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Arias Defense Complains About "Rock Star" Conduct of Juan Martinez!

HLN correspondent Jean Casarez was called to the stand this morning in a hastily called hearing on prosecutor Juan Martinez's "Rock Star" conduct! Arias defense attorney Kirk Nurmi had Casarez called into the courtroom and sworn in and he questioned her about something she said on air yesterday when she was reporting on the Jodi Arias Murder trial.

I was floored when instead of seeing Alyce LaViolette take the stand this morning, the defense is claiming that Casarez reported seeing a juror witnessing Juan Martinez taking photographs with the public yesterday in front of the courthouse. When on the stand, Casarez corrected Nurmi and told the court that she reported that she hadn't witnessed this, rather - she was shown a clip with Martinez and some supporters outside the courtroom and she commented that she would be concerned if a juror saw this happening.

This is outrageous, and what are the odds the defense will try to get a mistrial out of this comment?  Why don't they concentrate on getting their case done and quit racking up billable hours on this nonsense. Meanwhile, Arias has sold at least 8 sketches, and has a supporter website where donations are taken to fund her commissary needs while she sits in jail! Where is the justice?

Outraged and it's not even 10:30AM.

Is Arias Manipulating The System?

Uggh - Jodi Arias has bought herself a knowledgeable expert witness in Alyce LaViolette. LaViolette has provided the jury and court room with an education about domestic violence and the various ways, shapes and forms it can take. Will she go out on a limb for Jodi Arias? Or has Arias, Willmott & Nurmi built their defense around this witness, manipulating the "battered wife syndrome" because she believes it's hard to prove she was not battered? Was she aware of the statistics around reporting or victims who don't report abuse, and this is what she built her defense around?

Alyce LaViolette is probably the best person the defense could have chosen/bought to speak on the subject of domestic violence. While her testimony about specifics on the actual case should be limited in nature, I mentioned yesterday that I felt that parts of LaViolette's discussion on domestic violence had a familiar feel - and it seemed clear that Arias was coached. On a previous post, I listed some of LaViolette's prior expert witness experience, and this jumps out at me.

2011 - 13 Expert Witness & Consultant, Death Penalty Murder Trial. Phoenix, Arizona

1998 Consulant, Murder Trial - Interviewed defendant, assisted in developing strategy for defense.

1984-85 Expert Witness, 1st degree murder case (battered woman who allegedly killer her husband) Consulted with defense attorney on jury selection and development of questions to develop battered women syndrome.

Do you think LaViolette helped Nurmi & Arias develop their questions and answers? Is that why we hear a theme in her descriptions of various types of abusive relationships that sound familiar? 

I always believe that liars throw in a little bit of truth in their stories. Perhaps Travis Alexander did get fed up with Arias following him on dates, reading his personal e-mails and breaking into his My Space and Facebook accounts - and maybe he yelled at her and said some things that were less than kind. That's about all I can imagine happened to this woman. Was that punishable by death, as she already carried out Travis Alexander's death sentence when she murdered him.

I think that Jodi Arias has manipulated people her entire life, beginning at a young age and continuing into adulthood. Alyce LaViolette seemed to be describing many of Jodi Arias's traits in her "Continuum" - many more than Travis Alexander's. She is using the system to try to mitigate her responsibility for cold blooded murder. I no longer feel impartial about this case or trial, and I don't know if there is anything the defense could say to make me believe what she did was justified.  They may have bought a good expert witness, but not even Alyce LaViolette can change the facts around what Arias did on June 4, 2008.

If Travis Alexander had wanted to physically harm Jodi Arias, I believe he could have. Those defensive wounds to his hands show that he was trying to protect himself, not attack. The cluster of stab wounds on his back prove that Arias attacked him at a time when he could not have been a threat to her. She went well above and beyond self defense by any stretch of the imagination. All of this domestic violence, PTSD and fog-talk is just white noise!

I believe that in order for Arias to have walked away without injury on June 4, 2008, she had to have completely disabled Travis and attacked him until he was no longer able to move. She didn't stop until she was certain he was dead. She did enough damage to kill him three times over - even if he did lunge at her and verbally threaten to kill her, she is not justified in what she did. Nobody knows how they would react if somebody suddenly attacked them without provocation, but it actually happened to me when I was in my mid 20's.

I was meeting some friends for drinks after work, and the parking at this particular place was set back in a poorly lit parking lot. I still had my work clothes on, and was wearing a skirt, jacket and had heels on. I parked my car and started walking towards the street to get to the front entrance, when I noticed a man approaching me. He was still a good distance away from me when he began to ask me for directions - I had a sense that something wasn't right and felt uneasy, so without being rude I told him I didn't live in the area and wasn't familiar with it. I kept walking towards the street, and just as he was getting ready to pass me in the other direction, he grabbed me and put his hand over my mouth and tried to drag me back into that dark parking lot.

I can honestly say that how I reacted surprised me. It happened very fast, but I remember thinking that if I let him drag me back into that dark parking lot, who knows what his intentions were. I couldn't let that happen, so I fought him as hard as I could, and I pulled my legs up in a way where he would have my full weight and drop me - which is exactly what happened. I was now laying on the asphalt and he was on top of me with both of my arms pinned down. I screamed as loud as I could and struggled with every ounce of energy I had and I guess he hasn't planned on having someone put up that much of a fight. He suddenly got up and grabbed my wallet out and started to run.

I found myself so infuriated at this man that I actually grabbed his leg while I was still on the ground and he was trying to run away. I grabbed his leg and he tripped, by that time I was on my feet and I just started kicking this guy, and screaming at him! I can't believe I reacted that way, and thinking back on it I probably should have just ran after he took my wallet and was running away. But my point is, it was my first reaction to fight and not let him get me back to a place where he could've really hurt me.  I ran into the bar and my friends were there - the bar staff called the police, and a few of the bartenders ran out to look for this guy. The police came and took a report but did little else. I had a friend drive me home shortly thereafter, since my clothes were torn and I was a nervous wreck. When I got home, the man I was living with at the time said when he got home that night, my wallet was by the front door, when we opened it the money was gone, as I'd expected. But what I didn't expect is to find a used condom in my wallet.  This man had come to my house and I felt that he left me a message in my wallet! I called the police to report what I had found, and they did nothing more than "add a note" to the police report I filed earlier. They didn't come to my house or collect that "evidence".  I moved shortly thereafter.

I ended up being just fine, but I just started to think about that and how I know I reacted when I realized this guy was going to attack me. Travis had to have been caught completely off guard, trapped in that shower stall unable to get away before being seriously injured. That's the only way Jodi Arias walks away with no injuries. To me, that's all that matters in this case.  There has been talk about this expert swaying the jury in Arias's favor, but I think this jury cares about what happened to Travis Alexander and I don't expect Arias to get a pass on this murder. What do you think?

LaViolette's "The Continuum Of Aggression & Abuse" Explained

Arias defense attorney Jennifer Willmott spent the morning with expert witness Alyce LaViolette discussing her widely used "The Continuum of Aggression and Abuse". This document was projected in the courtroom and had 5 columns that seemed to represent a sliding scale of abusive situations/relationships - beginning with the least abusive to the worst. These were:  "Common Couple Aggression", "High Conflict", "Abuse", "Battering" and "Terrorism/Stalking". Hey, this would have been a good witness for the State, because I feel I recognized many Jodi Arias traits in each of these columns!

LaViolette has a much better presence on the stand than Dr. Richard Samuels did, she speaks openly and freely and presents the information in a manner that people can relate to and understand. She clearly knows what she is presenting to the jury and more importantly she knows how to convey the data more effectively than the last witness. Willmott walked her through each of these escalating levels of dysfunctional relationships, and LaViolette gave explanations and examples. I can see where Kirk Nurmi may have flavored his questions to Arias around some of the data on this "Continuum" - the language and some of the examples that were given seemed vaguely familiar.

"Common Couple Aggression" is described as a situation where an unusual act in an otherwise healthy relationship. This may be an isolated incident such as throwing something or yelling, but there are normally no injuries inflicted. This type of aggression could happen in any normal family and there is usually a balance of power within the relationship.

The "High Conflict" relationships are described as unhealthy and mutually disrespectful relationships where anger may be an issue, conflicts are not resolved and there may be emotional abuse, name calling or a balance of power. The Arias defense has tried to show that Travis Alexander had the power and was the driver of their dysfunctional relationship.

"Abuse" - characteristics of this type of relationship are sporadic physical aggression, verbal abuse, name calling, threats of abandonment, and the aggression normally takes place without witnesses. 

"Battering" - more frequent physical violence, jealousy, controlling behavior, more public physical aggression, name calling/attacks character, sexual abuse, isolation, change in victim's personality, putting down friends and family, destruction of property, threatens to kill self or others, self-absorbed, generally more violent. 

"Terrorism/Stalking" - insidious psychological abuse, well thought out and specific threats to kill, extreme isolation, torturing pets, sexual humiliation and degradation, generally more regular physical abuse (but may occur without any physical abuse).

Can we see where the defense is driving this bus? The defense allocated a lot of their time to the sexual relationship between Arias and Alexander - it's clear why they did so, but will the jury buy that Jodi Arias wasn't an equally enthusiastic partner? LaViolette finished the discussion by describing some of the other factors that could effect a person's ability to handle things in a healthy way:  Family of origin issues, previously abusive relationships, substance abuse and psychological issues. 

It seems like in addition to blaming Travis Alexander for Jodi Arias's behavior, the defense is going to throw her family under that bus as well. I can see the family of origin issue being used, as Arias has testified to her troubled relationship with her mother (the wooden spoon) and her father who disciplined her by slapping her down.

All in all, there was little interruption during the morning presentation aside from the early objections and three sidebars within the first 15 minutes of court. After that, it was smooth sailing. Martinez is letting LaViolette talk. Earlier this morning, Willmott asked this expert about her previous court experience, how much she is being paid and if she ever turns down cases that are presented to her.

LaViolette disclosed that she is being paid $250.00 an hour for research and $300.00 per hour for court appearances. She has testified in 18 trials. She said that in the cases that she turned down, it was either a case where she didn't feel there was enough evidence to merit her participation, or she simply didn't have enough time in her schedule to commit the amount of time necessary. She was interviewed and retained by the Arias defense team in late September or early October of 2011. She seems genuine, honest and prepared.

It appears that LaViolette provided expert witness testimony for Brenda Clubine, a woman who was convicted of 2nd degree murder for killing her abusive husband, Robert. Clubine served 26 years of a 16 year to life sentence  but in 2008, Clubine was released due to a successful "habeus" petition.  Her conviction was vacated and she instead was allowed to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 7 years - she was released for time served. 

At the time of her trial in 1984, the "battered women's syndrome" wasn't  legally accepted in self defense arguments in the state of California. Clubine suffered a great deal of physical injuries at the hands of her husband, including a fractured skull,shattered jaw, broken collarbone and cracked ribs. Brenda Clubine filed more than 42 police reports against her husband for battery, and was seeking a divorce at the time of the killing. Clubine wasn't able to introduce her medical records of police reports during her trial, because  the abuser wasn't there to defend himself. Any witnesses to the violence were not allowed to testify due to "hearsay" issues.

During her time in prison, Clubine co-founded "Convicted Women Against Abuse", and teamed with Olivia Klaus and filmed a documentary called "Sin by Silence", which tells Clubine's story and the story of countless others who remain behind bars. Clubine continues to be an advocate for abused women.

Clearly that case differs from the Jodi Arias case. I had been searching for information on the other cases where LaViolette contributed and stumbled onto this one, so I hastily put this together while listening to the courtroom testimony. My apologies that the information isn't more detailed - more on this to come!

A Look At Alyce LaViolette And More Strange Video Footage of Arias Arrest

Yesterday, as Dr. Richard Samuels finished up his testimony the Jodi Arias defense team called their next expert witness to the stand, Alyce LaViolette. LaViolette is a very legitimate expert on the subject of domestic violence, having been one of the early leaders back in the 1970's when this was not a topic that was spoke of often. Jennifer Willmott had LaViolette introduce herself and her educational background, and list her many accomplishments helping battered women and even helping the men who battered them, hoping to return these women to a safer environment. She is likable, and she is a legitimate voice on this topic. The prosecution should not expect this witness to be as sloppy in the trial casework and reporting as Dr. Samuels was. 

While it's unknown exactly how far out on a limb LaViolette will go for Jodi Arias, she is expected to testify about some of the characteristics of battered women, why they return to their abusers - and what some of characteristics are of an abuser. LaViolette's credentials and accomplishments are too many to list - her website has a 20 page PDF document listing it all . From her expert witness/trial experience, I picked out what I thought appeared similar in nature - unfortunately, it doesn't have the case names, but I think it's safe to say the 2011-13 Expert Witness & Consultant, Death-Penalty Murder Trial in Phoenix, Arizona is AZ vs. Jodi Arias:

2011-13 Expert Witness and Consultant. Death-Penalty Murder Trial. Phoenix, Arizona 1998 Consultant, Murder Trial. Interviewed defendant, assisted in developing strategy for defense
1997 Expert Witness/Consultant, First Degree Murder Case. Father who killed daughter’s alleged batterer. Dealing with issues of Battered Woman Syndrome; Vicarious (secondary) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Batterers.
1996 Consultant, Felony Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Interviewed defendant to determine whether she suffered from Battered Woman Syndrome. Consulted with attorney, wrote report.  
1989 Consultant. Penalty phase, capital punishment case. Consulted with attorneys.
1987-88 Consultant/Expert Witness. First degree murder with special circumstances. Interviewed battered woman who allegedly hired a hit man to kill her husband. Advised attorney of symptoms of battered wife syndrome and testified for defense.
1984-85 Expert Witness. 1st degree murder case (battered woman who allegedly killed her husband). Consulted with defense attorney on jury selection and development of questions to develop battered women syndrome.

It appears she has done a fair amount of work in this area, as an expert witness or consultant. I'm trying to find out the cases attached to these entries, just because I'm curious of the outcome and circumstances of those cases.

In other Arias news, unseen video footage from the Arias arrest in Northern California was played last night - it's a shame the jury isn't seeing this in it's entirety. In a conversation about anger with Detective Flores, Arias recounts a time when she was a teenager when she kicked the family dog, and the dog ended up running away. She said she felt bad about that, and she wanted to apologize to the dog "because dogs have souls too". Detective Flores said "you need to apologize to Travis, for what you did to him". Arias was still in full denial mode, as her voice shifted to almost a childlike tone as she seemingly flirted with the officer, asking him what type of gun he had. Another example of Arias trying to use the one weapon that has always worked for her in the past.

In another clip, she is talking to the detective about Travis - she tells him that Travis had found the woman he wanted to spend his life with, but she still hadn't found the man she wanted to share her life with. She said "I'm happy for him", and "I want him to be happy" - she mentions the name Mimi Hall, and tells him that she doesn't personally know Mimi Hall, but has talked to her at church events. Right there - that strongly suggests that Jodi Arias believed that Travis Alexander was very serious about pursuing Marie Hall! She knew it, she said those words - it's on video, why isn't the jury seeing this? If she's telling the detective these things, you can only imagine how amplified this thought was in Arias's head as she drove to Mesa, to make one last ditch effort to win Travis back. She only had 6 days before he's be on a plane to Cancun with the other woman, the woman she believed Travis was very serious about! How is this NOT relevant to motive? How can Arias accuse him of being a sexual deviant, with nothing to corroborate her claims yet this video evidence is not being seen by the people who are in charge of deciding her fate?

Each time they release more video of Arias's strange behavior, I am more convinced that she went to Mesa with a plan in mind. She is being given so much latitude in her defense that it feels like the trial has lost sight of who the true victim is, and it's Travis Alexander - not Jodi Arias.  While it will be difficult to hear LaViolette refer to Arias as a battered or abused woman, we have to keep the faith that there are going to be 12 reasonable people sitting on that jury, and they are taking their job very seriously. Arias's defense team can't seriously believe Arias will escape justice for this brutal ans senseless murder, but what they are doing is setting up their mitigating factors for the punishment phase of the trial. "Jodi was abused by her mother, Jodi was cheated on and lied to by her boyfriends, Jodi was controlled and manipulated by Travis Alexander", and so on.  She needs to take some responsibility for her actions, and if she HAS a soul, she needs to tell the truth about what happened.

Does anybody have any doubt that she remembers exactly what she did to him on June 4, 2008? I'm willing to bet that she WISHES she could forget the details, but this is a woman who wanted to view the crime scene photos out of "a morbid curiosity"? 

Judging by the 6 days Dr. Samuels was on the stand, I'd expect no less for this expert witness. This may be the defense's last shot at making some points with the jury towards Arias's claims of self defense and being in mortal fear at the time of the murder.  I'd expect they will take as much time as they feel is necessary, since their last expert failed in such an epic fashion.  I will patiently wait until Juan Martinez is able to put on the State's rebuttal case, where I believe he will pull out some of the best evidence against Jodi Arias, and her house of cards will fall. 

How did Willmott & Nurmi get Alyce LaViolette to testify on behalf of Jodi Arias with little to no real evidence to corroborate her allegations against Travis? This concerns me, because this witness IS actually well respected and she is likable. This will be some interesting testimony.

"Alternative Reality" or Cover Up?

Dr. Richard Samuels was back on the stand today, and was aggressively questioned by prosecutor Juan Martinez on his methods and diagnosis of murder defendant Jodi Arias. Dr. Samuels, a defense expert who is being paid $250.00 per hour diagnosed Arias with PTSD, acute stress and dissociative amnesia stemming from the 6/4/08 killing of Travis Alexander.

Juan Martinez battled Samuels and at times seemed to belittle him, as Samuels admitted to making several clerical errors and omissions on the reports he generated relating to Arias. Martinez questioned whether Samuels had lost his ability to be objective in regards to Jodi Arias, which triggered angry objection from Jennifer Willmott and Dr. Samuels.

Martinez was as aggressive as we've seen him. I was surprised to hear a few things today I wasn't aware of. Martinez stated that Jodi Arias sent an 18 page letter to Travis's family at some point, I believe after she was arrested - although they didn't say. The reason I believe it was after the arrest is because she mentioned wanting to send them a letter during the arrest/interrogation video we have seen. It was also stated today that during a visitation with her mother, Jodi Arias kicked her! Juan Martinez was questioning Dr. Samuels about Arias's anger towards her mother, after 6/4/08. Martinez argued that Arias has always had a contentious relationship with her mother, this didn't begin after the murder.

Juan Martinez did seem to be taking his issues with Dr. Samuels to a personal level today, and I have to say that although I don't agree with this doctor's diagnosis of Arias, Jennifer Willmott did a pretty fair job redirecting Samuels near the end of the day. One thing I don't agree at all with, Samuels claiming Jodi Arias created an "alternative reality" as a way to cope with the trauma of killing Travis Alexander. The alternative reality he speaks of were all the lies Arias told and her attempts to cover up her involvement in the crime. He testified that it was because it was too painful for her to admit or cope with what she had done, and if we hadn't heard Arias testify otherwise, I may have bought this line! But Arias has already testified that she lied to cover up her involvement due to her fear of the consequences, and she didn't want everybody to know she was capable of such a crime. So the alternative reality theory doesn't hold water - she lied to evade punishment!

I'm so glad this witness is going to be off the stand because they have been over these same points many times. Wondering how the jury viewed Martinez during his questioning of Dr. Samuels objectivity, and his allegation that Samuels had feelings for the defendant. Would have loved to see how that played out. Now let's move on to the next witness! I believe the domestic violence expert is up next, Alyce Laviolette. Laviolette is usually an expert for the prosecution, so this will be interesting!

Juan Martinez Gets Another Crack At Dr. Samuels

Dr. Richard Samuels is expected to return to the witness stand today. His testimony last week seemed to leave jurors with more questions than answers. His diagnosis of Arias with PTSD and dissociative amnesia have left many people scratching their heads. He has some serious credibility issues, not only around his diagnosis of Arias but of his methods of testing and his sloppy reporting. Juan Martinez will have another shot at pointing out the shoddy and questionable reporting from this defense expert today. These two have provided some great courtroom drama, with Martinez asking Samuels "do you have problems with your memory"?, and Samuels snapping back "No, do you?". Great stuff!

For $250.00 an hour, Arias seems to have bought the diagnosis she hopes will explain her lapses in memory and her outrageous behavior in the days following the savage murder of ex boyfriend Travis Alexander. I think too much is being made of this "expert" witnesses testimony. Does the defense team believe they can create sympathy for a woman who's own brutal actions caused her to have the PTSD to begin with? Samuels testified that 30% of people convicted of a homicide reported having some type of amnesia following the crime. Seems awfully convenient. I'm not saying that there aren't people that truly do suffer from these syndromes following traumatic events. I just don't believe Jodi Arias is one of them.

Let's look at the circumstances Arias has created around her defense. The evidence that could prove or disprove many of the events she has described in court are gone - disposed of, deleted, or just missing. There are no eyewitnesses to any of the alleged abuse of Jodi at the hands of Travis. There are no family members, friends, counselors, doctors, law enforcement officials, pastors, bishops or clergymen that Arias confided in. Her own personal and private journals do not contain any entries about alleged abuse.

The weapons used in the crime have never been recovered. Had the gun NOT been Arias' grandfather's stolen 22 caliber, why would she take it with her and throw it in the desert, where it would never be recovered? I don't believe there are any records that show Travis Alexander owned a registered handgun or firearm, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have had one. The point is, as long as it wasn't the stolen .22 caliber, that would show that she did not go to Mesa packing a gun. The knife has never been identified or recovered. Arias has a vague recollection of putting a knife in the dishwasher, but police were not able to link one to the crime. If the knife was in fact from Travis's home, and it was used to cut this rope used to tie Arias up, why take the knife? Why not wipe it off and leave it? The knife isn't quite as telling as the gun, but still, you have to wonder if there was a knife in that room prior to him getting into that shower.

I think it's almost poetic justice that Arias, who prides herself as a professional-grade photographer may be undone by a camera, her tools of the trade. She thought she knew how to get rid of the damaging photos that memorialized her presence at the Alexander home on June 4, 2008. She carefully went through the photos on his new digital camera, decided which ones she needed to delete and which ones could remain. She thought she had erased herself from the crime scene by deleting the nude photos, clearly time and date stamped June 4, 2008. She knew enough about evidence and crime scene cleanup to remove the bedding with her DNA on it, and put it in the washing machine. Whether she put the camera in the washing machine on purpose or if it was accidental, that memory card would be the beginning of the end for Jodi Arias. Arias must be kicking herself for leaving that camera behind! She likely would still be on trial for murder, because of the bloody palm print she left behind, but jurors may have had a more difficult time believing a woman of her small stature could be strong enough to bring down a much heavier Travis Alexander.

So what more can Dr. Richard Samuels add to this whole story? He only saw Arias 12 times, and spent maybe 30 hours with her - how can he form an opinion of her state of mind based on this little time? The jury may decide to ignore Samuels testimony altogether. This expert was so sloppy in his work, that he failed to re administer the diagnostic tests after discovering his patient was lying to him about what really happened on June 4, 2008. There is no excuse for that failure, although Samuels believes the outcome of the testing would be no different - basically saying "trauma is trauma". He is not paid to draw those type of conclusions. Why didn't Samuels do more testing on Arias, given the lies she told law enforcement and lies she told him? Wouldn't it have been prudent to do more thorough testing for other possible diagnosis? I don't know what type of testing there is to determine if somebody is a sociopath or a psychopath, but it would have been interesting to know what other personality disorders she may suffer from.

Whatever you believe about Dr. Samuels and his diagnosis, this only really goes to try to explain why Arias cannot remember the crucial points in the murder of Travis Alexander. She remembers everything and anything that is beneficial to her case, but doesn't recall those things that prove she is a cold blooded killer. The facts of the case remain the same, with or without the testimony of Dr. Richard Samuels. The sooner he gets off the stand, the better. He adds nothing either way, in my opinion he was a complete waste of $250.00 an hour!

I'd still be interested to know what those documents and folders that Arias was captured by courtroom cameras sneaking off the defense table last week contained. I'd also be interested to know if a murder defendant is allowed to be passing papers to people in the gallery. The court video cameras have captured an awful lot of interesting and suspicious activity going on with Jodi Arias. Is she passing her doodles or artwork to somebody in the gallery to sell for her on EBay? What was the pill she was seen taking? Is she trying to get another coded note to Matt McCartney? Is she passing along suggestions on who she wants to play her in the Lifetime movie "Dirty Little Secret - The Jodi Arias Story"? 

This trial is truly getting more bizarre by the day. Last week, court had to be adjourned for the day after a spectator vomited in the courtroom. I'm surprised that didn't happen more when Jodi Arias was on the stand. Should be another interesting week. What new theories will emerge about this crime? What does Juan Martinez have up his sleeve for his rebuttal case? Stay tuned!

New Reports Emerge About Cancun Trip - Was Arias Supposed To Go?

New reports are emerging about the June 10, 2008 Cancun trip that Travis Alexander was going on - the trip that may have been the catalyst for murder. It was reported last night on Jane Valez-Mitchell's show on HLN that "sources" have revealed that Jodi Arias was supposed to accompany Travis Alexander on the company sponsored trip to Cancun, but Alexander changed his mind and invited Marie "Mimi" Hall instead. Arias has maintained throughout the trial that she was not aware that Travis was taking Mimi Hall - instead, she testified that Travis told her he was taking a friend's babysitter.

Here is the link to Jane Valez-Mitchell's HLN report on this from yesterday's show:

The babysitter story never made sense - she claimed that Travis owed this friend money, and was taking the babysitter to Cancun as a form of repayment for a debt. She couldn't come up with a better story than that after 4 1/2 years?  Travis Alexander was savagely and viciously murdered in the evening hours of June 4, 2008, only days before he was due to board a plane for sunny Cancun. The timing of the murder is no coincidence. Why kill Travis on June 4th? Why not kill him on one of the many other opportunities Arias must have had during her time in Mesa? 

It's hard to say why, if this is in fact true that it hasn't come up during the trial. Perhaps Juan Martinez wanted to have Arias commit to her babysitter story, and present this information during his rebuttal case? The rebuttal case will be interesting, and I have to believe Martinez has saved some of his best arguments for the rebuttal case. Lock Jodi Arias into her stories, and then methodically knock them down one-by-one, like he did when he told her that Wal Mart showed no record of anybody returning a gas can in Pasadena on the date she claimed she did. If he does this during the rebuttal, I don't believe the Arias defense team will have the opportunity to "rehabilitate" Arias's story. The prosecution will have the last word.

If these airline records do exist, I have to believe Juan Martinez has them. Since Arias testified under oath that it was never discussed that she would accompany Travis to Cancun and she was fine with that, he can present evidence to disprove her statements. This would go a long way towards the premeditation of this murder. His closing statement should be powerful. If he sticks to the facts, the evidence and doesn't get too bogged down with the memory issues or her amnesia, or any of the sexual elements of this case, it's fairly simple to see what happened and why. It's one of the oldest motives in known to mankind - jealousy.

Arias was losing control. She was no longer living in close proximity to Travis, she could no longer drive by his home to see who was there, she could no longer follow him on dates - and his friends could speak more freely about their disapproval of Jodi as a partner and wife for Travis. He had sent her that scathing e-mail or text message after discovering she had been breaking into his social media pages, he more than likely changed his passwords and she was slowly being shut out of his life. I guess there was one thing he still couldn't say no to, and he ended up letting a killer into his home - unaware of the horror that was about to be unleashed.

Up next week:  the defense expert on domestic violence, Alyce Laviolette from Long Beach, California.  Again, the expert will offer testimony based on her interviews with Jodi Arias. Arias never filed any complaints of domestic violence against Travis, never dialed 911, never wrote about it in her journal, never talked about it with friends or family. It's her words alone that this report will be based on - which makes it flawed from the start. 

I'm wondering, did Jodi Arias actually have many female friends? Most of the women that we've heard from or about during this trial have been either friends of Travis Alexander's, or women Arias met through Pre Paid Legal, and a few she met through the LDS church functions. What seems to be missing are genuine, "I've known her since 2nd grade" type relationships that most people have.  Arias seems to be more friendly with the males in her life, although ex boyfriends and men that she dated don't seem to have really known her either.  She seems to be a follower, with her identity changing depending on her audience or her love interest at that time. She seemed to be lost and looking to become part of someone else's life, instead of forging a life for herself - maybe she lacked the social skills in that sense. Many people have stated their first impression of Jodi Arias was not good - something was off about her. Just goes to show, you should always trust that little voice inside your head or that gut feeling you have about a person. It's usually right, and we get those feelings for a reason!

Enjoy your weekend!

Jodi Arias Arrest Clip From Siskiyou County Sherriff's Department

Just a quick post in response to the many requests about the new video footage with Jodi Arias when she is being arrested in Northern California back in July of 2008. During the clip that aired two nights ago, she can be seen wearing handcuffs, and sitting on the floor "indian style", flipping her hair as women do when they want to add a little volume to their hairdo! 

After she is informed of her murder indictment, she begins to panic and asks Detective Flores "so this is going to be public now" and she specifically asks if Travis's family has been informed or if they have called the Sheriff's office. Detective Flores tells her that while the Alexander family calls nearly every day, "they don't even know we are talking to you", he tells her. This clip may not include everything I posted about a few days back - in that clip, she asks Flores if the story of her arrest will be on the news that same night.

You can almost feel the panic setting in for her, at one point she begins to sob and tells Detective Flores that although this will show how shallow she really is, can she "clean herself up" before they take her for her mugshots! Shallow is putting it mildly Ms. Arias. I'm sure what they showed on air was longer than the 48 second clip I found and added below, but it does contain much of what I described here:

If this link doesn't work for you, go to HLN's website, and look for the headline in the link - it's dated March 21, 2013. Now, let's take a step back for a moment and think about this. This woman has just been informed that she is being arrested and charged in the first degree murder of close friend/ex boyfriend Travis Alexander. What are her immediate concerns?  Her makeup, her hair and how she will look in her booking photo. Running a close second is her concern that Travis's family will be informed that she is suspect number one in the murder investigation.

She also wants to know if she will make the evening newscast! Does this sound AT ALL like a woman with low self esteem? She should be inconsolable, I would be. But she seems to be baffled that they are actually taking her into custody.  The other clip also showed Jodi Arias interacting with a female officer, and they were comparing how she behaved while in the presence of a female officer versus how she acted with Detective Flores. I didn't notice much difference, but then again the clip wasn't terribly long.

For whatever it's worth, this is what I was able to find. I'll keep looking for more, since they have been saying there is hours of video footage, and they always seem to be reviewing more and airing it little by little.  They probably want to capitalize on the public's appetite for information on this unusual murderer and the horrible crime she is forever attached to.  

Where do we go from here? I don't think they are quite finished with Dr. Samuels yet - we may see more of him on Monday. I believe the defense has another "expert" on domestic violence, will this expert be more believable and/or more professional that Dr. Samuels? The defense better hope so. Considering there is absolutely no evidence that Arias was a victim of domestic violence, once again it comes down to her word and how convincing and effective her lies to this particular expert were.  She has been described as a great manipulator, so it's not a stretch to believe she was able to con another "professional" into believing her tales of being mistreated, battered, and emotionally and sexually abused.

It will be hard to sit through for those of us who don't believe she is a legitimate victim of anything other than her own jealous and obsessive behavior. The defense would have the world believe that Travis Alexander was controlling Jodi Arias - I disagree. Arias used the one weapon she had in her arsenal that Travis Alexander couldn't walk away from - sex. She knew he wasn't getting what she was giving him from the other women in his life, but she also had to know that he respected those other women for that very reason. Those women may have represented what he really wanted out of a life partner and wife, and Jodi Arias wasn't the one for him.

My last thought on yesterday's redirect by Jennifer Willmott - while questioning Dr. Samuels, much was made about Jodi Arias moving back to Yreka and away from Mesa and Travis. They allege that it shows that Arias wanted to move on with her life and this was her first step in that direction. I believe Arias moved because she had to. Financially, she could no longer afford to stay in Mesa - she wasn't making it at PPL, she wasn't any closer to becoming Mrs. Travis Alexander and she ran out of choices. She needed to stay somewhere rent-free, so she reluctantly went back to Yreka. I doubt that would've been her first choice, had she had any other option. Once she moved away, she was no longer able to check up on Travis, to drop by his house unannounced - she wouldn't know who he was spending time with anymore and she was losing control over the entire relationship.

He was making plans for his life, many of his immediate plans did not include Jodi Arias. She was well aware that Travis's friends did not like her, didn't feel she was the woman for him. With her living in another state, his friends would have more freedom to speak their minds and try to get him back to dating someone who would be more appropriate for marriage. That had to eat her inside. Jealous is not a strong enough word to describe how she must have felt when she realized he was going on vacation with another woman - somebody she knew he was interested in. The "friends babysitter" story is just another one of Jodi's tales, probably dreamed up while sitting in her jail cell and pondering her future. I believe she will do anything in her power to get out of this murder charge. She is facing the death penalty - she's already proven that she will lie for much lesser reasons.

Enjoy your weekend!

Arias Jury Wary of Dr. Samuel's Assessment

The jury had plenty of questions for the defense's "expert" witness, Dr. Richard Samuels yesterday. I didn't write many of them down, because many of them were long and similar in nature to one another - but there was a common theme. The jury doesn't seem to share Dr. Samuel's opinion that "it's irrelevant" that accused murderer Jodi Arias took the PTSD test while still lying about two armed intruders killing Travis Alexander. Dr. Samuels has repeatedly stated that it wouldn't effect the test results because trauma is trauma - and he still believes her trauma was real and it triggered the PTSD and "dissociative amnesia".

I've heard enough about Jodi Arias's supposed mental and memory problems. I quite frankly don't understand why this even matters - this all started with her "fog", her lack of memory during the time she was stabbing and slashing Travis Alexander's throat. She did these things, what difference does it make why she doesn't remember doing it? I find it awfully convenient that she had the presence of mind after this savage act to attempt to clean up the crime scene, look through the photos on that digital camera and delete only the photos that would implicate her - there was a decision making process involved in those acts. She carefully removed her socks and gathered the bedding and put it in the washing machine in an effort to remove all traces of her DNA. Are those the acts of somebody in an amnesiac state of mind?

She had enough forethought to take the gun, the rope (I still don't believe there ever WAS a rope) and either put the knife in the dishwasher or take it with her - she was clear headed enough to know she needed to call Ryan Burns and come up with an excuse as to why she was running so late. She was thinking clearly enough to pull over and clean the blood off of her hands and change her clothes or ditch her bloody clothes before hitting a security checkpoint near the Hoover Dam. It's awfully convenient that the only thing she doesn't remember is stabbing and slashing his throat - those happen to really be the things that make this murder heinous, cruel and depraved. Very convenient.

Dr. Samuels threw out some statistics that also give me reason to pause. He stated that approximately 30% of people convicted of homicide report having some sort of amnesia - how very convenient for them. The jury questions zeroed in on the errors and omissions on Dr. Samuels reports, his reason for not re administering the PTSD test once Kirk Nurmi informed him that Jodi Arias was now admitting she killed Travis Alexander, but in self defense. If you are being paid $250.00 per hour, and providing testing and reporting to a court of law in a death penalty murder trial, wouldn't you want to be absolutely sure your records and reports were beyond reproach? Wouldn't you want to be certain the test was accurate, there were no "typos" or "omissions" - and if there were, wouldn't you want to amend your report or add another addendum? The errors he made on those reports is completely unacceptable. 

Dr. Samuels rambled on for 2-3 minutes at a time during the jury questioning, in my opinion he dodged many of the questions and wasn't providing clear answers, which may explain why they have so many questions. He clearly seems to be a fierce defender of Ms. Arias, he comes across as being biased towards this defendant when he should be impartial. He seems a little bit too invested in the fate of Jodi Arias. He met with her 12 times and talked with her 25-30 hours, during which time he formed these opinions about her and about Travis Alexander. His testimony is flawed because it is based on the words of a proven and well documented liar. His reporting is sloppy, Juan Martinez was quick to point out another error in the doctor's scoring of one of the tests he gave Jodi Arias. He showed two exhibits of the same report, one of which showed one score, and the other showed a higher score. The doctor didn't disclose this "re-scoring" while answering earlier jury questions, and probably wouldn't have brought it up if Martinez hadn't found it.

His explanations for the two different errors in the testing is not believable. He told this jury that while he was preparing for this trial, he wanted to review the test and the test score but didn't have a copy of his own report - so he "re-scored" the same test. Don't most people make COPIES of their work, especially a document that is going to be scrutinized in a court room? During his "re-score" he came up with a different number? This is absolutely mind-boggling that a professional would be so sloppy. He seems to believe that his 35 years of experience should be evidence that his work was complete and accurate. Juan Martinez had an absolute field day with Dr. Samuels. It's clear that these two do not like each other. At one point, Dr. Samuels began to have memory problems of his own, and Martinez asked him "do YOU have memory problems?", and Samuels snapped back "no I don't, do you?". It got pretty heated in the courtroom.

Juan Martinez also questioned Dr. Samuels motives for giving Jodi Arias a gift, the book on self esteem. Dr. Samuels had answered a jury question by saying that he was a compassionate man, and he felt that Arias may benefit from reading the self-help book, which would ultimately make his job easier if she had more self esteem. Does this make sense to anyone? Turns out that Dr. Samuels gave this book to Arias after their first meeting. That tells me he developed this fondness for her very early on. I am convinced that he truly likes or liked Jodi Arias - he either bought into her stories hook-line-and-sinker, or he simply didn't care that she was lying and manipulated the scores to have the most positive outcome for Jodi Arias.

To me, her memory problems are really a non-issue. It's only a very small piece of this puzzle and doesn't effect her culpability in this murder. She pulled the wool over this doctor's eyes, but it doesn't look like she's fooling the jury - they still seem very focused on what Travis Alexander must have went through while he was under attack at the hands of Jodi Arias. What's next? I believe the defense has another expert in the area of domestic violence. Another PAID expert. Naturally, they wouldn't employ an expert that wouldn't bolster their case, so expect to hear that Jodi Arias suffered emotionally and physically at the hands of Travis Alexander. That will be difficult to sit through. 

I hope and pray that the jury keeps Travis Alexander in their thoughts and their minds - and they don't buy into Jodi Arias as a victim in any way, shape or form. I see no remorse in the eyes of Arias. I really believe that Arias is glad that she no longer has to worry about Travis dating or marrying another woman. These thoughts were consuming her, she became obsessive and when she moved back to Yreka, she lost the ability to keep close tabs on Travis. The defense has made a big deal out of Arias moving back to Yreka, claiming that it proves she was getting on with her life without Travis Alexander. I think Jodi Arias moved back to Yreka because she HAD to. She could no longer afford to live in Mesa, she wasn't making it there professionally or financially - she had to move in with her grandparents, and in that little room that was shown in the robbery crime scene photos was a stark contrast to the home she had become attached to where Travis lived. Her life was changing alright. I can picture her sitting on that little twin or full sized bed, thinking about how many times she's been wronged by Travis Alexander - he was excited about the direction his life was going in, he had so much to look forward to. 

And Jodi, what did she have to look forward to? She was 28 years old, and back in Yreka living with her grandparents and financially strapped. She failed in Arizona, she failed in having a meaningful and real relationship with Travis - all that remained between her and Travis was their sexual relationship. That was the one weapon she had in her arsenal that he wasn't getting with the other women in his life. And she used that weapon to lure him to his own death.  I can see it plain as day. They can put 10 more expert witnesses up on the stand to testify about Arias suffering from personality disorders, it doesn't matter. She knew what she was doing when she was killing him. She knew what she did after she killed him. She tried to cover up her involvement, she lied and ultimately she got caught. That is the only source of her remorse. Have a great weekend!!

Video Of Arias Arrest Shows More Bizarre Behavior

After another abbreviated court day yesterday, additional video footage was released from the day Jodi Arias was arrested and handcuffed by Detective Esteban Flores. We have already seen Arias' odd behavior during interrogation videos where she appears to do yoga stretches in her chair, and more recently when she is left alone in the interrogation room she rifles through a garbage can, scolds herself for not applying her makeup, sings a Dido song and laughs to herself in an evil and chilling manner. This is one odd woman.

**UPDATE** I'm trying to locate the piece of footage I described in this post. It was shown on Jane Valez-Mitchell's show last night, and on her webpage they refer to it as "hours of new interrogation video released", but the clip they attached to it is JVM and her guests talking about the new clip. I'm determined to find this online for you, and will post a link as soon as I find it. It was shown last night on JVM and it's worth finding. I had never seen the footage before, and it's the first time she is seen sporting handcuffs. 

New video footage emerged yesterday of the moment when Arias is informed by Detective Flores that she has been indicted for first degree murder. She asks Flores "so everybody will know now?" and "will this be reported on the news tonight?" - and she seemed very concerned if the Alexander family knew she was being arrested. She asked Detective Flores if he had spoken to Travis' family - he told her that they had been calling every day, but they had not yet been informed of her suspected involvement.

Arias is handcuffed and left alone in the room. She can be seen sitting indian style on the floor, with her hands cuffed behind her back - when she begins flipping her hair to fluff it up. When Detective Flores returns, during her sobbing she asks him if she can "clean herself up" before they take her to be booked into jail! So here's a woman who has just been informed that a grand jury indicted her on the first degree murder of a person she described as her best friend and ex boyfriend, and her first concern is her physical appearance. This speaks volumes about the narcissistic personality of Jodi Arias. She knows the jig is up, and Travis Alexander's friends and family will soon know the truth about her. Unfortunately, his friends were right to be concerned about Travis' involvement with Jodi Arias. Now they would all know, she could no longer blend in with his grieving family and friends. She was the monster who did this to him.

A woman who worked at Pre Paid Legal and knew Travis Alexander was interviewed last night on one of the HLN shows, and she told a disturbing story of an encounter she had with Jodi Arias at a PPL event. Her name is Clancy Talbot, and she was a colleague and friend of Travis who lives in Salt Lake City. During one of the many PPL events we've heard about during this trial, she and Travis had an innocent interaction in which Travis helped Talbot to her table. The following day, Jodi Arias managed to isolate Talbot in the ladies room, and she told her in no uncertain terms that "Travis was hers" and she wanted her to know that she and Travis were an item. Clancy Talbot said she had always had a bad feeling about Jodi Arias, even prior to this encounter. She says Arias blocked the exit door of the restroom until she was done basically telling Talbot that Travis was off limits.

Clancy Talbot was amazed at how Jodi Arias was able to follow her into that ladies restroom, which was on a floor reserved for "Directors" - Arias clearly was not anywhere near that level in PPL, but Travis was. She claims Arias was very jealous of all of Travis' friends, both male and female but especially his female friends. When asked what she thought about Arias's court room demeanor versus the Jodi Arias she knew before her arrest, she said that the portrayal of Arias as someone who has low self esteem and non-confrontational is false. She referred to her as an effective manipulator who can hold her own.  Interesting to hear from people who have interacted with Jodi Arias with Travis Alexander - it gives a more true and accurate description of who she is and how she behaved in their relationship. Talbot was on the Prosecution's witness list, but wasn't called. This may be why we haven't heard from her until now. 

It's been interesting to see the new interrogation footage, I'm not sure why it's coming out piece by piece as it has. Each clip seems to be even odder than the last! Why is the jury only seeing parts of this footage? Did the judge deem it to be too prejudicial, with Arias so concerned with the way she looks for her booking photo - and her various yoga poses, standing on her head, rifling through the trash, talking and singing to herself and that evil cackle of a laugh has to be the most chilling part of it all. The footage makes her look like she has absolutely no remorse about what she did, and I don't believe she is remorseful to this day. If she wasn't going to be able to have Travis, there's no way she was going to let anybody else have him. Especially not Marie Hall. She told the detective that "Travis was desperate to get married" during the 7/15/08 interrogation, and she knew by her experience and conversations with him, through the content on his blog and through his friends that she was not a viable option to be his wife.

When she realized that Travis was not going to change his mind about his travel plans and he would be spending time alone with another woman - a woman who was more wife material than she was, she came undone. She wouldn't have been able to handle those days and those nights thinking about what he was doing in Cancun Mexico with a woman she knew he had an interest in. Those thoughts consumed her and drove her to the murderous rage that claimed the life of Travis Alexander. Jodi Arias killed him and never looked back. She continued on her trip to Utah, as if nothing happened. She would likely be on to the next man, had she not been arrested and indicted for murder. Better to have Travis dead and gone than to worry and wonder about who he is sharing his time and his life with. In a way, killing him finally set her free. Her freedom was short lived. Was it worth it?

Who's Profiting From Jodi Arias Murder Trial?

Another late start in court today, I believe they will begin at 4:00PM EST. **UPDATE** Court is done for the day. The Judge called it a day after somebody in the gallery vomited in the isle in the courtroom!  Really, this actually happened. I'm surprised nobody got sick during Jodi Arias's testimony......

After hearing that expert witness Dr. Richard Samuels may be planning to write a book, I began to think of the people who may try to profit from their involvement in this murder trial. It seems wrong on every level. If Samuels does intend on writing a book on his trial experience in general, that would not seem as unethical as writing about his personal dealings with Arias.

Did you know that Jodi Arias supporters have the ability to accept donations "in support of Jodi"? The website clearly states all such donations will be credited to Arias's commissary account by her family (see below). Casey Anthony is another defendant who received many checks, money orders and donations so she could order food and personal products from the jailhouse commissary!  People from all over the country sent in their hard earned money to feed Ms. Anthony while she awaited trial.

*All support donations received will be deposited into Jodi’s commissary account by the Arias family.
(From the website)

In addition to Dr. Samuels, I would say that Gus Searcy was another person who actively sought out involvement in the Jodi Arias trial. He had information that was relevant, Arias reportedly called him in the middle of the night on June 5, 2008 to tell him that Travis was dead. Did Searcy dial 911, or have an officer go by the Alexander home to do a welfare check? No, he did nothing. In fact, he went on the same Cancun trip Travis Alexander was supposed to attend. Still, he said nothing. I don't believe withholding this type of information is technically illegal, but it goes a long way towards showing what type of citizen he is. He kept information closely guarded until it became beneficial to him. Once he testified, he wasted no time in booking himself on any/every media outlet that would have him. If you do a search on this guy, you will see that he's peddling a book he wrote called "The Charm". I'm not going to promote anything this man is selling here, but I will say it appears this book is about the power of positive thinking and of making positive choices. Sound vaguely familiar? Is this just another ripoff of "The Law Of Attraction" and/or "The Secret"?

Then there's the matter of Jodi Arias selling her artwork on Ebay. The proceeds of any sales are reportedly being used to help finance the Arias family's travel costs to and from Phoenix so they can attend the trial.  I'm pretty sure this constitutes income, and the proceeds from any sales of her original artwork has to be reported as income on her tax return.

What about the Alexander family? They are also traveling from out of town to attend the trial - is there a site to make donations to help them offset the costs?  If there isn't, there should be.  If the Arias family is receiving help via donations than the Alexander family should be too.

In one of the early interviews between Arias and Detective Flores, she asked him if/when the check she had written to Travis for car payments would be deposited. I remember that because it was such a tacky and trivial question to be asking after a death notification. If the check(s) were not deposited, I believe that would also be considered taxable income. This is taken from the IRS Publication 334 (2012):

"Generally, if your debt is cancelled or forgiven, other than as a gift or bequest to you, you must include the cancelled amount in your gross income for tax purposes. Report the canceled amount on line 6 of Schedule C if you incurred the debt in your business. If the debt is a non business debt, report the canceled amount on line 21 of Form 1040.

If the check that Jodi sent to Travis for the two months worth of car payments was never cashed, it appears this would be considered a non-business (forgiven) debt and should be taxable income.

On her artwork - the paragraph below was taken from, and it clearly states that producing and selling art for money is reportable income  In addition, this activity constitutes a business.  Does Arias even have a business license?

"If you are engaged in the production of art and you sell that art for money, profiting from that endeavor in the process, then you must usually claim that profit on your income taxes for that year. The process of creating and selling art for money constitutes a business like any other, and is subject to the same tax regulations as any other for-profit business".

Read more: Do I Need to Claim Taxes on My Artwork? |

Also from, a business license is required if you are selling your own artwork. Business licenses are granted in the City and State where you live. Arias would also need a Employer Identification Number ("EIN") to file taxes on said business. So is Jodi Arias breaking the law while already behind bars? Seems to me that she is.

This may sound petty and trivial in the grand scheme of things. But it's quite possible that Arias is receiving substantial donations. Her "original artwork" would have little to no value if she were not on trial for murder. Was Arias paid for her Inside Edition, 48 Hours and Arizona Republic TV interviews? Has she received money for the photos they show on the various news shows reporting on her case? This became a concern in the Casey Anthony trial - when her parents were being paid for interview and the Anthony's received monies for the "licensing rights" to more family photos to show on the air. In fact, things got so heated around payments to Casey and her family that networks decided it wasn't worth the backlash to pursue getting that first post-acquittal interview with her after all. Wise move.

Testimony finally began this afternoon after another late start. Jennifer Willmott picked up where she left off yesterday, trying to rehabilitate their "expert" with the jury. It's going to be difficult to convince them that the blaring errors and omissions on Samuels reports were "irrelevant" to the diagnosis. For $250.00 an hour, I'd expect a little more out an expert witness.
The price tag to the taxpayers for the Jodi Arias trial is estimated to be upwards of $1,000,000.

Casting Call Goes Out For "Dirty Little Secret: The Jodi Arias Story"

The Lifetime movie about the Jodi Arias Murder Trial is in the works. A casting call has reportedly gone out for the project, tentatively titled "Dirty Little Secret: The Jodi Arias Story" - filming will begin April 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA according to reports from New York Daily NewsThe film is being produced by City Entertainment and Peace Out Productions.

The casting call went out for a white woman in her late 20's, who is "coquettish (huh?), head turning, with a palpable sexy allure and is well aware of the affect she has on men".  OK, I didn't write that description of Arias, it's from the NY Daily News article! The Jodi Arias character is further described as a head strong, quick tempered young woman who "emotionally suffocates and controls Travis Alexander". Casting Agent Fern Champion is said to be at the helm. Champion has handled casting on "Police Academy", "Naked Gun" and "90210".

For the role of Travis Alexander, they are looking for a handsome young man with a "winning personality" and a great sense of humor who becomes emotionally undone by the sexually aggressive Jodi Arias. In the movie, when Arias finally realizes that the object of her desire will never fully commit to her, her jealousy drives her to violence. It will be interesting to see what point of view the story is told from - hopefully the producers of this project will take their cues from the evidence and the crime scene photos, and not from the uncorroborated tales from this murder defendant. In this case, the truth is juicy enough to make a good made-for-TV movie, there is no need to give any credence to Jodi Arias' allegations that Travis was a sexual deviant.

According to reports, the move will portray Arias as a cold-blooded killer, who savagely slashes and stabs Travis Alexander "like a fevered animal".  Although the ending is still unknown, I've read that the closing scene will show Arias smiling slightly at the camera. Sounds about right to me. A source close to Lifetime confirmed that pre production and casting has begun but no air date has been set. 

In other Arias-related news, many of you commented on something that Arias was seen doing in court yesterday. Thanks for all of the comments and YouTube links to these clips! I couldn't believe my eyes when I viewed two of these clips. In a .12 second video clip, Arias can clearly be seen sneaking an entire manila file off the defense table and sliding it under the table and presumably under her rear end. What was in that folder? Was she removing something or adding something to it? In another .32 second video clip, Arias can be seen taking a document and sliding it under the table and out of the view of the camera. What was that document, and what did she do with it?

These clips are being talked about all over the Internet now - will the Judge and Prosecutor try to determine what Arias was up to? Are there any rules around a defendant handling or tampering with their own legal documents, if that's what they were?  Perhaps she was trying to get one of her courtroom doodles out to someone in the gallery, to be sold on EBay?  Who knows what does on in the mind of this woman.

How do you think Juan Martinez did with discrediting the work of Dr. Samuels yesterday? At the very least, he was able to point out how sloppy this doc's work was in a high profile death penalty case. It's hard to understand how someone can go into court and be so ill prepared - his entire diagnosis should be tossed, based on the realization that Jodi Arias took that PTSD test while still telling the 2 armed intruder lie. If her answers are based around lies, how can the diagnosis be a valid one? How can Dr. Samuels say that her inconsistencies (aka LIES) were not relevant to him? Did he really say that?  Jennifer Willmott did her best to rehabilitate the diagnosis of the doctor, but this jury seems fairly bright - we should learn quite a bit about how they viewed this evidence when we hear the jury questions for Dr. Samuels.

Personally, I've never seen an expert witness who was as sloppy with his work as this one was. When Martinez pointed out that Samuels report had several errors that directly effected the PTSD diagnosis, Samuels was quick to say that he accidentally omitted these pieces of information, yet he didn't feel it was important to update his own report? How unprofessional can one be? His face appeared very red while Juan Martinez was grilling him on Arias' inconsistencies as well as his OWN inconsistencies. He looked like his head was about to explode. How will the jury view his diagnosis of PTSD and amnesia for Jodi Arias?  It seems fairly clear that this man found out that Arias had been lying, yet he failed to re administer the test. Was he afraid of that the new results would not show what the defense wanted them to show, so he simply chose to ignore the lies as "irrelevant"? I doubt the jury will see lying as irrelevant - just goes to show that Arias is lying to everybody - even her own experts and her attorneys.

Her demeanor while the jury is not present is completely different than when they are present. She is just one odd and creepy woman. I always wonder what's going through her head as she stares blankly ahead during testimony. She almost looks bored, now that she's off the stand and out of the spotlight. I truly believe she enjoyed all of the attention she received during her time on the witness stand. Will the jury get their opportunity to question this expert witness today? Will Jodi Arias try to sit on additional office supplies today, or will she up the ante and swipe something from Jennifer Willmott's briefcase or purse? This has to be the most bizarre behavior seen in an American Courtroom in recent history.

Updates to follow......

Juan Martinez Delivers Knockout Blow To Dr. Samuels

There was some heated testimony in the courtroom today, as prosecutor Juan Martinez continued to cross examine defense "expert" Dr. Richard Samuels about his examination and diagnosis of murder defendant Jodi Arias.  Martinez picked up right where he left off yesterday, firing questions at Samuels and bringing several very important factors to light. After hearing the answers to some of the questions he was asked, I am shocked that this doctor qualifies to be an expert witness. I've always been against paid expert witnesses and have been very vocal about the issues that come with someone who is essentially paid to say what they are needed to say.  To me, that equals corruption of the legal system.

This isn't true in all cases or circumstances, but things are coming to light during Samuels cross that seriously bring his own ethics back to the forefront for good reason.  Yesterday, Martinez got Samuels to admit that there was information that came to light about Jodi Arias and what she was telling him that was false - yet he failed to alter the results of the examination he prepared, nor did he add an addendum to memorialize the new information. How can we trust a report to be accurate if it's based on a client who is lying? It cannot be trusted, pure and simple. We've come to expect Jodi Arias to tell self-serving lies, but we should never have to doubt whether a doctor is telling the truth, or omitting facts that would render a diagnosis as faulty.  This happened in this case.

Today, Juan Martinez discussed some additional inconsistencies in Jodi Arias's statements to Dr. Samuels. For example, during one of their sessions, Arias told Samuels that Travis's computer had numerous photos of women's breasts on it.  Juan Martinez asked him if he looked at any of the forensic reports that were done on Travis Alexander's computer, to verify there were in fact photos of women's breasts. Dr. Samuels answered "no". Martinez asked him why he didn't feel it was important to verify this and the doctor said he believed it to be "irrelevant" and "not important".  Irrelevant,not important, really?  Martinez drilled on, asking him why it would not be relevant to know if a person you are assessing is telling you the truth.  The doctor didn't seem to know how to answer that question. 

Another inconsistency found in the report by Martinez is that Jodi Arias told Dr. Samuels that Travis Alexander was the only man she had engaged in anal sex with. Even the viewing public knows that is not true, but the good doctor didn't do any fact checking there either. She also told Samuels that performing oral sex on Travis made her "uncomfortable", not true - according to her direct and cross examination testimony. Didn't this doctor refer to any reports at all to verify what Arias was telling him? How can he possibly prepare a true and accurate report on Jodi Arias without performing at least some due diligence? 

Doesn't this doctor have a duty to prepare a report that is as accurate and factual as possible? He IS testifying in court. How can inconsistencies in her statements NOT be important? Dr. Samuels said if Arias had lied about something relevant, it would be important to know she was telling the truth. Martinez to Dr. Samuels:  "so what you are saying is that if somebody lied to you 40 or 50 times about things you considered to be "irrelevant", that would be just fine with you? Dr. Samuels to Martinez: No, that's not what I'm saying. To my knowledge these are the only inconsistencies in her story. 

Keep in mind, Dr. Samuels gave the jury his opinion and report or assessment of Jodi Arias based on answers she gave while she was still telling the two armed intruder story! He had already written his report by the time he was notified of this, so instead of actually re testing Arias, he simply added an addendum to the report. Why didn't he follow the same procedure once he found out there were other inconsistencies (the anal and oral sex issues)? At the very least, he could've added another addendum or even amend the entire report. Why? Because the defense was paying him to have a favorable opinion of Jodi Arias, and he didn't want to bite the hand that was feeding him. It's already been rumored that he plans on writing a book about his experience in this case - he needs to have continued access to Ms. Arias and the defense team to get the information he will need to pen the book.

This is blatantly unethical, pure and simple. His entire report should be invalidated and his testimony should be struck from the trial records and transcripts. He knows better. When Juan Martinez was asking him why he chose to ignore the new information about Arias's statements about anal and oral sex (and the "breast photos"), Samuels again said he felt it was irrelevant and it was a clinical judgement call on his part. There were more inconsistencies - Arias told Samuels that the shower photo shoot was Travis's idea, not hers. Martinez asked him if he viewed the interrogation video between Det. Flores and Jodi Arias where she was adamant that she had to talk him into the photo shoot, and he admitted he hadn't reviewed it.

Juan Martinez played parts of an audio file containing a conversation between himself and Dr. Samuels. At one point, Dr. Samuels begins to tell Martinez that Arias told him that on 6/4/08, Travis caught up with Jodi in the closet and grabbed onto her sweater....what sweater? This is the first I've heard about any sweater being worn or discussed. And the final straw was this - this "expert witness", a doctor who was hired to interview and compile a report t be presented in a court of law DID NOT bring the actual "set" of questions that he used to test Arias. His explanation? "It's not necessary". He said that he uses several sets of test questions, and instead of making a copy for the client/patient file, he doesn't feel it's important to do so - is he THAT cheap, or does he not want the prosecutor to have a copy of these test questions and any notes?

Something isn't right with this doctor and his report. He and Martinez were hostile towards each other, even more so than the Arias vs. Martinez arguments we witnessed. Martinez has really wiped the floor with this doctor and his unprofessional handling of this assessment. How could he walk into the courtroom without copies of these documents? How could he ignore and omit critical information that came to light, and pointed to a lying client/patient? How can this happen in a court of law?

This all happened before the lunch break. Can only imagine what will happen after lunch. It's not looking good for this expert witness. So very unprofessional with such a high profile case. It's hard to describe!

Jodi Arias Defense - Going, Going, GONE!

You know the defense is in trouble when they have to count on the testimony of "expert witnesses" who have had ethics complaints lodged against them, former cell mates and ex-boyfriends (who are still alive). I suppose Arias defense attorneys Jennifer Willmott and L. Kirk Nurmi are doing the best they can, given their client is a proven liar and having little to work with to mount any type of effective defense against a murder that was so savage and brutal that it's difficult to believe the defendant has no memory of shooting, stabbing and slashing the life out of another person.  Those are the type of memories that people pray will go away.

As with the earlier testimony about Arias and Alexander's sexcapades, much has been made about Jodi Arias and her memory issues - the infamous fog that seems to roll in at the most opportune times for Arias. The memory issues are really a non-issue.  She knows what she did, I have no doubt that she remembers it all. The jury knows it too - judging by the 200+ questions asked of Arias by the jurors. Arias was aware, alert and had enough composure to attempt to clean up the crime scene and remove articles that could be linked back to her. The defense theories have been transparent.

For example - on redirect, Nurmi asked Jodi Arias if she had access to other guns that were not her grandfathers, and she named off several people who she believes would have loaned her a gun. What did that prove? Was Nurmi stating that Arias didn't need to steal a gun from grandpa? Given that he didn't ask further questions other than "did you have access to firearms", it would seem his point was just that - access = no need for theft.  Did Nurmi think the jurors would miss the point, Arias needed access to a gun that could not be linked back to her? Let's take a look at Nurmi's scenario. Arias asks Darryl or Matt, "hey, can I borrow your handgun for my road trip to Utah, just in case my car breaks down and/or I need it for protection because I'm traveling alone"?

A gun is used to shoot Travis Alexander, and the police question the friends and family of Arias and Alexander - do you think Darryl or Matt would be willing to lie and get involved as an accessory in a murder case?  If Arias had borrowed a gun, would she have returned it to the lender of said gun? If she did return the gun, a ballistics check would reveal the borrowed gun was used in the commission of a murder.  If the gun was used but not returned, Darryl or Matt would have to account for where their guns were during the time of Alexander's murder.  Arias may believe these men would not betray her, but I don't believe either men would be willing to take the rap for a murder they did not commit. Arias had to steal a gun. Nobody could know she brought a gun with her on her road trip. That was one of the weaker line of questioning from L. Kirk Nurmi during redirect, and it did little to bolster her story about the origin of the gun. If the jury doesn't believe that Travis Alexander owned a .25 caliber gun and kept it in that closet, Arias is all but done.

The expert witness the defense brought in to testify that Arias suffered/suffers from PTSD and amnesia ended up blowing up in their faces.  Juan Martinez wasted no time in revealing Dr. Richard Samuels dirty laundry for the jury.  It seems that back in the year 2000, Dr. Samuels was sanctioned by the New Jersey State Board of Psychological Examiners after two people lodged complaints against him. In one of the cases, Samuels actually made a recommendation on a child custody issue without ever examining the child's mother! In addition, Samuels was caught in a "bartering" scheme in which treatment was traded for dental work. I don't have additional details on these individual issues but I do know that he was fined $2,500.00 and ordered to undergo special training on ethics and boundary issues. He as also ordered to "cease crossing boundaries" with patients/clients or entering into relationships that could create conflicts of interest.

This is the best expert they could get?  It would be interesting to know how many experts they approached about testifying and how many turned them down - and the reasons why they took a pass on this case.  Juan Martinez questioned Dr. Samuels on the actual PTSD test he administered to Jodi Arias. In a dramatic moment, Martinez got Samuels to admit in open court that the test results he used for his diagnosis were based on Arias's 2nd story of two armed intruders killing Travis!  Although the test and the results should have been nullified because the answers were based on a story he knows to be false, and another test should have been administered based on her third/current story of self defense, but it wasn't.

When Martinez asked him why he hadn't re-tested Arias, Samuels looked like a deer in headlights. He said "that probably would have been prudent to do". I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Based on these facts, his testimony isn't worth the paper it's printed on.  Scratch another witness for the defense. Who's left? A convicted felon who used to share a cell with Arias, and Alyce Laviolette, who has some expertise on domestic violence issues.  Will the defense call any other witnesses or is this their case?  Arias should be afraid, be very afraid....her lies have finally caught up with her, and nobody can save her now.  She may have signed her own death warrant by choosing to shoot dirty pool with the allegations of pedophilia against Travis. The jury may find this so distasteful and disgusting that any sympathy/empathy they may have otherwise felt for her has been wiped out with the smear campaign on the murder victim.

What will today's court day bring? Will today's forecast include fog and/or clouds?  Tune in later for an update.  Enjoy your morning and your day!

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