Murder defendant Jodi Arias has been on the witness stand for a little more than an hour this morning, but Prosecutor Juan Martinez has already began to dig in and bring up the inconsistencies from her (direct) testimony. The questioning has frequently been broken up with objections and sidebars, seemingly before each question Martinez asks. Arias appears somewhat nervous, as the prosecutor hammers away at her and she has no way to wiggle out of answering.
He has been able to bring out some major issues: "The finger" He entered a photo into evidence that was taken 5/15/08 of Jodi Arias with sister Angela. In the photo, Arias has her left arm around her sister and her left hand is very clearly depicted. There doesn't appear to be any abnormality in that left ring finger that she (dramatically) lifted up and showed the jury during her direct examination. When she showed the hand/finger to the jury under direct, she told a story about a January 21, 2008 fight that she had with Travis Alexander in which Alexander "body slammed" Arias in his bedroom, then kicked her in the ribs and kicked her raised hand - she claims he broke her finger during that incident. Her hand appears completely normal in the 5/15/08 photo. He also brought up the different accounts Arias gave to different people of what happened to that hand and finger.
Martinez is bringing out Jodi Arias's personal journals today. He hasn't been able to ask many questions so far, between the sidebars and time allowed for the defense attorneys and Jodi Arias to read and review the journal entries. It's been a painstakingly slow cross exam. They are in a lunch break now, however I think something major is coming with the next journal entry they all just reviewed. Juan Martinez previously referred to a journal entry written by Arias on 1/22/08, she wrote " I haven't written in a few days because there's nothing noteworthy to report". This was just 1 day after she supposedly had this physical fight with Alexander in which she alleged he kicked her in the ribs, body slammed her and ultimately kicked her in that left hand. Wouldn't she have written about something that frightening in her personal diary or journal? They have just reviewed her 1/24/08 entry. I believe Martinez is trying to impeach Arias's testimony about the violence she suffered at the hands of Travis Alexander and his alleged "deviant" behavior with her own journal.
As we all remember, one of the most shocking allegations Arias has made about Travis Alexander is that sometime in January of 2008, she walked into Travis Alexander's home to find him "pleasuring himself" on his bed - she claims he had photos of 5-6 year old boys on the bed with him. I believe Martinez has cross checked these incidents with entries made in Arias's personal journals. Arias claims she never told family or friends about Travis's violence or any of the sexual "deviance" she so blantantly discussed during this trial because she was trying to protect his dignity and his reputation. That may be believable, but diaries and journals are private by nature. We write things in our diaries that we do not expect anyone else to ever read. Wouldn't she have made some notation of these incidents in her own personal diary? We've only seen one diary entry so far, but there was nothing whatsoever about the alleged January 21, 2008 "body slam, kick to the ribs and broken finger" fight that she tearfully recounted to this jury!
Wow, I cannot wait to hear more. Martinez is fired up. The defense team is doing their best to break his stride, objecting frequently and causing numerous sidebars. I hope this pace doesn't continue throughout the cross. Martinez limited his objections, and let the defendant tell her story with minimum interruptions when the defense was doing the questioning. She was allowed to "tell her story". I'm hoping Judge Stephens gives Martinez the same latitude she gave Kirk Nurmi & Jodi Arias. The flow has been so slow so far, and I really want to hear Martinez question Arias without the interruptions and sidebars that have plagued the first 2 hours of the cross.
Another thing I've noticed, much more today than in the past: Jodi Arias removes or lowers those eyeglasses when she reads documents! Are those eyeglasses just props for the trial? We haven't seen Jodi Arias in eyeglasses in any of her MySpace photos, or any other personal photos we have seen so far. I think this was part of the "Transformation of Jodi Arias" that I wrote about a few weeks ago. Purely for looks - in an effort to tone down her looks, make her look innocent and intelligent. Although Jodi Arias was a high school dropout (she got her GED during her time in jail), she is a very intelligent and articulate woman. For all of us who have been biting our tongue as Arias ranted for 7 days, without challenge - our time has come. Jodi Arias is now on the hot seat and it's been a long time coming. I honestly don't have anything against Jodi Arias. I just don't like liars, and I don't like it when people make hideous things up about somebody who isn't around to defend themselves. That's what I don't like about this defendant.
Her memory has been extraordinary, until now...she recalled things that happened years ago in great detail during her earlier testimony, yet now she is plagued with lack of memory, "I don't recall" has been her answer to many of Martinez's questions. If Juan Martinez is able to discredit her story in which she walks in on Travis looking at the pictures of little boys, I think much of Arias's testimony will be shot. If she's willing to fabricate something so distasteful about a person she supposedly loved - what part of her story can be believed? Only the jury can judge Arias in the end. The journal may not be absolute proof that she made these stories about him up, but if he is able to show that she made no mention in the diary, the journal, in any text message or e-mail to Travis or anybody else - than all we have to go on is Jodi Arias's word. I don't think it will be enough. Look for updates later today!