Dev Hearing Decision Is Delayed Two More Weeks

The parties for Ajay Dev were back in court briefly on Monday as Ed Swanson, who will be arguing on behalf of Mr. Dev, appeared as did Deputy DA Steve Mount.  Judge Janene Beronio heard the matter for the first time on Monday, but they do not appear close to agreeing on a set format for what figures to be a set of evidentiary hearings on the 2009 conviction.

Ajay Dev was convicted nearly 10 years ago of 76 counts related to the rape of his adopted daughter.  He and his family maintain his innocence.  An appeal was denied in 2017, but his attornies have filed for a writ of Habeas Corpus with new evidence of innocence that both sides agree a judge must hear in an evidentiary hearing.

The evidence includes an enhanced recording of the pretext phone call that was crucial to his original conviction, and six witnesses who have come forward attesting that the alleged victim contemporaneously claimed to have been fabricating the charges.

Getting to the point of a hearing, however, is proving tricky.  Steve Mount is the lead attorney on the Hayley Gilligan murder trial that was set to begin on Monday but was postponed a few more weeks.  In addition, he noted that he will be retiring and taking three months off.

He said, in the worst case scenario, Deputy DA Ryan Couzens could take over the matter but he clearly preferred to handle the case himself.  He also suggested that Judge Beronio needed to become familiar with the original trial and 20 volumes of trial transcripts and 20 volumes of other documents prior to hearing this matter.

If Mr. Couzens were to take over the case, he would have to do the same.

For his part, Ed Swanson urged that the court remember his client remains in custody.  He noted there are about five to six issues brought forward in the petition that need to be addressed.

Neither he nor Mr. Mount seemed in agreement as to how the matter would proceed, however.  Mr. Swanson noted that some of these issues will require testimony, and acknowledged the challenge of getting witnesses currently residing in Nepal to come to this country to testify.

He was not in agreement that a haphazard schedule of hearing this matter over the course of six to seven months made sense.

Instead, he suggested a joint statement between himself and Mr. Mount in the next two weeks laying out the issues and how each side would seek to ideally move forward on those issues.

Judge Beronio seemed to like that approach.  It was decided that they would return on May 30 at 8:30 am with hopefully a better idea for what the schedule would look like.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Edgar Wai

    I wish that there is some kind of community post judgment bail or insurance system so that Mr. Dev could just go home and serve his “sentences” at home. Maybe he will have to wear a GPS bracelet or something, maybe he can not step outside his home (like Antman?). I just don’t see the point of him being in prison.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Edgar… you’d have an innocent man wear a GPS?  Or are you talking ‘interim’ until the current process plays out?  If the latter, I agree… I’m strongly inclined to believe he never should have been in prison in the first place… I have a different opinion of the accuser, but that’d be off topic…

    2. Edgar Wai

      Re: Bill Marshall
      I am talking about interim. I want to know your different opinion of the accuser. It might be off topic but I don’t see threads about Mr. Dev getting a lot of replies anyway.

      Re: John Hobbs
      The last time I advocated for prison was in reference to the prison in Rhode Island as presented in Seattle is Dying. I think putting drug addicts (Meth) in prison and have them quit Meth is good. Especially those that are both addicted AND homeless, jobless. Then we don’t need to build any housing for them, the proper place is prison. They are homeless and jobless BECAUSE they were addicted. I am also for putting drug dealers in prison. Seattle is Dying talks about city ordinances that crippled the police from putting drug dealers in prison because people were allowed to carry at much as 3 oz of drug.

      What do you prefer to do about drug dealers?

      1. John Hobbs

        “What do you prefer to do about drug dealers?”

        Decriminalize drugs and put the dealers out of business.

        Governments and societies that use prison as a socializing force tend to be totalitarian.

        1. Edgar Wai

          Do you want to decriminalize meth?
          If you just decriminalize meth, people could still steal and rob people to buy meth.
          If you give people meth for free, they still stand on the street, shout things to others, urinate on the street, with or without housing, they still die from over dose.

          How do you prefer to deal with meth when it is legal?

          Do you just transport them back to a homeless shelter so they can stay there and die there with free meth? If they can’t get meth at their home, they have to go out and camp where they can get free meth. So the meth dispensary will have to be designed to be their kitchen, living room, bedroom, and restroom. Everyone gets to put their stuff safely in a locker than take as much meth as they like. If they die that is okay because that is their choice. No one should judge them for choosing their lives. Good plan?

  2. Edgar Wai

    In the case of Ajay Dev, even if he was guilty, I don’t see why he needed to be in prison. He has a home outside prison, he has family and kids. If the city wants to “lock him up”, they could just “lock him up” in his own home. The specific crime that he was convicted of was rape of an adopted family member, who has already left. So, what is the problem if his real family wants him back? Just have him stay in house arrest (like those political prisoners).

    He was a civil engineer. as “punishment”, the state could have him take do civil engineering work WITHOUT pay for 378 years as long as he agrees to be in house arrest. Why does he need to be in prison? What a waste of money and opportunity.

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