This morning, prosecutor Juan Martinez began to question murder defendant Jodi Arias about the now infamous shower photos taken on June 4, 2008 of Travis Alexander just minutes before he was killed. Martinez asked Arias if it was her idea to take those photos or if it was Travis's idea. Arias had previously testified that Alexander had been dieting and exercising a lot in the months before his death - in anticipation of the upcoming trip to Cancun. She said he was very proud of the progress he made exercising and alluded that the photo session was his idea and that he wanted the photos to be taken with his new digital photo.
This morning we heard something a little different, and it may end up being quite significant in this case. Today, Juan Martinez played for the jury another part of the 7/15/08 interview between Arias and Detective Esteban Flores where the shower photos were discussed. Arias told him that it took "a lot of convincing" to take photos of him in the shower. She elaborated by saying that while Travis was upstairs shaving, they discussed taking photos and she eventually got him to agree, even though he said he would "feel gay" - those are her words only. There are a few problems with her inconsistencies.
If Jodi Arias is indeed the one who talked him into letting her take photos of him while he was (helpless) in the shower, could that be seen as her luring him into a very vulnerable position? An enclosed shower stall, where it would have been easy for a blitz-style attack to occur? Martinez hammered away at her about who was directing the photo shoot (it was her), telling him when to sit for photos and when to stand. In the last photo of Travis taken while he was alive, he appears to be in a seated position in the shower - how much more vulnerable could he have been at that point? Martinez & Arias sparred again through much of the testimony - she said she didn't understand many of the questions he was asking and claimed it was because Martinez was "jumping around a lot".
Another inconsistency was discovered when Martinez again referred to the 7/16/08 interrogation tape with Detective Flores. In the tape, Arias claimed that while Travis was shaving on 6/4/08 they were discussing taking the shower photos and Jodi Arias said it "took a lot of convincing" for him to allow her to take the photos of him. The key point here is while he was shaving.
Why is this important? Because her earlier testimony during cross, in which she described being tied up with the rope, she said that Travis was performing oral sex on her, but she stopped him because he hadn't shaved and it was scratchy and uncomfortable for her. Today they have gone back and forth over little things, with Arias becoming defiant and not wanting to answer Martinez's questions outright, but rather wanting to give prolonged complex answers when "yes" or "no" answers are expected and demanded.
This brings into question whether or not there ever really was any rope in that room - and if there's no rope, there's no knife! Her story is just falling apart. You can tell she needs more time to think about her answers now, because she takes a long time to answer, isn't answering as confidently and definitively as she had been - and she keeps asking for the question to be restated to give herself more time to think before she responds. It shows. That's what happens when you are not being completely honest. When a person is telling the absolute truth, the answers flow - there's no need to think prior to answering. She needs time to think about what she previously said and you can tell she thinks very carefully before answering. At times she simply says "I don't recall", or "I don't know". Problem is, she's now said so much that Martinez often times pulls out records to refresh her memory on what she said - she continues to change little details in her story.
They argued over who deleted the photos on the camera. Martinez kept asking her if she deleted the "sex photos" or any other photo on that camera prior to the shower photos were taken. She would not answer either way. She testified that she believed Travis was the one who deleted the "sex photos", but when Martinez said "so you hadn't deleted any photo from Mr. Alexander's camera prior to taking the photos of him in the shower". She seemed to sense this could be a dangerous question to answer, so she argued that she may have - or she may not have. She again referred to her memory gaps during this period of time. Ah huh!
Martinez began displaying the deleted/recovered photos from 6/4/08. They discussed where Jodi was standing when she took them. "How far away from Travis were you when this photo was taken", he asked. I don't know, maybe 2 feet? Arias replied. "And isn't it true that you were directing Mr. Alexander during this photo shoot and telling him where to stand and how to pose?". "It was both of us", Arias answered.
Martinez then displayed a diagram of the bathroom and the bedroom area in court. He asked her to point out where she was standing or kneeling when she was taking the photos. She gave an approximate area of where she may have been. Martinez displayed the "inadvertent" photo taken of the ceiling - that's the photo that shows the recessed lighting on the ceiling - it's very blurred and out of focus. He moves on to the last photo taken of Travis alive - it's the photo where he appears to be sitting down in the shower and is looking directly into the camera, water dripping down his face. Martinez asks "was Mr. Alexander still seated when this photo was taken?" "Yes", said Arias.
"What happened next", Martinez asked. Arias claimed that she dropped the camera, and it bounced twice before coming to rest on the floor mat near the bathtub. Martinez asked what happened next. Arias said that Travis snapped, stood up and stepped out of the shower - and called her a fuc*ing idiot. She said he had a mean look on his face, and he picked her up and "body slammed" her onto the tile floor (she likes to use the body slamming descriptor a lot). She said that knocked the wind out of her and her head hit the ground. Martinez asked where he was standing when this happened. She had first said that Travis stepped out of the shower, then body slammed her - but then she changed her story slightly and said he may have had one foot still in the shower when this happened. Martinez challenged her on that, wondering how he would be able to do it.
At this point, Arias claims she was on the floor and Travis was standing over her. She then rolled over and away, and got up and ran down the hallway and into the closet. Martinez asked her how a man in such great physical shape would not have been able to catch her before she got to the closet? She didn't recall - in fact, he got her to admit that she didn't know for sure that he was even chasing her because she didn't look back. She perceived that he was chasing her. Perception ha? Wondering if the use of that word is a coincidence having to do with the self defense laws...
Juan Martinez recapped what Arias said - "so you were fully clothed and he was naked. This is someone in good physical shape, a wrestler, you take off down the hallway and go in the direction to the right and he wasn't able to catch you?" Arias replied "I didn't look behind me". Martinez said "does this mean he wasn't even chasing you?". Arias: "I don't know". Martinez then displays the photo of Travis's lifeless body in the shower. Arias begins sobbing. Martinez to Arias: "were you crying when you stabbed him? Were you crying when you shot him?". Arias: "I don't know", sobbing.
Judge: "We are going to take the lunch break now"......
Jodi Arias was saved by the bell, so to speak. After the jurors were excused, attorney Kirk Nurmi went to Jodi Arias, who was still crying and appeared to be trying to calm or comfort her. I haven't seen this much with the defense team, unlike Casey Anthony's attorneys who could be seen with their arm around her when she was crying during her trial. I could be mistaken, but I could swear I saw Kirk Nurmi throw a nasty look at Juan Martinez before they cut to the Great Seal of the State of Arizona!
We are at that point folks....trying to get to the truth of the details surrounding this slaughter. I don't know how much of the truth will come from anything Jodi Arias testifies to, but I'm hoping Juan Martinez can put it all together and do what he needs to do to get some justice for Travis Alexander and his family and friends. They deserve it. Update to follow.
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