Arizona prosecutor Juan Martinez began his closing arguments today to a packed court room in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Court is in their noon lunch break now. The morning began with Judge Sherry Stephens setting forth each count against the defendant and how the law applies to each. The jury instructions were extensive, I'm sure the jurors will refer back to those instructions many times during their deliberations.
Then it was time for Juan Martinez to begin. During the morning session, he began by describing Arias as a lying and manipulative woman, "she has lied to each and every one of you", he told the jury, "and she is trying to manipulate you too". That has been the theme, as Martinez mocks Jodi Arias' claims of not writing about the alleged abuse in her journals because of "The Secret" and the Law of Attraction. He is weaving the story, not necessarily going in chronological order but methodically putting together pieces of the puzzle with premeditation. Martinez has said "with the truth you don't have to remember nothing", as he pointed out where Arias lies tripped her up.
He put all of the known lies of Jodi Arias out on display, lies she told to law enforcement, family and friends, her own expert witnesses and most importantly the jury. But when he started the afternoon session, he really began to focus in on the killing and how premeditated it was. He said that the trip to Mesa was not impromptu, as she would have the jury believe. She planned to go to Arizona to kill Travis Alexander and that plan was hatched as early as May 26, 2008 following that angry text message Travis sent to her in which he called her "the worst thing that ever happened to him". There was so much said during his closing I cannot possibly cover it all - but the afternoon session in particular was outstanding ad powerful.
The court room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop as Martinez explained that when Jodi Arias arrived at Travis' house around 4:00AM on June 4, she did not knock on the door - she knew his garage door code and she let herself in. She stood in the doorway, Travis happened to be awake and on his computer. Jodi watched him for a good 35 seconds before Travis' dog Napoleon began to bark as he noticed someone was in the house. I hadn't heard that before. It was a powerful moment, and he suggested that Travis may not have been at all aware Jodi Arias was coming to Mesa despite the phone call between the two. Rather, Arias called Travis to get information on what he was doing, if he was alone and who else may have been at the home.
Wow. A silent courtroom seemed to hang on his every word as Martinez then described how he believes the killing of Travis Alexander unfolded. There was a shower photo that Martinez displayed that I had never seen before, but it's the last photo of Travis alive. You can't see his face, he is seated in that shower stall with his legs slightly bent and his arms over his knees. Martinez described how vulnerable he was, no weapons, no clothes - with Arias standing over him fully clothed and potentially with a knife on her person. It's then when the State believes Arias stabbed him in the chest. The first stab wound would have been fatal, but not immediately. Travis gets out of the shower and is standing in front of the mirror, more than likely he can see the reflection of Jodi standing behind him as she begins to stab him in the back.
Martinez describes Travis' attempts to get away from Jodi Arias. The photos of the sink were displayed, followed by the photo of the bloody hallway where Martinez believes Travis struggled to get away from his attacker before he collapsed on the floor outside of the closet. The photo of the bloody carpet was then displayed, Martinez says this is where Jodi Arias cut his throat. The attack was relentless and it took time. Calling it "a well orchestrated killing", it was not a heat of the moment type of killing - those tend to be more disorganized and this was very targeted. Travis Alexander was likely dead when Jodi Arias shot him in the head, based on the lack of blood on the bullet, Martinez said. The photo of the bloody carpet was particularly chilling, as Martinez pointed out all of the footsteps around where Travis Alexander's body would have been. Martinez focused in on everything Arias did after the killing, while she says she was in a "fog" - she didn't wash Travis' body off because she cared about him, she did it to get rid of any DNA evidence that may have implicated her. She removed her bloody socks and was careful not to track blood out of that master suite. All of these things would not have been done by someone with dissociative amnesia.
Very powerful story. I'm riveted, I can see this all happening. It makes sense with the photos and the evidence. Martinez showed Jodi's consciousness of guilt around this killing. All the planning before and after were discussed, such as how Arias took such steps to be sure she wouldn't be discovered in the state of Arizona, turning her phone off and having adequate gas to not have to stop. She arrived at Ryan Burns house and acted as if everything was normal, she talked to Leslie Udy about her children playing with Travis' children at some point in the future. Who does that when you know the person is dead?
Martinez told the jury that Jodi Arias lied about all of the abuse. "She went too far with her lies", Martinez said. He also pointed out that Jodi Arias loves the media attention she was getting. Her lies about Travis Alexander were an attempt to take away the only thing he had left, his reputation. The allegation of pedophilia was as low and as vile as she could get. "She chose a hot-button issue", Martinez told the jury.
Juan Martinez is talking about the charges for first degree murder, premeditated murder and felony murder. It seems that Jodi Arias tripped herself up here. IF the jury believes she took her grandfather's gun to Arizona, that goes to premeditation. IF the jury believes the gun she used was Travis Alexander's gun, Arias in essence stole the gun after during the commission of a felony, and that equals felony murder! Juan Martinez has pointed out how the State has more than met their burden of proof for both premeditated and felony murder counts. I've got to catch the rest of this closing argument but wanted to post this in case you can't watch it online or on TV.
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