During opening statements today in the Jodi Arias murder trial, her defense attorney wasted no time in blaming the victim - 30 year old Travis Alexander, for his own death. Arias's attorney portrayed Alexander as someone who was leading a "double life", having an intense sexual relationship with Jodi Arias while leading others to believe he was a devout and virginal Mormon.
They further attempted to paint Travis as a manipulative man who seduced Arias, while telling friends she was "stalking" him.
The prosecution entered photos into evidence that proved Jodi Arias, while initially denying involvement in the murder was indeed there. The jury saw graphic photos of a nude Arias and Arias and Alexander the very night of the murder, followed by a photo of Travis in the shower - his face staring directly into the camera, so clear you could see the drops of water on his face, sadly the last photo of Travis alive. The photos that follow, the prosecution asserts were the beginning of the attack on Travis.
A blurred photo of the ceiling just above the shower, the prosecution argued was taken by accident when Arias dropped the camera. What is believed to be Jodi Arias's foot is seen in the next photo, with Travis's arm, head and blood on the floor visible in the photo. In the next photo, he is bleeding on the floor of the shower.
The defense told jurors the attack began after Travis became "enraged" when Jodi Arias dropped the camera - thus, the photo of the ceiling. Her attorney said that in the two minutes that followed, Jodi Arias had to make a decision to live or die. They painted Travis Alexander as the aggressor in the fight, and stopped short of calling him a sexual predator.
The prosecution described Arias's erratic behavior before and after the murder. She reportedly had been following him as he went on dates with another woman, sneaking into his house through his doggie door, hacking into his Facebook account and sending threatening e-mails to Travis and a woman he was dating.
It was also apparent that she was aware that Travis was going on a vacation to Mexico with another woman. Prosecutors pointed out that just a few weeks before the murder, Arias's grandfather reportedly had a gun stolen from their home. The gun in this case hasn't been recovered. Coincidence?
Alexander's family and friends were clearly and visibly shaken by the testimony today, sobbing as they viewed the photos being shown to the jury. Arias, who had previously been all smiles in jailhouse interviews and even in her mugshot, cried or appeared to be crying at points during the opening statements.
The "dirty little secret" references, painting Travis Alexander as somebody who was living a double life - all ploys to blame the victim, or lessen Arias's responsibility didn't sway my opinion one bit. In fact, I think these portrayals will ultimately backfire. I didn't get to see the actual opening statements, just seeing the highlights now. Day 1 looked like all the drama that was expected, and even some that wasn't. There will be much more to come!!
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