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Did Kirk Nurmi Cross The Line In Questions To Travis Alexander's Ex?

We are another day closer to closing arguments in the Jodi Arias murder trial as the state continued their rebuttal case with some powerful testimony from one of Travis' close friends, an ex girlfriend, a representative from WalMart and a member of the Mesa police departments forensics unit.

Jacob Mefford was a close friend of Travis Alexander who recounted on the witness stand that Travis was affectionate with Jodi on many occasions. He is the owner of the clip that has been televised where Travis is sitting on his couch with Arias' curled up with her head on his lap. Friends are there and he recounts a traumatic near death experience where a gun was held to his head. The jury saw that clip today, although they were not allowed to hear the audio. What Juan Martinez got out of Meddford's testimony is that contrary to how the defense has portrayed Travis and Jodi's in-pubic relationship, his friends did in fact see them being affectionate towards each other.

A representative from WalMart took the stand and testified that the store had no record of any returns for the 5 gallon gas can Arias insists she took back on June 3, 2008. The representative further stated that she searched the register records for more than a week and the record of the return does not exist. Could WalMart be wrong, or did Jodi Arias lie to the jury under oath? This was crucial for the potential lying under oath. She looked the jury in the eyes and lied. I suppose she could have been mistaken about which WalMart she returned it to or when, but she was fairly certain as to the particulars when she testified and answered those jury questions. 

There was also testimony from a representative from the gasoline company regarding Arias' gas purchases, but I missed that witness and her testimony.

Travis' ex girlfriend Deanna Reid was a big witness for the prosecution. She had a fairly long term and serious relationship with Travis and she testified that he was never violent or abusive with her nor did he call her names or raise his voice to her. They had fights, just like most couples do but they were civil. They met in 1998 when Reid was 20 years old and Travis was 21 and they attended the same singles ward and church. Reid was brought up in the church, in contrast to Arias who joined after meeting Travis Alexander. The two were friends for two years before their relationship turned romantic. It was difficult for her to testify that she did in fact have a sexual relationship with Travis, but explained that "we are all human and we make mistakes, but they were in love".  The pair disclosed all to their respective bishops and dealt with the consequences of going against the "laws of chastity" as Reid referred to it (vs. "vows of chastity" we've heard as well).

Reid went on a 1 1/2 year mission to Costa Rica and during that time away she and Travis corresponded via letters. Shortly before she was due to return home, he expressed a desire to date other people. Kirk Nurmi was particularly sensitive in his cross examination of Reid, even apologizing for asking about their sexual relationship and allowing her time to fill her water glass. But before long, he was pointing out stark differences in the relationship she had with Travis and the relationship Jodi had with him. He referred to some of the nastier sexual comments Travis made to Jodi, asking Reid if Travis ever made similar comments to her. I don't want to repeat the statements here, but he clearly made her uncomfortable and it seemed he really didn't need to point out the xxx-rated comments yet again to this witness.

During Reid's testimony we learned that the laws of chastity is discussed at church and through teachings and sermons. What I got out of that is Jodi Arias clearly should have known that all forms of sexual contact was prohibited - yet, she would have the jury believe she relied on Travis as her spiritual advisor, the implication being that he misled her into thinking certain acts weren't as bad as others. Big win all the way around for the prosecution. I felt a little bad for Reid, from what I've read she really loved Travis Alexander and was even caring for his beloved dog Napoleon after his death. Nurmi didn't have to make those references to make his points, and the jury frankly has probably had enough of the sex talk.

Last up, Michael Valendez of the Mesa police department. He's the man who testified during the state's case about the recovered photos from the digital camera. Today he talked about what he looked for when he analyzed the laptop computer he seized from Alexander's home. He testified there were no photos of women's breasts, or "photos of women from the waist up" - no peer to peer software that would allow photo or file sharing capabilities, no adult content websites or photos or documents containing photos of children.  On the digital camera, the jury asked a question about the photos that were not deleted from that camera. He said he believed there were approximately 90 photos that had not been deleted on June 4, 2008.

Overall it seemed like a banner day for the prosecution. Still waiting to see if the Judge is going to allow the surrebuttal expert witness. I noticed Arias actually looked up from whatever she is sketching or writing during key parts of Deanna Reid's testimony. She seemed to be interested in their intimate details and the discussion about marriage. Hmmm...go figure!  Have an excellent evening!


  1. I must have missed the signs of Nurmi's initial sensitivity in questioning Deanna Reid because I was screaming "don't go there" so loudly. When he did go there and beyond, I found myself in tears. Just when it seems this defense can go no lower, they surpass themselves yet again. And all the while I keep wondering how are they going to get around the Medical Examiner's testimony that the gunshot to Travis's head could not have come first?

    1. Shameen,
      Nurmi's moment of sensitivity was so brief, if you blinked you missed it! In all honesty, he did apologize for the nature of his questions and then asked her if she needed time to pour some water. But towards the end, he pulled out the stops and asked her some very "icky" questions, meant to highlight AGAIN for the jury the sexual way he spoke to Arias. It was so unnecessary but I think it backfired on him. I'm with you - I've had enough!

  2. If defense is granted a surbuttal, their witness is
    going to be Dr. Robert Geffner, he edits Alyce
    LaViolette's books, that seem like a conflict of
    interest to me. They know each other. I sure hope
    Juan knows about this.

  3. 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. Anonymous (4/23 at 7:48),
      Thanks for the great info! No doubt Juan Martinez will be all over this IF they allow this witness to testify. I hope Judge Stephens calls this one right. She's given them way too much latitude and IMO gone over the top in being sure Arias has a "vigorous defense".

  4. Thanks for the article, My Forte. Haven't seen today yet, so great to read about it here.

    Thanks for the info Anon. Strange. Alyce's editor?


  5. I had to turn it off when Nurmi started with Reid. He disgusts me and I heard enough about what he said to be very glad I hadn't watched. Reid clearly has 1000 x's the brains and class Jodi has, Travis knew this. But I'm sure Jodi was sitting there thinking "Well, you weren't as irresistable to him as I was".

    I'm dying for someone to comment on Jodi's reaction while watching the video of Travis. She's pulling off her best fake cry but then, for several seconds, her eyes bug out. They open really wide, like something really caught her attention. I was thinking it may have been the part where she see's herself get up off Travis' lap, with her blonde hair. They were truly crazy eyes though!

    I've also heard Dr. LV and Dr. Gefner were colleagues.

    1. Anonymous (4/24 at 3:19AM),
      Good call, turning it off w/Nurmi's cross examination. I think perhaps Travis respected Deanna Reid more than he did Jodi Arias. But yes, she did seem to be examining Reid and I can only imagine what she was thinking!

  6. All I kept seeing on Arias' face, while the State played the video, was what Psychologist Paul Ekman coined in '92 as "duping delight." She knows she savagely slaughtered Travis & is feigning sorrow, at the sight of him. It's an act. Reminds me of Vivien Leigh as Scarlet O'Hara, using her womanly wiles on Leslie Howard (Ashley Wilkes) at the lumber mill. She's trying to get him to run the mill w/ her, as a ploy to further insinuate herself into his life & be close to him (as he's married to another woman, Olivia deHavilland, "Melanie"). At one point, "Scarlet" cries into her handkerchief, looks up to see if her tears are working on him, smiles because he's starting to buckle like a belt, then continues crying, 'til he acquiesces. Sound familiar?!

    1. Anonymous (4/24 at 7:10AM),
      I love it, "duping delight"! You nailed it. I can definitely see that in her. Thanks for your comments!

    2. My Forte: I also think of the scene where Scarlet wants to go wait for Ashley in Atlanta, but M'ammy (the great Hattie McDaniel) tells her to go on to Savannah, as she'd only get in trouble in Atlanta, "You'll be waitin' there [for him], just like a spider!" Isn't that just like stalker-Jodi?! Again, I thank-you so much for your blog, as a family member & friend of murder victims (which is why I commented so many times about perpetrators & co-morbidity Cluster B PDs). I hope you'll continue writing true crime analysis, even after this one ends. Your insights, observations & clever wit are so interesting & fun to read.

    3. Anonymous (4/24 @ 5:30PM),
      "just like a spider" is so right! I think she tried to entrap Travis in her web by recording that raunchy sex tape, and fully planned on using it against him at some point in the future. If she couldn't be happy with him, she didn't want him to be happy without her! I'm so happy that I started this blog and have met so many intelligent, interesting and insightful people over the last 4 months. I'm glad that the Alexanders will have a verdict soon for their murdered brother. But I will miss the commentary from this forum - but unfortunately there will be other cases/trials to discuss in the future. This one had some many rare elements that it will always stick with me! Thank you for your post!!

    4. My Forte, from Anon April 24 @ 5:30pm: Yes, I agree this case was truly intriguing, especially from a psychological perspective. All criminals are crazy- not legally insane- but having delusions of grandeur, thinking they're smarter than the average bear & believing the rules don't apply to them, or they won't get caught/convicted. I hope you continue bringing great trials/true crime stories to us, through your blog. Oh, I also enjoyed your earlier, well researched blog on women who killed, claiming self-defense. Keep writing; you've got a unique style & no-nonsense perspective.

    5. Anonymous (4/25 @ 10:35PM),
      Thank you for your kind words about this blog, I truly appreciate it! I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed my interactions with the people who leave comments and are watching the trial. So many bright and articulate people out there. Although I'll be glad when the trial has concluded, I have to admit that I'll miss this forum. I'm thinking of continuing to write on this blog, about other cases past, present and future. Thank you for your comment and insight.

  7. Nurmi nauseates look at him and to listen to him!!I think he enjoys "talking dirty"!


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