Ard murder trial pushed back to May

LIHU’E — The jury trial of the Waimea man accused of murdering a retired doctor and his own stepson was pushed back two months.

Raymond Earl Ard’s trial that was set for Monday was rescheduled for May 8 by Circuit Court Judge Kathleen N.A. Watanabe. Ard’s trial was set to begin one year to the day after the alleged offenses took place.

Had the trial started, the three doctors who mentally examined Ard last year were subpoenaed to testify on Ard’s behalf.

According to court records, the three doctors determined that Ard is fit to participate in his own defense, but he did not know right from wrong at the time of the alleged offenses.

Ard, 40, is accused of stabbing to death retired Dr. Jon Kerns, and of attempting to murder 15-year-old Richard “Kai” Iwatate on Feb. 27, 2005.

Kerns and Iwatate were found in the kitchen of the house that Ard was renting from Kerns.

According to court records, the doctor died of his injuries, while the injured Iwatate was treated and later released from a hospital.

According to court records, Kerns had approximately 11 to 12 wounds to his body, mostly concentrated in the neck and chest areas. One wound appeared to have pierced his heart, and another possibly his lungs.

According to court records, Iwatate had injuries on his lower arms and close to his neck.

Court records show that Ard waived his rights and made a statement to Kaua’i Police Department officers investigating the incident.

In court records, Ard referred to Kerns as being satanic and possessed, and he said that Kerns’ wife performed witchcraft.

According to court records, Ard called his wife while being held at the KPD cellblock. Court records show that Ard told his wife that he, himself, was possessed, and that the doctor understood that he was possessed.

Court records also show that Ard told his wife that the doctor forgave him before he died.

“He knew that I was not in my right mind,” said Ard, according to court records.

Ard is being held at the Kauai Community Correctional Center in Wailua on $200,000 bail. Last month, Ard sought to be transferred to a medical unit at the Oahu Community Correctional Center in Honolulu to be treated for copper poisoning.

Ard claimed in a letter he wrote last month to Watanabe that members of the KCCC medical staff could not treat him for the copper sulfate that was trapped in his skin.

He wrote in the letter that he had accidentally poisoned himself with copper sulfate, and he needed testing.

Deputy Public Defender John Calma, Ard’s court-appointed attorney, states in court records that Ard poisoned himself before he was incarcerated March 2005.

Watanabe denied Ard’s transfer earlier this month. She based her decision on an assessment of Ard that was done by an official on KCCC’s medical staff.

Watanabe pointed out that the assessment indicated there was no need for Ard to be moved to O’ahu.

Ard faces one count of first-degree attempted murder, one count of second-degree murder, and one count of second-degree attempted murder.

He could be in prison for life if convicted on any of the three, class-A felony counts.

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