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No Coaching Required

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It's not unusual for criminal defendant to fake mental illness, but this case has a twist.  Michelle Durand reports for the San Mateo Daily Journal:

The former child psychiatrist committed to a state mental hospital rather than tried for allegedly molesting patients after a jury couldn't agree if he was competent perpetuated "a big, elaborate hoax" by using his specific medical knowledge to fool doctors into thinking he had serious dementia, according to a prosecutor.

Prosecutor Melissa McKowan's sharp words came after the defense attorney for William Hamilton Ayres, 80, contested the recent conclusion by Napa State Hospital doctors that his client is mentally fit for trial and asked that he be released on bail until a hearing on that matter.

McKowan's comments also gave insight into the surprising medical report on Ayres' competency that may pave the way for his criminal retrial and was sealed by the court after its receipt last week. Judge Jack Grandsaert further hinted at the report's conclusions by telling attorneys there is less preparation time needed for a competency hearing because the only new issue at play is "malingering" -- the medical term for fabricating or exaggerating symptoms for a secondary motive.

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