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2nd Jury Told Mayer Was Under Stress

October 14, 1987|H.G. REZA | Times Staff Writer

The attorney for Deputy Dist. Atty. Wayne Mayer, who is charged with stealing a power saw and drill from a parked pickup truck, said Tuesday that his client was under considerable stress at the time of the incident and does not recall stealing the tools.

In his opening statement to the jury, defense attorney Peter Hughes did not deny that Mayer stole the tools but said he does not recall taking them. Hughes turned the stolen tools over to prosecutors a few days after the incident, when Mayer was confronted by police officers who were given the license number to Mayer's motor home.

Hung Jury in First Trial

Mayer, 41, is being tried a second time on petty-theft charges. His first trial last month on the misdemeanor criminal charge ended when jurors deadlocked 9-3 for conviction.

Hughes, who did not make an opening statement at the first trial, said Mayer was plagued by stress, alcohol and domestic problems at the time of the June 14 incident. These problems were exacerbated by Mayer's role as co-prosecutor at the second trial of Sagon Penn, who was cleared of major charges in the shooting death of one policeman and the wounding of another officer and a civilian ride-along.

Hughes noted that the incident occurred while the Penn jury was deliberating.

"He will tell you that he has no recollection (of the incident). He recollects talking to the officers at home and next day realizing he has the tools," Hughes said.

Mayer is expected to testify in his defense. Hughes said he will also call Mayer's wife, Gayle, and other prosecutors to testify for the defense. At the first trial, Hughes argued that Mayer was so impaired by alcohol that he could not have formed the intent to steal the tools.

An Arizona couple staying in a motor home at De Anza Cove told police that they saw Mayer walk from his motor home to a parked pickup truck and take the tools. The woman wrote down a description of Mayer's motor home and its license number and left a note on the truck's windshield.

The truck's owner called police, who later that day questioned Mayer at home. Mayer, a 10-year veteran of the district attorney's office, is on paid leave from his $65,000-a-year job. The case is being prosecuted by state Deputy Atty. Gen. John Swan.

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