unlike the previous day, when she and her husband sat in separate aisles and acted as if they didn't know each other in the courtroom, today they sit side by side, shoulder to shoulder. - (ShadowOne Editorial: What a horrid, icky, skin crawling feeling it must be to sit next to “The Creature.” Solveig must have a very strong constitution.)

9:34 AM:
Weinberg rushes into the courtroom and, noticing he is late, made a grimace at the wall clock.

Prosecutor Melissa Mckowan jokes about Weinberg being late."What did you do last night? Sleep?" Smiling, she says, “Slacker!"

Weinberg and McKowan (in blue jacket and pants and flowered shirt)are back to acting like best friends today, joking and smiling. It's a sight that is hard for the parents in the back of the courtroom to take. (DeepSounding Editorial: Yeah, I don’t like to hear that either.)

Weinberg hands Ayres - who's wearing a large grey pinstripe suit - some court document with many pages. Ayres puts away his New Yorker and starts to read the document - ever so slowly. We have never seen anyone take so long to read one page. Solveig peers over his shoulder and gamely tries to read the document, though one imagines that it did not make for pretty reading. Solveig can't manage that smile today and she looks more tired. Ayres sits like a giant stone and barely moves as he reads the document. From time to time Solveig takes a break from reading to scan the ceiling. Whatever was in that document, we are sure it wasn't a picnic to read.

9:50 AM:
McKowan and Weinberg go back to judge's chambers. The bailiff closes the door between the chambers and courtroom so we won't be able to hear. On previous occasions, when the door has been open, spectators have from time to time heard what the prosecutor has been saying loud and clear.

9:55 AM:
The door opens and McKowan and Weinberg come back to the courtroom. Weinberg, not looking too happy, walks to the back of the courtroom to the water cooler and grabs a glass of water.

9:57 AM:
Judge Beth Lapson Freeman, her glasses perched atop her Roseanne Roseannadanna hairdo, walks into the courtroom. All rise.

At this point, Ayres and his walker slowly lumber their way up to the defendant's table. Some noticed he had trouble maneuvering that darn walker around a chair through a narrow space. He had to twist it this way and that to get it through that space. Just one more thing to make his life difficult… (ShadowOne Editorial: Well, perhaps if he would use the thing around the house and such, instead of only in public, where the sociopathic reptile is using it as a sympathy prop, he would be more practiced in using it.)

Solveig takes out her notebook, pen at the ready, for her daily note-taking on the proceedings. Judge Freeman's first item of discussion concerns her confusion over the identification of the victims on the prosecutor's list. She remarks that some are identified by their full names, and others by only their first names, and some are identified by numbers. "I have real concerns about the jury's ability to sort out the confusion over the identities of the victims in the coming weeks," she tells prosecutor McKowan. Freeman suggests that McKowan use " a tool" perhaps a chart, to help the jury, something that they "can take back to the jury room."

The prosecutor promises that she will offer a "consistent method to identifying the victims."

Highlights: There was a debate about a legal issue surrounding 1108- cross admissibility of victims. None of this blog's contributors are lawyers, so we can only say that Weinberg seemed to be objecting to having the seven victims within statute be viewed by the jury in their totality, as a pattern. For several minutes he argued for "severance". We will say this - we remember that Weinberg during the Phil Spector trial kept pressing the same point over and over and over and over. We witnessed a glimpse of that same quality today on the 1108 issue. Ultimately however, Judge Freeman denied his request for "severance. " (DeepSounding Editorial: Any lawyers out there? Come on… don’t be shy. You can post anonymously, while it won’t necessarily be adequately sourced that way, we really all just want to know what the hell is going on with the crap that Weinburg is trying to pull.)

Weinberg also asked that the prosecutor's expert witness on Child Abuse Accommodation Syndrome be denied. This expert apparently will testify that victims respond to molestation in all different ways. Some come forward; some never do. Some go on to have troubled lives; some are relatively unscathed. Weinberg objected to the syndrome as too broad. His voice starts getting a bit belligerent with the preternaturally calm and almost ethereal Judge Freeman. However, unlike, say, Judge Fidler in the Spector case and the prior judge in the Ayres case who had to recuse himself out of antipathy towards Weinberg, one suspects at least in the short term that Freeman knows just how to handle someone like Weinberg. With her polite and genteel way of talking and that beneficent aura of calm that she projects, she reminds us a bit of Glinda the Good Witch in the Wizard of Oz.

Even when the judge does not agree with Weinberg's arguments, the judge almost apologizes for having to point this out. At one point, the judge said to Weinberg after he had brought up a motion: "I don't mean to offend, but I don't think you're starting at the right place." The question is, will she be able to maintain her composure and equanimity with Weinberg, as male judges in other cases have not been able to do? Will Weinberg dare do his eye-rolling act with Judge Freeman - something for which he was admonished in the Phil Spector trial by Judge Fidler, when a ruling didn't go his own way?

We will be interested to see how Judge Freeman handles Weinberg down the line.

There was also a discussion brought by Weinberg involving the definition of certain terms of sexual abuse. Because this is a family blog, we will not go into details here. Let us just say that at one point during a graphic discussion of an incident of abuse, even the stone-like Ayres had a reaction. He flinched and turned to the wall. He looked very uncomfortable. There was only one other occasion when Ayres had a physical reaction to what was being discussed in the courtroom. When prosecutor McKowan erroneously stated that ayres had been a practicing child psychiatrist "since 1955 or whatever", Ayres did a double take and shot his lawyer a "huh?” look. For full second, the otherwise glum and depressed doctor sprang to life. Then he settled back into his immobile, reptilian state.

Another important segment of the morning's motions included which out-of-statue victims would be permitted to testify. Though Weinberg went through the motions of objecting to them on such grounds that their statements would be inflammatory, his heart didn't appear to be in it. By day's end, the judge permitted four out of statute victims to testify. However, this was a disappointment for the prosecution, who had hoped for at least ten of those prior victims to testify.

The judge said she had time concerns about allowing more than four prior victims to testify. Puzzlingly, she also added that she didn't want it to appear to the jury that they were loading up on the defendant, or "throwing the book at" him and his lawyer.

We thought that was the point.


  1. Great coverage.Let us hope this blog will continue to provide daily coverage of this case.

  2. Wonder what a lawyer would have to say about Balfour being kicked out of the courtroom.

  3. Great summary, worth the wait! The photo montages get better all the time......

    Love the Il Fornaio pic! Guess Ayres better go get his last meal there........

  4. By the way, That little Il Fornaio pic came from our Friend Patient Advocate! Thanks PA!

  5. Judge Runde was the Judge who recused himself because of "antipathy" towards Whineberg:;col1

  6. Very strong symbolism in the latest photo collage.

    Great job Deep Sounding.

    As I see it, it shows the life that was and the life soon to be.

    From going to the symphony, dining at Il Fornaio, driving a BMW and living in Hillsborough, something like the movie "Revolutionary Road."

    It wasn't enough for Ayres, his world crashing down, the home he raised his children in, SOLD, renting a condo, a smaller car, gone are the luxuries, including any merit he may have had with his career. The education, stripped away by the Medical Board of California.

    When the monthly bill arrives from Doron Weinberg listing thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, Ayres watches his retirement account drain. This is surely not how HE intended to end up.

    But it is the reality of a monster.

    The Il Fornaio sugar packet looks like a fluffy pillow that Ayres can lay his head on in prison after his meal of some protein, a carb, and a glass of water and he can think about what he did everyday, what he robbed from innocent victims.

    I hope he feels the pain.

  7. What is that stuff on the photo? I clicked it to see it bigger, but I can't make it all out. I think I'm missing something.

    I'm picking up that Ayres liked to eat at Il Fornaio. That's not the SF Symphony though... what is that??

    Also that other thing in the middle looks like a big glass, well... we won't say in mixed company.. What's the connection there? Anyone get that one?

  8. JLM- I am not sure but it could be a picture of the Masterworks Chorale, where Solveig Ayres has been a member for a couple of decades. That other picture may have something to do with a board of directors she sits on. Deep Sounding will know.

  9. I think Svea (Sol) likes the cultural arts and supports them. She likes GleeClubs and such, very serious about MasterWorks Chorale and oh of course providing cultural arts to children. Isn't she wonderful....

    She also supports learning to drive for women........