25 year old Lisa (Andrews) Daidone, a former girlfriend of Travis Alexander took the stand today as the defense's third witness in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Travis Alexander's friends have talked about Lisa (then) Andrews and how serious Travis was about his relationship with her - some referring to her as "the love of his life". We finally saw Lisa, and it was interesting to me that Jodi Arias seemingly couldn't take her eyes off Lisa when she was testifying.
This was one of Arias's biggest obstacles in getting to Travis Alexander. Alexander was reportedly seeing both of them at the same time, giving some credit to Jennifer Willmott's opening statement in which she referred to Jodi as Travis's "dirty little secret". Lisa is now married and goes by Lisa Daidone, and she seems like a lovely and genuine woman who's testimony was honest. I liked her. Attorney Jennifer Willmott questioned this witness, and that seemed to be a good decision because she is more personable than Mr. Nurmi. She was very respectful of this witness - through the many objections from Prosecutor Juan Martinez who objected to many of the questions Willmott was asking.
Lisa Daidone met Travis Alexander through their singles ward for the Mormon church and they dated from July, 2007 until late February, 2008. Alexander was 10 years older than she was, and she described their on again off again relationship. It came out through her testimony that Travis Alexander was seeing Jodi Arias at the time he was supposed to be in a committed relationship with Lisa, and although he denied being romantically involved with Arias, one of his roommates eventually told Lisa of the relationship between Arias and Alexander. This led to trust issues and one of their breakups.
We also learned that Travis Alexander was serious about Lisa Andrews "pretty fast" and he discussed marriage with her often. She felt she was too young, only 19 years old and this became one of the issues that would lead to another breakup. Willmott was able to get testimony out to the jury, through Lisa, about the frequency in which Alexander talked about sex and how she didn't like the fact that he discussed it so much. Lisa Daidone believed in the Mormon views around sex before marriage and she thought Travis did as well. She stated that she was surprised to find out after his death that Travis wasn't a virgin.
Much of the testimony seemed to be following a e-mail that Daidone sent to Alexander. There have been so many sidebars throughout this morning's testimony, but from what I can gather, Willmott was following along a lengthy e-mail Lisa sent to Travis which described many of the problems the two were having in their relationship. In the e-mail, she wrote that she was sick of hearing Travis talk about Jodi Arias, she felt he hadn't been honest with her about his relationship with Arias - and how she felt that Alexander frequently needed his ego stroked, often wanting so many compliments from Daidone that it bothered her. He didn't approve of the profession Lisa wanted to go into, teaching. He didn't care about her problems, but wanted her to care alot about his. He didn't come across too well during this testimony - but again, this was one e-mail that was sent. Again - this trial isn't about whether or not Travis Alexander was a virgin, whether he was truthful, honest or respectful to the women in his life. It's about his murder. Was he physically abusing Arias and about to kill her on June 4, 2008?
It will be interesting to see how the prosecutor handles his cross examination of this witness. His style and aggressive mannerism shouldn't matter, but it can be annoying to the jury if he consistently attacks everyone who takes the stand. Especially this woman. I'm sure she doesn't want to say anything to hurt Travis Alexander - she loved him and she seems genuine and honest. She has to be conflicted being called to testify about somebody she cared a great deal about. One thing I took away from her testimony so far is this: Travis lied to her and apparently cheated on her too. But she didn't KILL him, she broke off the relationship, like normal people do. If being lied to and cheated on was justification for homicide, I'd estimate 50% of the population could be at risk. It's not pretty, but we are human and nobody's perfect.
Hopefully Martinez will question Diadone in a respectful and non confrontational way, and bring the focus back to the facts. Was Diadone afraid of Travis? Was he ever rough with her? Did he ever act in a physical or threatening manner? These are pertinent questions. Sure, the victim in this case may not have been as honorable as his family and friends believed he was. But everybody has their secrets. I don't believe being a cheater and liar makes you fair game for a brutal rage killing. Willmott will continue her questioning of this witness after the afternoon lunch break.