News articles available:
The Merc has their story up. (pdf)
The San Mateo Daily Journal has their story up. (pdf) This one is the better of the two.
10/29/2012 Evening Update:
Additional notes about Amanda Gregory's testimony earlier in the day:
Amanda included interviews with Solveig Ayres and Barbara Ayres as part of the process that she used to determine ayres' competency. (Because there's nothing better than input from a biased spouse and child worried about their share of the inheritance to gauge dementia.)
Amanda was not swayed by McIlnay's report, as his report made no reference to the difficulties that ayres was having, and doesn't include findings of dementia.
Prosecutor McKowan made references to a 2005 study about malingering, showing that ALL parts of the testing procedures are available on the internet, and that armed with such information, a person could "pass" tests to detect malingering. Amanda said she lookd at the internet but couldn't find it. (G... G... G... G.... G.... G... G .. Google it!)
More on Shyster McDougall's testimony:
In discussing his fears that he would be fired, McDougall reported that the ayres family bickered and argued over why they had to pay Amanda Gregory and others for their opinions, after Solveig took over the finances.
McDougall was questioned by the other defense attorney Bentley: He asked extensively about the "inuendos" that were made by the Prosecutor about McDougall providing information to ayres about faking dementia. (Oh, no! Certainly not!)
McDougall insists that ayres said that he wanted to go to trial to clear his name. When questioned about staff reports that ayres had said that he didn't want to be restored to competency, because he would be found guilty and have to go to prison, McDougall said that he hadn't heard about any of that. He claims that he did not read THOSE reports, but instead left those to Bentley to read. (So that he wouldn't have to discuss the matter on the stand.) When asked about the opinion that ayres didn't want to be "restored to competency" because he didn't want to go to trial again, McDougall disagreed with the conclusion, and said that it sounded to him like ayres was acting like someone who was tired of being locked up in Napa.
Prosecutor McKowan further hammered on ayres' ability to fake dementia by mentioning that ayres had had several close friends or relatives who had Alzheimer's and therefore would know some of the symptoms very well.
After the afternoon recess, the judge was presented with a binder with all of the reports, and we learned that the defense witnesses have finished, and so the prosecution began calling their witnesses in the afternoon. Dr. Paul Good will be called at some point in the next day or so as well.
First up for the Prosecution was Dr. Shawna Leppert a Napa Staff Psychologist in the admissions unit. Her job there is evaluation of patients for competency and malingering. She has made more than 150 such evaluations in her time there. She evaluated ayres during the initial month of his stay there, during the period when they actively and aggressively work to "restore" competency if possible.
She said that ayres was unwilling to sit with her for interviews, and declined her proposals to use medications to help restore competency. She reports that at the 28 day evaluation conference with Solveig, Barbara, a staff psychiatrist and a social worker present, when they urged ayres to try some of the programs to help restore competency, he again refused, and at that point asked why he should, that he'd just end up going to prison. Eventually, she got ayres to take the anti-psychotic medication, and said that he was showing some improvement but then after 9 days, he began complaining about side effects, and stopped taking the medication.
Leppert reported that ayres was guarded and defensive, not willing to answer questions, and that he was VERY vocal about his alleged deficits. At one point ayres even told her that he "had a serious lack of capacity to remember anything." (Huh. How about that.)
Leppert tried to get ayres to participate in an incentive program in which they get a card that entitles them to some kind of extra snack or treat if they get the card signed by participating in one of the group restoration sessions or other treatment processes. ayres was told that if he forgot the card when he went to a session, he could get it and bring it later for a signature. ayres told her that he didn't understand the process. He did go to a session and forgot his card. Without reminder, he later brought the card to have it signed. Leppert says this is proof that ayres' is retaining short term memory.
In another example, Leppert detailed an instance that ayres was playing the board game "Sorry" with another inmate. ayres indicated that he didn't think he'd be able to play, but the game rules were explained to him. He beat the inmate at the game. Later Leppert asked to play with him, and he acted like he wouldn't know how to play, but his game strategy was sound.
The last person to testify for the afternoon was Dr. McIlnay.
McIlnay is also a forensic doctor, and his specific specialty is also assessment of competency and malingering. He had performed 150 to 200 such evaluations. He states that because of the nature of the institution, there is a fairly high (15% - 20%) instance of people found to be malingering. He also stated however, that the ayres case was presented to him as a "very unlikely to be restored to competence" case.
He stated that he was assigned the case, and that nobody wanted to take the case, as it was likely to be complex and difficult; a whole lot of work. He was told that he needed to produce a report within only a few days, but due to delays from other reports, it took longer than that.
McIlnay reviewed all internal Napa reports as well as all of the reports provided by San Mateo County. He interviewed ayres five times taking about 10 hours to do so. He states that by the third interview he began to suspect malingering due to discrepancies in answers during all of the testing done, and from the reports about ayres' behavior that he was getting from staff. The doctors used a "Global Assessment of Functioning" test at various times, and the inconsistant results were another red flag for McIlnay: Dr. Sutherland tested ayres several times, and he scored 60-65, then later 40-50 and finally a 30. When Dr. Warnick tested ayres, he scored a 60. Sutherland presented no justification for the scores that were recorded.
McIlnay made no diagnosis of dementia, as the exaggeration was significant enough to cloud any such diagnosis. He also says that ayres is somewhat depressed, but that he doesn't meet ALL of the criteria for a DSM diagnosis of depression.
McIlnay stated that he takes into account the sophistication of the person being evaluated when assessing all components of the person's behavior.
McIlnay also recounted an episode when ayres was very frustrated about staffing levels, and ayres was feeling afraid and unsafe, and so he went to the head nurse and explained his frustrations, and suggested changes. The head nurse had noticed the problem as well, and so she implemented some changes within a day or so. When ayres noticed that the changes had been made, he sought her out to thank her for fixing the problem. McIlnay stated that this CLEARLY indicates that ayres was very clear-minded about identifying the problem, identifying solutions, understanding system to know who to go to to make sure that the changes were made, and that the had no memory issues remembering what the problem was, and who to thank when the problem was fixed.
Afternoon Courtroom Notes:
Solveig and Barbara were being very noisy in the back of the courtroom, jabbering like piggies, cell phones buzzing, etc. The Sheriff had to go back to shut them up. While McIlnay was driving the point home about ayres' clear ability to make competent decisions, Barbara got up, stomped out, and threw a cup at the garbage can making a ruckus.
Also at some point someone fell asleep and was snoring, but they woke up just as the sheriff was getting up to tell them to wake the hell up. It was either Fake Blind Hat Guy or the rumply looking reporter dude that was sitting there.
McIlnay testimony continues on Tuesday. Earlier morning proceedings are documented below.
First up on the stand today was Amanda Gregory who testified in ayres’ previous competency trial.
Amanda has examined ayres 6 or 7 times, for a total of about 25 hours, and has met with McDougall for another 15 hours. Mostly she answered questions with terse yes/no responses. She feels that ayres is incompetent. No surprise there.
The number of hours she has spent with ayres plays into Prosecutor McKowan’s claims that the more time a shrinky-dink spends with a patient, the more sympathetic they are likely to become.
At one point McKowan asked Gregory about her changing the report to indicate that ayres might be malingering, but after the child molester’s attorney challenged McKowan on this point, she realized that she was thinking of Sutherland, who testified on Friday. (!?)
Also on the stand today was Shyster McDougall, the child molester’s attorney:
The Shyster testified that he was afraid that he’d be fired because of all of the stuff that he’s legally required to do (which McDougall claims that ayres did not want him to do) because he thinks that ayres is a drooling moron. Yeah. Because ayres wouldn’t like to have to (continue to) walk free on an incompetence technicality. Whatever the Shyster is sucking down, that’s some pretty high quality shit, and he's trying to share it with the judge…
He talked about Medina vs. California, and about the fact that an attorney is in a unique position to identify when a client is suffering mental deficit. That’s kind of cool actually… attorneys have managed to use bench legislation to turn themselves into medical professionals! I wonder if I could get a lawyer to bench legislate me into a Mars Astronaut - because that would be wicked awesome.
Anyhow, the meat of the Shyster’s testimony is that ayres tried to pay his Shyster Fee off-schedule a few times, and a few times ayres gave McDougall some lists of doctors that he had already supplied, and that proves that ayres is forgetful. The expert medical professional McDougall didn’t, however, give any opinion about whether or not the stress of possibly dying in prison makes a person more forgetful or not.
Of note: ayres gave McDougall lists of doctors that he should use to evaluate ayres’ competence as well as lists of pediatricians that McDougall should contact who would testify that it was medically necessary for ayres to give “medical exams.” Now, a list of local pediatricians who would defend a child molester would be quite an interesting thing to have. Wonder if The Shyster is willing to share some of ayres' suggestions with us?
Court resumes at 1:30pm
Noon TL;DR: Amanda Gregory is still a idiot, and Shyster McDougal was a wittle afwaid that he would be fired by ayres for getting him off on an incompetence technicality. ayres can produce a list of local pediatricians who would support a child molester. Prosecutor McKowan posits something that we all know intuitively: that these flakey shrinks are so busy having masturbatory fantasies about the great william ayres and their own shrinky prowess, that they’re unable to see the forest for all the trees -- even when more level-headed folks show them a picture.
william hamilton ayres was arrested on April 5, 2007 on charges relating to his molestation of many young boys while he was alleging to provide psychiatric care to private patients as well as referrals for evaluation from the juvenile court system in San Mateo County. ayres has been delaying his way through the system free from custody until this latest gambit to skirt prosecution by playing demented for the courts. ayres is currently under the conservatorship of his daughter Barbara Ayres of Sacramento, CA.
ayres has had significant interaction over the years with local politicians on boards like the "Children and Families First Commission," including the DA who was serving when prosecution began Jim Fox and Assemblyman Rich Gordon. In fact, Gordon nominated ayres for a lifetime achievement award for his "Tireless effort to improve the lives of children." ayres has also been vocally supported during his criminal trial by local head-shrinkers like Bart Blinder, Etta Bryant, Mel Blaustein, Harry Coren, Tom Ciesla, Robert Kimmich, Larry Lurie, Maria Lymberis, Richard Shadoan, Captane Thomson, and Harold Wallach.