OAKLAND — A judge Wednesday ordered a former Alameda County mental health worker to stand trial on a felony accessory charge because authorities say she drove a teenage slasher away from the scene and then lied to police about her involvement.

Hamaseh Kianfar was driving Marilyn Webster, now 18, in her silver Mazda Miata on the evening of March 16, 2005, when the teenager hopped from the car and charged with a butcher knife toward an elderly couple walking near the Berkeley Rose Garden.

Webster, who has been found to be mentally ill with an IQ of 56, slashed the throat of the 75-year-old woman, authorities say.

As the woman laid on the street "bleeding profusely," Kianfar drove the girl away, bought her clothing to wear following the assault and did not notify police about the incident for roughly 15 hours, said prosecutor Carrie Panetta. The woman recovered from her wounds.

Panetta said Kianfar also did not tell police where the girl was staying and later "warned" relatives there was a warrant out for the teen's arrest.

"She knew very well where the juvenile was," Panetta said. "She gave statements to police, but they were untruthful statements."

Kianfar met Webster while the teenager was serving a sentence in Juvenile Hall. Kianfar's supporters have said the mental health worker befriended the girl in an effort to help her.


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Judge Jon Rolefson ordered Kianfar to return to court May 18 to begin routine court proceedings for the trial. She remains free on $15,000 bail.

If convicted, she could spend up to three years in state prison. Flanked by her parents and other supporters, Kianfar, 32, was expressionless when she left Alameda County Superior Court.

Before Rolefson ordered Kianfar to stand trial, defense attorney Laurel Headley said it's "incredulous" that her client is facing the charge since her statements led police to arrest Webster.

"She's the first person who even brought to the attention of the authorities the existence of the minor and her connection to the crime," Headley said.

Headley said Kianfar drove Webster from the crime scene because her thinking was clouded.

"She wasn't thinking clearly, she was hyperventilating, she was in shock," Headley said. "We could say she did not use the best judgment ... but taken with all the things she did to cause this minor's arrest, (that) pales in comparison."

In addition to driving the girl away, Kianfar lied to police when she was first interviewed, according to the prosecution. She said she just happened to be driving by the Berkeley Rose Garden on her way to home to San Rafael when she spotted Webster.

She later admitted she had seen Webster at University and Shattuck avenues earlier and actually driven her to the Berkeley hills so the two could talk, said Berkeley police Sgt. Howard Nonoguchi.

Nonoguchi also testified Wednesday that Kianfar was far more concerned about her privacy than the victim's condition.

"She didn't ask about the victim," he said. "I just felt she was concerned about herself."

Meanwhile, Webster remains in Juvenile Hall as authorities try to find a suitable locked mental health treatment facility for her. Because of her low IQ, eight facilities have refused to take her out of fear she won't be able to follow a treatment program. She returns to court next Wednesday.