Thursday, October 6, 2011

Analysis of ayres News Story

The Mercury News printed an article last night (Wednesday 10/5/2011) about the ayres hearing this past Monday which allowed the delay of ayres' commitment to Napa State. The Mercury News article can be found here.

The article mentions that the reporters talked to prosecutor McKowan, and apparently, she indicated to them that the reason for the delay is that the court did not submit all of the necessary paperwork. 

The Mercury News also mentions that the original criminal trial, which ended in a mistrial, had ONE count that had an 11-1 for guilt vote.

Here are some problems with the news story:

Mistrial Vote Count: Immediately after the criminal trial (in June/July of 2009) there was some confusion in the press about what the actual jury vote count was. This was mostly cleared up after a day or so, with perhaps some minor discrepancies on the outlier votes. By August 4, 2009, the dust had mostly cleared and the final count, as best we could tell from multiple news sources was:

On 6 counts the vote was 11-1 in favor of conviction.
On 1 count the vote was 10-2 in favor of conviction.
On 2 counts the vote was 7-5 in favor of conviction

I'm not sure why the press keeps incorrectly downplaying the vote count. They do the same thing with the number of times the trial dates were missed, even though their own papers posted a blurb each time the trial dates were re-scheduled due to some stupid excuse or other. (Not to mention the handy guide I've provided Frankly it's maddening. 

Missing Information: The Mercury News fails to mention the judge's statement that if ayres is not in lockup by the new date (Wednesday, October 26th, 2011) that someone would be found in contempt of court.

We're not 100% clear ourselves who would be found in contempt. The parents of a victim were in the courtroom, and they reported the information to us (apparently there was NO PRESS present). The parents indicate that it was Napa State that would be held in contempt, but that there's a possibility that it might have been ayres or McDougall that would be held in contempt, they weren't entirely clear.

Either prosecutor McKowan didn't tell the press about the contempt order, or perhaps the press didn't find it interesting enough to print, but I have a problem with that too....

Further: At last Monday's hearing, Judge Grandsaert ordered the defense attorney to make sure that the paperwork was properly provided to Napa State so that ayres could be in lockup by the new October 26th deadline. Which would lead me to believe that it was, in fact ayres and/or McDougall who would be found in contempt if ayres is not locked up by the new deadline.

Point: The fact that a contempt charge possibility was discussed by Judge Grandsaert at all is very problematic for McKowan.

Logical holes: If McKowan was the source of the information that the delay was because the court failed to provide the necessary paperwork to Napa State, then the whole question of a contempt order becomes a thorny logical problem:

IF McKowan told the press that the Court was responsible for the delay THEN it doesn't make ANY sense for the judge to have had ANY discussion of contempt. The press should have asked McKowan: "Why, then would ayres or his lawyer -- or even Napa State for that matter --  be held in contempt if ayres does not report by the new date."  THEREFORE it doesn't make sense for McKowan to claim that the court was responsible for the delay, and I would argue that this is some kind of misrepresentation of fact, deliberate or otherwise... And the press should have pointed this out to McKowan (or whoever their source was.)

UNLESS Judge Grandsaert was saying that the COURT would be found in contempt if ayres isn't admitted by the October 26th. date (Because the Court was late in providing the paperwork.) BUT: it seems silly that the court would warn itself about the possibility of contempt against itself, AND it doesn't make any sense anyway, because the court ORDERED the defense attorney to make sure that the paperwork was submitted to Napa on time for his conviction.

The Good Lord knows, I certainly find the court in contempt, but I suppose that's irrelevant.

The simple statement that the Court was responsible for the delay should have opened a whole line of other questions for the press, but it apparently was lost on them... They seem incapable of understanding that they are being deceived. 

Interesting that McDougall never has any comment for the press in defense of his client. He doesn't need to make any; the DA seems to be doing a pretty good job of covering for ayres at the expense of the court (If indeed, the statement that the Court was responsible came from McKowan.)


  1. A mother of a victim found out on September 28 from the court clerk that there would be no hearing on October 6, but that there would be one (as reported here) on October 3.

    Although DA Wagstaffe puts out a daily press release called something like "Cases of Interest", he neglected to mention the Ayres hearing on his list. Funny that he should do that for such a high profile case.

    The press found out about the hearing AFTER the fact by reading this blog. When they called Wagstaffe a DAY AND A HALF AFTER MONDAY'S HEARING, Wagstaffe acted as if he didn't even know the hearing had occurred at all.

    Really? For someone who has described himself to the press as a micro manager and involved in every last detail in his office's caseload, we find it ery strange that he was not aware that Ayres would not be going to Napa on October 6, or about the hearing.

    In fact, no one is buying his shtick at all.

    Cardell Brown case redux.