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July 5, 2007

San Mateo County Superior Court sets date for hearing in child psychiatrist molestation case

A San Mateo County Superior Court judge will decide in August whether there is enough evidence for a San Mateo child psychiatrist to stand trial for allegedly molesting several of his young patients in the early 1990s.

William Hamilton Ayres, 75, once president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, has been charged with 21 counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14, for allegedly fondling seven boys who had come to him for counseling.

The boys were between the ages of 9 and 12 at the time the alleged molestations took place, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors claim there are about 30 other victims whose alleged molestations fall outside the statute of limitations.

In court this morning, Judge Carl Holm set a date of Aug. 7 for Ayres' preliminary hearing, which Deputy District Attorney Melissa McKowan estimated would last about half a day.

Outside the courtroom, defense attorney Doron Weinberg reiterated his claim that the accusations against his client were likely the result of either "mistake, false memory or suggestion," he said.

"Nothing that I have seen or heard so far from the witnesses changes my opinion that Dr. Ayres did not molest anyone," Weinberg stated.

Weinberg also indicated today that, following the preliminary hearing, he may file a motion alleging the search of Ayres' office and seizure of files by law enforcement violated privacy issues. If upheld, such a motion would not allow evidence found during the search to be admissible during a trial, he said.

According to authorities, from the 1960s through 2006, Ayres had a thriving practice treating children, and was called upon to evaluate hundreds of cases, including those of sex offenders, in San Mateo County juvenile court.

Ayres remains out of custody after posting $750,000 cash bail. If convicted, he could face the rest of his life in prison, according to the district attorney's office.

Richmond police searching for college athlete's murderer

Richmond police are asking for the public's help in tracking down the person who fatally shot a Richmond college athlete in the city's so-called Iron Triangle neighborhood Tuesday night.

"We know there were witnesses," Richmond police Lt. Michael Booker said today. "We need people to step forward."

The Contra Costa County coroner identified the victim today as 20-year-old Colin Powell Jr., a Richmond resident.

Powell was shot to death inside a 1992 Chevy Camaro at about 10:05 p.m. at the intersection of S. Third Street and Maine Avenue, Richmond police Lt. Ron Barry said.

Police found Powell inside the car suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper chest. There were also several holes in the driver's door that appeared to be from bullets, Barry said.

Powell, who was the only person in the vehicle, had apparently been waiting his turn at the intersection when he was shot. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

"He was a good kid," Booker said.

According to Booker, who coached Powell in basketball since he was a young teen, Powell attended Contra Costa College for two years and recently received a football scholarship to a school on the East Coast.

Police are continuing to investigate the case, but so far haven't identified a motive for the killing or any suspects, Booker said. Powell was not associated with any gangs, according to Booker.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Detective Terry Miles at (510) 620-6860.

Man jailed for attacking police officer

A man is in jail today after he allegedly attacked a police officer following the discovery of 33 marijuana plants in a San Jose apartment.

At about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, police responded to a family disturbance call in the 1700 block of Stokes Avenue, according to police.

Officers found the indoor marijuana garden and handcuffed a male suspect. Without warning, the handcuffed man rammed his head into a police officer triggering a struggle.

The suspect was further subdued and it was discovered he was a parolee at large. The suspect was booked for his previous charges, assault on a peace officer, domestic violence and cultivation of marijuana.

The officer was uninjured in the attack.

Union arranging financial support for locked out garbage workers

Union officials are trying to arrange financial support for 500 East Bay garbage workers who have been locked out for nearly four days, a spokesman said today.

Galen Munroe of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters said the union is trying to arrange unemployment benefits as well as assistance from the union's national office in Washington, D.C.

Munroe said Chuck Mack, the secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 70 in Oakland, will speak to a federal mediator by phone Friday to discuss the possibility of mediators getting involved in the bogged-down contract talks between the union and Waste Management of Alameda County.

Waste Management locked out the garbage workers at 5 p.m. Monday after three months of contract talks were unproductive.

Company officials weren't available for comment this morning.

On Tuesday, Waste Management spokesman David Tucker said the company is deploying substitute workers to provide services to the communities it serves, which are Albany, Emeryville, Oakland, Hayward, Newark, Livermore, the Castro Valley Sanitary District, Oro Loma Sanitary
District in parts of San Leandro and San Lorenzo, San Ramon and unincorporated Alameda County.

He said the substitute workers are collecting garbage in those communities but in most of them they aren't collecting recyclables.

Tucker said Tuesday that Waste Management wants federal mediators to get involved in contract talks.

Waste Management says drivers represented by Local 70 on average earn more than $75,000 a year in wages plus $16,500 in health and welfare benefits and $14,000 in pension contributions.

It says it has offered above-market increases in all those areas as well as a safety program designed to prevent serious accidents and fatalities.

But Mack said the union objects to management's request that workers pay a larger share of their health care costs, alleging that the company "wants to shift health care costs back to employees."

Mack also alleged that the company's proposed safety program is aimed more at punishing employees than providing for their safety.

California Supreme Court now considers evidence of impending divorce in accident settlement

The California Supreme Court ruled today that a trial judge can consider evidence of an impending divorce when deciding how an accident settlement should be divided up between the victim's second wife and adult daughter.

The court issued the ruling at its headquarters in San Francisco in an Orange County dispute between the wife and daughter of Raymond Corder over a $1.1 million settlement for a construction accident.

Corder, a crane operator, was killed by a piece of falling equipment in an accident at Huntington Beach in 2001. He had married his second wife, Shaoping or "Sherry" Corder, eight months earlier.

Both Sherry Corder and Raymond Corder's adult daughter, Lisa Corder, claimed they should get the majority of the settlement provided by an equipment manufacturer.

At a trial, Lisa Corder called three witnesses who maintained Raymond Corder was about to divorce his wife because she allegedly refused to give up being a prostitute. Sherry Corder's witnesses claimed the marriage was a happy one. Raymond Corder had not filed any divorce papers.

The trial judge in the case said the daughter's witnesses were credible and awarded 90 percent of the settlement to Lisa Corder and only 10 percent to the wife on the ground that the marriage was "on the verge of ending."

The state high court, ruling in Sherry Corder's appeal, said that trial judges in such cases have the authority to decide how to divide up a settlement and that evidence of an impending divorce can be relevant.

But it said that in the Corder case, the evidence wasn't strong enough because the three witnesses were not corroborated by other evidence. The panel sent the case back to lower courts for further proceedings.

Contra Costa County identified body of man washed up on Jersey Shore

The Contra Costa County coroner has identified a man whose body washed up on the Jersey Island shore in the San Joaquin River on Sunday as a 60-year-old John Danio.

Danio was a resident of Isleton, a small Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta town of about 840 people in Sacramento County best known for its annual crawdad festival.

Although an autopsy was conducted Monday, Danio's cause of death is still pending, a deputy coroner said today.

Contra Costa County sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said that a boater spotted the body on the Jersey Island shoreline and reported it the sheriff's office shortly after 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

The man was found lying face down on the rocks. He was naked except for his shoes and socks, Lee said.

There was no sign of trauma to Danio's body, according to Lee.

Two men stabbed in San Francisco during Fourth of July

Two men were stabbed on the Fourth of July in San Francisco when about 35 men engaged in a physical brawl, police said today.

One man was stabbed in the chest and sustained life-threatening injuries, while a second victim, who was stabbed in the left thigh, suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The fight occurred in the area of Columbus and Union streets around 9:30 p.m.

Both victims were taken to a local hospital. No suspects have been arrested, according to police.

Man found electrocuted inside Livermore windmill identified

A man found electrocuted inside a windmill in unincorporated Livermore on Wednesday has been identified today as 43-year-old Kenneth Bush of Oakland.

Sheriff's officials still don't know why Bush was at the windmill.

"The best we can tell right now is that he was a transient," said Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. Dan Murray.

The privately owned windmill located at 11701 North Flynn Rd. is one of many that harness mountain winds to supply electricity to larger companies such as Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

Windmill owners and personnel told deputies that they did not know Bush, who was found after windmill owners went to investigate a power outage reported in the mountains Wednesday night. The outage could have been the result of Bush's electrocution, said Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. Mike Rores.

According to the Alameda County coroner's office, Bush was found without a shirt or shoes on in one of the windmill's electrical component boxes. Electricity appears to have entered his body through his feet.

Officials speculate Bush may have been trying to sleep in the windmill.

Rores suspected Wednesday that Bush may have been a copper wire thief.

The windmill is located in a very remote area and deputies have not been able to locate a vehicle Bush may have used to get there.

Record temperatures in the Bay Area

Temperatures across the Bay Area are hot, with highs in the 100s for parts of the South Bay and East Bay, but the weekend should bring some relief, according to National Weather Service forecaster Matt Mehle.

Most of the major Bay Area city centers are pleasantly warm in the mid-to- high 80s with San Jose reaching the low 90s today. Interior areas like Concord, Livermore and the inland valleys of the north and East Bay will reach into the 100s, threatening records. Parts of Monterey County are expected to reach 110- 115 degrees today.

The hot weather should retreat by Friday and Saturday bringing temperatures back down to the low 80s across much of the Bay Area.

"Our forecasted highs are right around the record temperatures,'' Mehle said.

Wednesday saw the hottest temperatures of the summer around the Bay Area. Despite all the heat, most of the daily records remain intact.

A Hazardous Heat Outlook remains in effect for most of the Bay Area including Santa Clara County, the San Francisco Bay shoreline, the inland valleys around the bay and the East Bay hills.

The weather service suggests staying inside with air-conditioning, avoiding sun exposure and limiting strenuous physical labor to early morning or late afternoon. It also emphasizes the importance of checking on elderly neighbors and family members who are especially susceptible to heat-related illness.

As always with hot weather, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals urges pet owners to remember to try to keep pets indoors. If they must be kept outside they need access to water and shade. The group also reminds pet owners to never leave animals in cars since temperatures quickly reach dangerous levels

San Mateo's Bay Meadows will stay open through 2008

Horse racing will continue at San Mateo's Bay Meadows racetrack at least through 2008, after a state horse racing board decision this week.

Members of the California Horse Racing Board approved a one-year waiver Tuesday for the track to continue racing next year, despite the board's new regulation that by 2008 all major thoroughbred racetracks in the state install polymer synthetic tracks, according to board spokesman Mike Marten.

The synthetic tracks are thought to provide safer conditions for the horses.

Bay Meadows officials, citing the new surface's estimated $8 million cost, announced in March that the racetrack, which opened in 1934, would likely have to close after the end of this year's racing season in November.

Tuesday's decision was approved unanimously by the board, after which Bay Meadows President Jack Liebau reassured board members that actions had already been taken to add some polymer substances to make the track softer, according to Marten.

Salinas police searching for suspect in hot dog stand shooting

Salinas police are seeking a suspect today in a shooting that occurred at about 12 a.m. Wednesday at a hot dog stand on the corner of Market Street and Carr Avenue.

Jorge Hinojosa, 21, was eating a hot dog when a man, described as being Hispanic, between 18-20 years old, standing 5 feet 10 inches tall with a medium build and wearing a red Minnesota Twins baseball cap walked past him, according to police.

The man then turned around, walked back to Hinojosa and shot him once in each arm without saying a word. Hinojosa kicked the suspect to the ground but the suspect fled before officers arrived.

Hinojosa was taken to a local hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Anyone with information about the suspect or other information about this incident is asked to call Salinas police at (831) 758-7250.

Oakland man burned in home meth lab

The only fireworks that went off in burn victim Joshua Grover's apartment today were ones allegedly created in his home meth lab, according to Oakland Police Department spokesman Roland Holmgren.

Grover, 36, was taken to the hospital after claiming to have suffered from fireworks-related burns just after midnight today. However, he actually allegedly received chemical burns in his home methamphetamine lab in the 3100 block of Harrison Street, Holmgren said.

Hazmat teams are continuing clean up today after the chemical fire blew out the windows of Grover's apartment.

"He could have easily taken out that whole block" Holmgren said, adding that the chemicals used in meth production are "highly volatile."

Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




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