After a morning full of sidebars and discussions between Judge Sherry Stephens, Arias's defense attorneys Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott and prosecutor Juan Martinez, Arias got back on the stand to answer some 158 questions submitted by her own jury. It is highly rare to see this happening in a courtroom today - Arizona is only one of three states that allow the jury to ask questions of witnesses. Most juries never hear a murder defendant utter many words during the course of an entire trial, yet this jury has heard Jodi Arias talk for the last 16 consecutive days. She is expected to be back on the stand today, as they were unable to get through the some 158 questions submitted by the jury over the course of her testimony. As she was answering questions yesterday, the jury continued to place additional questions into the box placed there for that purpose.
Hearing the jury questions provides attorneys on both sides an opportunity to take a glimpse into the minds of the jury, and make adjustments to their case in areas perceived to be troublesome. Judging by the questions we heard yesterday, Arias has cause to be concerned! I was personally relieved, and even smiling as the judge read some of these questions. The questions had the overall feel of skepticism over many facets of Jodi Arias's claims - and not just in one area, but in several key areas of her case. Of the questions asked, there seemed to be more in the areas surrounding the gun and how she had enough time to get to the gun with Travis Alexander allegedly only steps behind her, their sex life and why she continued to have sex with him after the alleged "child porn" incident, and not surprisingly they challenged her about her dedication to the Mormon faith and her memory issues.
Some of the best questions:
Question: How is it that you remember so many of your sexual encounters, including your ex-boyfriends but you don't remember stabbing Travis or dragging his body?
Arias answer: "Well, as far as what happened on June 4, I don’t know how the mind works necessarily, but I know that that was the most traumatic experience of my life. And outside of those blanks, and the ones that I’ve mentioned as far as that were alcohol related when I was a teenager, I don’t have other blackouts that I can recall, when memories get foggy when I get stressful. I think that I actually have a very good memory. I can remember tons of things. But when I’m under a stressful situation, it’s as if my mind, if you can imagine a computer that freezes, it’s turned on but it’s not functioning. You can hit the keys, but nothing’s happening, just like the sound waves are hitting my ears, but the brain is not computing… so I don’t black out during those times, but my mind is not processing the English words that are being sent to me, or screamed at me, or whichever," said Arias.
Question: Why did you call cops on your ex boyfriend after he shook you, but you didn't call the police on Travis?
Arias answer: I never called on Travis because of a previous experience when I tried to call and he grabbed the phone out of my hand and hung up. It was a very negative experience...
Question: Did you ever see a doctor for your memory issues?
Arias answer: Arias answered that she didn't believe she had memory issues because it only happened during stressful situations. She never sought medical treatment.
Question: Why did it take you two years after the killing to tell the truth?
Arias answer: Arias answered that she was deeply ashamed, and it was a gradual process where she realized she wanted to tell the truth.
Question: Do you feel the guys in your life cheated on you because you were too controlling?
Arias answer: Arias said she thought it was just the opposite, because she was too trusting and gave them too much freedom.
Question: Why did you continue to sleep with Travis after you found out his attraction to children?
Arias answer: Arias answered that she understood Travis felt normal when he had sex with her. She said he also had beautiful qualities and wanted to change.
Question: You told Darryl you wanted to abstain from sex until after you were married - why did you then begin having sex with Travis?
Arias answer: She said that she listened to Travis and he said it was vaginal intercourse that was off limits.
(NOTE: REALLY JODI?? There's no way she believed that, she's blaming him again)
Question: Why did you take photographs of the "Travis Alexanders'" t-shirt and underwear but not the Spiderman underwear?
Arias answer: “I did not take pictures of those because that is embarrassing. As opposed to the shorts and shirt, which were sentimental to me. I didn’t want to memorialize boys’ underwear. And I didn’t want people to know that was a preference of his and that I was dumb enough to go along with that preference,” said Arias.
Question: Why did you delete the photos off Alexander's camera after killing him?
Arias answer: Arias says she doesn't remember why she deleted them.
Question: You claim you bought a gun for suicide, what stopped you?
Arias answer: Arias answered that she was arrested before she could do it.
Question: During the attack, why didn't you just run from the house?
Arias answer: Arias claimed she didn't think she could make it because he had caught her in the past.
Question: If you didn't know the gun was loaded, why did you grab it instead of just running away?
Arias answer: Arias answered that she thought even if the gun was not loaded, he would stop if she pointed it at him.
Question: Why didn't you call 911?
Arias answer: "I was very scared of what would happen to me. I knew that..or I felt that I had done something wrong. I don't really have an adequate explanation for my state of mind following that. I just knew something really bad happened".
NOTE: she has started to reference her "state of mind" - I've heard her attorney also say it several times over the last few days.
Question: How do you determine when you will tell the truth?
Arias answer: Arias said she tried to cover up things about her involvement with Alexander and anything that made her look bad after his death.
Question: You say Travis attacked you prior to the June 4, 2008 incident but then would apologize. So why was the June 4, 2008 incident different?
Arias answer: "On prior occasions I never feared for my life. Even when he was choking me and I was losing consciousness I never had enough time to fear for my life....when I thought back about it I realized I could have died"....
Question: If Alexander attacked you, why didn't you tell the police the truth to begin with?
Arias answer: Arias said she didn't want to have to explain everything they had been through, and she also hinted she didn't want to tell anyone about the incident of catching him with the photo of the young boy.
Question: If you shot Travis first, how did the bullet casing land in blood?
Arias answer: Arias claims she doesn't know if it landed on blood, and hinted it may have been moved during their struggle.
Question: Why did you put Travis's body back in the shower?
Arias answer: Arias said she didn't remember.
Question: Why did you take the gun with you?
Arias answer: She claims she doesn't remember taking it, but remembers disposing of it.
Question: Travis stated during the phone sex conversation he didn't like Spiderman. Why would he buy you Spiderman underwear if he did not like that character??
Arias answer: “I don’t know why but they were Spider-Man. I do know however that the year prior he… there’s a child he was close with that really liked Spider-Man. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it. He was very much into Spider-Man. He would dress up as Spider-Man,” replied Arias.
Question: How did you have time to get the gun down if he was right behind you?
Arias answer: “I don’t know if he was right behind me or not. I just had the sense that he was chasing after me,” said Arias.
Question: Why didn't you read The Book of Mormon to see what you were and weren't allowed to do?
Arias answer: She said that she did read it, but needed to read other documents to truly understand what was allowed.
Question: Would it be fair to say you were jealous Travis was taking another woman to Cancun?
Arias answer: "No, I was not upset. I wasn't upset at all actually. Cancun was announced a year before, I thought he was taking a babysitter. I didn't find out he was taking Mimi Hall until well afterwards".
Question: Can Arias walk us through the killing with a floor plan of Alexander's home?
Arias answer: Arias pointed to where she dropped the camera and he first attacked her in the bathroom. She ran for the closet, got the gun and turned around and aimed it at him. She said "the moment I broke away, that's when he threatened my life. I have no clear memory after that, at all. Things got really foggy after the gun went off". Alexander allegedly threatened her life after the gun went off and her memory went blank.
Question: Did you ever take pictures of yourself after Travis hit you?
Arias answer: No, I did not.
Question: Did you ever tell Travis you were uncomfortable with his sexual fantasies?
Arias answer: Arias said yes she did not want to have sex on an airplane, because she was afraid they would get caught.
(NOTE: This doesn't seem like an answer to the question asked)
This is only a sampling of the questions Arias answered yesterday, and they are taken from my own notes so the answers may not be word for word, or representative of the complete answer. Some of the questions were multiple part questions. She was also asked about bruises - the jury wanted to know if anybody ever saw or asked her about bruising on her. They also asked if anybody saw her wearing that finger splint Travis allegedly made for her left ring finger. The jury questioned why Arias never took photographs of certain things, yet seemed to memorialize other things with her camera or journal. They asked why she never took photos of injuries she received at the hand of Travis Alexander, why she would stay with him after the alleged "self pleasuring" incident on 1/21/08 and why she would continue to see him in light of all of the above. They asked why she got gas in Pasadena if she brought the gas cans to get cheap gas out of state. They hit on just about everything we have been talking about since the trial began.
There also seems to be some doubt in the jury's mind on whether or not Arias could have escaped on June 4, 2008 instead of killing Travis Alexander. Based on their previous history, perhaps the jury is thinking what we are all thinking. Her story falls apart as soon as she opens her mouth. Is it logical that Travis Alexander would not be furious over Arias blowing out the transmission or engine towing his BMW behind that U-Haul, yet he would become fatally furious over the dropping of his camera? The camera did not appear to be damaged in any way, even after being run through a washing machine! If you don't believe he was mad enough to kill her over the camera or anything else, her whole story falls apart right from the beginning. The jury has been paying attention, these questions show how closely they have been listening.
The jury questioning will continue today. This trial has to be one for the record books! Has anybody seen anything like this ever? At one point yesterday, Arias began answering a jury question on the subject of why she didn't simply try to escape, and she was starting to describe herself as running down the hallway and attorney Kirk Nurmi quickly objected and cut her answer off, objecting because Arias had previously testified that she didn't remember things around this area of questioning! I've never seen a defense attorney objecting to his client literally mid-sentence. I would be interested in seeing what some of the tossed questions were from yesterday, especially the one where I described Nurmi objecting on the grounds that it went into areas of "attorney-client privilege". Would have loved to see what that question is.
I think Arias is adding little bits of detail to her testimony as she is answering these questions. The prosecutor is listening to her answers very carefully, and objecting when she starts to stray from the question, as she is known to do. Again, her answers mostly seem scripted, and she seems to get a little tripped up if something she hasn't been asked before is introduced. Would love to see her put her foot directly into her mouth today. Sorry, I'm really trying to be unbiased while writing this but it's very very difficult when I feel so strongly about the case and how this woman who claims she doesn't/didn't want to "edify" Travis Alexander, yet her she sits saying horrible, sick and twisted things (can I add "unverified to the sentence) about him in an attempt to save her own skin. It's disgusting.
I was also a little horrified to see that Jodi Arias seems to have her own fan club of sorts out there in cyberspace. There's a site that is dedicated to Arias's innocence, and there's even a "Team Jodi" referenced under the site address. I can't bring myself to click on that link, but I suppose she is considered innocent until proven guilty - this is America. I am just surprised that there are people who truly believe she was justified in what she did. Let's hope those people are in happy and healthy relationships with no jealousy issues!
Updates to follow as the jury questions resume. Enjoy your day!