Selwyn Days’ ex-girlfriend’s pain doesn’t cause amnesia, doctor testifies
WHITE PLAINS — The ex-girlfriend of slaying suspect Selwyn Days should be able to remember statements Days made to her about a pair of killings years ago despite her physical pain, a medical expert suggested in court Tuesday.
“It does not cause Alzheimer-like symptoms,” said Dr. Richard Weinstein, a prosecution witness, during a contempt of court hearing for Cherlyn Mayhew.
Mayhew had been a key witness for county prosecutors in their case against Days but now faces a month in jail and a $1,000 fine after claiming that her physical ailments have led to total amnesia about anything related to the 1996 killings of Eastchester millionaire Archie Harris and his home aide Betty Ramcharan.
Two weeks ago, Mayhew said she remembered nothing, not even her 2003 testimony, in which she told a jury that Days had bragged about getting away with murder when they lived in Mount Vernon.
“He said, ‘I’m going to kill you ’cause I did it before, and I got away with it,’ ” Mayhew said back then. “He told me he killed this old man. He said he beat him and he beat him. The lady was screaming and he said that he stabbed them.”
Days was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison, but the conviction was overturned and Mayhew was called once again to testify. Her account is crucial to the prosecution’s case; the defense says that Days was coerced by police into giving a false confession.
If county Judge Barry Warhit finds her in contempt, he could allow the jury to hear a transcript of her 2003 testimony, which led to Days being convicted in 2004. A judge overturned the conviction in December 2009, in part because witnesses came forward and said Days was out of state when the slaying took place.
Weinstein, an orthopedic surgeon with Bone & Joint Associates in White Plains, said Mayhew’s claim of memory loss cannot be attributed to her reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a progressive neurological disease that limits mobility and causes chronic pain.
“RSD cannot cause memory loss,” he said. “It’s absolute. RSD does not affect the brain.”
He also said he reviewed Mayhew’s medical records and found that her MRI was normal and that the 10 to 15 medications she has taken over the years cause no long-term memory loss.
Mayhew, who entered the courtroom in a wheelchair, sat nearly motionless during the doctor’s testimony.
Under cross examination by Mayhew’s lawyer, Ted Brundage, Weinstein said he had never testified as an expert about RSD or amnesia before and never knew anyone to fake amnesia.
Weinstein will finish his testimony Tuesday, at which time Brundage, and possibly Days’ defense team, will call witnesses. An appellate judge denied the defense’s request to stop the contempt hearing.
The Westchester County District Attorney’s office paid Weinstein’s office about $6,000 for his time and is paying for Mayhew and her husband to stay in New York.
Days’ retrial on the murder charges, which began Sept. 21, will continue today.
Click here for the original article online.