Yesterday, defense attorney Kirk Nurmi concluded his direct examination of murder defendant Jodi Arias following 7 days of testimony from the now 32 year old Yreka woman who is on trial for the June 4, 2008 murder of ex boyfriend Travis Alexander. Arias testified in excruciating detail about her childhood years and her previous relationships with men, however her recollection of the actual killing of a man she claimed to have loved was very limited. Many have anticipated her memory may become cloudy around this day, but even I was surprised at how little time was devoted to the actual details around this brutal killing.
Arias has provided the most mundane details about things that occurred 20 years ago, yet when it came down to describing the events leading up the actual murder she claimed that she had no memory of stabbing Travis Alexander. She also claims that she didn't know the shot she fired, allegedly using the victims own gun had hit him. Travis Alexander was shot in the forehead. The medical examiner's report concluded that the gunshot more than likely was fired after the victim was already deceased. His body was so badly decomposed by the time it was discovered, it was hard to pinpoint what came first - the 29 stab wounds or the gun shot. His throat was slit from ear to ear. How could somebody not remember something so traumatic? This is a very convenient time to claim you had a blackout. We can't see the jury or their reactions as she was testifying, but I have to believe they were just as disappointed as the rest of us.
Travis's sister Samantha was openly sobbing as Arias testified about the struggle that ensued after Arias reportedly dropped Travis Alexander's camera. Arias would have us believe that Travis Alexander - a man who had so much to look forward to in life, set to leave on a trip he looked forward to enough to exercise and diet for 6 months prior, would get angry enough to threaten the life of Jodi Arias over dropping his camera? Obviously the camera didn't break! The XXX rated photos they took that day were recovered by the police, despite Arias's attempts to delete all photos and remove all evidence that she had been there on June 4. She probably would've testified that TRAVIS was the one who deleted the June 4 photos, except for the fact that photos taken of a dead or dying Travis Alexander were also deleted. It had to have been her.
Her memory comes back after she left the house, convenient. She doesn't remember taking the gun or rope with her as she left - but she had enough sense about her to dispose of the gun in the desert where it would never be recovered, and dispose of the rope in a dumpster in a different location. She had enough sense to know what she did was wrong, and admittedly took steps to begin covering her tracks. So many things that she said did not make sense, knowing what we now know. She is going to be subjected to what I believe will be one hell of a cross examination from Juan Martinez today. There are so many places where her story breaks down that I don't know where to begin. If you look only at the actual killing - her story doesn't hold water. The photo time stamps tell the real story. Travis was alive and looking very calm one minute, and less than 2 minutes later, he is bleeding from the chest and back - and on the ground, completely disabled if not dead.
I believe it would have been impossible to have happened the way she described. A fight of the "life or death" magnitude doesn't start and end the way it did in less than 2 minutes. None of Travis's family, friends or room mates believed Travis Alexander owned or kept a handgun at his home. If he did, what are the chances it was a .25 caliber? The same type that was taken from Arias's grandparents home a week earlier? I don't believe that was a coincidence. Even if you believe the gunshot did come first, would Travis have been able to continue his angry pursuit of Jodi Arias and keep "coming after her" as she described? I believe a person who had just been shot in the face would've been in such shock, she would've had ample opportunity to get the hell out of there - if that had been the way it happened. I doubt he would've posed any grave threat to her after being shot.
The crime scene evidence tells a much different story. Travis Alexander was likely stabbed several times while he was crouched down in the shower. He may have then gotten out of the shower and gone towards the sink - there, his throat was cut from ear to ear. This would've caused massive blood loss, and he may have stumbled into the bedroom and down the hall, where he fell to the floor and was shot in the face. This is what I believe happened. Why did Jodi Arias do this to him? There are many theories. Here's a plausible one. Arias knew Travis was leaving for Cancun at the end of the week. She testified that she believed Travis gave the other ticket to a friend's babysitter. This is the first we've heard about the babysitter. Apparently, Travis owed these friends money, and giving the babysitter the ticket would've been his way of repaying the friend. Doesn't make sense. I believe Jodi Arias knew, or became aware that Travis was taking Marie "Mimi" Hall on that trip. If she only recently found out, this would explain her need to go to Mesa before the trip. I believe this would have bothered her a great deal, regardless of what she is now saying.
From the start of this tragic story, I have believed the Cancun trip was a factor in this murder. The timing fits, the motive fits. Arias may have genuinely loved Travis Alexander, and she may have felt used for sex by him. Some of her testimony was believable, and I think she greatly regrets taking the actions that she took - now. But this killing was not in self defense, no matter how you slice it, even if you believe every word she has said. It doesn't meet the legal definition of self defense in the state of Arizona. If a person slaps you, you cannot shoot them. You can only use a like amount of force when defending yourself. This was not a fair fight. The gun is also a big issue. What really happened to the gun that was "stolen" from the Yreka home of her grandparents? Where is it? Why would somebody break into the home, and not take the piles of quarters that were directly above where the gun was kept? Why only take the .25 caliber, and not the other gun?
Apparently Arias believes as long as the police cannot prove that was the gun that was used in the course of the murder, the jury has to give her the benefit of the doubt. Another thing that bothers me - her loss of memory around the stabbing. She didn't just stab him once, twice or even five times. She stabbed him 29 times. That's alot of work. She had to be covered in Travis Alexander's blood. That's not something you could forget, even if you wanted to. She doesn't remember that, yet her memory comes back once she's out of the house and on her way to Utah. She never looked back, rather she started looking ahead at how she was going to rid herself of all evidence of being in Mesa Arizona. Just a partial list of things she cannot explain away:
The gun's origin
The origin of the knife
Why bring two 10 gallon gas cans, and fill them in CA where gas is expensive?
If she shot him first, she had time to run away after shooting him
She cleaned herself at the home, attempted to wipe away evidence
She deleted the photos
She took 16 minutes to listen to Travis's voicemail messages
She left a voicemail to the man she just murdered
She disposed of one of the murder weapons in the Nevada desert
She disposed of the rope in a dumpster in a separate location
She continued to Utah,was romantic with Ryan Burns
She was not injured - except for small cuts on her hand
She admitted to trying to cover up her involvement and throw the police off
This is just a partial list of the issues she did not adequately address. The defense took so much time trashing Travis Alexander and trying to portray Jodi Arias as the real victim - as if Travis had this coming to him. They spent 95% of her time on the stand making Travis Alexander look as deviant, mean, controlling and abusive as they possibly could. Building their defense out of the audio tape, and whatever text messages or e-mails Arias conveniently saved, yet they had no evidence to back up their claims that he was into little boys or that he ever hit or physically abused her. We are supposed to just take her at her word. When it came time to talk about the reason those jurors are sitting there, the actual killing - they glossed over it in 5 minutes time. I cannot believe how little was said about this brutal and heinous murder. This wasn't a one-gunshot killing, it had to have been rageful, bloody and horrifying for Travis Alexander. He was naked, relaxed and completely defenseless in the shower.
Maybe Travis wasn't the person his family and friends believed him to be. But nothing Jodi Arias alleged about him could justify her killing him in such a brutal manner. Self defense doesn't look the way this looked. This was a rage killing, pure and simple. Today, Jodi Arias will have to face the very tough cross examination from Prosecutor Juan Martinez - who has been patiently waiting for the last 7 days, taking notes and getting ready for his shot at her. You'll want to watch today's proceedings!