Man Found Guilty of Misdemeanor after Two Previously Hung Jury Trials And The Exclusion of A Previous Defense Witness

By Danielle Silva and Kyrah Coleman

SAN FRANCISCO – A man has been found guilty of violating a church’s restraining order after previously having two hung jury trials on the same charge, with the third jury trial excluding a defense expert witness who could testify to the defendant’s mental state.

William Calvin Rose was found guilty of violating a civil restraining order issued to him on November 16, 2018, which ordered him not to come within 50 feet of Bethel Christian Church. While the defendant did not go to the church on Sundays when a criminal restraining order was active, Mr. Rose came on Sundays when his criminal restraining order was terminated but his civil restraining order was still active. He was arrested a total of six times over the course of several months.

Deputy Public Defender Jared Rudolph has represented Mr. Rose for over a year through all three trials of this misdemeanor charge, with his key argument being on the defendant’s humanity and mental inability to follow the civil stay away order. This argument was supported by the defense’s expert witness, Psychologist Martin Williams, who testified in the first two trials but not in the third trial leading to Mr. Rose’s conviction.

Mr. Williams had conducted forensic psychology evaluations for 30 years and previously worked on the board of parole hearings which determined whether individuals presented a risk to public safety. Mr. Rose was examined by Mr. Williams and the defendant was diagnosed with “grandiose delusional disorder” – a delusion that God had a special mission for the defendant.

Mr. Rose was not examined by other doctors as he was considered “under the radar.”

Mr. Williams did not testify in this trial, as the presiding judge, Judge Bruce Chan, did not believe that the defendant had a mental illness.

In the previous trials, Judge Christopher Hite from the first trial allowed the expert to testify after some out-of-trial questioning, and Judge Richard Ulmer from the second trial allowed Mr. Williams to testify without argument.

The first trial in May 2019 resulted in a hung jury with eight jurors for guilty and four for innocence after days of deliberation. The second trial in September 2019 hung with 10 jurors for guilty and two for innocence before being dismissed.

In this trial, the jurors deliberated for two hours before returning a verdict.

Mr. Rudolph noted that this case also had rotating prosecuting attorneys: the first trial had Trevor Kempner who is handling domestic violence cases; the second trial had Rachel McDaniel who is now also handling domestic violence cases; and the third trial had Joshua Malone of Farella Braun + Martell LLP, a private attorney hired by the District Attorney’s office to handle this misdemeanor case.

Many private attorneys from law firms are often hired by the district attorney’s office to handle misdemeanor cases, allowing them to gain experience.

According to Mr. Rudolph, Mr. Malone took over the Monday before the case started.

In response to the conviction, Mr. Rudolph noted, “There’s no question [Mr. Rose] is harmless. The problem is we don’t have any space and no tools for dealing for someone who is mentally ill and harmless which is why he’s lived on the streets for over the decade. The criminal courts are not the appropriate venue addressing for society’s larger problems like homelessness and mental illness and have very blunt instruments for dealing with these issues relating to these individuals who are suffering in the streets of San Francisco.”

Mr. Rose is to be sentenced on Feb. 20, 2020.


Man Charged with Violating a Church Restraining Order

By Danielle Silva

SAN FRANCISCO – A man who received a civil restraining order from a church he attended for 25 years in 2018 is being charged.

The defendant, William Calvin Rose, is charged with the misdemeanor of violating a civil restraining order. In November 2018, Mr. Rose received a civil restraining order which stated he must stay 50 feet away from Bethel Christian Church and several members of the church. Following that civil restraining order, he went to the church several Sundays and was arrested six times over the course of several months. During that time, he did not go to the church on Sundays when his criminal restraining order was also active.

Prior to the jury coming in, Deputy Public Defender Jared Rudolph requested the judge allow a doctor to be called by the defense as a witness. Judge Bruce Chan stated that, as before, he would not be allowing the doctor to testify.

The prosecution, represented by Private Attorney Joshua Malone, opened by stating the defendant was using his religious belief to break the law. Mr. Rose was allegedly violating a civil restraining order in which he was told not to be within 50 feet of Bethel Christian Church.

Mr. Malone noted one Sunday where an official at the church was preparing for a sermon when she saw the defendant in front of the doors. The defendant was subsequently arrested and charged, as he was five other times – all on a Sunday. The prosecution noted that the defendant knows what he was doing.

He outlined the four elements of the misdemeanor charge that needed to be proven to find the defendant guilty: there must be a restraining order; the defendant knew about the orders; the defendant had the ability to follow the order; and the defendant willfully violated the order.

The prosecution also noted the defendant never made a Sunday visit when a criminal restraining order was in place, stating the defendant understood what a restraining order was but chose when to go and when not to.

Mr. Rudolph opened by arguing that the defendant was mentally ill and a member of the community.

“I want you to know him,” Mr. Rudolph said.

He explained how the church was the defendant’s home and he couldn’t help going back to it. The defense also claimed the defendant lacked the ability to follow a civil restraining order but not a criminal one but did not go into detail. He focused on explaining the defendant’s background.

Mr. Rose was born in New York with a middle-class upbringing and wanted to be a nurse. He, sadly, didn’t think he had the emotional nature needed for such the schooling so he went to the Navy for 5 years as an electrician. In the Navy, he traveled the world for 2 years, 5 months, and 6 days in a submarine, simply managing the system.

During this time, at 22 to 23 years of age, Mr. Rose allegedly found God and stated he could no longer do his job as he found his maintenance, while not the immediate cause, contributed to violence. He was honorably discharged as being a conscientious objector after being assessed by Navy psychiatrists who found his claims to be done in earnest.

Mr. Rose went back to New York and had a falling out with his family, leading to his moving to San Francisco in 1985. Within a month of moving to San Francisco, Mr. Rose was invited to Bethel Christian Church before even finding stable housing. He continued to be part of the community until Mr. Rose found the relationship he had established with God disagreed with some actions the Bethel Christian Church was putting into place.

The jury was asked to step out after a portion of the defense’s opening statement where Judge Chan noted that both parties were not to address unsubstantiated negative allegations made by the defendant.

When the jury returned, Mr. Rudolph noted that there were two restraining orders: the civil stay away order which had a hearing on November 18 and the criminal protective order issued by the court. He would go to church every time until he was arrested and brought in front of the judge, walking to the church and the court. As noted before, the defendant did not go to the church on days when the criminal protective order was in place but did go when the civil protective order was in place but the criminal protective order was not.

The defense affirmed that Mr. Rose lacked the ability to follow this order because of his belief in God and was not using this belief as an excuse to break the law.

The first witness called by the prosecution was the official noted during the opening statement. K.H. is a lead pastor of North Gate, SF Campus, formerly known as Bethel Christian Church which is nondenominational. She has worked there since July 2019, preparing sermons and leading the staff team.

She noted that on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, she was preparing for a sermon when volunteers let her know that Mr. Rose was at the front door. At the time, she was aware of a restraining order against the defendant. K.H. went out, saw the defendant within five feet of the revolving door, and called the police who arrested him. She noted that the defendant looked like he was prepared to be arrested.

K.H. noted that 150 to 200 people appear on Sundays and that is the only time Mr. Rose allegedly came to gatherings. She also notes that she never met him before.

The second witness called by the prosecution was T.R., a member and former leader of Bethel Christian Church. He came to the church in 1970 and went from a parishioner to a teacher to a decision-maker to an elder. During his time as a leader, he worked on combining Bethel Christian Church with North Gate Church.

He noted that the defendant joined the church 25 to 30 years ago. The witness also noted that he was present when the group of twelve church leaders voted for the restraining order.

The Board Council, made up of deacons and 4 board members, “did everything they can do to reconcile [Mr. Rose’s behavior],” the witness stated.

T.R. noted that he had to call the police on at least three Sundays where Mr. Rose allegedly appeared at the door of the church. These Sundays were allegedly the second, third, and fourth arrests of the defendant. The witness noted Mr. Rose did not come on any other day.

On each occasion, the witness allegedly approached Mr. Rose and reminded him about the restraining order to which the defendant allegedly shrugged. His body language signified he was aware and the witness would then call the police.

T.R. noted that the defendant has disrupted a service before but has been never been violent. He also shared he’s known Mr. Rose for a long time, having been on the transition team, and he had no grudge towards him.

The witness agreed that he cared for the church and wanted what was fair for it.

The defendant was scheduled to testify in the afternoon.

Jury Told Not to Decide on Defendant’s Mental Capability

By Kyrah Coleman

SAN FRANCISCO – Today was the closing statements in the case of Bill Rose. The defendant is being charged for violating a stay-away order from the Bethel Church in San Francisco. He violated the order by returning to the church where he was then handcuffed and taken to jail. The main argument was, did he have the ability to uphold the order?

In closing, the prosecution argued the defendant had the ability to uphold the order. He showed a calendar of when the defendant upheld the order and the times he violated, stating that the defendant picked and chose when he would violate the order. There was a civil restraining order and a criminal restraining order. The defendant made it a point to not violate the criminal order which caused a little confusion.

While the defense argued that he had beliefs and or voices in his head that compelled him to come back to the church, the prosecution asked if the defendant could not control his conduct or if he selectively chose to not follow this order.

The prosecution accused the defense of using sympathy tactics to sway the jury’s opinion, such as stating that Mr. Rose was a veteran, a homeless man, and a devoted member to that church. The prosecution did not disagree with these facts but stated that even with these qualities there was no proof of mental illness and that the defendant was able to comprehend and follow the stay-away order.

The closing arguments for the defense was led by Deputy Public Defender Jared Rudolph. Mr. Rudolph rebutted the prosecution’s claim of him asking for sympathy by saying that he was stating the facts of Mr. Rose’s life and that this was a “search for justice, for truth.” The defense talked very much on the fact that he wasn’t trying to do “too much lawyering”, that it was against his humanity.

His main argument was that Rose did not have the ability to uphold this stay and had to go to church. Mr. Rudolph claimed that no sane person would walk three miles to go to this church knowing that he would be put in jail. But Mr. Rudolph called on the jurors implying that it was their burden to almost decide if he was able and mentally capable. This then caused an objection that the judge then sustained. He once again implied this idea of the jury’s responsibility again and another objection arose and was sustained.

Mr. Rudolph had learned a lot on the basis of reasonable doubt, the burden of proof, and circumstantial evidence. He did achieve his goal of appealing to people’s humanity by focusing a lot on who Rose was as a person and emphasizing the important job the jurors have.

During a small recess where the jurors were removed from the room, the judge addressed the defense and why he made his objections. The judge was stern on his critiques and explained it is not the jurors’ job to decide sanity or get him examined.

The jurors were brought back and the prosecution delivered his rebuttal. The prosecution emphasized that this was not the juror’s job to decide sanity and that Mr. Rose was clearly capable. He touched on the defense’s choice of words such as humanity and the statement the defense said that the jurors are “humans, not robots” stating that once again the defense was using sympathy.

The prosecution rebutted a few more of the defense’s statements made in closing arguments then wrapped up. The jurors were then excused to deliberate. We were then excused to leave, hopefully soon the verdict will be in.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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