The Jodi Arias murder trial is under way, as Jennifer Willmott continues her cross examination of prosecution expert witness Dr. Janeen DeMarte. The questions this morning began with discussion about short and long term memories and how they are effected during "fight or flight". This has been discussed in relation to Jodi Arias's alleged memory issues during the murder of Travis Alexander. The defense experts argued that Arias doesn't remember because memories were never formed. DeMarte examination of Jodi Arias found Arias didn't have "continued memory loss". They talked about what happens to the brain during fight or flight, what chemicals are released into brain etc.
The questioning became more aggressive when Willmott began asking DeMarte about the photos that were deleted from Travis Alexander's camera. DeMarte testified that Arias had continued "executive function" immediately after the killing, citing the deleting of photos and attempted clean up of the crime scene. Willmott questioned WHY DeMarte believed Jodi Arias was the person who deleted the photos on the camera. She continued to badger DeMarte about the deleted photos, and why she believed they were deleted after the murder and not before. Hmmm, let's think about this. I supposed it's possible that Travis Alexander deleted the nude photos before he was killed. But I'm absolutely certain he did not have the ability to delete the photo of himself bleeding on the floor of his bathroom. If we know Arias deleted the last few photos, it's logical to think she deleted them all knowing that she didn't want anybody to know she was ever there.
Willmott went on to discuss the fact that Jodi Arias left evidence behind at the scene of the crime, asking if this showed someone having organized thoughts. DeMarte disagreed with Willmott on the entire camera issue. Willmott asked "so leaving evidence behind at a crime scene is organized to you?" DeMarte answered "yes, because of the way in which it was done" (deleting photos and putting camera in washing machine).
They went on to discuss Dr. DeMarte's diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. As hard as Willmott tried to pick the diagnosis apart piece by piece, DeMarte held her own. They covered a lot of ground, including Jodi moving to Mesa after the pair had broken up, Jodi overstepping boundaries by reading Travis's text messages and accessing his Facebook page several times - to which Willmott asked if she was aware they had exchanged passwords. DeMarte testified that she was aware of that but the unwanted behavior continued. On Jodi joining the Mormon church, Willmott asked DeMarte if she was aware that Travis sent missionaries to Jodi's house once a week until she converted. DeMarte said she was not aware of the missionaries. Willmott quipped "so you didn't get that in your 12 hours," an obvious swipe at the amount of time DeMarte spent with Arias.
On the subject of frantic efforts to avoid abandonment, Willmott asked if DeMarte was aware that Jodi left her parents home at 17 years old, stayed with a boyfriend and always worked? DeMarte said she was aware, and further Arias told her she had a minimum of 10 different restaurant jobs. Jennifer Willmott didn't seem to believe DeMarte was correct about the number of jobs. DeMarte asked if she wanted her to reference her notes, then she pulled out a nicely tabbed and organized notebook and confirmed her statement about Jodi having so many different jobs. In addition to having a minimum of 10 restaurant jobs, Arias told DeMarte she was a receptionist at a spa and caretaker of a young boy for a few months. Willmott didn't quite know how to respond to the well-prepared DeMarte, so she moved on to suicidal ideation.
Willmott asked DeMarte to cite when Jodi threatened to kill herself before June 4, 2008 ("the traumatic event"). DeMarte said that she noted suicidal references throughout Arias's diaries and journals as early as 1995. Willmott asked "but there was no specific plan", DeMarte said that writing about it was ideation which is what this characteristic is all about. Willmott asked her if she considered a teenager's depressed writing an actual threat. They went back and forth on the issue, DeMarte stating that suicide and depression often go hand and hand but were in fact different things. She further stated that one of Jodi's childhood friends (Dana or Zana?) said Jodi talked about suicide. Willmott asked DeMarte if she interviewed Jodi's friend, she said she hadn't. Willmott to DeMarte "that didn't stop you from using that point". DeMarte answered "I was looking for a pattern". In addition Arias's parents said Arias had thoughts of suicide.
Wow, I'm exhausted from listening to today's testimony. Jennifer Willmott began this morning using a more friendly tone and I thought perhaps she was rethinking yesterday's aggressive approach but within ten minutes her tone went back to sarcastic and accusatory. Not a pretty look, Ms. Willmott. Jodi Arias has a blank stare half the time, the other half of the time she writes or draw on the pad of paper she has in front of her. You'd never know by looking at her these days that her life is on the line, she seems strangely disconnected. Could it be that she is sensing the end of the trial is nearing and she can't face the potential consequences?
They are now discussing abuse. Jennifer Willmott is asking if she looks for patterns when looking at abuse issues. Willmott would not let DeMarte answer the question if she wasn't going to say yes or no. DeMarte wanted to explain before responding, Willmott said "I'm moving on". It was a very rude statement from Willmott, very unprofessional. By now you probably know what my sentiments are on this case. If I were a completely uninterested third party, I would find Jennifer Willmott to be very rude and bordering on badgering this witness. Just outright rude. DeMarte hasn't been sniping back thus far but everyone has their limits! Willmott keeps trying to twist her words, she just now said "you wouldn't want to mislead anybody would you"? I can barely stand to listen to this, I'm not sure why Juan Martinez isn't objecting and helping DeMarte out.
Another defense ploy today has been to bring up a text message or e-mail, and if DeMarte doesn't know which one Willmott is referring to, she asks for clarification - Willmott then asks "you don't remember"? or "you DID read the text messages didn't you". When the defense experts were on the stand, they were provided with copies of whatever was being discussed so they didn't have to guess which one of the hundreds, if not thousands of text messages was being referred to. Willmott wants to make it look like DeMarte's review was somehow incomplete because she wants to be sure what they are talking about before she answers the question. It's making Willmott look petty at best. This has been the overall tone today, but DeMarte is being polite and actually thanked Willmott for allowing her to explain one of her responses after much resistance. Willmott sarcastically said "are you finished"? DeMarte said" yes, thank you for letting me explain". Kudos to DeMarte for not allowing herself to get sucked in to Willmott's constant challenges and bickering!
That's all I have time for today. What will tomorrow bring? Will Nurmi & Willmott file a motion for mistrial based on their own ineffective counsel? Will the defense demand a refund from LaViolette and Samuels and try to get DeMarte as THEIR witness? Anything is possible! Enjoy your evening.
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