Saturday, August 4, 2012

One Year Ago: DA Steve Wagstaffe to Mother of a Victim: We Need Evidence of Ayres Driving a Car

What the Papers Aren't Reporting: the All Over the Map Stories Coming Out of DA Steve Wagstaffe's Office Concerning Ayres' Mental Competency since 2011.

Plus:  Exclusive information on what San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said about Ayres' mental competency one year ago that no reporter ever bothered to publish: "It would have been more helpful if Ayres had been seen driving a car." 


Immediately following the mistrial for mental competency of Ayres in June 2011, San Mateo prosecutor Melissa Mckowan  told a number of parents of Ayres victims that Ayres was NOT competent; that his dementia was rapidly advancing; that she would NOT retry Ayres and that (direct quote) "no jury would ever find Ayres competent to stand trial." She also stated that she would NOT send Ayres to Napa as "he would not get better there."

However, that same summer, a medical colleague of Ayres tipped off the familes of victims that Ayres WAS competent, and had been seen by other medical colleagues in San Francisco at restaurants, holding forth and acting lucidly on all sorts of topics. She said that everyone could see he was competent.

Additionally, a friend of an Ayres victim who committed suicide last August learned from his employer, who is married to a psychiatrist who works at Ayres' old office complex, that psychiatrists there had seen Ayres driving a car to the complex. The wife of the psychiatrist said that Ayres would then hang around the breezeway of the office complex, lurking about his old office, the scene of the crimes. The wife of the psychiatrist told the friend of the Ayres victim that other psychiatrists were "creeped out" by Ayres hanging around the building.  She said that Ayres would then get into his car and drive away.

These tips of sightings of Ayres driving and acting competent were turned over to the police department in the summer of 2011. They were never acted on. The County did not put Ayres under surveillance.

Because the County would not act on the tips that he was competent, and the prosecutor was insisting he would never be competent to stand trial, in a last ditch effort, a group of parents and victims pooled their own money and hired a private investigator to tail Ayres just a week before the hearing where the DA was going to state that they would not retry Ayres in August 2011.

As readers of this blog know, the team of three investigators tailed Ayres to a restaurant in San Francisco, where Ayres lunched with his wife and two medical colleagues.

Although Ayres' lawyer had stated in the trial that Ayres had very little memory of the past and had trouble comprehending events in the present and future, the three investigators heard Ayres talk about his business ventures, his former patients, the Iowa straw polls, the future of the Republican party, and that he had a court hearing in a few days. He also joked, to the merriment of his luncheon colleagues, about how one benefit of Alzheimer's is that you could use "it in the courtroom" for one's own benefit.

But when the lawyer for one of the victim's families contacted prosecutor Melissa Mckowan on Friday August 19th, 2011 and told her he had evidence that Ayres was competent, Mckowan stated, "I don't believe it. Ayres has dementia. He is mentally imcompetent to stand trial. He will never be competent to stand trial. I am NOT retrying him."

The prosecutor said she didn't even want to  look at the video surveillance and then stopped returning the lawyer's calls. The lawyer for the victim's family then frantically tried to call DA Steve Wagstaffe. Finally, after considerable effort, he managed to speak to Wagstaffe about the surveillance video. Wagstaffe agreed to see the video.

Then, utter, dead silence from the San Mateo DA's office on this matter for the next 24 hours. Calls from reporters who had seen the video to Wagstaffe were, very uncharacteristically ( Wagstaffe is famous for returning every reporter's calls) unreturned. 

Bear in mind that just two days earlier, DA Steve Wagstaffe had told San Mateo Supervisor Dave Pine that he gave him his "word that retrying Ayres was a strong option and still on the table."  That was BEFORE Wagstaffe had seen the surveillance video that showed Ayres acting competent.

Then, 24 hours after the San Mateo DA had received the surveillance video, at a time when Wagstaffe was refusing to return reporter's calls, a mother of an Ayres victim finally got him on the phone late in the afternoon on Saturday, August 20, 2011.

Her description of her conversation with Wagstaffe on Ayres' mental competency and the video is described in an email here. Names  of the sender and receiver have been redacted for reasons of privacy. But this is the email verbatim.

From:      xxxxxxx
Subject:   Re: Media Contact
Date:       August 20, 2011 6:06:12 PM EDT
To:   xxxxx

I called Wagstaffe today and got a return call about 10 muinutes later. He talks faster than a machine gun, and I will try to relate here everything of importance.

He said that he looked at the videos and read the transcript, and that the overwhelming, dramatic evidence we needed was a video tape of Ayres driving a car. He would have gone back and retried him for that. He also mentioned seeing him without a walker would have helped.

He was very disturbed about McKowan telling people that Ayres would never go to Napa. He said he never knew that, and if that's the case it's a serious violation. He said that sadly, justice had not been served in the initial trial and mentioned that if the 11-1 count had been overturned, Ayres would have gone to prison for the rest of his life. He also said that delays weakened the trial, and Melissa was very frustrated after the trial.

We talked about re-trial, and he said because of the 8-4 verdict on the competency trial, he could not justify a repeat since he has an obligation to the taxpayers against spending more money on a subsequent trial that can't be won.

Here is the official plan for Monday: The DA's office will argue for committment to Napa State Hospital, and only Napa.

➲ Ayres' medical colleagues last year said Ayres was competent.

➲ The surveillance video showed he was competent.

➲ The court appointed, unbiased doctors who testified at Ayres' competency trial said Ayres was competent.

➲ Now according to Napa reports, even the custodial staff could see that Ayres was mentally competent.

Why is it that Wagstaffe's office couldn't see that he was competent? Or, did Wagstaffe know he was competent but just couldn't be bothered to retry him?

I would be interested to hear how much it has cost San Mateo County to house Ayres at Napa for the nine months versus the cost of a mental competency retrial that Wagstaffe said a year ago "couldn't be won."

Just to give readers a comparison of how other DA's offices around the country stack up in convicting pedophiles - all of whom were arrested AFTER AYRES.

Jerry Sandusky case in Pennsylvania. Length of time from arrest to conviction: 7 months.

Dr. Scott and Dr. Mark Blankenburg, pedophile pediatricians in Ohio: Length of time from arrest to conviction on 79 counts of child molestation, possession of child pornography and bribery: 9 months.

Dr. Earl Bradley, pedophile pediatrician in Delaware in one of the largest cases of child abuse in the history of the US. Length of time from arrest to conviction of molesting more than 100 children: 9 months.

Dr. William Ayres case: Arrested in April, 2007. More than five and a half years ago. NO CONVICTION.

Please also read the new post immediately below this one for more detailed coverage of the August 3rd, 2012 hearing than you're going to see anywhere in the paper.


  1. The mishandling, misconduct and everchanging stories coming out of the San Mateo DA's office DEFIES BELIEF.

  2. San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe also REFUSED to cooperate with an investigator from the California Commission on Judicial Performance in 2008, during their investigation into San Mateo Juvenile Judge Marta Diaz - even though Wagstaffe himself had been the off-the-record source about Diaz's misconduct to two reporters in 2005.

    Wagstaffe's cover up of a crime by a County employee is a crime, no? Isn't this what the FBI is looking at?

  3. Followup: In July 2005, DA Steve Wagstaffe told a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle and a reporter for the San Mateo County Times that then Juvenile Judge Diaz had actively tried to get the San Mateo Police from investigating a molestation complaint by a victim in the fall of 2002. Wagstaffe told the reporters that Diaz said to the police, "Don't investigate Ayres. He and I are friends."

    This was reported to the California Commission on Judicial Performance. But Wagstaffe covered for Diaz and refused to cooperate with the investigators in March 2008.

  4. Judge John Grandsaert's been under investigation for the last 11 months too, for his actions on the Ayres case. Just sayin'....

  5. Here's the front page story from the San Francisco Examiner last September that talks about how the parents had evidence that Ayres was competent but were ignored and shut down by the DA and told that Ayres was not competent to stand trial. And now even the JANITORS at Napa can tell that Ayres is competent. Why couldn't the DA?

    Kudos to San Francisco Examiner Mike Aldax for being the only reporter with balls to believing the parents last September and doing a front page story.

  6. After reading this, I have another question:

    Why did the prosecutor tell parents of victims for at least three months that Ayres would NOT go to Napa? Why did she say he "wouldn't get better there? " Seems like even though the janitors at Napa could see he was competent, but she couldn't?

    So she really thought he was incompetent? If so, why wouldn't he get better there? Where did the prosecutor want Ayres to go?

    And why is her story at odds with what San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe tell the mother of an Ayres victim on August 20, 2011 that "he didn't know" that his prosecutor had been going around and telling families for three months that Ayres would NOT go to Napa?

    Is anyone minding the store over at the DA's office? How can his prosecutor have one story and he has another? How can he not know that his prosecutor had been giving out erroneous information to the desperate families of victims for three months?

  7. More questions:

    Why did DA Steve Wagstaffe give San Mateo Supervisor Dave Pine on August 18, 2011 his "word" ( exact quote) that he was "strongly considering retrying" Ayres for mental competency? Pine exacted a promise from him that a retrial was still on the table.

    What made Wagstaffe change his mind about retrying Ayres just two days later, after seeing actual EVIDENCE that Ayres was competent?

    Did he know all along that he wasn't going to retry Ayres and then just happened to LIE to San Mateo Supervisor Dave Pine when they spoke?

    Why did Wagstaffe hide out from reporters for two days after the surveillance surfaced?

    Why after promising San Mateo Supervisor Dave Pine on August 18, 2011, that he was seriously considering retrying Ayres- did he do a 180 with the mother of a victim just two days later? What changed his mind so qukckly and made him close off the option of retrying?

    Surely if he thought he couldn't justify the cost to tax payers, he would have made up his mind about not retrying Ayres weeks before he spoke with Supervisor Pine.

    Was Wagstaffe lying?

    You decide. It wouldn't be the first the time the San Mateo DA has lied to people.

  8. Spotted this comment about the DA's mishandling of the Ayres case over at Websleuths:

    I stole this from the William Ayres Blog because it struck me. These victims have been waiting a lifetime, and those are just the ones who havent killed themselves.

    In the same blog I linked, it details an email from the mother of an Ayres victim who spoke with S, Wagstaffe after a surveillance video was shown to him of Ayres out at dinner with friends. Apparently his response, in a nutshell, was that if Ayres hadnt been using a walker, he would have retried him.

    San Mateo paid the cost of Ayres visit to Napa. Cost it against a new trial.

    COME ON, San Mateo!!!! Where is the outrage here?

  9. New story in the San Francisco Examiner:

  10. Robert Kimmich, one of Ayres' doctor enablers and who attended the lunch that was caught on video by the private investigators tailing Ayres last year, died last November.

    Robert died on Nov. 7, 2011 at the age of ninety-one. Dr. Kimmich, who practiced psychiatry in San Francisco, lived a full, engaged and accomplished life. His family, friends, colleagues, and patients will miss him.

    Dr. Kimmich was born Nov. 2, 1920, the son of John Martin Kimmich, M.D. and Renee Baron Kimmich of Carpentras, France.

    Dr. Kimmich was educated at Yale University where he received his M.D. degree. His psychiatric career began at the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital. He later served as a Captain in U.S. Army and was stationed as Clinical Director of the Psychiatry Department of Valley Forge Psychiatric Hospital. He returned to Yale as an Assistant Professor and Chief of the Psychosomatic Clinic.

    Dr. Kimmich was a leader in American psychiatry.

    Read more at link... no mention of his shameful defense of pedophile Ayres

  11. Isn't Kimmich the doctor who backed a letter to get donations for Ayres legal defense? Anybody seen Etta Bryant around? These old supporters days are numbered. Most of them are older than Ayres.

    The S.F Examaner said something about the Judge researching the setting of bail while Ayres is locked up at San Mateo County there any possibility because Ayres faked his dementia he won't be granted bail?

    If I was the DA I would set him as no bail for faking the dementia....

  12. Ah, as Deep Sounding notes, the DA was given PLENTY of evidence before they sent him to Napa that he was competent and he chose to ignore it. He just didn't want to retry Ayres so he made up some bogus excuse that it wasn't helpful that Ayres was using a walker. He said he didn't want to retry Ayres because it would be too expensive.

    Tips were given that Ayres had been seen in SF in the summer of 2011 acting competent, but they were ignored.

    Ayres wasn't faking it; the tipsters reported he wasn't faking it. Ayres joked about how one could use Alzheimer's to one's advantage in front of a lawyer in a courtroom. Does that sound incompetent to you?

    It's actually the DA's fault, because they couldn't be bothered to try Ayres, despite evidence he was competent.

    If even the JANITORS at Napa could see Ayres was competent, why didn't the DA want to retry Ayres?

  13. What was Wagstaffe smoking when he said to the Palo Alto Daily Post, " We have always pushed for Napa."

    Really? He must not have given prosecutor Mckowan the memo.

    Commencing on June 17, 2011, until at least August 10, 2011, the prosecutor told parents of victims over and over that Ayres was "NOT going to Napa"; that she would agree to a comfortable locked rest home for Ayres; and that Ayres SHOULDN'T go to Napa because "he wouldn't get better there."

    Doesn't Wagstaffe give orders to his staff as to what his office's official party line is on cases?

    On August 20, 2011, in a conversation with a mother of a victim. Wagstaffe expressed ANGER that his prosecutor had been running around and telling everyone that Ayres was not going to Napa and that what she had done was a "serious violation."

    Either their original plan was not to send Ayres to Napa, and then after the surveillance video that showed Ayres was competent, they had to scurry to change tacks, or the prosecutor was just shooting off her mouth with no basis in fact. If that was the case, she caused unbearable anguish to the parents.

    DA and prosecutors really, really, really need to get on the same page about their plans for a defendant.

    Santa Clara DA Jeff Rosen is able to manage his staff. Why can't Wagstaffe?

    Wagstaffe's office is one out- of-control mess.