Prosecutor Juan Martinez is hammering away at key issues that Jodi Arias testified about, and he's doing a pretty good job discrediting her story about walking in on Travis Alexander "pleasuring himself" to photos of young boys on January 21, 2008. She claims this happened at some point during the afternoon, after she got off from her shift at Mimi's Cafe - she couldn't recall what time she worked that day, what time she got off, or what time she arrived at Travis Alexander's home that day. She went there to help him put away some boxes in the attic. She says he gave her a little angel statue that day.
She testified that when she left that day, she forgot the angel - when she returned to his house to get it, she claims that she walked in on him "pleasuring himself" to a photo of little boys. Her testimony was one of the most dramatic points in the trial - and much was made about how upsetting this was to her, and it's been a central theme throughout this trial. She claims that after catching Travis in this act, she left the house and was so upset that she drove home and threw up in the bathroom. She then left her house and drove around aimlessly - and she claims Travis called her numerous times trying to reach her to explain what she had just walked in on. She testified in great detail about how awful this event was, and how it scared her. Prosecutor Juan Martinez has just about proven that it never even happened. I'm not at all surprised it never happened, but I am surprised at how he's put together the real physical evidence that seems to point to this being a complete and total fabrication.
Martinez and Arias were nearly sparring today. She was defiant, wouldn't answer his question directly with a "yes" or "no" answer - and they argued each and every point. What he ultimately showed the jury, through phone records, text messages between Jodi and Travis - is that IF this had really happened, neither of them acknowledged anything had happened, and her timeline of when this supposedly happened doesn't fit with the actual phone and text message time lines. Earlier today, Martinez highlighted Arias's 1/24/08 diary or journal entry in which Arias wrote "I haven't written in a while because nothing noteworthy to report". This was just 2 days after Travis supposedly body slammed her, threw her to the ground and kicked her in the ribs and broke her left ring finger (1/22/08) and 3 days after she supposedly walked in on Travis "in the act" of pleasuring himself. If those events are not noteworthy, I don't know what is!
HMurder 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!
Juan Martinez has absolutely drilled away at Jodi Arias on this first day, and some have criticized his line of questioning by saying he was all over the place and not focused - but he eventually got where he needed to be. He's tripped her up in her own lies. Didn't she realize there would be records of the calls between her and Travis, and there would be copies of their text message conversations? Jodi Arias couldn't recall the exact time she walked in on Travis - all she could say is that it was in the afternoon. She said he called her repeatedly afterwards, but she didn't answer. She eventually returned his call but it was later. Martinez showed the jury the text messages between Jodi and Travis from 1/21/08 - their conversation was around them swapping automobiles. Not sure why they were going to swap cars, but by the text messages it appears Travis got a ride from a friend to attend a "family home meeting" that night - those normally begin at 7:00PM.
6:48PM JA sends text "can we swap cars before FHE?"
7:20PM JA sends text "never mind"
7:24PM TA sends text "I got a ride from some peeps in the ward, now you can just go get it and let me know when exchange is done"
7:29PM JA sends text "I'm almost asleep ZZZZZZ"
There is absolutely no discussion that would lead us to believe anything at all out of the ordinary happened that day. Martinez also challenged Arias on the point that she said he called her repeatedly after she left his home. There were 5 calls from Travis to Jodi on 1/21/08, and 5 calls from Jodi to Travis on 1/21/08. He had the times of each call - Arias was clearly getting rattled, you could see her trying to think of what she could say. She mentioned that Travis also had a "land line" that he often times called her on. She testified that after going home and throwing up, she drove around for a long time before ending up at the "Visitor Center", which I believe is a Mormon Visiting Center. She says she sat there and cried that day. Yet the text messages show she was asleep, or was nearly asleep when a text message or phone call woke her up. This was around 7:30PM. Travis would've been at that Family Home Meeting.
While none of this absolutely proves that event didn't happen, it makes it look very unlikely that it did. The phone records, the text messages, her journal and diary - all of those things directly contradict something as outrageously major as that happening on January 21, 2008. It looks to me like it was an ordinary day for both of them. Court is on break right now, but I wanted to update this page again because there is so much happening.
After the afternoon break, the sparring continued - with Arias coming back at Juan Martinez with some sarcastic remarks of her own. When asked again about her selective memory, Arias said something like "yes, when men like you and Travis are yelling and screaming at me, my brain gets scrambled". To that, Prosecutor Martinez said "so it's the Courts fault, MY fault that you can't remember things?". Some of the TV commentators questioned whether Martinez is going too far, if he should go easier on Arias because she is a woman. To that, I say - we should all be treated equally. He is coming at her hard for many reasons. That's the way Juan Martinez prosecutes cases, and Arias has been on the stand for 7 days, telling what he believes to be outright lies. It's his job to prove the State's case, and if she is lying, he's going to try to trip her up.
Near the end of the day, Martinez entered two magazines into evidence. The magazines were apparently subscriptions Jodi Arias received while in jail. They both had her name and address on the label - one was a photography magazine and the other a entertainment magazine. In August of 2011 during a visitation with somebody named Ann Campbell, Jodi Arias requested that the magazines be given to Campbell, her visitor. The jail has a process for releasing any article from an inmate to a visitor - it goes through a rigorous screening process, and these magazines were not given to the guest.
Inside the magazines, there were cryptic notes written in pencil. The writing was deep in the pages, near the binding - to remain hidden from jail staff, presumably. There were several sentences and/or phrases on a dozen different pages. If you were to read just one, it may not have meaning but in their totality, they had a message from Jodi Arias. I wasn't able to write down the exact message in time, but it said something like "what you told my attorney contradicts what I've been saying for over a year...get down here ASAP before you talk to them again. Interview was excellent. We can fix this". WOW - what was THAT all about? Seems as if Jodi Arias may have been trying to get a witness to change their statement and/or their testimony? Martinez had Jodi Arias read the writing on each page, separately - and then he had her read the entire thing, put together. Although they haven't yet elaborated on what that cryptic message was, or who the ultimate recipient was supposed to be, a message being smuggled out of jail can never be a good thing for a defendant who already has credibility problems.
This has been one of the most dramatic and riveting trials I've ever viewed. They couldn't write drama this compelling. It's just a tragedy that this really happened.
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