It's a thing of beauty when Arizona Prosecutor Juan Martinez relentlessly goes after murder defendant Jodi Arias about how improbable, if not outright impossible her account of what happened that horrible night - June 4, 2008. After 18 days of Jodi Arias spinning complex tales of being abused as a child, cheated on by boyfriends and "victimized" by the man she murdered, I get a sense of great satisfaction when Arias squares off against the veteran prosecutor.
Coddled by attorney Kirk Nurmi, Jodi Arias seems comfortable and almost appears to enjoy the attention of a national audience. She has "followers", a website dedicated to her innocence and the site takes donations from her supporters. It's understandable that Jodi Arias's family may need financial support to enable them to attend the out of state trial, but the thought of Arias on a commissary shopping spree just seems wrong.
Today, Arias once again squared off against a seasoned and determined Juan Martinez. More "I don't know", "I don't recall", "I don't remember" and my personal favorite "I don't understand the question". Classic Jodi Arias. Her memory is sharp as the knife she used to stab Travis Alexander when being questioned by her own attorney - but when it comes to getting answers from her on everything that matters, the fog rolls in again. Martinez had a difficult time getting a defiant Jodi Arias to answer simple yes or no question, without squeezing in some self-serving comment for the jury. Her testimony is so rehearsed that when confronted with something she hasn't prepared for and thought through completely, you can almost see the wheels turning in her head as she tries to buy time by asking for the question to be repeated. I think this jury gets that - if they had the answers they wanted/needed, they wouldn't have had to ask her 220+ questions.
Juan Martinez had her cornered on several occasions today. Arias claimed that Alexander was coming after her, after she dropped his camera in the bathroom, but she admitted that she never really looked at his face. She acknowledges shooting him, but claims she didn't realize he had been shot - often referring to the gun "going off". Martinez tried to pin her down to exactly what happened, second by second - telling her "isn't it entirely possible that Travis was leaning over to help you up from the floor and that he wasn't coming after you?" She admits that after he stepped out of the shower and "body slammed" her (nobody believes she was EVER body slammed), she was able to roll away and run down the hallway to the safety of the closet - yes, the CLOSET, even though the exit door was closer and made more sense.
Arias testified that Travis assured her the gun wasn't loaded after she found it while cleaning his home. Martinez capitalized on her admission, asking her why she thought a unloaded gun would stop Travis from coming towards her. Martinez to Arias: "what did you plan to do with an unloaded gun, throw it at him?". Excellent point made there, since Arias has added bits and pieces to her testimony - and the State is tripping her up at every turn. Martinez displayed the photo of Travis's closet and asked Arias if the closet light was on - and how she was able to find that gun if she was in such a heightened state of panic. I think Mr. Martinez is about to nail her on a comment she made about her eyes being level with a photo displayed in Travis's closet, on the shelf below where she supposedly got the gun.
Martinez asked her how tall she is, she is 5 5" - and he asked her point blank, "so your eyes are level with the photo on the shelf in this photo"? At that point, she seemed to back off just a little - she's got to know it wouldn't be that difficult to measure the closet height, the height of each shelf and catch her in a bold faced lie. I could see the wheels turning as Arias attempted to back away just a little, with "to my recollection" and her bag of maybes. If the State can show that it wouldn't have been that easy or fast for her to retrieve this gun, that would go a long way towards proving she is still lying - under oath. It's one thing to think she's lying, it's another to prove it. Like the gas can return to WalMart. Mr. Martinez got as close as he could get to proving she lied about returning the gas can by telling Arias and the jury that WalMart had NO RETURNS of any type of gas can on the date in question. That's as close as it gets my friends!
Juan Martinez kept pounding away at some critical areas where Arias lacks credible or logical answers. He went after the knife. Where did she get the knife, before or after shooting Travis Alexander? The State believes Arias arrived in Mesa with the knife and a gun, naturally the defense denies both allegations, with Arias acknowledging that she used the knife but she's unable to say when or how she gained control of the knife or what she did with it after. Kirk Nurmi's objections were fast and furious today. But Arias was not responsive to the questions from the prosecutor, so the Judge gave Mr. Martinez just as much latitude as he has shown for the defense. If a question comes up attached to an answer that hurts her, she doesn't recall.
The gas can issue came up once again - when Arias left Mesa for Utah, where did she get gas? Did she use the 10+ gallons that were stored in the gas cans in the trunk of her rental car? She didn't recall. She doesn't remember. She doesn't know. Really Jodi, really? She actually said "I'm presuming I got gas, just like everything else on June 4th". The sparring continued, with Arias looking completely beaten down and just plain worn out by the end of the court day. It's much more taxing on her brain to remember the lies she has told. The truth comes easily, but when you've told as many lies as she has, she has to go through a filtering process before she opens her mouth. It shows.
The prosecutor did a great job exhibiting just how difficult it would be for things to have played out the way Arias says they did. She had to have the knife on her person. The recovered photos are evidence of how quickly this all went down - she would not have had time to retrieve a knife from anywhere other than on her, or planted somewhere inside that bathroom or bedroom. We've heard Jodi Arias's story, or what she remembers through the fog and gaps in her memory. Juan Martinez is now painting the State's story of how this unfolded, and it sounds a lot more probable than her story. It's common sense - her stories are ludicrous in each and every aspect. It's just not believable to think dropping a camera would set off a man who's on top of the world, excited about his upcoming trip to Cancun and making travel plans beyond Cancun. He had a lot to look forward to. Jodi, not so much.
The camera was probably under warranty! The dropped camera story probably evolved when she saw those few inadvertent photographs, taken while she began attacking Travis, and that's the best story she could come up with. They are trying so hard to cram their defense into the evidence they have to work with. No journal entries, no domestic violence reports, no confiding in a friend or family member - nothing at all to back up her claims. Zero, nada - nothing. Arias ends up with an attorney who happens to specialize in sex crimes, crimes against minors and suddenly the pedophile defense is born.
Self defense, really Jodi? We are all waiting to "mark your words". Your running out of time.