Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Closing Arguments Set For 5/2 - 5/3 in Jodi Arias Murder Trial

(Judge Sherry Stephens just announced the trial schedule for this week and next week, closing arguments are now set for next Thursday and Friday - that's May 2nd and 3rd) Trial is beginning now, but there's a new face in the gallery on the Arias side - Jodi's grandmother is there today.)

It's day 53 of the Jodi Arias murder trial, for anybody out there who is keeping count - week #17. Should it come as a surprise to anyone that it's now 11:38AM PST and we are still seeing the Great Seal of The State of Arizona on the screen? Unfortunately we have almost come to expect this from the Jodi Arias trial.


The defense's request to allow the testimony of a surrebuttal witness has been bothering me. I'm not an attorney, nor do I have a legal background but it would seem to even a layperson that the basic rules of discovery around expert witness testimony would dictate that Arias' attorneys should not have been surprised by the borderline personality disorder diagnosis of the prosecution's expert witness, Dr. Janeen DeMarte. If this is the case, why is Judge Stephens even entertaining the thought of allowing in a third expert for the defense?

The development of Dr. Robert Geffner as a potential third expert witness seems like sour grapes on the surface. Could the defense team have a bad case of buyer's remorse with Dr. Richard Samuels and Alyce LaViolette's testimony and opinions - perhaps they didn't get the bang for the buck they believed they would?  I can't help but feel that if this trial were being conducted in a state where jury questions were not part of the process, we wouldn't be talking about Dr. Geffner or surrebuttal witnesses at all. Didn't the defense depose Dr. DeMarte before this trial even began? I did a little digging on the topic of written discovery of expert witness opinions and found the following:

Rule 26(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that the opposing party must disclose the identity of any expert witness. The mandatory disclosure must include the following, among other things:

  • A complete statement of all opinions and conclusions to be expressed by the expert witness
  • The basis and reason for each opinion
  • The data or other information used by the expert in formulating the opinions
  • The exhibits to be used as a summary in support of the opinions
  • The qualifications of the witness
  • A list of any cases over the last four years in which the expert has testified or been deposed
  • A list of any publications authored by the expert over the last 10 years
What am I missing? Where is the new evidence Dr. DeMarte brought in? If you happen to know more about why they have filed this motion, please fill us all in. Again, I'd love to know when how and why Dr. Geffner became involved to begin with - given DeMarte just left the stand a few days ago.  Who will we see taking the witness stand today when court finally resumes?  There has been some discussion around Arias' bank account activity around the time of her road trip to Mesa/Utah. Did she have more cash on hand than she claims she did?

I've always wondered why Arias inquired about the check she sent to Travis shortly before his murder - early on in the investigation, she asked Detective Flores if he knew when (or if) that check would be deposited. Could it be that she never expected it to be cashed or deposited? Another tidbit to think about. I know if somebody I loved had been killed, or even died of natural causes, the last thing on my mind would be an outstanding check! There has also been talk about Arias stopping for an impromptu nail appointment, and why the appointment reportedly took more than 2 hours. I'm not sure who they will call to testify today, but it seems that Juan Martinez never calls an unnecessary witness. He always keeps the bigger picture in mind so I have to believe there's a good reason for whoever he calls in.

Will Judge Stephens allow the defense to call in another witness? If the state offered up brand new evidence via Dr. DeMarte that's one thing, but anything short of that would be unfair to the prosecution who has played by the rules and presented a fairly straightforward case.  You don't get a "do-over" just because you feel you've failed to convince the jurors - even in a death penalty case!  What will happen today? I noticed that for the most part during yesterday's testimony, Arias appeared unaware or uninterested in the proceedings until the questions to Travis Alexander's ex girlfriend Deanna Reid turned to marriage and sex. At one point she looked up and her eyes got wide, I thought I caught her smiling when Reid testified that she broke off her relationship with Travis because he wasn't ready for marriage and she was.

I believe court resumes today at 1:30PM (PST).  Enjoy your day!

12 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you about the surrebuttal (sp?). Like you said, surely they knew the prosecution was bringing in Dr. DeMarte...were they expecting her to say Jodi's completely normal? I don't see where the "new" evidence comes into play with that. It's a different opinion on Jodi's wacked out brain than the defense "experts" had but what's new about it? I hope it gets a big nay from the Judge but we'll see. Juan did walk into court smiling today so there's hope!

    Jodi smirked several times during Deanna's testimony. Today on HLN they played Jodi's testimony from when she was talking about Deanna, she said Travis told her Deanna was emotionally unstable and that she was always at his house...in Jodi's world everyone else is screwed up but her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JA was actually talking about herself! LOL

      Sonja

      Delete
  2. Buyers remorse! That is funny. My Forte. And to the point! I saw JA's face, too, when Deanna was being asked those sex questions.....yes, Jodi's eyes looked like they popped out of her head. Weird. Nothing was said that was any more shocking than anything else. And Jodi has heard it all.....and said it all.

    Yes, Anon, lots of smirks. I hope the jury notices them, too.

    Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue,
      Ha ha, yes - buyers remorse is the only thing that I could think of to describe how disappointed they must be about their experts. I suspect they thought the decades long careers of both experts would substantiate and prop up their opinions and when they seemingly didn't, they wanted a "do-over" with this new guy. Creepy how she was looking at Deanna Reid while she was speaking. Just creepy.

      Delete
  3. HLN had video clips of the Grandmother of Jodi.
    Ay Yi Yi!
    The Grandmother was shaking her head, rolling her eyes, making faces, and freaking out.
    I HOPE THE JURY WAS WATCHING HER.
    She knows that Jodi stole the 25mm from her house.
    She knows Jodi is Guilty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous (4/24 @ 4:36PM),
      I noticed the grandmother's demeanor too. I believe you are correct in that she suspects Jodi took the gun. The jury, from what we have been told has been paying close attention and I'm sure they made the connection as to who the elderly lady sitting next to Jodi's mother was. Thanks for your comments!

      Delete
  4. Deanna was very brave, very sweet, and God is smiling down upon her.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anon in the 3rd comment, I saw that too:( It broke my heart, you could see the pain in her face and I feel like you, that she knows Jodi took her gun. Being that her grandma clearly has a conscience, she probably feels partly responsible (of course she's not, at all!)because it was their gun.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I too saw her grandmother and like everyone else, felt really bad which makes me think that they purposely had her come in because they know she is anguished and just like us, they want the jury to feel bad for her and not sentence Jodi to death, it think unfortunately, her defense team is alot like jodi in playing with peoples emotions anyone think the same ?

    ReplyDelete
  7. YES anon @ 6:06AM! I think that you nailed it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The defense objected the expert who retrieved the photos showing her dark hair, obviously JS let him testify. I think her nail appointment was actually time used to dye her hair. The defense also objected to a bank employee probably because it shows more premeditation. I don't know if that witness was allowed by JS but really if they want their Dr. G than the bank employee should be allowed. Also, I heard that Dr. D's actual diagnosis of Borderline Personality disorder was not disclosed and therefore they allowed the new witness to say JA does not have BPD. However, I am not worried at all about him testifying. JM is going to chew him up and spit him out. All he has to do is tie him to ALV. What I am actually worried about is that they will allow this heated manslaughter charge.

    Sonja

    ReplyDelete
  9. Just to note, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do NOT apply here for several reasons: (1) this is a Criminal case - not Civil; and (2) the State of Arizona has jurisdiction over the case, not the Federal Govt. Therefore, you should have looked up the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure and the Arizona Rules of Evidence.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for commenting!