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Arias Judge Rules In Favor Of Defense - Dr. Robert Geffner Will Testify

There were several important announcements made by Judge Sherry Stephens relating to the marathon murder trial of Jodi Arias.  Yesterday the Judge announced out the trial's schedule for the next two weeks and told the jury closing arguments would begin next Thursday, May 1st and conclude on Friday May 2nd.

Today (Thursday) there will be a short court session, but Judge Stephens told the jury to expect a long day next Wednesday, telling them "we will begin at 9:00AM and stay until testimony has concluded - even if it goes beyond 5:00PM." The jury is expected to officially get the case by late Friday May 2, 2013.  

This morning, reported Judge Sherry Stephens has ruled in favor of allowing testimony from a third defense expert witness, Dr. Robert Geffner from San Diego, California.  With the tight time frame set forth by Judge Stephens I'd expect this expert's testimony to be very limited in scope. But this can be considered a small victory for the defense, as requests for surrebuttal witnesses are rarely granted - I don't have the details around the Judge's decision to allow in this testimony, nor do I know when, how or why Dr. Geffner became involved in this case. However, he is said to be an associate of Alyce LaViolette. Do I need to say any more?  Will this expert's opinion ultimately make a difference at this point in the trial? Has Judge Stephens gone overboard in an effort to avoid appellate issues down the line?

Testimony started late yesterday, and after Judge Stephens explained the trial schedule the prosecution called two additional rebuttal witnesses to the stand. First up was Robert Brown, a computer forensics detective from the Mesa PD. He testified about photos he recovered from Jodi Arias' Helio cellphone that showed close-ups of Jodi Arias with brown hair. It appeared the photos were taken by Arias inside of the car she was driving. The photos were taken on June 3, 2008 between 2:12PM-2:21PM - was Arias taking photos of her newly colored hair? The time the photos were taken suggests it was after her alleged nail appointment, however there were no photos taken of her freshly polished nails. The jury will have to decide whether Arias' two hour trip to a salon was more likely to have her nails done or have her hair colored. Detective Brown explained how the photos were recovered from the cellphone and how the phone's technology allowed him to pinpoint when the photos were taken.

Detective Esteban Flores was called back to the stand as the next rebuttal witness. We've all come to know Flores as the person quietly seated next to Prosecutor Juan Martinez throughout the trial, and the detective who did a masterful job in interviewing Arias before and after her arrest. OK, I admit it - I DO like Detective Flores. I think the way he handled Arias was admirable. He was respectful yet stern, patient and even kind to her in trying to extract some truth from Jodi Arias. Flores testified that on March 5, 2013 he returned to Travis Alexander's Mesa home to take some measurements of the closet where Arias allegedly retrieved Travis' gun. He explained that three of the bottom shelves had been moved out of their original position as depicted in the crime scene photos - he moved them back to match the way they were on June 4, 2008.

The photos were eerie to me. The once tidy closet full of suits, jeans and shoes was nearly empty. It was sad. Juan Martinez showed photos of how these "floating" shelves are held into place by 4 small round metal pins. We all know how these types of shelving units work. It can be frustrating to use them because they aren't built to handle a lot of weight. Another photo showed the effect on the shelf when Flores rested his hand on the edge - surprise, surprise - the shelf tipped towards him.  The next photos showed the measurement from the closet floor to the top shelf, which measured around 7 feet tall from top to bottom. It was 8 feet from the floor to the ceiling.  Martinez asked if Detective Flores or any other member of the police department found any evidence during the original search of the home that would lead him to believe that Travis or any of his roommates owned or kept a gun at the house. He said they found no such evidence.  No holster, no bullets of any caliber, no boxes, no gun cleaning kit - nothing to suggest a firearm was kept at the residence. Martinez asked Flores if the home's attic was searched after the murder. Flores said it had been searched and explained the locations they gained access to the attic. He further testified that the Mesa PD didn't find anything stored in the attic - no boxes, which contradicts another Arias story about helping Travis retrieve something from a box stored in his attic. Remember, it was the little porcelain angel that Travis allegedly gave her that was retrieved from a box from the attic that she "forgot" - which brought her back to Travis' home on January 21, 2008 where she allegedly caught him in the act of pleasuring himself to the photo of a young boy. 

Under cross examination by Kirk Nurmi, Detective Flores was asked if he measured any of the other parts of the shelving units, aside from the ones near where Arias claims she retrieved the gun. Flores said he hadn't. Nurmi to Flores: "you had the ability to take the measurements?". "Yes", said Flores. Nurmi's line of questioning moved from irrelevance to idiocy from there. "You heard Dr. DeMarte say Jodi Arias has a high IQ, right?" "Yes", Flores replied. Nurmi insinuated that since Arias was shown to have a fairly high IQ, she would have chosen a better location in the closet had she been lying about the gun and it's location. Again, they seem to take the problematic parts of Arias' stories and try to use them as evidence that she's telling the truth. This is what can happen when you put a client with a history of lying on the stand and let her talk for 18 days. This is what can happen when defense attorneys fail to question or test their client's stories. They had to have known those shelving units could not support her weight and given her height, is it even possible for her to reach the space where she said the gun was kept? Didn't they check this for themselves?

Kirk Nurmi tried to pull a fast one, asking Detective Flores about his interview with 48 Hours - didn't you say "something pushed or provoked her at the end"? Juan Martinez objected, all attorneys went to sidebar and that question was sustained. Then it was on to the jury questions for Detective Flores, I'm paraphrasing:

Were there any guns registered in Travis Alexander's name?
Did any of Travis' roommates own a gun?
What was the width and depth of the shelf where Arias retrieved the gun?
Was there anything stored in the attic when the house was searched?
Did it appear anything was ever stored in the attic?
Do you know what Jodi Arias' height, weight and shoe size was at the time of her booking?
Did you find any evidence of Travis ever owning a gun?
Did you find any empty boxes or containers that could have held a gun?
If Jodi raised her arm straight up in the air, do you know the measurement from her foot to fingertip?

As I mentioned on yesterday's post, Jodi Arias' grandmother was seated in the court room for the first time yesterday. She sat quietly next to Sandy Arias and appeared to be sad. Can you imagine, having your own grand daughter standing trial for first degree murder and facing a possible death sentence? Also knowing the gun used in the crime may have come from your own home must be unnerving to this elderly woman who took Arias in and allowed her to live with them in Yreka. The families on both sides of the court room are forever changed by the actions of this young woman. The Alexander family will never see Travis again. They will never attend his wedding, they will never have nieces, nephews or great grandchildren from Travis. They have been robbed of their future with him. Why do people take such severe and permanent action for temporary problems? How is a person driven to such extremes? I'm afraid that age-old line is true, there's a thin line between love and hate. Simplistic, yet true. Arias seemed to have crossed that line and there's no turning back.

Any sympathy I may have had for her has long since diminished, as I've listened to her testimony and watched her in court. I'm not sure she is even sorry that she killed him, but I'm certain she's sorry she got caught. The fact that she is now hawking her doodles and sketches to her followers and taking in an undetermined amount of money via donations shows me the kind of person we are dealing with. She is an opportunist. Her greed has gone well beyond wanting to help her family with travel-related expenses during the trial. She is taking full advantage of her notoriety and even the ban by eBay on sales of her artwork, telling her followers "it's raised the value of my art". Greed, pure and simple. That Arias is continuing to cash in on these things while on trial for her LIFE speaks volumes to her personality disorders! It's all about Jodi right now. And she's doing it under the watchful eye of the Maricopa County Sheriffs Department. It's that in-your-face attitude that tells me she has no remorse. Judgement day is coming for Ms. Arias. I hear that she is "confident" she will be acquitted and is making plans for her future? This was reported by the editor of the National Enquirer on Nancy Grace's show last night. I usually take these stories with a grain of salt!

What are your thoughts on the Judge's decision to allow this surrebuttal witness? Do you think she will set strict limits around the scope of his testimony? Which side do you think is ahead going in to closing arguments? Please share your thoughts as the trial winds down!


  1. Look what Jose Mcyntire scoped out! ALV & Geffner know each other well. He also has been impeached in at least two court cases, big time...I think he’s persona non gratis! Geffner has edited her book and see the following:

    Faculty Include:
    Robert Geffner, Ph.D.
    Geraldine Butts Stahly, Ph.D.
    Alice LaViolette, M.S.
    Other Invited Speakers

    Robert Geffner, Ph.D., ABPN is the President and Founder of the
    Family Violence & Sexual Assault Institute, in CA and TX, and is a Clinical
    Research Professor of Psychology at the California School of
    Professional Psychology in San Diego. He is the Executive Editor of the
    Family Violence & Sexual Assault Bulletin, and Editor-in-Chief of the
    Haworth Maltreatment & Trauma Press. He is a licensed Psychologist and a
    licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. He has authored and edited
    numerous books, chapters, and articles concerning family violence, child
    maltreatment, forensic psychology, child custody, and neuropsychology,
    He has a Diplomate in Clinical Neuropsychology, and has been an adjunct
    faculty member for the National Judicial College for over 10 years.
    Geraldine Butts Stahly, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of
    Psychology at California State University, San Bernardino. She has
    conducted research, authored articles and chapters, and served on
    several task forces and committees dealing with child custody and
    domestic violence issues. She conducted one of the original research
    studies concerning domestic violence in custody cases in California.
    Alyce LaViolette, M.S. is the Co-Director of Alternatives
    Counseling Associates and Founder of Alternatives to Violence in Long
    Beach & west Los Angeles. She is Co-Chair of the California Association of
    Batterer Intervention Programs (CABIP), and is the co-author of It Could
    Happen to Anyone: Why Battered Women Stay. She a licensed Marriage & Family
    Therapist. She does training nationally and internationally. Info: @josemcyntire

    1. NancyB,
      I expect Mr. Martinez to point out the connection between ALV and Geffner immediately, and if he's been impeached in previous trials that's huge. Been meaning to ask you if you believe the Judge will severely limit the scope of this expert's testimony, especially given the time frame they are dealing with?

    2. We can count on Juan to tear this guy up. His affiliation with ALV alone makes him seem irrelevant. I still don't think he should have been allowed to testify.


    3. This is what I found on another site about Dr. Geffner. Juan Martinez will have a great day with him.
      What’s Wrong With Dr. Geffner?
      23 Replies
      Though Dr. Geffner has some pretty hefty credentials he also has some serious issues having been impeached in some court cases. Check it out:

      1. His background is impressive, he is the Founder and President of the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute in San Diego, California. He has been a researcher and consultant for 28 years and has presented over 450 key note speeches.

      2. Now the bad news- for him: (This info is from a comment made by ‘Nancy B’ on the ‘My Crime Time’ blog). Regarding the Case of Cyndie O’Rourke v. James O’Rourke the court found Dr. Geffner to be nothing more than a ‘hired gun’ for the Mother in this case. This was a divorce/custody case where the Father prevailed. Apparently the MMPI test found ‘maladaptive personality traits’ in the Mother and Dr. Geffner challenged the use of the MMPI test and even went on to recommend that the Mother file ethics complaints against the other mental health professionals in the case.He felt he was the expert and the others were out of their expertise. (Nancy B. shares a link for info. on the ‘My Crime Time’ blog). This indicates to me he will most likely imply the MMPI test is not valid in this case and Dr. Demarte doesn’t have the credentials that he does and her opinion is therefore inadequate.

      3. Dr. Geffner testified that he no longer treats patients but devotes all his time to consulting work related to his specialty. He has been an expert witness in a number of cases in different jurisdictions. Though he has testified in a great number of cases he stated that he did not remember very much about the facts of those cases.

      4. In a Texas case; Clark v. Collins, 956 F.2d 68 (5th Circuit 1992) the court found that Dr. Geffner’s affidavit lacked credibility, in part because it was based on hearsay information supplied by the defendant’s attorney with no independent verification. (Sound like any defense attorneys we know who believe everything their client says?)

      5. The court also excluded the Dr.’s testimony in Hawaii v. French, 129 P.3d 581 (Hawaii 2006) involving allegations of child sexual abuse.

      6. In State v. Supulvado, 655 So.2d 623 (La. App. 1995) the court limited most of his testimony as he relied mostly on the information supplied by the defendant and he testified about effects of brain damage on emotional functioning though he is not a medical doctor.

      7. So I dug a little more and found this:

      Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 687, 104 S.Ct. 2052, 2064, 80 L.Ed.2d 674 (1984). “[C]ounsel is strongly presumed to have rendered adequate assistance and made all significant decisions in the exercise of reasonable professional judgment. Id. at 690, 104 S.Ct. at 2066.

      22 The state trial court found that Dr. Geffner’s affidavit lacked credibility for three reasons: (1) the evaluation, which makes conclusions as to Clark’s conduct in 1987, was conducted five years later, in 1992; (2) Dr. Geffner did not review the court records or a transcript of the trial testimony; and (3) Dr. Geffner relied upon records from Clark’s childhood in Pennsylvania, with no records since 1976, and upon hearsay information supplied by Clark’s attorneys, with no independent verification of the information, and interviews with Clark. The state court further found that, even if credible, Dr. Geffner’s affidavit does not support a conclusion that Clark was either incompetent or insane at the time of the murders, or that he did not act deliberately within the meaning of the first special issue.

      8. Oh, and did I mention he was an editor for Alyce LaViolette?

      Should be a field day for Mr. Martinez!

      This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged cases, credibility, Dr. Geffner, hired gun., jodi arias, Martinez, murder., Travis Alexander, trial on April 26, 2013.

  2. To Opal Bailey:
    You responded to a comment of mine from the 21st and requested that I respond. I don't want you to think that I was just ignoring you! I've had a few computer issues that preventing my online activities, now resolved. So check back to the 21st later today for my response. Thanks

  3. To Anon at 7:31 - I now see that you already posted the info on Geffner in the previous thread that I have today. :)

  4. My Forte - Don't forget that the Ntl Enquirer won the Pulitzer Prize, America’s most prestigious journalistic award, a few yrs ago for breaking the story on John Edwards affair during his primary run for President! I have no doubt that it’s true.

    I hope that Det Flores lets him know about her writing her life story in her jail cell and I hope that it's confiscated by authorities. Juan himself said in court that he watches nothing about this trial at all. Det Flores was the person that had notified Juan about her twitter comments. While Det Flores is at it, I hope that he shows Juan JA’s disgusting new “series” of her drawings.Tanisha and the family want it to stop. She sold the drawing that she did of Travis' brother Gary a few weeks ago for mega bucks. See this article:

    1. NancyB,
      Thanks for your comments - I hope my comment about the National Enquirer didn't come across as a pot-shot. Some of the things they reported about Arias seemed a bit out there, some of it I can believe. They said she is penning a "tell all" book from behind bars, that I believe. They also said she has a female lover in jail who she wants to live with when she is released, and the two of them want to have a baby - and have already chosen a sperm donor who agreed to participate. That seems a little out there, but who knows? Stranger things can happen. Arias is known to adapt to her surroundings, so if she is being hit on in jail, it's not a stretch to see her latching on to a woman! I am sickened and angry over her continued exploitation of the Alexander family with the sketches! I've seen the latest from the "Hat Series", and it does look just like TA's sister Tanisha. I hope they go after her via wrongful death suit to put an end to her profiteering at the expense of their brother. It's pure greed...thanks NancyB!

    2. LOL - I so agree about having to sift threw the garbage with The Enquirer! It truly downgraded the Pulitzer when they got it, IMO. It also was a negative statement on the rest of the so-called legitimate journalistic entities that they ALL knew about it but refused to defy the PC crap to honestly report it! I was being facetious in my reference to them! You are the BEST!

  5. I'm surprised the judge is allowing the surrebuttal with a psychologist who didn't actually interview Jodi prior to trial. It seems a little late now! However, I am sure this gentleman will come to regret being involved once he meets Juan Martinez on cross. That should be exciting! The flailing of the defense at this point is ridiculous. I feel sorry for the lawyers stuck with such an obviously guilty client. I know they have to try everything, but it sure does look bad. Nurmi's questioning of Flores was pathetic. Why don't they try copying Juan's style of KEEPING IT SHORT AND TO THE POINT rather than handily outwitting the witnesses? Just a suggestion. :)

    1. Anonymous (4/25 @ 8:57AM),
      I was surprised at the Judge's ruling too. Seems she has given in to the defense in an over-abundance of caution? It angers me that the murdered victim's rights seemed to have died with him. I think the damage has been done, Dr. DeMarte was an excellent witness that seemed to have "no horse in the race" so to speak. She was the only independent third party that I feel was impartial and spoke the truth based on the facts, test results and her observations of her subject. She did not take Arias' words as the gospel, as the defense experts did. Taking Arias at her word is too big of a leap for anybody to take. Thanks for your post!

    2. Totally in agreement with you! As everyone has stated due to a very smart juror question, the 1st Doc had to admit to diagnosing her with a personality disorder, unspecified, and he dropped it then like a hot potato. I can not figure out anything NEW that Dr DeMarte testified to. My Forte, you are 100% correct that the defense has known about her findings for more than a year. She wrote a detailed report that they've had for ages and they deposed her at the end of last year. Judge Stephens has bent over backwards in accommodation of the defense's death penalty case. I believe that she has made a big mistake in making this decision.

  6. I have a high IQ too and did not have any idea what Nurmi was getting at! I agree everyone seems to think JA’s such a great liar but then when it seems fairly clear that she’s not then it must be the truth. Good liars don’t put so much detail in their lies and the listener doesn’t know they are being lied too. I still think the gunshot happening first was a red herring “rumor” that was circulated so that JA would construct her story around the forensic evidence. Remember JW kept asking Dr. H about some phone call where Dr. H supposedly told Det. Flores the gunshot happened first. I like Dr. H and can’t wait to see what he says today…

    1. Sonia,
      Nurmi's assertions about Jodi's high IQ were ridiculous at best. "She's too smart to come up with nonsensical lies"? Really, that's your best response Mr. Nurmi? The bulk of the evidence points to Arias planning this trip down to the smallest detail. The hair color change may or may not be meant as a disguise, she may have been trying to dye her hair to better match the darker color of her nemesis/competition Marie "Mimi" Hall. Dr. DeMarte testified about Arias changing her hair style/color to match Darryl Brewers ex-wife! But the gas cans, the staged break-in/gun theft, the discreet trip to Mesa, the attempt to clean up the crime scene and remove evidence - yet she thinks a jury will believe this all happened because she dropped a camera? I liked Dr. Horn too. It seemed to be a mixed bag today with the jury questions to Horn. He was pretty clear that IF Travis was shot in the head first, he would not have been able to raise his hands to defend against knife attack. There you have it! Thanks for posting!

    2. I hadn't thought of that, My Forte! Identity disturbance exactly because Mimi Hall was the one going to Cancun! WOW

  7. Excellent post MyForte and I agree with you wholeheartedly that Jodi has ruined so many lives with her evil deeds.

    I honestly believe Jodi is a serial killer who got caught her first time. If she gets out, she will kill again. When asked why she purchased a gun after killing Travis, she told her dad it was so she could "feel safe". She had a camping trip planned with some guys from her work...if you're worried about your safety you don't go camping with guys you barely know! I think she got a huge high off killing Travis and would have jumped at the chance to do it again.

    She's a horribly evil woman and I just pray justice is served! I saw a video of Travis on HLN, shortly after he'd just rolled his snowmobile and flooded it...he was so funny about the whole thing, saying "That's just how I roll". It made me so very sad to think of this young man's life being cut so short:(

    1. Anonymous (4/25 at 9:49AM),
      Thank you for your post - I too am saddened when I see those new videos of Travis, laughing and clowning around with his friends. Don't they all look like a clean cut nice bunch of young men? He wasn't perfect, but who among us is? Seems to me the only big mistake he made was getting involved with the defendant. He should have listened to his friends, who felt early on that she would be trouble for him. Our gut instincts tell us so much, yet we disregard it often times because after all it's "just an instinct". I can't tell you how many times my gut instinct about a person or situation has been spot on! Thanks for your posting.

    2. The more I hear and the more lies Jodi is caught in the more I feel she is a budding serial killer. I keep thinking of her dog that disappeared after she kicked it. And her "normal" behaviour after she brutally murdered Travis. Lie after lie after lie. She is terrifying.

      I am pretty thrilled that Flores said there was nothing in the attic. JA caught in another lie she told under oath. That is great news. She needs to be put away. For ever.

      I really am concerned about this judge. She has gone too far, IMO. Too much lenience with the defense. I am getting a bit incredulous. Yes, rolling eyes and all.

      I completely agree about that gut feeling. It is the truth, I think. So many times we don't want to listen.

      Thanks for this great place, My Forte. I am so happy to be able to come here during this trial.

      I believe the jury will do the right thing. But it is nerve wracking.


    3. Anon @ 9:49AM

      I too think that she would kill again and without any compunction.

  8. Huh... Is that really scheduled for May 1 and 2, 2013... or 2014? Ha

  9. Just a little observation here, I notice when Jodi's "crying", as she is pretending to do right now as the ME describes Travis fatal injuries, no tears come out but she repeatedly wipes at her nose rather aggressively. The red nose is supposed to make us think she's crying? She just ends up looking like Rudolph.

    1. Anonymous (4/25 at 10:39AM),
      I noticed that today too - red nose and tissues but I didn't see any tears. At one point she was staring at the graphic photo they were showing of Travis. Just staring at it! Very creepy and I have to wonder if now that's it's nearly 5 years later, is she really even upset about what she did?

    2. No tears - all an act for the jury! The moment that they were dismissed to the jury room in less than an instant all angst was GONE.

  10. My Forte, I so look forward to reading what you have to say each day. I can't imagine the jury not feeling JA is guilty of pre meditated murder. It will all come down to what and how the judge asks the jury to decide along with what to look at and what not to look at when deciding.

    JA used a lot of tissue and pulled on her nose hard. I doubt she had ANY remorse then and none now. Cheryl

  11. I was out all day, just came home looked online and saw Juror 8 has been dismissed and the defenses doctor can testify. So I really needed to come here.....a friendly, safe place and say: AHHHHHHHHHH! What is up with this judge?!?

    Ok. Thanks for listening. Sorry. I just had to scream and I know you guys care and we have similar thinking on this.


    1. @Sue: I don't know if it is true but I heard he was seen when some media tried to approch him. He wasn't talking to any media just the fact that he was approched was the reason to be dismissed. Maybe My Forte will let us know the truth.

    2. After the lawyers came out from in chambers the VERY worst thing to see was JW smiling from ear to ear. BIG full faced smile. I've never seen her smile like that and then the judge announced the dismissal of juror # 8, who by the way took TONS of notes.

    3. Ugh. That is the worst thing to see. This is bad. But you know, I truly believe she won't be smiling when the verdict comes in.


  12. Thank you for your post I enjoy reading them. I think this judge has given way more to the defense than she had to or should have even in a death trial , all the hearsay that was allowed in by the defense & there was nothing or know one to back it up. Now after the defense rest she allows them another shot. They spent four months . I think that's enough. The judge has either lost control or had a previous issue with another case & don't want another.

    1. You are soooo correct about all the hearsay (lies) that she allowed to be entered as testimony (evidence). Very discouraging.

    2. II completely agree with you both. It has been pretty unbelievable.

  13. NancyB. Thank you! Great job. You just answered so many thoughts I had as to what was going on. I can't wait for JM to clear things up to the jury as you just did for me. ;);)

  14. what surprised me,is that jm never mentioned the fact himself that nothing was found in the attic.As far as the jury they are listening,and it proves that Travis never gave this murderer any little statue,as to the reason she came back for it and caught Travis jacking off to little boys pictures.Please give this evil witch the needle.

  15. As you can see,I am not good on the computer,wish I could do all the things you can do,anyway love the site,and read your posts every day.

  16. Is it possible that Jodi Arias has set up clues for people to approach certain jurors just to get them kicked off? She knows which jurors to go after since she is looking over at them all the time, or maybe her mom is telling people to approach these jurors they are worried about. Seems fishy to me. Wish someone can find out somehow.


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