Friday, October 9, 2009

Date for Re-Trial of William H. Ayres on Child Molestation Charges Set.

william ayres

[Original post date: 10/09/09 12:16pm PST by Deep Sounding]
[Minor Edits:  10/09/09 06:20pm PST by Deep Sounding: 
Updates appear in green, editorial in blue]

The Third Time's A Charm:
On its third attempt, the People got a date commitment from the defense. Jonathan McDougall proposed a trial date of April 12th, 2010, and had prepared an extensive statement regarding the work that he had to do to be ready for trial. The prosecutor agreed with the date without any objection. (Those of us in the peanut gallery discussed this a bit beforehand: While it is a bitter pill to swallow, we don't want the defense weasels to come back and say that they were not allowed enough time to prepare. Again we see that ayres does continue to get exactly what he's paying for... more time. In the end, it may work to our advantage. The bureaucratic machine yields for no man...)
NOTE: The Associated Press has incorrectly transposed the numbers in the date, and the April 21st date that they are reporting is INCORRECT. (See my notes on the bottom of this post.) Two mainstream press sites that have it correct are here and here. (Although the Mercury News is also reporting it incorrectly in another spot on their site.)

The judge thanked McDougall for his efforts in preparing his information based on the "enormity of the written record", and reluctantly granted the April 12th, 2010 retrial date, stating her clear preference for an earlier trial date. She further specified that it is a FIRM date with regard to the defense readiness, and stipulated that of course there are other outside influences that could result in further continuance.

The judge set a pre-trial conference for April 2nd at 1:30pm to discuss the mechanics of the trial. She stated that NO RULINGS would be made, but that counsels should be prepared with written motions, discussion about jury questionnaire wording, discussion about number of alternate jurors required, approximate trial duration requirements, discussion of witness timing, etc... Judge Freeman further stated that as no rulings would be made, ayres himself is excused from being present in the courtroom during the pre-trial hearing if he so desires.

Trial will run 5 days per week this time, with the obvious exception of holidays and mandatory court closure days.

The defense filed a motion to seal 3 exhibits that are apparently some of ayres' medical records. The judge did not ask if there were any objections, and granted the motion to seal the records based on properly submitted paperwork. Those three exhibits are now sealed. (My speculation here is that given ayres' lucid reminiscence of all things pedophile during his own testimony in the last trial, they don't want medical records to highlight the "loss of memory" stunt that Weinberg pulled. Probably they'll have some new medical evidence to replace it.)

The defense then filed a motion to reduce bail, and pointedly argued that this case was abnormal due to the length of time it has taken (everyone seems to love irony, don't they?) The Mercury News story from later this afternoon claims that the argument was that ayres is not a "danger to public safety" and is not a "flight risk." I heard it much differently: while McDougall did mention flight risk in passing as one of the "four factors" listed in his filing, he actually stated in court that he was NOT going to argue those four factors, and instead focused almost exclusively on the fact that the trial has been dragging on for so long, and that it's a hardship to ayres. Funny how everyone picks up on something different.

The prosecutor was VERY opposed to this motion, stating that bail was already well below schedule for ayres, and that the motion to reduce bail has been made unsuccessfully a number of times over the life of the case [since the original reduction] and that there was no change in circumstances that would merit a reduction in bail.

The judge denied the bail reduction stating that there has been no significant change to circumstances.

[Yet Another Press Snafu: 10/09/2009, 8:40pm PST]:
The  Contra Costa Times  (as of their update at 2:45pm PST) is reporting the trial date as April 21. This is an incorrect transposition of numbers. The correct date is April 12th. They attribute this information to which of course is not correct either...that appears to be a non-functioning address at this time.

I think they mean: but one can never be too sure.

[Update: 10/09/2009 9:40pm PST]:
And of course, now the Contra Costa Times errors have propagated to other linked online fish-wrappers: see the San Luis Obispo Tribune.  And even CBS is in on the game...

Round and round the errant bits flow... where they stop, only Vinton Cerf knows...

[Update: 10/09/2009 10:00pm PST]:
And at these places:
The San Francisco Chronicle

[Update: 10/09/2009 10:35pm PST]:
Now even the Mercury News is contradicting their own, earlier post.
What a joke.

It's now listed as an Associated Press news story, so as of right now, it's listed incorrectly on at least 77 sources. Game over man... game over!

Courtroom Setting:

On the defense side of the house, ayres and Solveig were present along with attorney Little Johnny McD, with Solveig sitting behind ayres rather than next to him, as normally occurs. They were looking a bit more morose today. Perhaps they were concerned that any "conversational openers" that they might try today would result in a lengthy discussion, as happened last time... It was positively refreshing to see the dour glow, if you can call it that!  

There were two members of the press present.

6 prosecution supporters were present, but two of them had to leave before the 10:30 time.

At 10:40 the lawyers were called to chambers to meet with the judge.

At 10:55 court was underway.


  1. Plenty of time for the good doctor to come up with a new illeness or an exacerbation of an old one.

    DS, are the civil suits moving forward, or have they been shelved?

    Doron Weinberg taught the good doctor and Little Johnny new attorney well. If you have a stinker of a case, delay delay delay.

    Glad there was no reduction of the bail. They must need that money in the worst way.

  2. For right now DS my big question is what could possibly be in the medical records of ayres that would need to be sealed?

    He already stated he has had a tear in his aorta, prostate cancer, and loss of memory for the treatment of such.

    Yes, he can remember the day Officer Melody came to his office in 1987, but can't remember one single one of his former patients....

    Seems ayres was all to willing to put his medical status out there and now he wants it sealed.

    Is he on copious amounts of Viagra or medical marijuana?

    Geez, why all the secret stuff now?

  3. Small excerpt from the San Mateo County Times:

    "MacDougall also asked Freeman during Friday morning's brief hearing to reduce Ayres' $750,000 bail, saying his client is not a danger to public safety and will not try to run away."

    I like that ayres will not TRY to run away.....

    Like saying if he does attempt it, he, and his albatross walker, (although it is the supercharged model), ayres won't get that far before they catch him.

    Why didn't MacDougall just say the beast can't run! He goes through a walker a year since arrest, that's two walkers since he was arrested!

  4. CaliGirl:

    The civil suits are somewhat stalled, I think to some degree they were waiting for the outcome of the criminal trial, but there are other factors, that I may discuss after the next civil hearing on October 28th. It does seem that there's a possibility that after that hearing, things may move out of the somewhat stalled state.

    Virtually NO public shows up at those hearings, it seems, probably because ALL parties are listed as various "Does."

    I would think that the press might be want to follow the cases as there are some interesting aspects to the concurrent civil trials, but apparently they're not.

    Hopefully we will manage to have a representative there next time too.

    On the topic of delay: That does seem to be the only real tactic. Seems to be working well.

    I don't think that ayres needs the money at all. I think they have plenty tucked away in places that no one can get to it.

    When you're a sociopath, bilking a few friends and associates out of some hard earned cash to help pay for your perverse habits is no big deal, and it leaves more to spend on the finer things in life.

    Patient Advocate:
    I think that they don't want the existing medical records to conflict with any arguments that they may make in the future. Hard to tell. There's something more than just privacy there, I'm sure, and it smells weasely, but I can't figure it out either.

    Anonymous at October 9, 2009 4:29 PM:

    I honestly don't recall McDougall mentioning much at all about "flight risk" or "danger to public." Other than briefly listing those items as criteria that are covered in the four factors listed in his argument, he really did not argue those points AT ALL. He WAS VERY focused on the "abnormal case in light of the extent" of the trial, and the judge even acknowledged his statement about the lengthy process in her comments to him when she denied his motion, and she did not mention danger to community or flight risk at all in her response.

    (Yeah... I know... I'm splitting hairs...)

    The bottom line though: He don't need no steenking walker.

  5. Love the fish wrappers remark!


    When I was a kid we went Sausalito and got fish and chips, I did not care about the news at all and dumped malt vinegar all over "my fish wrapper."

    There is an article in the San Mateo Daily Journal this am.....they did get it right.

  6. Mmmm. Fish and Chips and malt vinegar!

    I think I figured out what I'm having for lunch today! I know just the place!

    I always used to roll my eyes when I'd hear people call the newspaper a fish wrapper or bird cage liner, but I'd never been involved in anything that was being reported.

    It's astounding to me that people can all sit in the room and hear such different things, especially in such a structured environment (I'm talking about the reasons argued for bail reduction, not so much about the erroneous date...) It really would be good to have more reporters there so that you get the story from a few different perspectives.

    It seems that now the goal is to have one person crank out the story quickly so that it can be copied instantly all over... not necessarily great.... One tangled set of fingers, and now the incorrect date is already on hundreds of newspapers.

    Oh well. Hopefully in a few hours I'll be having some nice breaded fish and a great micro-brew, and I'll forget about April for awhile.