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Juan Martinez Closes in on June 4, 2008

Arizona state prosecutor Juan Martinez is closing in on the events surrounding Jodi Arias's fatal road trip that began in Redding, CA and ended in the Mesa murder of Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008.  Arias has been on the stand for weeks, and had no problem recalling events in her life from 10 years ago or more as her attorney Kirk Nurmi walked the jury through much of Arias's life and loves.

Her memory has faltered during the cross examination, with her answering "I don't know", "I don't remember", "I don't recall" and "I don't understand the question" more times than I could count. Yesterday, Martinez focused on the events leading up to the murder - the rental car, the borrowed gas cans, the license plate, the rope and the weapons used to facilitate this murder.  

The rental car:  Instead of renting a car near her home in Yreka, Arias drove 90 miles to Redding to rent a car.  The rental car agent recalled Arias refused the first car he gave her, which was red. He testified Arias told him she wanted a car that didn't stand out so much. Arias testified that she didn't want a red car because drivers of red cars tend to get pulled over more and get ticketed more frequently. Where did she pull that statistic out of, there in the rental car agency?? She claims she received a better deal renting the car out of Redding, and she wanted to save money.

The gas cans: Jodi Arias stopped to visit former boyfriend Darryl Brewer before proceeding to Mesa. She borrowed two 5 gallon gas cans from Brewer. She testified that she borrowed the gas cans because she didn't want to run out of gas in the Nevada desert.  She also claimed that she wanted to save money by purchasing gas in another state, because gas in California was so expensive. Receipts seized from Arias showed that she filled up the tank of her rental car and the two 5 gallon gas cans in Pasadena.  Did she bring the gas cans to avoid having to stop for gas in Arizona, or did she have a more sinister plan?

The license plate: Juan Martinez reviewed Arias's testimony around the license plate of her rental car. She testified that she believed the plates had been tampered with by a group of kids who were skateboarding in a Starbucks parking lot - saying that when she came out of the store, they rode off "snickering and laughing". She claims that when she was pulling out of the parking space, she noticed "a flash" of something on the ground and got out to look - she claims there was a license plate "with bugs all over it" on the ground so she picked it up and threw it in the car.

The rope: Jodi Arias testified that on June 4, 2008 Travis Alexander used a rope to tie her hands together and around his sleigh bed. This is important for her, because this event is what she claims put a knife in the vicinity of the crime scene. She stated that they had a long piece of rope, and Travis took one end and she held the other while he stretched it out to measure a length they believed would suit their purposes. She claims he cut the rope with a knife, while he was either in the bathroom or the bedroom. She couldn't say with certainty which it was.  

Juan Martinez displayed many of the recovered photos Arias and Alexander had taken during their sexual encounters that day, and there were clear pictures of that bed and the bedroom area - but no rope was visible in any of the photos. Martinez pointed out that Travis Alexander had a sleigh bed - not really a style of headboard that could facilitate this type of activity. The rope would've had to have been wrapped around the length of the headboard, and since Arias testified that she slipped her hands out of the rope when it became uncomfortable, he pointed out that gravity would've caused the rope to fall to the ground. Where was the rope? Not in any crime scene photos or in any of the personal photos recovered by the police. Arias claims she took the rope from the home, along with the gun. She says she has no memory of the knife or of stabbing Travis, but she seems to recall putting a knife in the dishwasher. She clarified that she didn't know if that memory was from June 4 or another time she put a knife in his dishwasher. Apparently she has put one of Travis Alexander's knives in the dishwasher more than one time!

The weapons - the gun: Juan Martinez asked Jodi Arias if she brought a gun with her to Mesa Arizona. She replied "absolutely not!". She had no problem remembering this aspect of her trip.  Martinez played one of the earliest recorded conversations between Detective Esteban Flores and Jodi Arias for the jury. Within days of the discovery of Travis's body, Jodi Arias initiated a call to Detective Flores. She left him a message, and when he called her back he recorded the call. Arias admitted on the stand that the purpose of her call was to try and determine what knowledge the police had of her and a potential connection to the crime. She admitted that she tried to divert suspicion away from herself. There was a crucial point in the recording where Detective Flores asked Jodi Arias about weapons. He said "did Travis have any weapons in his home"...Arias said "only his fists". He asked if Travis owned or had any guns in his home, Arias said "no, he didn't own or keep any guns".

At that early point in the investigation, Jodi Arias would have no way of knowing that this would be such an important piece of information. Martinez challenged her, "that was the truth - he didn't have a gun".  Arias disagreed. I'm not sure how the defense will argue this point - why would Jodi Arias lie to Detective Flores about Travis keeping a gun at his home? There is no logical reason for her to lie. If he had a gun, why would she say he did not?  Martinez did a good job of insinuating that Arias was telling the truth then, because she had not yet came up with her defense, which turned out to be self defense. Arias wouldn't have even known how important this point would be, that it would be an "aggravating factor" that could get her a death sentence. This is the only thing that makes any sense. There is no logical reply the defense could give to why she would say he didn't have a gun if he did. They are stuck on this one!

I was thinking back on how surprised I was when the State rested their case (in chief) several weeks ago - I thought they could have presented a lot more evidence, but now I see exactly why they rested when they did. The cross examination has been much more effective after having seen Jodi Arias's responses and testimony under direct examination by her attorney. She really had to testify in a self defense case, but did her attorneys do her any favors by letting her talk so much for so many days? They gave the prosecution another mountain of testimony and lies to tear apart.

On "self defense": If the jury compares the injuries to Travis Alexander's body to the description of the injuries Arias had upon arriving to Ryan Burn's house in Utah, they are not even in the same category. We don't have photos of injuries Arias may have sustained during the struggle, but we do know that they weren't severe enough to require more than band aids to cover them.  The autopsy and crime scene photos of Travis Alexander are truly horrific.  In order to have inflicted these injuries to him and have it be considered justified, Arias should have had many more - and more serious injuries! I just don't believe it's possible to claim self defense when the victim's injuries are this severe and include several deep stab wounds to his back. The heartbreaking and graphic crime scene photos are out there and the jury will have access to them. The medical examiners autopsy report show where the injuries to Travis were:
(from In Session)









(from In Session)

If we do a quick summary at this point in the trial, I feel that Juan Martinez has been able to refute just about every abuse claim where an actual date was provided by Arias, he has shown that this clearly was a consensual relationship and in fact Arias was just as aggressive, if not more than Travis Alexander was. Arias has a pattern of looking at the personal, non public text messages and e-mails of her boyfriends when she suspects they are cheating on her. Arias was no stranger to kinky sex.  Arias doesn't appear to have participated in these "antics" (as she called them) simply to please Travis - she claims they made her uncomfortable and made her feel like "a prostitute" or a "piece of used toilet paper". That phone-sex call in May 2008 was more than likely recorded by Arias without the knowledge or consent of Travis Alexander. Although Arias has claimed she wanted to move on with her personal life and remain friends with Travis, it seems clear she was not ready to let him go.

I really and truly believe it was the thought of Travis Alexander spending time in Cancun with Marie "Mimi" Hall that she couldn't bear. She apparently was not aware at that time that Mimi Hall was not romantically interested in Travis but agreed to go on this trip as his friend.  Arias has talked about how persuasive and charming he was - can you imagine what must have been going through her head, thinking about the two of them in Cancun together? Whether or not Arias knew that Mimi Hall was only interested in Travis as a friend, she DID know that Travis was interested in becoming more than friends with Hall.  She wrote about the two of them going hiking (or rock climbing) in her journal - she even knew it was their third date.  This is the same day she "accidentally fell asleep" outside of his bedroom, and she was actually still there when he returned from this date. He told her it went well. Do you believe her when she says it didn't bother her that Travis hadn't asked her to go to Cancun with him??

Travis Alexander had a lot to live for. He had travel plans, upcoming trips, a successful career, many friends, a beautiful home - and Jodi Arias was back in Yreka, working in a restaurant and living with her grandparents. This wasn't where she wanted to be. 

If Jodi Arias was so afraid of Travis Alexander, based on the previous allegations of violence against her (body slamming her, kicking her in the ribs, slapping her in the neck/face, breaking her finger) why did she fear for her life this time and not then? Why was this incident where he lunged at her different than the other times? Why did she fear for her life on June 4, 2008 after dropping his digital camera? Why didn't she believe he was going to kill her after he body slammed her and kicked her in the ribs as she alleges he did to her previously? Sounds to me like the June 4, 2008 incident was less of a threat than being body slammed to the ground, then kicked in the ribs while defenseless on the ground.

Why? Because she wasn't afraid of him killing her. I don't believe he ever physically harmed her - no body slamming, no rib kicking, no breaking her finger.  I believe the only thing Jodi Arias was afraid of on June 4, 2008 was losing Travis Alexander - possibly to another woman. That is what motivated her to stab and shoot an unarmed, naked and defenseless man while he showered. In his own home. 

What do you think?  I love to read your comments and hear your theories about this case.

Comments

  1. I think your article is right on point. She was mad as hell and she had thought about that Cancun trip as her last grasp on Travis was disolving. She made that trip with 2 thoughts in mind, either kinky sex was going to get her the boy and the trip or she was going to kill him. Sex didn't work and we know what the outcome was.

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    1. Anonymous, between the timing of the murder and her determination to not leave any traces of her being in Arizona says it all. If she originally didn't know who Travis was taking to Cancun, my belief is that she found out and she's the one who became enraged when her sexcapades with Travis didn't change his travel plans. Why else would this have happened when it did? Seems to me things were winding down between the pair, and with Jodi back in Yreka she knew she would no longer be able to know what he was doing or who he was seeing. She couldn't let go or move on and knew that although he continued to sleep with her, he wanted to eventually get married and not to her!

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