Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jodi Arias Murder Trial Nearing A Conclusion

On Wednesday the Jodi Arias death penalty murder trial will resume in the same court room it began in on January 2, 2013. It's been nearly 5 years since 30 year old Travis Victor Alexander was savagely attacked in the master suite of his Mesa Arizona home. As the dramatic trial is entering into it's final day of testimony, closing arguments are slated to begin on Thursday, May 1st and conclude on Friday May 2nd. The jury is expected to begin deliberating as early as Friday.

It's been a long and difficult road for the loved ones of Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias as well. Family members have been seated in the first rows of each perspective side throughout the trial. They have been asked to not display emotion as graphic crime scene and autopsy photos revealed just how brutal this murder really was. What Travis must have endured during the last moments of his life is unthinkable. Most people cannot imagine inflicting so much pain to ANY person, repeatedly thrusting a knife into another persons flesh - let alone can we imagine doing this to somebody we know and love.

At the center of the storm is now 32-year old Jodi Arias, who took the stand in her own defense and testified for 18 days about her tumultuous relationship with ex boyfriend Travis Alexander. Having initially lied to detectives investigating the murder, giving two very different accounts of her whereabouts at the time of the killing Arias was decidedly behind the 8-ball when she took the stand. Her credibility was destroyed by her own lies and her defense team attempted to rehabilitate her as a witness and a human being. With family members and friends watching and listening, they never got the truth out of Jodi Arias, rather they heard a distorted portrayal of Travis Alexander as a controlling, self centered sexual deviant - somebody who preyed not only on Arias but on other "young and vulnerable" women.

Their case was largely built on the foundation of a few written exchanges between the pair that were written during times when the couple argued and one audio recording of Arias and Alexander that turned sexual - and began to build a battered woman's defense around their client. Those written exchanges offered the only evidence that the two had at least verbally fought with one another. There would be allegations of physical abuse against Travis Alexander, based solely on the words of Jodi Arias. Arias told the jury that during the alleged altercations, Alexander broke her finger, slapped her, body slammed her to the ground and the most serious of all allegations was that he choked her to the point of unconsciousness.  Arias told no one of the alleged abuse, she made no attempt to document the abuse via photographs or medical visits. In fact, her self-defense claims didn't come to light until she had spent nearly 2 years in jail. Did her attorneys succeed in building a case around self-defense? Will the jury believe Arias was physically abused, or will they find her testimony less than credible?

Number one - the whole notion of this murder being the result of self defense is ludicrous at face value. Based on the sheer number of wounds Travis Alexander suffered and the absolute brutality of stabbing a person so many times before slicing their throat and shooting them in the face, it seems crystal clear this was NOT self defense - this was absolute rage. To imply that the victim provoked and threatened to kill her after being shot in the head is outright unbelievable. The medical examiner has testified he would have been unable to attack or speak after being shot in the head. Arias claims the shot came first, she doesn't remember stabbing or slashing his throat. So much focus has been put on what came first, but does it really matter? If she did shoot him first, then stabbing him 29 times (including numerous stabs to his back) would seem even more heinous because he would have already been incapacitated. So if you believe Arias' account, she attacked a man who was already down and unable to attack her - that should have been the end of her efforts at self defense. Yet it wasn't. Conveniently, she claims to not remember the details beyond the gun "going off". 

The other scenario has Arias luring Alexander to the shower to pose for photos. Trapped in a confined space and unaware of what was about to happen, Arias takes several shower photos before plunging a knife deeply into his chest. The ME testified the deep stab wound wouldn't have been immediately fatal, but it was deep enough to cause major damage to a vital artery. He was likely confused and in shock, but blood evidence seems to point to him getting out of the shower, standing over the sink where he aspirated blood onto the mirror and sink below him. Did Arias continue her attack, stabbing him numerous times in the back while he stood bleeding over the sink? The defensive wounds to his hands and the blood trail leading to the bedroom and hallway show Arias likely followed him as he tried to get away from his attacker. At some point she cut his throat, causing him to lose massive amounts of blood - yet the attack continued. Prosecutor's believe Arias shot him in the head last. Does it matter? Arias seemed to have ample opportunities to escape any perceived danger during many points throughout the attack. Yet she continued to attack him. Is this self defense? Not by any stretch of the imagination.

Juries can be a crap shoot. You never know if one or more of these jurors has bought into some part of Arias' stories. Even if they do, if they follow the law they should find that this was not a case of self defense. Self defense does not allow for a person to slaughter another. Even if the defense is successful in getting manslaughter added as a lesser included charge, I don't see how a jury hearing this trial could come back with a guilty verdict on manslaughter. We have one more day of testimony to hear, as the defense has succeeded in getting Judge Stephens to allow in another expert witness for the defense. Dr. Robert Geffner is expected to take the stand tomorrow to testify on behalf of the defense. Geffner is known to be a colleague of Alyce LaViolette - the defense's "star witness" who many believe failed to convince the jury Jodi Arias was an abused woman. Geffner will be the third expert witness to testify in this case for the defense, but how much weight will jurors give to another expert? It seems to me that the jury is focused on the testimony of the defendant more than that of the experts. Has Jodi Arias managed to fool three experts and convince them she was a victim of domestic violence? Will it make any difference in the ultimate verdict?

Unfortunately there is much the jury will never know during the guilt or innocence phase of this trial. They haven't heard the interviews with Arias' mother or father. They haven't seen the 2/2/08 police report Travis Alexander filed after his tires were slashed. They are not aware that Jodi Arias bought a gun and was planning on hitting the road in the days leading up to her arrest. There is so much they don't know. Do they have enough facts and tangible evidence to convict her of murder in the first degree? I believe they do. I don't see any other possible verdict for this case. Travis Alexander was viciously murdered in his own home. He was left to decompose for 5 days before being found. It doesn't get any more heinous than that. Arias' life went on as if nothing happened, according to her parents who revealed she was just fine when she returned from Utah. Pray the jury remembers Travis was the victim and that his family receives the justice they all deserve.

The home where Travis Alexander was murdered was purchased in 2009 by a family who was unaware of the crime that took place there the year before. They reportedly believed the missing faucets, carpeting and other damage to the home was due to vandalism. The house is no longer the scene of a gruesome crime, it's now their home. Although they wished to remain anonymous during a recent media interview the home owner said "it's a very loving home" and "this home has a very sweet spirit in it". That sweet spirit must be the spirit of Travis Alexander. The new owners have long since replaced the carpeting, floorboards and repainted the rooms. They reported that people still come by the home and get out of their cars to take photos in front of the home. 

The trial resumes Wednesday, May 1 2013. 

28 comments:

  1. I didn’t know this but just read this on HLN and the defense succeeded.

    The defense wants to block Martinez from questioning bank employee Suzie Dittman about Arias’ bank account at the time of the killing. Suzie Dittman is a fraud investigator for JP Morgan Chase. The defense is also trying to stop investigator Robert Brown from testifying about some photos he recovered from Arias’ phone. Judge Sherry Stephens heard arguments Wednesday during a closed door meeting with both the defense and the prosecution about whether these witnesses should be allowed to testify. It is not clear how the judge ruled on whether the witnesses will testify.

    http://157.166.224.238/article/2013/04/24/can-arias-defense-thwart-martinezs-rebuttal

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  2. I am so hoping for a murder one conviction. Her claims of abuse are beyond ridiculous, they didn't even live in the same state for most of the time they knew each other. A lot of people will type or text words they would never say in person, maybe because Travis was not a mean person he found it easier to tell her what he really thought via text or IM.

    I hope the jury does the right thing but, like you said, you never know! Loving all your posts BTW:)

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  3. I'm curious on how we'll know when the jury has finished deliberations. I'm not much of a twitter follower. Thoughts?

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    1. I'm going to be glued to the t.v. Aaron, I'm sure HLN will have it right away along with the other big news stations. If you're not able to watch t.v. then maybe the HLN website?

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  4. To Mesa family, it’s home — not a crime scene

    Site of grisly Travis Alexander slaying too good to pass up

    http://www.azcentral.com/community/mesa/articles/20130430mesa-family-alexander-home-not-crime-scene.html?nclick_check=1

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  5. @My Forte, you pointed so many important points on your today's blog. One of the most important point you said is "He was left to decompose for 5 days before being found." If it was a self defense attack, why was that she did not say so immediately so his body can be found right away? Why is that it took her 2 years to claim self defense? Just this point alone should lead the Jury to 1st degree verdict. If the Jury are following the case fairly and squarely based on the evidences presented and her own words, actions, expressions and lying under oath during her testimony and without even considering any of the experts witnesses as a matter of fact any witnesses, they should come to 1st degree verdict easily. It is as simply as this.

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    1. Just the vision of poor Travis trying to drag himself down the hall to escape from her is heartbreaking.

      I'm sure she plotted her self defense plea for a long time. She did try to get a plea deal for murder two a couple of years ago and in the plea, she mentioned that if it's not accepted she'll be forced to expose everything about Travis. All she exposed was how evil and crazy she is.

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  6. Yesterday I was watching Dr. Drew on HLN and Chris Hughes, Travis’s friend, was on the show as a guest. You remember the defense witness Alyce LaViolette was using the email exchange that the Hughes said to stay away from Travis cause he abused women things like that? Chris refute yesterday on Dr. Drew show that the email doesn’t say like the way it was presented in the court. And he also said they were hoping, him and his wife, to be called to testify but it did not happen. Can anyone of you help me understand what’s going on here? I am not really clear why they weren’t called on the major claim the defense used to convince the Jury that Travis’s friends also believe he is an abuser?

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    1. Hi Anon -

      Read these. The 1st is a statement from Sky Hayes. The 2nd is from Hollie Medford (her husband Jacob testified last week) The 3rd is a post that Chris Hayes wrote and recently posted.

      As to why they were not used in the State's rebuttal, I wish that I knew. I believe that the defense won that round by getting the judge to rule that it was too prejudicial. Funny that, because I thought that it was too prejudicial to allow unsubstantiated lies to the basis of the entire defense case!

      1st 2 links from Chris Stark

      http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rjj74t

      http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1rjd0s4

      Nurmi Deceives Chris Hughes

      Chris Hughes post on The State vs Jodi Arias ~ Travis Alexander murder trial

      April 7, 2013 at 2:28am · ..OK, so I have been pretty quiet through this trial…so far. We have decided to not do any media until after the trial is over. We had no idea how hard that commitment would be to keep as we had underestimated the attack that would be made on Travis. But we made it, so we will keep it. That said, there are a few things I need to clear up that are floating around on the net…..

      IT (Jodi), being IT, came up with a whole new set of lies in 2010. Lies, I would imagine, she is going to try to work into this trial, as she fights for her life. I didn’t think she would attempt to do this as there is no evidence as to the validity of these claims. There are only letters conjured by IT that were thrown out of court and deemed “fraudulent.” I just figured she, and everyone on her team, had given up on these ridiculous claims until I read the posts below:

      “It also makes you wonder just how much Chris & Sky Hughes really knew about TA’s child addiction (and the physical/verbal abuse he inflicted upon Jodi in private). Remember Sky’s initial reaction to one of TA’s letters too, where she specifically referenced TA’s age of attraction?” and “(& subsequent cover-up of TA’s abuse & child porn-related issues) by Chris & Sky Hughes.”

      UNBELIEVABLE! Are people really this delusional? This info is from fake letters…too fake even for the National Enquirer to run with! That is saying something! Some of you heard me call Nurmi a liar. It was related to these claims. He had LIED to my wife. He emailed her a letter, telling her it was “100% verified to be Travis’ writing” and that there was “irrefutable evidence” backing up these claims. #1- It’s near impossible to verify something 100%. AND it is absolutely impossible to even come close if there is no original (which we later found there is not). #2- There is no, and never has been “irrefutable evidence” to back up these claims. He totally lied! Sky’s reaction to what Nurmi sent her had ZERO to do with Travis and his character, and EVERYTHING to do with Nurmi’s lies and manipulative tactics and her experiences working with sexually abused kids. The ONLY reason Sky even went there, as far as Travis was concerned, was because Nurmi told her there was “irrefutable evidence,” and to us, the only thing irrefutable would be video tapes. We had NO IDEA that it was legal for the defense attorney to lie about evidence to try to sway someone’s testimony (we had been subpoenaed to testify in a hearing the following week). Unbelievably unethical in my opinion.

      I just wanted everyone to be aware of this, because I’m guessing Jodi, being the shamelessly evil person she is, is going to make these asinine claims! Here is what we know about Jodi… and it is truly “irrefutable.” Jodi lies…and lies… and lies… it’s just what she does, and who she is. She has done it from the beginning, and we can expect more of it until this trial is over. To expect anything other than lies from Jodi would be naive at best. Travis is not, and never has been, a pedophile. And only the most despicable of human beings would accuse someone of being such, knowing they are not. There is nothing worse.
      This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged Chris Hughes, jodi arias trial, lies., Nurmi, Travis Alexander on April 7, 2013.

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    2. NancyB, just when I think I can't possibly hate Jodi anymore than I already do, it turns out I can. And what a disgusting excuse for a human being Nurmi is, to lie about something like that. I'm shocked that ALV went along with all of this.

      Hang in there Travis! Justice is coming very soon!!!

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    3. @NancyB, thank you so much for your response. I am actually going back and listening the day Chris Hughes testify that I have missed. Incredibly full of lies that was told even by the defense lawyers.

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  7. Juan Martinez filed a Motion this morning 4/30/13 asking that he be allowed to have Dr.Jill Hayes rebut the defense’s witness Dr.Geffner.
    **
    http://www.stevenpittassociates.com/associates-jill-hayes.html

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  8. Here's some more about Dr. Jill Hayes

    http://hayespsychology.com/about/

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  9. Is Dr. Geffner going to testify tomorrow?

    Here are the reviews from the school he founded:
    http://www.collegetimes.tv/alliant-international-university-san-diego/#reviews

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  10. Anon - LOL!!! He may very possibly be worse than the other 2. So, it looks like it's going to be another surreal-buttal. Down the rabbit hole most likely.

    https://twitter.com/BellaCookie/status/323968737059434496/photo/1

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    1. Awww, what a nice pic!

      I'm watching Nancy Grace and she's showing footage of Jodi answering the jury questions. One part really stood out to me, a juror asks her if, after the gunshot and the struggle on the floor, when she got away again was Travis chasing her. She said she doesn't remember so, if she's claiming not to remember anything after the gunshot and that struggle, how can she claim self defense if she's not even aware whether Travis was chasing her or not. To truly say it was self defense she'd have had to recall being chased on her way to get the knife and still feeling threatened.

      I really don't know why I'm even watching her, it sends my blood pressure up!

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    2. Oh my God, that is a very important question by the Jury saying after the gun shot and the struggle on the floor and she got away and if was still chasing her? The Jury seems very smart to me. I hope they remember this question during deliberation.

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  11. Who will get the final word on the closing statements? I am hopeful that Juan Martinez gets the last word as he is speaking for Travis who for some strange reason can't speak for himself. PLEASE tell me that neither Nurmi nor Willmott will get the final word!!

    And on another topic... Does anyone know if there is a way to get a text alert when the verdict has been reached?

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  12. Text alerts through Vinnie Politan, is what I've heard. In all the trials I have ever watched the State gives it's closing argument and then the defense and then the state has a short final word. Who knows with AZ. This is the 1st trial I've followed in Az. I just hope that Judge Stephens keeps her word and makes all the witnesses finish tomr.

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  13. When I watched Dr. Drew last night I was so troubled by what Sky said about a fight between Travis and Jodi on May 26 (I think that was the date) and that the fight and Travis threatening to expose Something Jodi had done. People who lie and lie and lie and are so evil usually will accuse others of what they have done. I cannot understand why Jodi would go out of the way to contact Darryl and borrow gas cans from him except to go there and make sure all was ok and Travis had not exposed her before going to kill him.

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    1. I watched it also Anon. In the angry texts he had sent her he had also said he would tell everyone, her family, her friends, about the things she had done. So maybe this was also something to do with that.

      I always wondered why Travis wasn't more assertive about ridding himself of Jodi but then I heard about her constant threats of suicide to him and it made sense. My son had a GF he was trying to rid himself of and she did the same thing, it tore my poor son up. He would tell me "mom, if I break up with her and she kills herself it's like I killed her"...broke my heart. I'm sure Travis was going through the same emotional torture with Jodi. She tries to look so rational and composed on the stand but there's a ton of crazy hiding behind those eyes!

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    2. What I worried about was what Travis was to expose aboutJodi. I think it had to do with Darryl's child. She was making sure Travis hadn't Told Darryl then went to kill Travis. She made up lies about Travis that were really closer to what she did. This is my theory.

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    3. Anonymous (5/1 @ 6:28AM),
      Ah yes. Threats of suicide and other emotional blackmail seem to be Jodi Arias' MO in regard to Travis. I think he really and honestly was trying to stop seeing her, but was concerned about what she may do to herself. I'll bet there is alot more to this story that we will never know....thank you for commenting!

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  14. I was at an out of town memorial service. I missed you all! Here is a good article. A lawyer's prediction of the outcome of the trial:

    http://corruptioncrimecompliance.com/2013/04/jodi-arias-trial-prediction/

    Sue

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    1. Sue,
      Welcome back, sorry you had to attend a memorial service....thanks for posting the article link. Predictions make me nervous! I've seen many predicting she will get at least 2nd degree, and many believe she will get 1st degree. Nobody is predicting acquittal, naturally. I'm just hoping Juan Martinez has proven premeditation clearly to the jury as clearly as we see it! Fingers are crossed....

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    2. Hi Sue! This is a great article. I was thrilled to see that an actual well experienced attorney confirms my serious grievances against Judge Stephens. Thanks for posting.

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    3. Thanks, My Forte....yeah, it was a touching service, but sad. I can understand why predictions make you nervous!

      NancyB, I thought what he wrote about the judge was very interesting. I have been feeling that same way for a while.....I guess a lot of us up here do.

      Glad to be back!
      Sue

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  15. I don't understand how this expert witness got to opine on whether or not Travis was incapacitated by the shot to the head when the reason the defense got to call him in the first place was just to rebut the BPD diagnosis. Also, why isn't the Judge putting some time limits on phase of the witness testimony so that both witnesses can be allowed to testify fully!

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Thank you for commenting!