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Arias Defense Team Wants Off Case

Yesterday the third and final phase of the Jodi Arias death penalty murder trial got under way with opening statements and victim impact statements in the sentencing phase.  Jodi Arias has not been silent since the reading of the guilty verdict, and it's become more apparent that her attorneys are frustrated with their lack of control over their client.  Arias, famous for giving media interviews before and after her trial seems to want to continue talking despite her attorneys advice.

The differences between Jennifer Willmott, Kirk Nurmi and Jodi Arias reached a peak last week when the defense team petitioned Judge Sherry Stephens and asked to withdraw from the case.  Apparently Arias wants to run the show, and I suppose it IS her trial - but despite what we may think of her distasteful defense, these two attorneys have gone to battle for her.  And how does she repay them?  Not an hour into her conviction of first degree murder the finger pointing began, or as I like to say the broken-finger pointing began!  By the time Jodi Arias sat down with Fox's Troy Hayden she was already proclaiming her innocence and alleging that her attorneys chose not to introduce key evidence that may have helped her at trial.

Per the Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County website's minute entry from 5/14/13, Judge Stephens ruled on several outstanding issues:

IT IS ORDERED there shall be no further media interviews with the Defendant pending further order of the court.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED the Maricopa County Sherriff's Office shall not approach the Defendant with any media requests pending further order of the court.

Discussion held regarding Defendant's Request that Victim Impact Evidence be Presented via Videotape.

IT IS ORDERED denying the Request for reasons stated on the record.

Discussion held regarding the Defendant's Motion for Discover of Victim Impact Evidence.

IT IS ORDERED denying the Motion.

Discussion is held on Counsel for the Defendant's Motion to Withdraw.

IT IS ORDERED denying the Motion

10:59 a.m. Status Conference concludes

You can read all of the court minute entries at  Although the reasons for the request to withdraw as Counsel is unknown, we do know they have tried to withdraw from this case at least twice.  So what gives, are Nurmi & Willmott just plain sick of Arias' hijinx and thirst for media coverage? What do you do with a client who refuses to listen to your advice? At this late stage of the trial, apparently there is nothing they can do.  The trial will go on, and there's nothing Arias can do to stop it. Maybe she believes if she causes enough disruption she will get a do-over?  Perhaps her defense team are just the latest victims in her trail of destruction and wreckage.

Meanwhile, Jodi Arias seemingly isn't letting a little thing like a murder conviction slow down her tweeting and self-promoting.  Just hours after the jury concluded the aggravating factors were proven by prosecutor Juan Martinez, making her eligible for the death penalty, Arias took to Twitter (through friend Donovan Bering) to announce the arrival of her "Survivor" t-shirts.  Arias tweeted a link to her website, where the t-shirts are on sale for $15.00 - a disclaimer on the site claims "a portion of the profits generated from the sales will support other survivors of domestic violence, and go to non-profit domestic violence organizations selected by Jodi". Also noted on the site "no refunds or returns are accepted". Yes, you heard it right. I think if she replaced "Survivor" with "Murderer", I might buy one myself.

In another tweet, Arias quotes Dieter F. Uchtdorf - "God's love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant and the wicked". Looks like Arias has her Book of Mormon in her cell.  When the sentencing phase continues next week, we should hear again from former boyfriend Darryl Brewer and an old friend of Jodi Arias named Patty Womack. Womack is the witness who didn't want her face to be broadcast during her testimony.  That was cited as one of the reasons the trial did not resume after the afternoon lunch break - perhaps they had technical difficulties or needed to make adjustments to accommodate the request? 

Naturally we will hear more from Jodi Arias next week as well. She is expected to tell the jury about the person she was prior to 2006 when she met Travis Alexander.  I'm not sure what the logic in that time frame is, it seems to me that the jury should be looking at the person she is now, not 7-10 years ago! They need to decide if the person before them should be given the opportunity to live and spared the death penalty.  That requires that they consider who she is now, not who she used to be! Just my opinion.

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend and talk to you next week!


  1. My Forte, I just wanted to let you know that I've had a pop up a couple of times that I'm not able to close. It tells me I have a virus and that I must click the link to "clean" my computer. Obviously, I haven't clicked it but then I'm not able to close the page so I have to completely shut my computer down to close it. It's happened about 3 times now so I just wanted to let you know!

    Anyway, I have a question that I was just pondering. ALV brought up that Travis sent Mormons to Jodi's house but, Jodi and Travis met at a PPL convention, which is a Mormon run org. So why was Jodi at the convention if she hadn't already met Travis? Who introduced her to all that? It wasn't Travis since she met him there correct?

    1. Anonymous (5/17 @ 12:06PM),
      So sorry about the annoying pop-ups. They come up on mine as well. I signed up with a company that runs ads on this blog, and I'm finding the few pennies it generates is not worth the headache and annoyance! I'm going to contact the company to see how to deal with this particular issue. Thank you and my apologies for the trouble!

    2. No worries at all My Forte, your blog is such a great read so no need to apologize at all!

  2. My Forte, this journey is almost over and I just want to say Thank you for the bottom of my heart for all the information you have provided all of us. I have read all your blogs and have cried many times, I am from a small town in Arizona and I read your blogs everyday but have only commented once. It is very sad to know that there are people like that women in this world but thank God for people like you and Travis and his family in this world. that you continue do not take a day to rest because evil people like that evil women do not take a day off. Evil does not ever take the day off so thank you to you and Travis' family for never taking the day off during this trial and being there for him everyday and reporting back to us so we can stay informed as well. Evil never takes the day off so let us all in rememorance of Travis continue to do something good from this day forward even if it is the smallest thing in life even if it is just to smile at a total stranger. Again, Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    1. Anonymous (5/17 @ 12:33PM),
      Your comments truly made my day. Thank you! I feel honored that you have read the blogs and feel they have been worthwhile. I felt compelled to start this blog because this case really got to me and I needed an outlet, and people to discuss the trial with. I was surprised at how many wonderful people there are who contribute with their thoughts, share their insights and personal experiences. I hope to continue with this blog on other trials of interest. I feel like I know some of the people who regularly comment! Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts in our forum. I'm hoping that Travis Alexander is at peace, and that someday his family will be able to share holidays again in time. Such a tragic story, he touched so many of us! Enjoy your weekend and thank you for brightening my day!

    2. Oh please do continue blogging on upcoming trials My Forte. Your blog has become a daily read for me and your insight is so well written.

      Travis has touched millions of people. I thought his brother did an amazing job yesterday, so eloquent and touching. It gave a little window into the type of charisma Travis had.

    3. Anon (5/17 @ 4:23PM),
      I agree. Although both Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias are BOTH strangers to most of the people watching this trial, it's overwhelmingly clear which person had the potential to make an impact on the world in a positive way. I think the pain & anger has been on Steven's face every single day, you can tell he is tormented by what happened to his brother. It had to have taken so much strength and courage to stand before the jury and the world and speak about his brother. He showed great restraint, in that he made references to not wanting to see his brother's murderer anymore - which was about as much as he could say to the jury about his choice of punishment for Jodi Arias!

  3. More Important than

    1. Don't know why I took the 90 minutes to watch it, but deplorable and immoral are two words to describe this sickening tragedy perpetrated upon the Gulf Coast by BP. The people who inhabit that area and their environment will never be the same, and yet our government allows BP to continue to make massive profits. I will never stop at one of their gas stations again in my life and will forward this YouTube video to my friends. Talk about destruction!

  4. I've come to your blog late into the trial, but I have to admit, it is a well-written column with a very thoughtful voice. Congrats.


    Ps. During the Casey Anthony trial I read another well-written crime blog called "My Hinky Meter." They closed shop after the verdict.

  5. Court docs for Donavan M Bering DOB 10/24/1962, who is found to be a convicted felon, paying back restitution in the amount of $190.734.59 payable at $100 a month, was sitting everyday in court for the AZ vs Jodi Arias trial and that is against her probation rules. Karen said "yes it is". Said to me Donavan is in the notes of her probation officer who knows this, and Donavan was NOT in court yesterday, as I thought due to enraging her probation officer to do that. Donavan also asked her probation officer for a "travel voucher", and she was denied that request to travel. I have her probation officer's name and cell phone, and I will keep her updated to the ways of which Donavan, is not keeping herself within the rules and confines of her probation. BTW.....Donvavan is now going to go before the court for the Arias trial watching in the gallery, and the phone calls to a convicted felon aka Jodi Arias to get what she wants to tweet for Jodi a convicted felon Donavan cannot be in contact with that violates her 5 yr probation.
    Info found at: stark3923

    1. Anon (5/18 @ 6:23AM),
      Wow, great information. Thank you for posting it here. Looks like the differences between being "the accused" and "the convicted" are beginning to show in Jodi Arias' life. Glad that someone is holding Bering accountable since she chose to be so public in her association w/Arias!

    2. Donovan definitely WAS in court on Thursday though. She was sitting right smack next to Jodi's mom, wearing a really bright green polo shirt. I don't know how they can deny when she can be seen on camera, plain as day. Looks like her probation officer isn't doing their job. She's also been seen passing a notebook back and forth with Jodi's mom. And how would Jodi have put that tweet out AFTER conviction, there's communication there somehow.

    3. Check her out, she's right there...impossible to miss!

  6. Great write-up as usual My Forte.


  7. Love all the information in your blog and thanks for the link to the court's minutes very helpful. I have heard of a possible theory of why the lawyers may have asked to be relieved of their duties as her counsel, Is it possible that they could be setting up grounds for yet another avenue is appeals sitting ineffective counsel? I know there are so many appellate laws that are in place for defendants and this does look as though it could be used as a possible basis for an appeal. Just wanted to know if you think Nurmi and Willmont could be that desperate to save her life. Just wanted another's opinion on the thought. Have a great day and keep up the great blog work, we really appreciate it.

  8. I remember recently reading in a comments section on a Jodi Arias article (unfortunately I don't remember the site) but the commenter brought up a possibilty...
    The "Survivor" t-shirts that Jodi is selling... she says that part of the proceeds go towards a domestic violence organization...
    The commenter wondered wether the domestic violence organization might belong to Ms Laviolette's?
    I don't know but the possiblity was an interesting twist!

    1. It is AVL's shelter, it's located in Long Beach CA. This is from her website:

      Alyce LaViolette has worked with battered women since 1978, first as an advocate at WomenShelter in Long Beach and then in private practice.

    2. OMG wow...
      I hope MyForte reads this.
      Could this be evidence of a conflict of interest-
      ie 'I'll testify positively for you if you use your noteriety to help raise funds for my organization.'
      Just WOW.


  9. Arias sister wearing Survivor T shirt.

  10. Nurmi's motion that he presented today.


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