Monday, March 18, 2013

Former Cell Mate Of Arias To Testify?

Who's left on Jodi Arias' defense witness list? Far as I can tell, Dr. Samuels, Kimberly Ross and possibly Alyce Laviolette are on that list. Dr. Samuels, who we saw last week is expected to continue his testimony today, once the attorneys and judge duke it out over what he is qualified to say and whether or not he will be able to use the PowerPoint presentation Juan Martinez objected to last week. He also had an opinion on whether the murder was premeditated based on the crime scene photos he reviewed! Ah, no - what qualifies him as an expert on crime scene photos? Does he use a Magic 8 Ball to tell him if the murder was premeditated?

Jodi Arias's former cellmate, Kimberly Ross may also testify on her behalf.  I did some digging around on Kimberly Ross, and I found it very interesting that while she was incarcerated, from 4/6/09 - 10/5/09 she was a "Clerk in Library", and from 5/16/07 - 3/17/09 she was listed as "Library Aide". I found this information on Mugshots.com, looks like she has at least two mugshots on file (see below) and it's not clear to me if she held these jobs in the library during her time in jail or during her prison stint.  It would be interesting to know if she worked in the jail library, and it would be even more interesting to have a look at what books Arias may have checked out!  What will Ross have to add to further Jodi Arias's version of events leading to the murder of Travis Alexander? What Jodi Arias told her while they were sharing a cell is not evidence - I always wonder why they call these type of witnesses to the stand. They have such a weak case that apparently they are hoping the jurors find their witnesses credible.  Here are the two (undated) mugshots of Ross:



Hard to believe these are the same person - quite a different look between the two photos.  I can't imagine why they are calling her as a witness but just because she is on the witness list doesn't mean she will ever be called.

Alyce Laviolette is another person who has been mentioned during the trial. Her website lists her as a specialist in Anger Management, Domestic Violence Counseling for Survivors and Perpetrators, Gender Issues, and Expert Witness.  Laviolette is located in the Long Beach area and it's unclear how she became involved in this case but I've heard Juan Martinez mention her several times during his cross examination of Arias.

So what do these "expert witnesses" charge for their services?  I found a website (http://www.seak.com/expert-witness-fee-study/) that will give you an idea of what these people are making for trial time etc:


Expert Witness Fees By Area of Expertise
The survey includes responses from over 1,000 expert witnesses in over 300 areas of expertise, from Accident Reconstruction to Wound Care. This is the most comprehensive study ever conducted on expert witness fees.
There was significant variation in fees amongst different areas of expertise. Medical expert witnesses are on average better compensated than non-medical expert witnesses. The average hourly fee for in court testimony for all non-medical experts is $248. The average hourly fee for in court testimony for all medical experts is $555. Medical expert witnesses on average earn more than double (124% more) what non-medical expert witnesses earn. 45% of all responding experts were medical experts and 55% of all responding experts were non-medical experts.
Surprisingly, less experienced experts generally charge more than experienced experts. The median hourly rate for all experts for in court testimony was $300. The median hourly rate for experts who have been testifying 1-5 years was $350 and the median hourly rate for experts who have been testifying 26+ years was $275.

Not a bad hourly rate! Does anybody else feel this is unethical, to be paid for giving testimony? It certainly would seem to give an expert the incentive to say what the defense/prosecution needs them to say. I can understand why experts are useful in certain cases but any form of compensation other than travel costs and reasonable reimbursement seems excessive.

What will happen in the courtroom today when Dr. Samuels resumes his testimony, and when will Juan Martinez finally get to his rebuttal case?  This trial has had so many breaks and 3-day court weeks that it seems there is no end in sight. Over the weekend, I was thinking about that check that Jodi Arias was so worried about - if you recall after she was informed of Travis's death, she asked Detective Flores if he knew when the check she wrote Travis would be deposited. I believe the check was dated either 5/25/08 or 5/28/08 and it was either money she borrowed or a few car payments, because I remember it listed two months on the "memo" section of that check.

Now that we believe Arias staged the break in to steal her grandfather's gun, traveled to Mesa without telling a single soul - I began to wonder if she KNEW that check would never be deposited because Travis Alexander would be dead? Wasn't she broke during that trip? Would that $525+ dollar check have cleared her account had Travis lived to deposit it?  I would love to see her bank records to see if she wrote the check knowing it would never clear her bank. If she had to borrow money to take that trip, what are the chances she had more than $500 sitting in her account to pay Travis back?  Just another one of those little things that only Jodi Arias knows.  


16 comments:

  1. Why is Dr. Samuels allowed to be saying these things?

    Is it because the defense, by whatever loophole they used to get him to testify about specific things, is forcing the judge to allow it?

    Meaning, they got what they wanted and now the judge has to allow it? He should not be commenting on the photos as they relate to premeditation, I agree.

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    1. Hi Paul J,
      I don't know why or how this type of testimony is being allowed in. Just another thing that has many of us observers confused! I'm sure the jury will receive instructions on how they should view this type of testimony, that it's "not evidence" etc. But I'm not concerned about Dr. Samuels effect on the jury now - not after Martinez got him to ADMIT he based his opinions/diagnosis of Arias on a faulty PTSD test. I cannot believe that this doctor and paid expert witness did not have Jodi Arias take the PTSD test over after he discovered her answers were based on her "two armed intruders killed Travis" story! Martinez got him to admit in open court that he didn't re test - Samuels said something like "I guess it would have been prudent to re test". This was outrageous - personally I believe that somebody who claims to have more than 30 years experience KNOWS better and his testimony should be struck from the record. He's no rookie, he knows what he did is wrong. How could he offer up an opinion or diagnosis on a test taken by a client who was lying about the whole murder? This is so outrageous to me. Even an intern would know better. I feel he should be sanctioned, fined, censured or some type of action should be taken against this doctor because he clearly misrepresented those test results as accurate after he discovered she was lying when the test was being administered. This is a court of law! Just another reason why expert witnesses should not be compensated for their opinions. Thanks for writing!

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  2. Debra Milke's convictions were overturned.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/14/debra-jean-milke-convictions-overturned_n_2880546.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20130315/us-death-row-woman/?utm_hp_ref=politics&ir=politics

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    1. Good morning NancyB -
      Wow, that's really something rare - I wonder if they plan to retry her? The article I just read says she could walk if they decide not to! I am not familiar with her case, other than what I just read that she plotted to kill her 4 year old son for insurance money. That's lower than low. I know the other two women who are on death row in AZ, Wendi Andriano and Shawna Forde. So if Milke gets another trial, I suppose her co-conspirators get new trials as well? If the reason behind the reversal was because of tainted testimony of a former Phoenix Detective who testified at the trials I guess it would apply to all defendants. I don't know which is more terrifying - having a sworn police officer lie on the stand or releasing 3 people who conspired to murder a 4 year old for $50K in insurance money. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. My goodness, the trial has become about how sleazy Doc Samuels makes his money.Awful that this guy and the dentist are now part of the murder story. He sounds like Arias, trying to justify his ignorance of NJ law about bartering for services. He "may have missed it" he says.

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    1. Sascha,
      You are so right - what a cast of characters the defense team has assembled. Dr. Samuels and Jennifer Willmott told the jurors he had more than 30 years experience and talked about his credentials - but then Juan Martinez got a hold of him! I cannot fathom how this "seasoned/experienced" doctor didn't think re-testing Jodi Arias after he found out she answered based on the 2 armed intruder story! Her PTSD test results are invalid. Why didn't he re-test her? This is completely and totally unethical, and even an intern would know that the results are not reliable or accurate because the client/patient was not being honest about the murder at the time of the test. Outrageous. That, with his previous ethics problem in New Jersey should nullify his testimony as completely unreliable. His testimony should be stricken from the court records and he should be fined, censured or both for knowingly providing false results to that PTSD test! I'm outraged! Thanks so much for writing in!

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  4. Kimberly Kay Ross
    The following Official Record of Kimberly Kay Ross is being redistributed by Mugshots.com and is protected by constitutional, publishing, and other legal rights. This Official Record was collected from a Law Enforcement agency on 2/13/2012.
    Booking Number: P842243
    Mugshots.com ID: 6848587
    Arrest Date: 2/10/2012
    Charges:
    •KIDNAP-APPREHENSION OF INJURY
    •ARMED ROBBERY-WITH DEADLY WPN

    http://mugshots.com/US-Counties/Arizona/Maricopa-County-AZ/Kimberly-Kay-Ross.6848587.html

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    1. Anonymous (3/18/13 2:08PM),
      Thanks so much for adding this - I posted the two mugshots I found on Mugshots.com but I hadn't seen what her most recent arrest records say! Kidnapping and armed robbery are pretty serious charges - I didn't know she had been re-arrested, I thought she paroled out in 2009 so thanks for adding this information!

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    2. This circus just gets bigger and crazier everyday. A two-time convict is the best that they could dig up as Arias' most recent "friend"? What's she going to say? "I've heard her screaming in her sleep." "I've seen her tremble." Give me a break. Juan Martinez is going to shut her down.

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    3. Anonymous (3/24/13 at 7:47AM),
      It IS a circus - hasn't quite gotten as bad as the Casey Anthony trial where people are fighting in line to get their ticket in to the trial, but it's getting close! I agree that you can tell a lot about Jodi Arias' character by her witness list. No longtime friends, nobody she confided in - only ex boyfriends, "paid" experts and felons! It will be interesting to see if/when she is convicted, who comes forward to talk about any good qualities she has for mitigation!

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  5. OMG! Dr Fog sent her cards, gifts? Dr. Quack is cooked! There are NO exceptions to the Canon of Ethics mandated by his licensing board! Juan was on fire! This jerk is in violation and blurred the lines of professional conduct, again. I can’t stand him. Juan has DESTROYED their expert!!! No amount of cross can rehabilitate. He is the finest prosecutor I’ve seen yet watching a trial. The best. Extremely unprofessional expert! Juan has revealed the full depth of his lack of competence. He’s worse than a sleazy used car salesman! Arizona board better conduct a full and thorough investigation. He’s nearly as big a liar as his client.

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    1. NancyB,
      Hilarious comments! Dr. Quack, I love it! I agree that Mr. Martinez absolutely blew him out of the water, no doubt about it. I believe the judge should throw out all of his testimony based on the fact that he admitted that Arias took the PTSD test under the pretense of the two armed intruder story. How can he discuss or diagnose her based on the results of that test, when he knows she wasn't telling the truth? He's under oath for goodness sake! This is another reason why I don't believe expert witnesses should be compensated for anything other than travel expenses! He is being paid, so he will cram that round peg into a square whole no matter what the cost. The look on Willmott & Nurmi's faces was priceless, once Martinez got him to admit he should have re-tested Jodi Arias. What did he say, "yes, it probably would have been prudent to re administer the test"? How can this happen? There should be some type of penalty, fine, censure or report to the ethics committee about this because this guy has been around long enough to know better! Outrageous - and yes, Juan Martinez was absolutely ON FIRE yesterday! I loved it!

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  6. Here is what our HLN and In Session producers have noticed about the jury. The following descriptions are intended to give a snapshot of each juror's reaction to Arias' testimony:

    Juror No. 1

    She is a white female in her 60s and sits closest to the witness stand. She doesn't look at Arias often during her testimony. People in the gallery observed her yawning once during an emotional part of Arias' testimony.

    Juror No. 2

    He is a white male in his 50s. He takes few notes and usually has his head cupped in his hands as he listens to testimony.

    Juror No. 3

    She is a white female in her 40s. She takes a lot of notes and often watches prosecutor Juan Martinez as he moves around the courtroom. She has been seen submitting questions.

    Juror No. 4

    He is a white male in his 60s, and he takes few notes.

    Juror No. 5

    She is a married, white female in her 30s. She sits on the edge of her seat and is the most visible juror from the gallery because she has a “unique hair style.”

    Juror No. 6

    She is a white female in her 60s and is also seen taking many notes.

    Juror No. 7

    He is a white male in his 30s, and he is married. He takes notes and often bites his nails.

    Juror No. 8

    He is a white male in his 50s and is married. He also takes notes and has been observed submitting questions.

    Juror No. 9

    He is a white male in his 60s. He wears denim on most days and sits at the end of the jury box. He sits close to the first row of the gallery where Alexander's family sits.

    Juror No. 10

    He is a white male in his 70s and is married. He has a tattoo on his right arm. He rarely is seen taking notes. He sits the furthest away from the witness.

    Juror No. 11

    She is a married, white female in her 30s. She takes a lot of notes. She does not look at Arias during testimony. She tends to look straight ahead or down at her notes.

    Juror No. 12

    She is a white female in her 40s and also takes lots of notes. She swiveled her chair toward Arias during her testimony.

    Juror No. 13

    He is a white male in his late 60s to early 70s. He wears an audio-enhancing headset provided by the court. He does takes notes.

    Juror No. 14

    He is a white male in his early 60s who often swivels in his chair. He does not appear to be taking notes.

    Juror No. 15

    He is a white male in his late 20s or early 30s. He appears to be the youngest member of the jury and takes very few notes. He smiled when Martinez asked Arias if she could predict the future.

    Juror No. 16

    He is a white male in his 40s.

    Juror No. 17

    He is a Hispanic male in his late 20s to early 30s. He dresses casually and sometimes slouches so far down in his chair that he is hardly visible to the gallery. He does not appear to be taking notes.

    Juror No. 18

    She is a white female in her 40s. She is an occasional note taker and she often looks at the gallery during sidebars.

    http://www.hlntv.com/article/2013/03/15/meet-jodi-arias-jury

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    1. Anonymous (3/18/13 6:59PM),
      Thank you so much for posting this juror information! Great stuff. Very interesting to get an idea of who's sitting in those jury chairs. They have such an important job to do, and from what we hear from the InSession folks who are inside that courtroom, they all seem to be taking their role very seriously. Ever since Casey Anthony was acquitted on all serious charges involving the disappearance of her daughter Caylee, people seem less assuming on whether or not a case is as clear cut as it appears. Thanks again for posting all of the jury info!!

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  7. My Forte. im not sure if you know this or maybe you do by now. JA borrowed $900 dollars from a guy she knew at the bar she bartended at his name is Paul and was a regular that came in there to drink. She told she want to go to Utah, but didn't have enough funds for the trip he felt sorry for her and loaned her the money. JA stopped at several banks along her road trip and deposited two hundred dollars to cover her tracks so she could show she never went to AZ. She did pay this Paul back at least that's what he said on Nancy Grace show over tbe phone , but we will never know fir sure if he's telling the truth.

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    1. Anonymous (5/16 @ 11:39PM),
      Yes, I had heard that she borrowed money for the trip but assumed she got it from Darryl Brewer or Matt McCartney. Didn't know about Paul. I've wondered about the check Arias wrote to Travis, dated in late May. I believe it was to cover 2 car payments to him for the BMW she wrecked. She more than likely didn't have the money to cover that check. I remember her asking Det. Flores if he knew when/if that check would be cashed! Very sinister. Thanks for your comments.

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