Taking a page from the Jose Baez playbook, Jodi Arias's defense attorney wasted no time bringing forth some shocking claims about the intimate relationship between defendant Jodi Arias and murder victim Travis Alexander during her opening statements yesterday.
Jose Baez, an unknown criminal attorney from Florida became a household name after his famously unpopular client Casey Anthony was acquitted on all of the serious charges against her, including murder and aggravated child abuse. Baez told a stunned courtroom and television audience that Casey Anthony was sexually abused by her father George Anthony at a young age. He used graphic references that won't soon be forgotten to anybody who heard them.
There was never any evidence to substantiate Baez's claims against George Anthony. Anthony has denied ever abusing Casey, and I for one never believed it. The defense strategy was to muddy the waters and throw any and all Anthony family member's under the bus. We will probably never know exactly what happened to little Caylee Anthony, unless her mother comes clean and that doesn't appear likely. The prosecution was unable to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Casey killed her daughter. What stuns me is that they didn't believe that NOT reporting a 2 year old missing for more than a month equaled child abuse! She walked on that charge to, only being found guilty of lying to the police.
Arias faces a potential death penalty if convicted of the first degree murder of ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. During her opening statement, defense attorney Jennifer Willmott described victim Travis Alexander as a person who was leading a double life, who pretended to be a virginal Mormon while having an intense sexual relationship with Arias. She repeatedly referred to Jodi Arias as his "dirty little secret" that he kept private from friends and family.
She described Alexander as a manipulator who convinced Arias that certain sexual acts "weren't as sinful" as others - then used specific and graphic references to what Arias claims Alexander asked her to do with him. With Alexander's family and friends sobbing in the courtroom, Arias herself turned on the waterworks - in stark contrast to her smiling mugshot and numerous jailhouse interviews in which she can be seen applying makeup and fussing over her hair. She was clearly more concerned with the way she looked than the charges she faced.
If you were in jail accused of brutally murdering somebody who was (supposedly) that important to you, would you even care how your makeup and hair looked? If you were truly innocent, wouldn't you be more concerned that the real killer was still out there? Arias professed her innocence during those early interviews with "Inside Edition". She looked the interviewer straight in the eye when asked if she had anything to do with the killing, and stated "absolutely not". She further called the killing "heinous".
If she can lie that easily during a recorded interview, why should we believe the "self defense" claims she is now making? Travis Alexander's friends and family are outraged at the portrait they are painting of him in the courtroom. Blaming the victim is nothing new - remember when OJ Simpson's attorney's told the world about Nicole Brown Simpson's drug use? This is a common ploy. I don't believe Arias ever told anybody about the supposed abuse. Even if you give her the benefit of doubt and believe her claims, it doesn't justify the slaughter of Travis.
Photographic evidence proves he was defenseless in the shower moments before being shot, stabbed and having his throat slit. Was Jodi Arias's life in imminent danger at that moment? If he was taking a shower just minutes before, she had plenty of time to simply leave the residence or call the police. Would a naked man chase her into the street? I don't believe Travis abused Jodi. I believe she could not and would not take the rejection after he broke off their relationship. They had a consensual intimate relationship. Perhaps Travis shouldn't have continued this part of the relationship with her, but he didn't deserve to be murdered!
Arias more than likely was completely aware that Travis had an upcoming vacation planned with another woman. This may have sent her over the edge. Why else would she drive from her home in California to Mesa Arizona in the middle of the night to see him? Why did she bring a gun and a knife? The gun was never recovered, but one of Arias's relatives reported a break-in weeks earlier in which a gun was stolen. Could the stolen gun be the murder weapon? If Arias was being abused by Travis, why go to his house? Why rent a car in another city? Why lie to police about your involvement?
Arias attempted to distance herself from the crime immediately by pointing the finger at Travis's roommate. She quickly put up a photographic "memorial" for Travis on her MySpace page. She attended his funeral service. The fact that she was able to do all of these things following such a horrific act of violence shows what a sociopath she truly is. She's proved herself to be a liar. Yet she expects a jury of her peers to believe her "hail mary" defense? This was the only defense she had left, other than an insanity plea. Too much planning before and after the crime for anybody to believe that. She's crazy alright, but not legally insane in the sense that she was not responsible for what she did to Travis Alexander.
"In Session" begins coverage of the trial on January 7, 2013. Until then, HLN has been a good source of courtroom updates. Thank you for reading!