Tuesday, May 14, 2013
ayres Molest Trial: Day 2
Criminal Retrial - Day 2:
This is a VERY brief update on the criminal re-trial of william hamilton ayres, accused of molesting many young boys under the guise of providing psychiatric care.
Discussions were technical, and heavily statute and case loaded today.
I don't have time to look up all of the statutes and cases mentioned right now. Later in the week, I will look through notes provided to me, and post anything interesting.
For now, just a brief gist of the nature of court proceedings today:
Victoria Balfour was not mentioned, even in passing, contrary to what we expected based on yesterday's discussions.
Freeman ruled that references to the first jury trial would be excluded, yet later in the day, McDougall said that he would not object to hearing testimony given in the first trial. (?)
It seems that the prosecutors have been combing through all of the documents that they have from their seizure of ayres billing records (took them six plus years?), as they have recently found at least one letter from ayres to parents who complained about unexpected "examinations" performed on their children. There may also be some debate over whether or not there will be another new witness allowed, or if it is now too late to introduce a new witness.
There were discussions about the permissability of some "hearsay" witnesses, and "spontaneous statements" Code 1220 was mentioned. (This is one of the things that I'll dig into in the next couple of days.)
Defense and Prosecution Bickering:
There was quite a bit of back and forth arguing between Defense Shyster McDougall and the prosecutors about experts and rebuttal witnesses:
If McDougall has "False Memory Foundation" flake Elizabeth Loftus testify, then the prosecution will call Dr. Goodman, but the prosecution can't call Goodman UNLESS McDougall calls.... etc, etc, etc... tit-for-tat, my expert is more frightening than yours... If McDougall brings up ayres' alleged dementia, then McKowan will call Dr. McIlnay, etc,
Judge Freeman seems very focused on preventing the prosecution and defense from wresting control of the courtroom away from her. Section 352 was the discussion point throughout the day. As mentioned yesterday, this has to do with not wasting time, and not confusing the issues for the jury, not causing undue prejudice, etc... Much of the expert witness bickering related directly to this, eliminating witnesses as long as the opponent does not have witnesses to the opposite extent.
The question I have is: at some point doesn't everything become crystal clear because NO witnesses essential to the understanding of the situation are ever called?
It apparently became clear that Judge Freeman was fairly pissed that at every turn McDougall was trying very hard to make the case all about ayres' alleged dementia. At one point, Freeman said that she does NOT intend to retry the competency issue during this trial.
In line with all of this, Freeman told the two sides that for each witness, the respective attorneys will need to provide proof of qualification and relevancy prior to their testimony, and specifically this was underlined when talking about rebuttal witnesses.
Coverage/Next few days:
According to the judge, the next few days will be focused on prepping jury questionnaire and eliminating hardship cases from the very large jury pool. In fact, because her courtroom only seats 80, she said she'd be going to the jury room to address the prospective jurors and have them start filling out hardship paperwork, and then administering the jury questionnaires.
Voir Dire will probably start on Wednesday, the 22nd.
It is probable that this blog will not have observers in the courtroom until that point, or possibly later. If anyone IS in the courtroom and wants to provide some summary info, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will watch the local press for information and link it here. Note that as of today, only ONE newspaper even acknowledged that the criminal re-trial started yesterday, we expect coverage to be fairly poor even compared to last time around.
*Note: I updated this article on 5/15/2013: The letter in the billing files was from ayres to the parents, not the other way around.
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.
©Salem-McMartin By Deep Sounding at 5/14/2013 06:41:00 PM