Friday, March 1, 2013

Martinez Closes In On Jodi Arias

Yesterday was one of Juan Martinez's best days in court, in my opinion. He started strong and made several great points and never let up on Jodi Arias - but not to the extent he went to on previous days where the two challenged each other, Arias corrected his grammar and he allowed her to pull him off course.

He was focused and walked Arias through the events on June 4, 2008 and we finally heard Jodi Arias's account of what happened that day. She claims to have "huge gaps" in her memory around the actual stabbing and told the jury she doesn't remember stabbing Travis, nor does she remember cutting his throat from ear to ear - but oddly enough, she does remember the gun going off but claims she didn't realize the shot had hit Alexander for some time.

Here's how she said it happened, in a nutshell:  Arias was taking photos of Travis in the shower, she mentioned aiming for a "Calvin Klein look" for the photo shoot. Martinez argued the point that the shower photo shoot had in fact been Arias's idea, not Alexander's as she previously testified under direct. She was taking photos, directing the poses and at some point she dropped the camera. She recalls it bounced twice on the tile before coming to rest on the bath mat. She claims Travis became "enraged", and began shouting profanities at her, calling her a "fuc*ing idiot".  She first said he stepped out of the shower, grabbed and "body slammed" her into the tile floor. He was standing above her, she rolled away from him and got up and ran down the hall.

Although she never looked back to see if he was following her, she believed he was just a few feet behind her. Instead of exiting the master suite, which would have been closer she decided to run into his large walk-in closet where she shut the door behind her. She ran to the opposite end of the closet and was able to reach the top shelf where she claims Travis had a .25 caliber gun hidden. She testified earlier to finding that gun while cleaning his house.  Juan Martinez showed the jury a photo of the closet - it was one of the neatest closets I've ever seen, especially for a single male. It was one of the neatest closets I've seen period. Everything hung neatly, shoes lined up on shelves. 

Although the top shelf was several feet taller than Arias, she claims she easily reached it by standing on the edge of one of the shelves. Martinez pointed out the items in his closet were completely undisturbed - and asked her how, in this frenzy with Alexander literally just feet behind her, she was able to get to this high shelf and grab the gun without disturbing any of the clothing or shoes with Travis Alexander just steps behind her? She insisted she was able to. There was a long wooden sitting bench in the middle of that closet, which was undisturbed. She exited the opposite closet door, and again - instead of running down the hall and out the door of the master suite, she ended up back in the bathroom where she claims this confrontation began.

She said she stood in the middle of the bathroom, holding the gun out with both arms extended. Travis entered, she claims he took a "linebacker stance" and came towards her when the gun went off. This contradicts her earlier testimony that he had grabbed her by the waist during the confrontation before the gun went off.  Martinez asked Arias to demonstrate for the jury the "linebacker stance" she says he took. The judge cleared the courtroom, as they had to remove Arias's shackles so the jury wouldn't see her in them. When the jury returned, Arias stood and crouched down with her arms out and says he lunged at her in this manner.  She said he was in the process of coming towards her when the gun went off and he fell on top of her. They both fell to the bathroom floor. He became even more enraged and said "I'm going to kill you bitch".

She again described rolling away from him, fearing he would get on top of her and she would be trapped. She claims he was pulling at her clothes and grabbing at her during the struggle on the floor. She still didn't know he had been hit in the forehead with the .25 caliber gunshot?  At this point, her memory fades. She provided no details about stabbing Travis. Martinez displayed several crime scene photos, at which time Arias began sobbing uncontrollably. He asked her "were you crying when you shot Mr. Alexander"? Arias answered "I don't know". "Were you crying when you stabbed Mr. Alexander?" "I don't remember" Arias answered. "Were you crying when you slit his throat from ear to ear?". Arias, still sobbing answered "I don't know".

Martinez then questioned her about the "fog" she describes herself as being in, and points out that through this fog, she knew well enough to:


  • Delete the incriminating photos from his camera
  • Remove her bloody socks before walking out of the master suite
  • Put the camera in the washing machine and turn the washer on
  • Put the knife in the dishwasher - or take it with her
  • Some attempts were made to clean parts of the crime scene
  • Remove the gun, rope and dispose of them
  • She pulled over before a security check near Niagara Falls and cleaned the blood off her hands, changed her clothes and got rid of bloody clothing
  • She called Ryan Burns and made up a lie as to why she was so late
  • She disposed of the gun in the middle of the desert where it wouldn't be found
  • She left a voice mail for Travis Alexander just hours after killing him
I may have missed some points, but clearly she was able to think these things through, after killing someone - was she really in this "fog" she describes?  Martinez continued on to all of the deceptive things she did involving the police, Travis's friends and family to point suspicion away from herself. She admitted to doing these deceptive things.  What struck me during yesterday's testimony is this:  nothing she described that Travis did that night would be considered threatening enough to take it to the level she took things to.  She said that after she shot him and they were on the bathroom floor, she "closed her eyes real tight", she wasn't even looking at him - yet she perceived he was about to kill her?

Even if you believe every single thing Arias said yesterday about 6/4/08, the worst thing he did was yell at her and come towards her with outstretched arms. Would she be justified in killing him simply for Travis tackling her? That's about the extent of the danger she described. I know they will bring in their "experts" to discuss her "perception of danger", and how it may have been distorted by their previous episodes of violence. But if they based their opinion on their interviews with Jodi Arias and what she told them about Travis - and IF she was lying to them, their opinion would not really be relevant because it would be based on false information.

There's a lot more to come - this trial is far from over. By the end of yesterday, Arias looked mentally exhausted and just tired. It must be very difficult mentally to have to think about every single answer - when you fabricate, you have to remember what you previously said where as when you tell the truth, your memory is available. Some of what she said is probably true - most liars weave in a little bit of truth into their lies, and then even they start believing their own stories to be true.  That's it for the week - trial resumes on Monday. Will Martinez wrap up his cross examination on Monday? How long will Nurmi & Willmott need for redirect? They have an outright train wreck on their hands, and Nurmi has a painfully slow way of questioning Jodi Arias.

Have a great weekend!

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