LIHU‘E — Proceedings in the case of Raymond Earl Ard, who murdered a Waimea Valley man in 2005 but was acquitted by reason of insanity, have been delayed for the second time in the last two months.
Ard has been confined to the Hawai‘i State Hospital on O‘ahu since his 2006 bench trial. He is now seeking conditional release before Fifth Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe, following examination by three mental-health experts. However, examiners’ filing delays ended both Ard’s Sept. 7 and Oct. 12 hearings before they could begin.
On Tuesday, Public Defender Marissa Agena requested time to obtain and review the missing examination, which was improperly filed on O‘ahu. Ard is now scheduled to reappear before Watanabe via Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 26.
Should Ard be granted conditional release and discharged from the custody of the state Department of Health director, he could find himself placed in another hospital or a 24-hour group home. But these possibilities are not under discussion, according to Agena.
“We are so far away from that at this point,” she explained in an interview following the hearing. “We’re still examining whether or not (conditional release) is appropriate for him, and then he would work with the state hospital on what the discharge plan from the hospital would be.”
Ard fatally stabbed retired physician Dr. Jon Kerns and attempted to kill his own stepson on Feb. 27, 2005. Ard attacked Kerns because he believed the 64-year-old man was “Satan in the flesh,” according to witness statements reported in the days following the tragedy.
Ard has sought unescorted off-grounds privileges several times since his confinement to Hawai‘i State Hospital. Each request was denied.
Scott Yunker, general assignment reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.