Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hypocritical Cross Examination of Dr. Janeen DeMarte - Jodi Arias Murder Trial

The Jodi Arias murder trial continues this morning with Jennifer Willmott continuing her cross examination of the State's expert witness Dr. Janeen DeMarte. My jaw has dropped several times during the first hour of testimony, as Willmott tries to highlight DeMarte's lack of experience, publications and the fees she charges in her personal practice and for forensic testing and trial testimony.

Jennifer Willmott came out swinging this morning, and after challenging DeMarte's relatively short career as a licensed psychologist, she began to ask questions about how much DeMarte charges clients in her personal practice and what she is being paid by the State of Arizona for her testimony in this trail. Willmott quizzed DeMarte on her private practice, what insurance companies she accepts and if she has a "sliding scale" for low income clients.

DeMarte disclosed she charges $125/hour or session, it wasn't clear to me if this was her hourly rate or per session rate. DeMarte said she did not have a "sliding scale". Willmott defined what a sliding scale was for the jury (as if they don't know), saying "so if somebody who doesn't make a lot of money wants to see you, you don't adjust your rates"? She then moved on to what DeMarte is being paid for her evaluation and court testimony in this trial. DeMarte disclosed she is being paid $300.00 per hour for court testimony and $250.00 an hour for research and testing. This is exactly what Alyce LaViolette was being paid, albeit I'm willing to bet LaViolette billed for 2-3 times the number of hours that DeMarte did. The obvious ploy to make DeMarte look greedy was highlighted by her comment "so $300.00 an hour is considerably more than $125.00 per hour". That was more of a statement by Willmott than a question.

The hypocrisy in that line of questioning is almost laughable. Willmott attempted to get DeMarte to disclose the number of hours she billed for, DeMarte said she didn't know the exact number. "Was it more than 100 hours?" Willmott asked. "No".  "Was it more than 50 hours"? DeMarte believes it was somewhere in the middle. OK, isn't this the same defense team who sought a protective order from the court to seal "any and all billing records submitted by any member of Ms. Arias's defense team"? Are you kidding me? DeMarte spent a total of 12 1/2 hours talking with Jodi Arias. As with the defense experts, she reviewed all documents and heard the media interviews, police interrogations etc. Yet I'm willing to bet LaViolette and Samuels billed for at least twice as many hours as DeMarte will.

I'm trying to find the exact number of days Alyce LaViolette was on the stand but I know it was at least 8 days. That's likely another 48 hours (using 6 hours per day) to add to the 44 hours of interview time. It's impossible to estimate how many hours any expert spent researching the case and reviewing all "collateral" information so I'm leaving that piece out of the estimate. That will be the piece that will likely be the most costly. 

48 trial hours @ $300.00                         = $13,200.00
44 interview hours w/Jodi Arias @ $250.00 = $11,000.00
Trial & interview costs for Alyce LaViolette =  $24,200.00

Dr. Samuels wasn't on the stand for nearly as long as LaViolette was, and he was paid $250.00 an hour. I'm not trying to calculate what he was paid. Juan Martinez questioned DeMarte for roughly one day under direct examination. DeMarte has no control over how long the defense will take for the cross examination, but let's say she spend three days testifying. DeMarte spent 12 1/2 hours with Arias, 30 minutes interviewing Steven Alexander (Travis' brother) and an undetermined number of hours researching the same documents, interviews, police interrogations and written materials the other experts reviewed. I'm willing to bet DeMarte's bill will be for much less than LaViolette, but we may never know because the defense is trying to block this information from the public.!

If DeMarte spends 3 days under direct, cross examination, jury questions and redirect, she will have spent approximately 18 hours in court (using 6 hr. court days) at $300.00 per hour. This may be inaccurate since DeMarte is still on the stand, and she has no control over how long the defense will keep her there!

18 trial hours @ $300.00                         = $5,400.00
12 interview hours w/Jodi Arias @ $250.00 = $3,000.00
Trial & interview cost for Dr. Demarte:       = $8,400.00

In addition to the notable difference in the compensation between Alyce LaViolette and DeMarte, LaViolette shamelessly plugged her book that is coming out later this month during the trial. Talk about free advertising? That could have been invaluable for her, had her testimony been seen as more credible by the viewing public. My point here is that for Willmott to suggest that DeMarte was in this for the money was a ridiculous argument to make. I'm sure the jury agrees the experts were well paid. The difference here is DeMarte didn't spent an excessive amount of time talking to build a rapport with Arias, like the defense experts claimed was necessary. DeMarte didn't bring Arias gifts or self help books, and DeMarte didn't continue to visit Arias in jail once her testing and clinical evaluation was completed.

In another hypocritical line of questioning, Willmott questioned why DeMarte spent such little time talking to people relating to this case! Did I hear you right Ms. Willmott? At least DeMarte talked to somebody other than Jodi Arias. Yesterday I thought DeMarte mentioned speaking to Jodi's parents because of something she said about Arias's mom saying Jodi was "happy as hell" they visited her in jail. "So you only spent 30-45 minutes talking to Steven Alexander and 12 hours with Jodi Arias and you didn't talk to anybody else regarding this case?" Willmott's questions seemed more like statements in many cases, and this was one of those moments. Does anybody else see the raging hypocrisy? 


Jennifer Willmott attacked DeMarte frequently and fiercely today. She spent a considerable amount of time questioning DeMarte's knowledge and experience in the area of domestic violence and abuse. DeMarte is obviously not an "expert" in domestic abuse as LaViolette was. Willmott seemed to sense she found a point she could capitalize on, and she ran with it for much of the last hour of testimony. DeMarte held her own for the most part, but Willmott exposed some areas where DeMarte may have some weaknesses - for example, in the area of battered woman's syndrome and domestic violence, Willmott picked up on DeMarte's lack of publications and other experts in that area and she drove that point home to the jury. 

Court is taking their afternoon lunch break now.  The defense managed to make some points today, although Willmott's aggressive and sarcastic style doesn't suit her. 

What will the afternoon session bring? Will Jennifer Willmott ask Dr. DeMarte if she still gets carded when she buys booze? Will Kirk Nurmi ever appear to be interested in what's happening around him? Will Jodi Arias apply to law school in an attempt to be more Willmott? Will the jury get to deliberate this case before it's time to carve our pumpkins and go trick or treating? Will DeMarte send Jodi Arias a subscription to "Highlights" magazine? Anything is possible in this trial.

17 comments:

  1. Just found your Blog...great summation of events. Love your Teasers.

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    1. Kristal,
      Thank you! I guess you are referring to the silly "what will happen" paragraphs at the end of the post. Just having some fun! Thanks for reading and leaving your comment.

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  2. JW is being very rude and hostile to DeMarte today. Martinez was rude as well to the defense experts but only after they were refusing to truthfully answer his questions.

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    1. Jimmy,
      So true! You just pointed out the very difference between Martinez being aggressive and Willmott being aggressive. Martinez did it out of frustration due to lack of witness cooperation, Willmott is just being rude and looks childish!

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  3. Loving this blog!!! I agree that JW is being super rude. She is trying to pull a "Juan" I think, and it just doesn't suit her. And Jodi... She seriously looks like she has just totally checked out. I don't know if shes working on her "art" or what. But she has only looked up once or twice today. Very bizarre.

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    1. how is the jury will think watching her that she looks like she is not paying attention ever since the prosecuter witness is on the stand?

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    2. To the Brewers,
      Thank you for your comments about the blog, I appreciate it! I used to think more highly of Willmott's style of questioning but her aggressiveness with DeMarte has made her look petty and desperate. Many people have commented about Arias seeming to be more disconnected at trial the last few days. She's got to be scared and nervous now that closing arguments are in our sights! The defense has had 80% of trial time and I think they still failed to convince the jury Arias was abused. They missed the mark big-time, in my opinion!

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  4. First Travis was on trial, now Dr. DeMarte. JW asks the most superficial questions. Dr. Demarte describes JA as immature. There JA is, like a 6 year old sitting at her desk and coloring while the trial for her life is going on.

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    1. Medora,
      OMG that's so true! I've been trying to think of what Arias's behavior at the defense table reminds me of. you nailed it! Like a child with her first box of Crayolas.

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  5. JW looked the fool today! She is definitely no Juan Martinez. He knows exactly where he's going with his questioning and leads the witnesses there. JW just babbles, trying to sound smart but completely ending up looking like an idiot. Crazy trial. Too bad it's over for today. :(

    BTW - what is the deal with ALL the crazy popup ads? Is that a Blogspot issue?

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    1. Anonymous (4/17/13 at 3:01PM),
      You are right, at times Willmott didn't seem to have a destination when she began her line of questioning. Rather, she repeatedly referenced the date DeMarte was licensed and her hourly rates. The hourly rate part in particular was a case of the pot calling the kettle black! Re the popups, I think you can block them. I'm a first time blogger, and I'm afraid to alter the template/layout. I hope they aren't too annoying. Thanks for your comments!

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  6. Dr DaMarte is an excellent witness. Defense counsel was trying to allude to the fact that this witness did not understand the standardized criteria for BWS by Walker. DeMarte was well aware and updated on Walker. Walker revised the definition to be synonymous with PTSD in 1992. Again, an additional revision was done by Walker in 2006 to include the additional three criteria she spoke of today. Good job Dr. DaMarte!

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  7. Dr. Demarte also did not apologize to the defendant. ; )

    Yes, I agree. Willmott is a hypocrite and obviously and desperately trying to pull inappropriate behaviour to pin on Dr. Demarte out of her shoe. But she is basically trying to use the things JM busted the defense witnesses with and it is not working. Instead she is failing and looking like a petty hypocrite. And she isn't looking too bright, either, I'd like to add.

    I always feel better when I come to your blog, My Forte.

    Sue

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    1. Anonymous & Sue,
      Yes I agree that DeMarte has been a good witness. The defense has to continuously point out what year she was licensed over and over to try to invalidate her opinion? It's a weak argument. Also the rate line of questioning was laughable. I believe DeMarte spent the appropriate amount of time to evaluate the case and not so much time developing "rapport, aka relationship" with Jodi Arias.

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  8. I don't think Willmott is a hypocrite or trying to be a "Juan". I think she is doing her job as a lawyer and doing it well. You all have made up your mind about Jodi Arias and no matter what the defense says or does you are going to have issues with them. Shame that in America we have become so quick to judge before hearing ALL the facts.

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    1. LMAO!!!!! FLORIDA ARE YOU A COMPLETE FOOL? LOOK AT THE PREMEDITATED EVIDENCE, AND THE COVER UP. LOL PEOPLE LIKE YOU IS THE VERY REASON WE HAVE SO MANY NUT CASES STALKING, AND KILLING

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  9. @Anon 9:24am...Florida is CA......just saying!!

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