Sunday, February 3, 2013

Will Jodi Arias Take The Stand?

When the Jodi Arias murder trial resumes next week, one question is on everyone's mind:  will Jodi Arias take the stand in her own defense?  Many believe she must take the stand and tell her story if she has any chance of having her life spared.  Thus far, there has been much said about murder victim Travis Alexander's sex life - the victim has been on trial since the defense began their case.  This is a common tactic, and given what defense attorneys Jennifer Willmott & Kirk Nurmi have to work with, I can't say it surprises me.

There is a mountain of physical evidence against Jodi Arias - in addition to circumstantial evidence of premeditation.  There's the "stolen" gun from her grandparents Yreka home 1 week prior to the killing, there is the unexpected detour on the way to Utah, where Arias rents a car and drives to Mesa - stopping to borrow 2 gas cans from her ex-boyfriend in California, among other suspicious activity from Arias.

She didn't help her cause by giving three different stories to law enforcement, the last of which came through her attorney in the form of self defense. The two previous accounts were so outrageous they were laughable.  There was the 5 day, 2834 mile road trip where receipts were saved by Arias throughout the trip, with the curious exception of receipts representing her time in Arizona. With the extra gallons of gas she purchased and stored in the borrowed gas cans, she wouldn't have had to stop in Arizona for gas before hightailing it out of town to Utah.


There is her creepy behavior after the killing - phone records suggest she called and listened to Travis Alexander's voicemail for 16 minutes, more than 5 hours after killing him, she was still seemingly obsessed with who was calling him.  Most telling in my opinion, was the scheduled June 10, 2008 trip to Cancun that Travis Alexander was taking with another woman, Marie "Mimi" Hall.  Arias knew about the trip, and couldn't have been happy about it.  It was one of the places they talked about going together, after reading a book about places to visit before you die.  That's outright creepy too.

Arias seemed surprised to find out that Marie Hall was not romantically interested in Travis Alexander - I believe she blew this trip so far out of proportion, and probably imagined in her head the two of them falling in love in Cancun - she couldn't let him take that trip without her.  It was the ultimate betrayal.

So far, the defense hasn't put forth any evidence of prior physical or domestic abuse by Travis Alexander.  All they have been able to suggest is that he wasn't exactly the squeaky clean Mormon people believed he was.  He was a 30 year old man!  There will be expert witnesses called to discuss the topic of abused or battered women, however - without Jodi Arias telling her story, I don't think the jury is going to take her at her word that Travis Alexander was about to kill her!  Or that she really truly believed he was.  Why should they believe her?  She hasn't been forthright or honest, and she had plenty of chances to set the record straight, if that in fact was what happened.


It's the "Hail Mary" of defenses - they would've been better off with an insanity defense, however she must not have met the criteria for that either.  The defense estimates their case will wrap up around 2/14/13.  I haven't seen their witness list, but this seems like an excessive amount of time that may point to Arias testifying!  I'd imagine she would be on the stand for a number of days, if she does in fact take the stand.  What do you think?  Do you think the prosecution has proven their case? Do you feel Arias will take the stand? Do you think she will be found guilty of 1st degree murder?


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