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!
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