The Jodi Arias murder trial continued today with defense expert Alyce LaViolette interpreting text messages and other communications between Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander. Jennifer Willmott has been walking LaViolette through the many text messages between the pair and they have gotten to the time frame of May, 2008. Testimony has been frequently interrupted with objections, some of which are overruled and some are sustained. I don't understand how Judge Stephens is making these rulings, because it feels to me like attorney Jennifer Willmott may as well be answering her own questions.
What I mean by that is, Alyce LaViolette is only allowed respond in a certain way, and she cannot quote Travis Alexander. Juan Martinez objects based on "hearsay", and the judge sustains the objection but then Willmott turns around and basically makes a statement posed as a question. For example, Willmott was talking about an argument Arias and Alexander had - they began to review a text message from Travis Alexander to Jodi Arias in which Travis told Jodi he hadn't been able to reach her and her voicemail was full. Willmott says "did Travis ask her to empty it or does he order her to?" Juan Martinez objects, then Willmott just asks the question another way, asking what her observations were of the text message. Willmott wanted to elicit that Travis ordered Jodi to empty her voicemail, not out of concern, but because he was controlling.
Willmott started the day asking LaViolette if she saw any evidence of Jodi Arias stalking Travis Alexander. LaViolette firmly stated "no". LaViolette's answer seems to be based solely on a single text message Travis sent to Jodi in which he told her to "make herself at home". This text message was an isolated incident, and I'm sure that when Travis wrote that, he didn't mean that Arias should feel free to scale the back fence and look into his back window when he has company, or crawl through his doggy door, or feel free to fall asleep outside of my bedroom while I'm out on a date with another woman!
My opinion about Alyce LaViolette is rapidly declining, the more she testifies the more I am losing respect for her. She seems to have formed strong opinions about both Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander, and I don't think it's fair since she didn't have the benefit of spending 40-45 hours with Travis because Jodi murdered him. But she is now testifying about his controlling behavior, his unkind words to Arias, while describing Jodi Arias in a much more flattering light. What is also disturbing to me is that when the discussion today turned to the alleged "4th incident of violence", where Travis allegedly got on top of Arias and choked her til she lost consciousness. Notice in that incident, there WERE NO text message, e-mails or journal entries on EITHER side to corroborate these claims. Instead, she relied on the statements of Jodi Arias who is fighting to avoid becoming a resident of Arizona's "Death Row". Is it fair of LaViolette to take Arias word as the gospel? Is she being impartial?
This is problematic, and I'm quite frankly surprised that such an "expert" would form an opinion based on Arias's tales. With all of the electronic communications from the pair, don't you think these violent encounters would have been followed by some sort of apology by Travis to Jodi? He seems to apologize when they argue, why are there no references to these events or any apologies? There is NO MENTION of any of them - did they really happen?
How can any "expert" form such strong opinions based on Arias's self-serving statements alone? I'm fairly certain those closest to Jodi Arias don't believe her stories about the physical abuse or the origin on the broken finger. If I were Juan Martinez, the first thing I'd ask LaViolette on cross is "how important is the credibility of your source when you are interviewing a defendant or a patient for that matter"? Then I'd follow that question up with "would it have been helpful for you to interview Travis Alexander before forming an opinion about the relationship between the victim and the defendant"? This is just frustrating beyond words.
Why is LaViolette able to testify that she saw no signs of jealousy or stalking behavior on Arias's part, without taking into consideration the many things that we know about her behavior? Has LaViolette interviewed people who worked with Arias when she lived in Palm Desert, who have stated that Jodi Arias "would go absolutely nuts" if she couldn't reach Travis by phone? They said she would sit there at work and call him repeatedly, and each time that she couldn't reach him she would grow more and more despondent, going as far as calling her "completely obsessed"? Can you honestly tell us, Ms. LaViolette that a woman who drops everything and drives from Palm Desert to Mesa after work because she can't reach her boyfriend ISN'T jealous or obsessed?
Willmott, in reviewing text messages sent to Jodi from Travis characterized many of Travis's text messages as "tirades" and "rants" - why didn't Martinez object to those characterizations? She did it repeatedly. In one such text message where Travis is asking Jodi who the woman is that told her that he was having a "significant relationship" with Lisa Andrews at the same time he was seeing Jodi Arias. Travis was upset, and he wanted Jodi to tell him who that person was who gave her that information. He threatens to "tell your family and friends about all the crazy stuff you have done" - when asked about that "tirade" and the threats against Jodi, LaViolette says "I don't know what crazy things he is talking about Jodi doing..." and Willmott cuts her off, saying "but what's important to you is.....". She totally glossed over the "crazy things" part, probably because she doesn't want the jury to know that Arias did some crazy things during their relationship.
LaViolette has referred to Travis Alexander in a very negative light. She refers to Travis making "veiled threats that are attached to reality", referring to the previous acts of violence against Jodi Arias. I noticed on one of Travis Alexander's text messages to Arias from 4/8/08, he says "PS you better start paying me back so you better start looking for a job". Didn't we hear testimony yesterday about all the money Jodi Arias loaned Travis? I think Arias probably owed Travis Alexander more money than he owed her. LaViolette has also testified how Arias was taking steps to "distance herself" from Travis, by moving back to Yreka and also by beginning to set boundaries with Travis. Does anybody believe Arias moved back to Yreka because she wanted to move back, or do you believe she HAD to move back because she wasn't making it financially or professionally?
They discussed another text message that Jodi Arias "accidentally" sent to Travis Alexander that was meant for another man. I don't believe she sent the text to Travis accidentally, rather she sent it purposely in an attempt to make him jealous or to elicit some sort of response from him and it worked. LaViolette naturally turned that around and again called Travis controlling and angry because he didn't appreciate receiving a message meant for another man. He may have been jealous, but does that make him a bad person? No, it makes him HUMAN. Arias can't even admit she was jealous. The testimony coming from LaViolette seems highly unfair, and I don't believe she should be forming such a biased opinion of Travis Alexander when she never met him, never had a chance to talk to him and hear what HE had to say about this relationship, and she based much of her opinions on the words of a manipulative liar. Alyce LaViolette is just Jodi's latest victim of her manipulation.
Court is out for the lunchtime break. They seem to be reviewing these text messages in chronological order, so they are nearing the date of the murder. What will LaViolette say about the actions of Jodi Arias on that fateful day? Will she testify that Arias was justified in defending herself based on this pattern of "escalating violence" and controlling behavior she described Travis as having? Juan Martinez, we are all praying for you to make this the mother of all cross examinations!