*Updated to include information on the mysterious dismissal of Juror #8. Radaronline.com is reporting that 52 year old Daniel Gibbs was arrested for "an extreme DUI" on April 20. Gibbs apparently told the arresting officer that he was a member of the Arias jury panel. The arresting officer met with Judge Stephens on Tuesday in a closed-door meeting and Juror #8 was dismissed on Friday.
In an abbreviated court session today, medical examiner Kevin Horn returned to the witness stand in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Prosecutor Juan Martinez guided the jury through Travis Alexander's wounds, with Horn describing the effect each of the major injuries would have likely had on him. The defense has insisted that Arias shot Alexander as he was preparing to attack her. She testified that the gunshot came as somewhat of a surprise as she believed the gun, which she claims was Travis' to be unloaded. Does it make a whole lot of sense to point a person's unloaded gun at them? Hmmm. (blunder #1 of many).
Martinez and Horn discussed the effect a .25 caliber gunshot would have to a person's head at great lengths. Horn said the gunshot, while not fatal would have incapacitated him "within seconds", rendering him unable to perform "purposeful actions". Arias testified that after she shot Travis, he became more angry and aggressive towards her - (blunder #2). Then the fog rolled in and Arias doesn't have any memory of slashing him 29 times and cutting his throat from ear to ear. Mr. Martinez asked Dr. Horn if it would be possible for a person who had been shot in the head to continue to advance towards a person, and Horn said "no". If the person were walking forward, their momentum may take them another few steps before falling.
They showed the graphic crime scene and autopsy photos, it never gets easier for the family to see. It's heart wrenching to see their agony as these photos are displayed. Arias appeared to be crying, or dabbing her eyes and nose with a tissue while keeping her head down - but again the camera caught her staring at one of those graphic photos. Off the charts on the creepy scale. The photos of deep slash wounds to his hands were shown. Horn testified they were consistent with a person raising their hands in a defensive posture. "Would he have been able to raise his hands to protect himself if the gunshot came first?," Martinez asked. "No", Horn answered. They went through the major injuries including what the state believes was the first injury, the deep stab wound to his chest. Martinez went through any possible scenario in which the defensive wounds could have occurred if he had been shot first as Arias claims. Jennifer Willmott handled the cross examination, and quickly pounced on that inconsistency early on in the investigation where Detective Flores stated that Dr. Horn believed the gunshot had been the first wound.
She poured it on thick, challenging Dr. Horn's memory of his testimony given in court in early January. He didn't recall his exact testimony and she was quick to point out each and every inconsistency or misstatement. "Didn't you testify originally that the gunshot wouldn't have immediately incapacitated Travis?", Horn clarified that the gunshot wouldn't have been immediately fatal, but it would incapacitate him within seconds. Willmott did her job in pointing these issues out, but it doesn't change the facts. She questioned if the bullet's entry into his head could have caused him to bleed into his nasal cavity, which would then cause the blood to aspirate out as seen on the bathroom mirrors and sink? Horn didn't believe he would have been able to stand at the sink!
It was like a tennis match, back and forth. They discussed the decomposition of the brain at autopsy and how that may have effected his findings about exactly how much damage that gunshot did to his brain. I took the following away from this testimony: it seems highly improbable that Travis was shot first, although to me it doesn't make much difference because it was so violent and horrendous that "overkill" seems to be an understatement. Travis would not have had the capacity or ability to raise his hands to try to thwart the knife attack he was under if he had been shot in the head first. That really is the crux of the issue. Which makes Arias' story all the more ludicrous, that the gunshot only made Travis more angry and he actually was able to speak in her scenario, allegedly threatening to kill her.
It's just been reported that another juror has been dismissed for unknown reasons. Juror #8 is said to be the latest of the three jurors to be dismissed from the 4 1/2 month long trial. That's actually not bad, considering the length of this trial. Thankfully with only a week until closing arguments, it seems likely they will still have jurors plus a few alternates. The woman Travis Alexander reportedly bought that engagement ring for has broken her silence, appearing on Nancy Grace this evening to talk about Travis. I missed a good portion of this as I was not aware she was a guest. Her name is Linda Ballard Boss and she is somebody that Travis planned on proposing to at one point. He even purchased that ring, and held on to it for years after the two had parted ways. She told Nancy Grace that Travis is not at all what the defense is making him out to be. "He was funny, he never showed anger with me" and she called him a happy-go-lucky guy who loved to make people laugh. She was in love with Travis and vice versa. She reportedly saw Travis for the last time in October of 2006 when the two went to the Arizona State Fair together. "Travis loved roller coasters", Ballard Boss said. During that outing, Travis told her about a woman he had began to date - Jodi Arias. He told her that Arias was a pathological liar, and that he had caught her in several lies relating to stories she told him of her ex-boyfriends. Hmmm...anybody seeing a pattern here?
So that's it folks. Jury, you are being asked to take the word of a pathological liar. She's lied to you, under oath. At the very least, please scrutinize every story she's told. Look at the evidence. What makes sense and what does not make sense? How many coincidences do you believe there could be over such a brief period of time? If she lied about taking a gas can back to WalMart, what else is she lying about? Do you believe that gun was not her grandfather's stolen gun? Is it likely that Travis Alexander kept a gun in his house that nobody knew about, with no ammo, no holster or gun cleaning kit? And why would he keep it loose up on the top shelf of his closet instead of somewhere more logical? Why did Arias try so hard to fly under the radar on her "detour" to Mesa? Do you really think a dropped camera could provoke such an angry response from a man who took somebody trashing his BMW in stride? Is their a history of these types of allegations from the other women in Travis' life? What about his friends and room mates? There is so much for them to consider.
The surrebuttal case begins on Wednesday, expected to be a mini-marathon court session that will last "until we are finished" according to Judge Stephens. Enjoy your weekends everybody! Justice is around the corner. Can you see it?