Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jodi Arias Convinced Travis Alexander to Take Shower Photos

This morning, prosecutor Juan Martinez began to question murder defendant Jodi Arias about the now infamous shower photos taken on June 4, 2008 of Travis Alexander just minutes before he was killed.  Martinez asked Arias if it was her idea to take those photos or if it was Travis's idea.  Arias had previously testified that Alexander had been dieting and exercising a lot in the months before his death - in anticipation of the upcoming trip to Cancun. She said he was very proud of the progress he made exercising and alluded that the photo session was his idea and that he wanted the photos to be taken with his new digital photo.

This morning we heard something a little different, and it may end up being quite significant in this case. Today, Juan Martinez played for the jury another part of the 7/15/08 interview between Arias and Detective Esteban Flores where the shower photos were discussed. Arias told him that it took "a lot of convincing" to take photos of him in the shower. She elaborated by saying that while Travis was upstairs shaving, they discussed taking photos and she eventually got him to agree, even though he said he would "feel gay" - those are her words only. There are a few problems with her inconsistencies.  

If Jodi Arias is indeed the one who talked him into letting her take photos of him while he was (helpless) in the shower, could that be seen as her luring him into a very vulnerable position? An enclosed shower stall, where it would have been easy for a blitz-style attack to occur? Martinez hammered away at her about who was directing the photo shoot (it was her), telling him when to sit for photos and when to stand. In the last photo of Travis taken while he was alive, he appears to be in a seated position in the shower - how much more vulnerable could he have been at that point? Martinez & Arias sparred again through much of the testimony - she said she didn't understand many of the questions he was asking and claimed it was because Martinez was "jumping around a lot".

Another inconsistency was discovered when Martinez again referred to the 7/16/08 interrogation tape with Detective Flores. In the tape, Arias claimed that while Travis was shaving on 6/4/08 they were discussing taking the shower photos and Jodi Arias said it "took a lot of convincing" for him to allow her to take the photos of him. The key point here is while he was shaving.
Why is this important?  Because her earlier testimony during cross, in which she described being tied up with the rope, she said that Travis was performing oral sex on her, but she stopped him because he hadn't shaved and it was scratchy and uncomfortable for her. Today they have gone back and forth over little things, with Arias becoming defiant and not wanting to answer Martinez's questions outright, but rather wanting to give prolonged complex answers when "yes" or "no" answers are expected and demanded.

This brings into question whether or not there ever really was any rope in that room - and if there's no rope, there's no knife! Her story is just falling apart. You can tell she needs more time to think about her answers now, because she takes a long time to answer, isn't answering as confidently and definitively as she had been - and she keeps asking for the question to be restated to give herself more time to think before she responds. It shows. That's what happens when you are not being completely honest. When a person is telling the absolute truth, the answers flow - there's no need to think prior to answering. She needs time to think about what she previously said and you can tell she thinks very carefully before answering. At times she simply says "I don't recall", or "I don't know". Problem is, she's now said so much that Martinez often times pulls out records to refresh her memory on what she said - she continues to change little details in her story.

They argued over who deleted the photos on the camera. Martinez kept asking her if she deleted the "sex photos" or any other photo on that camera prior to the shower photos were taken. She would not answer either way. She testified that she believed Travis was the one who deleted the "sex photos", but when Martinez said "so you hadn't deleted any photo from Mr. Alexander's camera prior to taking the photos of him in the shower". She seemed to sense this could be a dangerous question to answer, so she argued that she may have - or she may not have. She again referred to her memory gaps during this period of time.  Ah huh!

Martinez began displaying the deleted/recovered photos from 6/4/08. They discussed where Jodi was standing when she took them. "How far away from Travis were you when this photo was taken", he asked. I don't know, maybe 2 feet? Arias replied. "And isn't it true that you were directing Mr. Alexander during this photo shoot and telling him where to stand and how to pose?". "It was both of us", Arias answered. 

Martinez then displayed a diagram of the bathroom and the bedroom area in court. He asked her to point out where she was standing or kneeling when she was taking the photos. She gave an approximate area of where she may have been. Martinez displayed the "inadvertent" photo taken of the ceiling - that's the photo that shows the recessed lighting on the ceiling - it's very blurred and out of focus. He moves on to the last photo taken of Travis alive - it's the photo where he appears to be sitting down in the shower and is looking directly into the camera, water dripping down his face. Martinez asks "was Mr. Alexander still seated when this photo was taken?" "Yes", said Arias.  

"What happened next", Martinez asked. Arias claimed that she dropped the camera, and it bounced twice before coming to rest on the floor mat near the bathtub. Martinez asked what happened next. Arias said that Travis snapped, stood up and stepped out of the shower - and called her a fuc*ing idiot. She said he had a mean look on his face, and he picked her up and "body slammed" her onto the tile floor (she likes to use the body slamming descriptor a lot). She said that knocked the wind out of her and her head hit the ground. Martinez asked where he was standing when this happened. She had first said that Travis stepped out of the shower, then body slammed her - but then she changed her story slightly and said he may have had one foot still in the shower when this happened. Martinez challenged her on that, wondering how he would be able to do it.

At this point, Arias claims she was on the floor and Travis was standing over her. She then rolled over and away, and got up and ran down the hallway and into the closet. Martinez asked her how a man in such great physical shape would not have been able to catch her before she got to the closet? She didn't recall - in fact, he got her to admit that she didn't know for sure that he was even chasing her because she didn't look back. She perceived that he was chasing her. Perception ha? Wondering if the use of that word is a coincidence having to do with the self defense laws...


Juan Martinez recapped what Arias said - "so you were fully clothed and he was naked. This is someone in good physical shape, a wrestler, you take off down the hallway and go in the direction to the right and he wasn't able to catch you?" Arias replied "I didn't look behind me". Martinez said "does this mean he wasn't even chasing you?". Arias:  "I don't know".  Martinez then displays the photo of Travis's lifeless body in the shower. Arias begins sobbing. Martinez to Arias:  "were you crying when you stabbed him?  Were you crying when you shot him?".  Arias:  "I don't know", sobbing.  

Judge: "We are going to take the lunch break now"......

Jodi Arias was saved by the bell, so to speak.  After the jurors were excused, attorney Kirk Nurmi went to Jodi Arias, who was still crying and appeared to be trying to calm or comfort her. I haven't seen this much with the defense team, unlike Casey Anthony's attorneys who could be seen with their arm around her when she was crying during her trial.  I could be mistaken, but I could swear I saw Kirk Nurmi throw a nasty look at Juan Martinez before they cut to the Great Seal of the State of Arizona!

We are at that point folks....trying to get to the truth of the details surrounding this slaughter. I don't know how much of the truth will come from anything Jodi Arias testifies to, but I'm hoping Juan Martinez can put it all together and do what he needs to do to get some justice for Travis Alexander and his family and friends. They deserve it.  Update to follow.

Juan Martinez Closes in on June 4, 2008

Arizona state prosecutor Juan Martinez is closing in on the events surrounding Jodi Arias's fatal road trip that began in Redding, CA and ended in the Mesa murder of Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008.  Arias has been on the stand for weeks, and had no problem recalling events in her life from 10 years ago or more as her attorney Kirk Nurmi walked the jury through much of Arias's life and loves.

Her memory has faltered during the cross examination, with her answering "I don't know", "I don't remember", "I don't recall" and "I don't understand the question" more times than I could count. Yesterday, Martinez focused on the events leading up to the murder - the rental car, the borrowed gas cans, the license plate, the rope and the weapons used to facilitate this murder.  

The rental car:  Instead of renting a car near her home in Yreka, Arias drove 90 miles to Redding to rent a car.  The rental car agent recalled Arias refused the first car he gave her, which was red. He testified Arias told him she wanted a car that didn't stand out so much. Arias testified that she didn't want a red car because drivers of red cars tend to get pulled over more and get ticketed more frequently. Where did she pull that statistic out of, there in the rental car agency?? She claims she received a better deal renting the car out of Redding, and she wanted to save money.

The gas cans: Jodi Arias stopped to visit former boyfriend Darryl Brewer before proceeding to Mesa. She borrowed two 5 gallon gas cans from Brewer. She testified that she borrowed the gas cans because she didn't want to run out of gas in the Nevada desert.  She also claimed that she wanted to save money by purchasing gas in another state, because gas in California was so expensive. Receipts seized from Arias showed that she filled up the tank of her rental car and the two 5 gallon gas cans in Pasadena.  Did she bring the gas cans to avoid having to stop for gas in Arizona, or did she have a more sinister plan?

The license plate: Juan Martinez reviewed Arias's testimony around the license plate of her rental car. She testified that she believed the plates had been tampered with by a group of kids who were skateboarding in a Starbucks parking lot - saying that when she came out of the store, they rode off "snickering and laughing". She claims that when she was pulling out of the parking space, she noticed "a flash" of something on the ground and got out to look - she claims there was a license plate "with bugs all over it" on the ground so she picked it up and threw it in the car.

The rope: Jodi Arias testified that on June 4, 2008 Travis Alexander used a rope to tie her hands together and around his sleigh bed. This is important for her, because this event is what she claims put a knife in the vicinity of the crime scene. She stated that they had a long piece of rope, and Travis took one end and she held the other while he stretched it out to measure a length they believed would suit their purposes. She claims he cut the rope with a knife, while he was either in the bathroom or the bedroom. She couldn't say with certainty which it was.  

Juan Martinez displayed many of the recovered photos Arias and Alexander had taken during their sexual encounters that day, and there were clear pictures of that bed and the bedroom area - but no rope was visible in any of the photos. Martinez pointed out that Travis Alexander had a sleigh bed - not really a style of headboard that could facilitate this type of activity. The rope would've had to have been wrapped around the length of the headboard, and since Arias testified that she slipped her hands out of the rope when it became uncomfortable, he pointed out that gravity would've caused the rope to fall to the ground. Where was the rope? Not in any crime scene photos or in any of the personal photos recovered by the police. Arias claims she took the rope from the home, along with the gun. She says she has no memory of the knife or of stabbing Travis, but she seems to recall putting a knife in the dishwasher. She clarified that she didn't know if that memory was from June 4 or another time she put a knife in his dishwasher. Apparently she has put one of Travis Alexander's knives in the dishwasher more than one time!

The weapons - the gun: Juan Martinez asked Jodi Arias if she brought a gun with her to Mesa Arizona. She replied "absolutely not!". She had no problem remembering this aspect of her trip.  Martinez played one of the earliest recorded conversations between Detective Esteban Flores and Jodi Arias for the jury. Within days of the discovery of Travis's body, Jodi Arias initiated a call to Detective Flores. She left him a message, and when he called her back he recorded the call. Arias admitted on the stand that the purpose of her call was to try and determine what knowledge the police had of her and a potential connection to the crime. She admitted that she tried to divert suspicion away from herself. There was a crucial point in the recording where Detective Flores asked Jodi Arias about weapons. He said "did Travis have any weapons in his home"...Arias said "only his fists". He asked if Travis owned or had any guns in his home, Arias said "no, he didn't own or keep any guns".

At that early point in the investigation, Jodi Arias would have no way of knowing that this would be such an important piece of information. Martinez challenged her, "that was the truth - he didn't have a gun".  Arias disagreed. I'm not sure how the defense will argue this point - why would Jodi Arias lie to Detective Flores about Travis keeping a gun at his home? There is no logical reason for her to lie. If he had a gun, why would she say he did not?  Martinez did a good job of insinuating that Arias was telling the truth then, because she had not yet came up with her defense, which turned out to be self defense. Arias wouldn't have even known how important this point would be, that it would be an "aggravating factor" that could get her a death sentence. This is the only thing that makes any sense. There is no logical reply the defense could give to why she would say he didn't have a gun if he did. They are stuck on this one!

I was thinking back on how surprised I was when the State rested their case (in chief) several weeks ago - I thought they could have presented a lot more evidence, but now I see exactly why they rested when they did. The cross examination has been much more effective after having seen Jodi Arias's responses and testimony under direct examination by her attorney. She really had to testify in a self defense case, but did her attorneys do her any favors by letting her talk so much for so many days? They gave the prosecution another mountain of testimony and lies to tear apart.

On "self defense": If the jury compares the injuries to Travis Alexander's body to the description of the injuries Arias had upon arriving to Ryan Burn's house in Utah, they are not even in the same category. We don't have photos of injuries Arias may have sustained during the struggle, but we do know that they weren't severe enough to require more than band aids to cover them.  The autopsy and crime scene photos of Travis Alexander are truly horrific.  In order to have inflicted these injuries to him and have it be considered justified, Arias should have had many more - and more serious injuries! I just don't believe it's possible to claim self defense when the victim's injuries are this severe and include several deep stab wounds to his back. The heartbreaking and graphic crime scene photos are out there and the jury will have access to them. The medical examiners autopsy report show where the injuries to Travis were:
(from In Session)









(from In Session)

If we do a quick summary at this point in the trial, I feel that Juan Martinez has been able to refute just about every abuse claim where an actual date was provided by Arias, he has shown that this clearly was a consensual relationship and in fact Arias was just as aggressive, if not more than Travis Alexander was. Arias has a pattern of looking at the personal, non public text messages and e-mails of her boyfriends when she suspects they are cheating on her. Arias was no stranger to kinky sex.  Arias doesn't appear to have participated in these "antics" (as she called them) simply to please Travis - she claims they made her uncomfortable and made her feel like "a prostitute" or a "piece of used toilet paper". That phone-sex call in May 2008 was more than likely recorded by Arias without the knowledge or consent of Travis Alexander. Although Arias has claimed she wanted to move on with her personal life and remain friends with Travis, it seems clear she was not ready to let him go.

I really and truly believe it was the thought of Travis Alexander spending time in Cancun with Marie "Mimi" Hall that she couldn't bear. She apparently was not aware at that time that Mimi Hall was not romantically interested in Travis but agreed to go on this trip as his friend.  Arias has talked about how persuasive and charming he was - can you imagine what must have been going through her head, thinking about the two of them in Cancun together? Whether or not Arias knew that Mimi Hall was only interested in Travis as a friend, she DID know that Travis was interested in becoming more than friends with Hall.  She wrote about the two of them going hiking (or rock climbing) in her journal - she even knew it was their third date.  This is the same day she "accidentally fell asleep" outside of his bedroom, and she was actually still there when he returned from this date. He told her it went well. Do you believe her when she says it didn't bother her that Travis hadn't asked her to go to Cancun with him??

Travis Alexander had a lot to live for. He had travel plans, upcoming trips, a successful career, many friends, a beautiful home - and Jodi Arias was back in Yreka, working in a restaurant and living with her grandparents. This wasn't where she wanted to be. 

If Jodi Arias was so afraid of Travis Alexander, based on the previous allegations of violence against her (body slamming her, kicking her in the ribs, slapping her in the neck/face, breaking her finger) why did she fear for her life this time and not then? Why was this incident where he lunged at her different than the other times? Why did she fear for her life on June 4, 2008 after dropping his digital camera? Why didn't she believe he was going to kill her after he body slammed her and kicked her in the ribs as she alleges he did to her previously? Sounds to me like the June 4, 2008 incident was less of a threat than being body slammed to the ground, then kicked in the ribs while defenseless on the ground.

Why? Because she wasn't afraid of him killing her. I don't believe he ever physically harmed her - no body slamming, no rib kicking, no breaking her finger.  I believe the only thing Jodi Arias was afraid of on June 4, 2008 was losing Travis Alexander - possibly to another woman. That is what motivated her to stab and shoot an unarmed, naked and defenseless man while he showered. In his own home. 

What do you think?  I love to read your comments and hear your theories about this case.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Arias's Words Continue to Haunt Her

The prosecutor pulled out more of the sexually charged text messages between murder defendant Jodi Arias and victim Travis Alexander, showing a much different portrayal of her role in their sexual exploits. During her direct examination, she testified about feeling like a prostitute during these encounters.

I've never heard such graphic testimony in a courtroom, it has to be making even veteran attorneys blush. Very telling. If you recall, Arias described earlier events in which she fell asleep fully clothed with Travis Alexander, and was awakened to Travis initiated sexual contact with her. Her attorney stopped short of calling it rape, but the implication was clear.  Martinez produced a text message conversation between the pair from 2/25/08 that said:

JA: "if your a lucky boy & you promise to give me a well deserved spanking then maybe you can give my ass a good pounding".

After Alexander sent Arias a photo of his private parts, Arias sent him a text that said: 

JA: O my Gosh, this is so hot. I want to lick it up and then sit on it...it's so tasty".
TA: I'm glad you like it.
JA:  I want to fu*k you like a dirty horny little school girl"

Wow, this is explosive stuff. Didn't Arias's attorneys anticipate these messages would come out? What this shows is that only one side of these events was being told, and in a very different way than Arias and Alexander's own written words tell.

Earlier this morning was more of the same, with Martinez playing clips from Arias's 48 Hours interview in which she describes that trip they took to Ehrenberg that she described as "unromantic" during direct. In the 48 Hours interview, she described how generous Alexander was to total strangers. She said they were driving and saw what appeared to be a homeless woman, and Travis rolled down the window and asked if she was hungry. The woman said she was, so he turned the car around and went to a Wendy's and bought her a triple decker burger and brought it back to this woman he didn't know.

They have discussed and listened to parts of the now infamous "phone sex" tape, and Martinez challenges her that Travis Alexander never knew the call was being recorded. She insisted that he knew, even though it was never mentioned during that call. Martinez is trying to point out that much of Travis Alexander's sexual experience came during his time with Jodi Arias. She denies this. Martinez played parts of the tape, in which Travis tells Jodi "before I met you, I never ja_ked off, since you left I do 2-3 times a day". Arias discounted that claim, telling the jury she believed that wasn't accurate. Martinez played it back again, his words were clear "before I met you, I never ja_ked off"....

The 48 Hours Mystery interview was again played, where Arias first introduces the two armed intruders killed Travis story. She is very detailed, she claims her life was threatened and she was warned that if she told anybody her family would be killed, and she would be killed. The story is ludicrous.  Martinez brings up the point that nowhere during that interview does Arias seem to have any type of memory loss or memory issues. He points out that she gave a slightly different version of that story where she is again talking to 48 Hours Mystery, and she said she and Travis were looking at photos they had taken and she was suddenly hit over the head with something. She claimed to have been unconcious and Travis being down on "all fours" with a woman standing over him. She claims she charged this woman and tackled her, then grabbed Travis and tried to pull him to safety. In detail, she describes getting him halfway down the hall before the female intruder came back after them. She gave a very very detailed description of what she claimed happened, but in this version she rushed the woman and tried to help Travis Alexander.  Oh brother.

Even if you are against the death penalty, after looking at the crime scene photos of Travis Alexander and the injuries she inflicted on him, you'd have to question whether the death penalty is enough punishment for this crime. I keep picturing Jodi Arias, laughing with Ryan Burns and kissing him - with injuries so minor they only required band-aids, and comparing them to the photos I viewed again this morning taken of Travis Alexander's wounds. The damage to his body was something I can't even describe. There is a slideshow on Huffington Post which has 161 crime scene photos, including close ups of the neck wound, head wounds and the way the body looked when it was found. It was much worse than I imagined. He had a large, deep cut to the back of his neck or the very top of his shoulders. He had deep cuts all over his fingers, hands and his palms - clearly, these were defensive wounds.

I understand the death penalty doesn't bring a person back and some studies suggest it doesn't deter crime. But there are some crimes so heinous that the they scream out for the ultimate punishment. This is one of those crimes.

Juan Martinez seems to be getting to the events around the fatal roadtrip now.  I'll update this page later!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Juan Martinez vs. Jodi Arias - The Battle Continues

The sparring between 32 year old murder defendant Jodi Arias and Arizona State Prosecutor Juan Martinez continued for the third full day today as Martinez chipped away at Arias's memory issues and her truthfulness to law enforcement, family, friends and even Travis Alexander. Today's testimony has gone fairly uninterrupted with not as many sidebars and the reviewing of documents as we've seen the past 2 days.

Martinez bounced around a bit, but he wasn't hard to follow. He went back in time to one of Arias's earliest relationships with "Bobby", someone she talked about a lot during direct. That relationship ended after Arias found out he had or was cheating on her. Martinez focused on the fact that even at that point in her life, Arias was reading Bobby's e-mail without his permission and that's how she found out about the infidelity. The point:  this wasn't new behavior when she began looking through Travis Alexander's text messages or reading the e-mails in his MySpace page. Arias actually has a pattern of this type of distrustful behavior. This was another important point.

Martinez again questioned Arias about her problems remembering things that may hurt her case and having a great recall for things that could help her. Arias responded by saying that Martinez's tone and "posture" was effecting her and "making her brain scramble". That's the second time she's used that phrase about the prosecutor. Martinez pressed on despite the verbal sparring. He played clips from the 48 Hours Mystery interview Arias gave back in 2008, where Arias said of Travis Alexander "he was a bright light, he brightened the room when he entered it, the laughter got louder...".  In the interview, she tells the interviewer how generous Travis was to her, and how she would have no motive to harm him. She said Travis was generous, opened up his home to her and others, and even opened his refrigerator to her when she couldn't afford food.

Juan Martinez pointed out that Jodi Arias has given two distinctly different portrayals of Travis Alexander. She replied that "Travis flourished on compliments", implying that was the reason she wrote such flattering text messages to him. She really has no way to explain these text messages and journal entries, since none of them are argumentative, discuss any fighting or arguing and certainly don't discuss any alleged problem Travis had with inappropriate attractions to young boys or girls! 

Martinez discussed how their sexual relationship was completely mutual and consensual, despite Arias stating on direct examination that she felt "like a piece of used toilet paper", or "I kinda felt like a prostitute". He entered a text message into evidence from Jodi Arias to Travis Alexander from 1/8/08 that said: "I want to give you a bj and you give me a generous facial in return".  Wow, this seems to really contradict how Arias portrayed these acts and the effect they had on her during direct examination - many times she testified that Travis's aggressive sexual behavior made her uncomfortable and she complied to please him.  Martinez really did a great job using Jodi Arias's own words to contradict many things she said previously!  This shows she was not quite as innocent as she would have us believe and paints a completely different portrait of her participation in these acts.

Earlier today Martinez entered into evidence a message Arias wrote to Travis on something that was put together for his memorial service in Mesa. I thought they said it was photo, with a letter or message from Jodi to Travis but I'm not positive. The message to Travis included "Travis, you are beautiful inside and out" - Juan Martinez asked her "so you think somebody who masturbates to photos of young boys is beautiful on the inside and out"? Arias replied "no, that part of him was sickening". The letter goes on to say "you always told me that I never stopped believing in you, and you never stopped believing in me. Thank you for sharing so much with me and thank you for all of your generosity".

I think the general consensus is "how could you show up to a memorial service for a person you killed"?  Arias insists that she was there because she and Travis had discussed giving eulogies for each other. I doubt this is what Travis Alexander had in mind - having his killer sitting among his family and friends. I believe Jodi Arias was more concerned how it would look (to law enforcement) if she wasn't at the memorial service. They would figure she had a guilty conscious. Arias actually spoke to Marie "Mimi" Hall at that memorial service, and Arias claims that she didn't know for sure that Hall was supposed to go to Cancun with Alexander until that day. Until then, she claims to have believed Travis was taking the "babysitter" of one of his friends. She also testified today that it didn't bother her that Travis wasn't taking her, nor had he asked her to go. That was never the plan.

They are taking the afternoon break now, but again - another good day for the prosecution.  Martinez continues to break down some of the tales Arias told during her direct examination where she portrayed herself as someone who couldn't say no to Travis Alexander, who submitted to his deviant sexual desires and never told a soul because she didn't want to hurt Travis's reputation - even at her own expense.  Nothing has been presented, aside from Arias's word that comes close to showing prior abuse at the hands of Travis Alexander. I do realize that victims of domestic violence often times don't report the abuse to law enforcement out of fear - but they usually tell somebody. A friend, a hotline - a Bishop? Certainly they would be free to write about it in their journal or diary. She didn't. Rather, on the dates she claims these events occurred, her journal entries and text messages show just the opposite. No confrontation or talk of confrontation, no apologies from either side - just regular conversation between two people. 

I'd be concerned if I were Jennifer Willmott and Kirk Nurmi. You can see how much Nurmi dislikes Juan Martinez by the way he looks at him. Update to follow after court concludes for the day!  Stay tuned......

**UPDATE**
Court was recessed early today - testimony will resume tomorrow morning. After the jury was excused, defense attorney Kirk Nurmi told the judge that the Sheriff's office had not been providing Jodi Arias with a lunch and asked that they make arrangements to be sure she had food provided to her. He also asked that the court day end as scheduled at 4:30PM (I thought it did....), apparently Ms. Arias suffers from migraine headaches, and I'm not sure if that's the reason for the early day today.  My questions would then be:

1) Is today the first day Jodi Arias didn't have lunch provided to her? She's been in court since January 2.  If this was an issue, why didn't they address it at the very beginning?

2) If Jennifer Willmott & Kirk Nurmi were aware Arias wasn't being provided a lunch during this trial, wouldn't they have simply bought her a sandwich or lunch? I'm assuming they both have lunch each day.....

3) Will the "food factor" become a motion for mistrial? The defense has tried several other tactics to delay or throw out this case - and to have the death penalty taken off the table. Is a lack of food effecting Jodi Arias's memory, or her ability to tell the truth??


Odd, but that's par for the course for this trial!  See you tomorrow....enjoy your evening!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Jodi Arias Hammered on Cross Examination

Arizona prosecutor Juan Martinez came out swinging this morning during his second day of cross examination of murder defendant Jodi Arias.  The theme of this morning's questioning was the many lies Arias told to many people in the days, weeks and months following the killing of ex boyfriend Travis Alexander.

Arias is experiencing something she didn't face during direct examination - she is being asked direct questions, and Martinez is not allowing her to back away from answering. He essentially is showing that Arias's claims that she lied to the police during 7/15 and 7/16 interrogations was not because she lacked experience with law enforcement, as she claimed during direct - or because she was ashamed of what she had done. He attempted to show, with some success, that Arias lied when her lies benefited her and a possible murder case against her.

He highlighted the many lies she told to Ryan Burns, Leslie Udy, and even a  Bishop following the killing. When his body was discovered, she received a call from Alexander's close friend Daniel Friedman who informed her of Travis's death. Martinez pointed out that she didn't tell Friedman she was responsible. She called her Bishop at 3:00AM on June 10, 2008 - Martinez alleges that she called the Bishop to find out what he knew about the case. He got her to admit that was part of the reason she called. He discussed how Arias sent Travis Alexander's grandmother a bouquet of 20 iris's, with a sympathy card on June 13, 2008 - expressing her sorrow about the loss of Travis Alexander.

He is methodically showing this jury that Arias didn't lie to protect Travis Alexander's reputation, his secrets - but rather to protect her own interest and avoid being arrested. They are taking the lunch recess now, but will update this page later!  Arias appeared fairly shaken as they called the lunch break. She looks frustrated at not being able to get away with "I don't recall", "I don't know" and "I guess so".  

Arias has stated several times that she was suicidal - Martinez replied "yes, you've said that 3 or 4 times now". He went on to recount her attempt at suicide in the Yreka jail, where she used a razor and cut her wrist, but it stung and she decided she couldn't go through with it because it hurt. In my favorite moment on the mornings proceedings, Martinez says "can you imagine how painful it was for Travis Alexander when you stabbed him in the chest with that knife"?

Martinez is making her answer definitely, and over her attorneys objections the judge is pretty much making her answer as well.  Martinez is doing a pretty good job staying on topic.

After the lunch break, Juan Martinez pulled out some additional journal entries of Jodi Arias's - in particular an entry from a date in which Arias testified Travis Alexander backhanded her while they were driving in the car.  She testified in detail how he became angry after she told him she was moving back to Yreka.  Her journal entry (naturally) says nothing about being hit, backhanded or even a fight happening between the two. I guess that doesn't mean it didn't happen, but the entry describes a nice evening including the drive. Arias does state in the journal that she told him she planned to move back to Yreka, she writes that although this will be hard and she can't imagine her life without him in it that it's for the best. She wrote "he is my best friend in the world...I love him". Her journal describes him dropping her off, and her leaning in to kiss him on the cheek and they ended up kissing "tenderly" on the lips three times....Martinez drove the point home that Arias failed to write anything about being backhanded, nor did she seek medical attention or call police. And further, despite being hit - she leans in for a "tender kiss", she writes that she loves him and he's her best friend?

Also in the journal entry...interestingly enough, Arias wrote about Travis going rock climbing or hiking with Mimi Hall! She wrote that it was their 3rd date and Travis told her it went well!  Arias actually fell asleep at Travis's house the day he had that date with Hall, and was still there when he got home. What this shows me is that she DID know Travis was interested in Mimi Hall, she knew how many dates they had (this entry was in March, 2008) and she had to be jealous.  Is it a stretch to believe Arias found out, or already knew he was taking Mimi Hall to Cancun and couldn't handle it? I don't buy her story that she believed Travis was taking his friends babysitter, was a way of paying back a debt he owed to his friend. That makes no sense. I think she was jealous, and we all know how ugly jealousy can get.

The cross continues.....

Sex, Lies, Religion and Secret Messages - The Jodi Arias Murder Trial

Murder defendant Jodi Arias will return to the witness stand today for the second full day of cross examination by Arizona Prosecutor Juan Martinez. The June 4, 2008 murder of Travis Alexander was one of the most brutal crimes committed by a woman in recent memory, and the trial has had all the hallmarks to make it a made-for-TV movie - and then some.  Travis Alexander was raised as a Mormon, and carried those beliefs into his adult life - although it's become clear he struggled with the vow of chastity after meeting Jodi Arias, the woman who would ultimately take his life.

Arias spent several weeks on the stand during direct examination by her own attorneys - during which she alleged ex boyfriend Alexander was a sexual deviant with a bad temper. She described violence that escalated after she walked in on him "pleasuring himself" to the picture of a young boy! She claims this knowing this secret put her in danger.  The prosecutor poked several holes in Arias's detailed account of these two encounters.  Arias gave specific dates for these alleged incidents, claiming she walked in on Alexander on January 21, 2008, and she testified Alexander broke her left ring finger the following day, January 22, 2008 following an argument in which he "body slammed" her, kicked her in the ribs and ultimately broke the finger when he kicked her hand.

Juan Martinez entered pages from Jodi Arias's personal journal/diary into evidence last Thursday. He had her read from the 1/21/08 and 1/24/08 entries. She wrote nothing in between those dates, but on 1/24/08 she wrote "I haven't written because nothing noteworthy to report".  The journal entries, along with copies of cell phone records and text messages between the pair seem to completely discount her testimony about these incidents. It seems apparent these things never happened. She never talked about them to a single soul, she didn't write about them in her own personal journal - she never sought medical attention for the broken finger. She claims she didn't want to get Travis in trouble for domestic violence, and that's why she didn't seek medical attention. She could've seen a doctor, and easily made up a story about how the injury occurred. The physician would have no reason to conclude she was a victim on domestic violence if her finger was in fact broken.

The text messages from 1/21 and 1/22 between Arias and Alexander were mundane, mostly in regards to them swapping cars - and said nothing about an argument, and in direct conflict with what Arias testified to Travis did not seem frantic to get in touch with Arias to discuss what she allegedly saw him doing on January 21, 2008. It would take a complete leap of faith, and the complete belief that Arias was telling the truth for jurors to take her word as gospel. There is absolutely nothing to back her claims, in fact - nothing at all. There is evidence of a normal, everyday conversation.

In a "Perry Mason moment", prosecutor Martinez pulled out two magazines and entered them into evidence. Both magazines were addressed to Jodi Arias, she received these during her incarceration. One was Star magazine, the other Digital Photo Pro.  Martinez told the jury that Arias attempted to give these magazines to friend Ann Campbell during a visitation at the jail. Because of the protocols for screening anything coming into our out of the jail, the magazines were intercepted by guards and never made it to Campbell. 


Martinez read a set of numbers that were written in pencil at the bottom of a page from the Star magazine. They read:  6, 43, 40, 56, 20, 37, 54.  He then pulled out the Digital Photo Pro magazine, turned to these pages and showed the jury what was written in pencil on the spine of these pages. Taken out of order, the writing didn't make much sense. But when put in the proper order, the cryptic message read:

"you fuc*ed up, what you told my attorney the next day directly contradicts what I've been saying for over a year get down here asap and see me before you talk to them again and before you testify so we can fix this/interview was excellent! must talk asap".

Martinez had Jodi Arias read this to the jury herself. Her defense team looked worried - how would they explain this? Martinez didn't go into the intercepted magazines and the messages much, other than stating that he believed she was attempting to have somebody alter their testimony at a hearing that was taking place just 4 days after that jail visit in which she tried to pass the magazines to friend Ann Campbell.  I previously didn't know who Ann Campbell was, or how she knew Jodi Arias. I have since found out that Donovan Bering, someone who has made several media appearances (JVM, Nancy Grace, or In Session) to speak up about the Jodi Arias she knows. Bering has been a supporter of Arias, and has said that she believes Arias defended herself against Travis Alexander.  I previously thought Donovan Bering knew Arias from Yreka or was perhaps a family friend.  That's the way her interviews came across - but now I know, Bering met Arias during her stint in the Maricopa County jail system.  Bering continued to have contact with Arias after being released, and Ann Campbell is a friend of Donovan Bering.

Since Jodi Arias doesn't have family in the Phoenix area, Bering and Campbell visit Arias on a regular basis and they talk to her frequently.  It is unknown who the magazines were intended for, not Campbell or Bering. Neither of them were witnesses in the murder case. Most believe the magazines were intended for Arias's former boyfriend Matthew McCartney.  Matthew McCartney was slated to be interviewed by the prosecutor just four days before a pre-trial hearing was scheduled.  Matthew McCartney's name has come up frequently in the case.  If Arias was trying to get McCartney to lie for her about one thing, is it a stretch to believe she would try to get him to lie about other things?

Juan Martinez is just getting started. Jodi Arias spent so much time talking on that witness stand, he has a lot of material to impeach her on.  He let her talk, and talk and talk and talk. What strikes me is the detail in which she recalls when she was being attacked by Travis Alexander - adding descriptive commentary such as "he was a wrestler in high school", yet she doesn't recall what she did to him during the fatal encounter. It had to have been a very bloody and exhausting attack. It takes a great deal of physical strength to stab somebody that many times. It takes a great deal of focus to continue attacking once you've crossed that line with the first stab. She was more than likely able to kill him after injuring him bad enough to incapacitate him. He was more than likely unable to do more than try to protect his face and body by raising his hands.  Arias was uninjured - other than a few cuts on her hands, more than likely from the blood on the knife causing it to slip down and cut her own hand.  Cuts to the hand are common injuries to the person yielding the knife.

What will today's testimony bring?  The trial has had sex, lies, religion, deleted x rated photos of the victim and his killer,pedophilia, fetishes (braids, "Spideys"), cheating, stalking, phone sex, x rated text messages, secret cryptic messages smuggled out of jail in the spine of two magazines..... Have I missed anything? 

Jodi Arias has come across as fairly confident, and almost sarcastic at times during her cross examination by Juan Martinez. They sparred on Thursday.  It was clearly a moment Martinez has patiently waited for. He seemed almost too eager and at times it was unclear what he was trying to show with his line of questioning. Hopefully he was able to calm down over the last 4 days, and he will methodically put together a cross examination that will bring the focus back where it belongs - on the murder. He does need to fully discredit Jodi Arias and if he can prove that she made up these stories about Travis, that would be fantastic.  I believe he will be able to show that her account of what happened couldn't be true, by using the evidence, the crime scene photos - that photo of Travis's closet says it all. Nothing was disturbed - had she been running through the closet with somebody in hot pursuit, its doubtful she would've had time to get to the top shelf of the closet where she claims Travis kept a .25 caliber gun. Everything was neat, nothing disturbed. She is not tall enough to jump and reach something on the top shelf. Should be easy to discredit her on these points.

Finally, if Travis grabbed her by the waist and she held the gun up and pointed it at him, with both hands - as she claims, wouldn't the gun have been right in his face? The gunshot wasn't from that close range, according to the medical examiner.  I'd remain focused on these points - but for the family, and for Travis Alexander, I'd love to see him prove the pedophile claims were a total fabrication by a defendant who had 4 1/2 years to think about things that may help paint her as a victim. What could be more distasteful? 



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jodi Arias Back in the Hot Seat Monday

Tomorrow murder defendant Jodi Arias will be back on the witness stand, while Prosecutor Juan Martinez continues his cross examination of the 32 year old woman standing trial for first degree murder for killing ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008.

Martinez has only just begun his cross examination of Arias, who testified in her own defense for 7 days and her statements went mostly uncontested. The prosecutor came out swinging, and has already started to tear apart some of the more hideous of allegations Arias has made about Travis Alexander including the allegation that she walked in on Alexander "pleasuring himself" to the photo of a 5-6 year old boy on January 21, 2008.  According to her testimony, following that alleged incident, Travis Alexander became increasingly aggressive and physical with her and on January 22, 2008 he "body slammed" her to the ground, kicked her in the ribs and left finger.

In a dramatic moment during the trial, Arias raised her left hand and displayed a visibly bent left ring finger for the jury. She claims this finger was broken when she raised her hand to defend her face from Travis Alexander's foot - she claims he kicked her.  Juan Martinez has produced photos of Arias and her sister Angela in which her left hand is prominently displayed around the shoulder of her sister, and the finger appears completely normal - not disfigured as it appeared when she raised it for the jury during her direct examination.

In addition, Martinez produced entries from Arias's own journal or diary from this crucial time period.  She writes "I haven't written because there is nothing noteworthy to report" - the entry is from January 24, 2008.  Wouldn't be getting body slammed and kicked in the ribs and hand be "noteworthy"? And more importantly, IF she had truly caught Mr. Alexander in that compromising position on January 21, 2008 I believe she would have written something about that. Her explanation has been that she never would have written about the violence or what she saw Travis doing because she wanted to protect his reputation.  Is the jury buying this story?  Martinez is doing a good job so far in providing actual phone records that do not match Arias's account for January 21 when she claims he was calling her frantically, and she didn't answer those calls. He is showing that the likelihood of these events having happened seems little to none. The phone records don't support it, the text messages between the pair don't support her story and her own diary entries don't support it.

If the jury decides that Jodi Arias made these horrible stories up, how badly will they punish her? If these stories aren't true, what - if any part of her testimony can be believed?  I think Ms. Arias is in big trouble and will have a difficult time wiggling out of the questions that are coming next week.  I know I may sound very opinionated against Jodi Arias, and I'm really trying to be objective here, but I just didn't find her to be credible before the trial, and even less credible after her testimony.  If she fabricated these stories about this 30 year old man, somebody who is not here to defend himself - and she is alleging just about the worst thing she could allege about a person, she'll get what's coming to her.  Talk about adding insult to injury. Juries do not like feeling like they have been duped, and they are not stupid. 

I've heard so many comparisons to the Casey Anthony case and what the jury decided on her case. The only thing this case has in common is the defendants are young, attractive and liars. The State of Florida couldn't say how little Caylee died, so it was very difficult to prove she was murdered, and how. This case doesn't have those problems. I don't believe Jodi Arias would have admitted to this killing, had it not been for those recovered photos and the bloody palm print that she couldn't dispute.  She's already admitted on the stand, that she came up with the "two masked intruder" story to try to match the evidence the police had.  I believe she's had a lot of time in jail to do her research, look at the evidence and build her defense by adding whatever she believes can't be disproven by the State. Ah, think again Jodi. Martinez is a tough prosecutor, and I believe he will try to expose as many inconsistencies as he has time to find.

The photo of Travis Alexander's closet is very telling. He was very neat, everything was arranged just so.  Yet she expects the jury to believe that while being chased in a relatively small area, she had time to go into that closet, and somehow climb onto a step ladder or a shelf to grab a gun on a top shelf? Nothing was disturbed in that closet! Unless she took the time to straighten it up before she left, it's another thing that doesn't fit. She also described Travis as "chasing her", and when they ended up back in the bathroom where the fight originated, he grabbed her by the waist - taking a "linebacker" stance - (this she seems to clearly remember), and at this point they would've had to be close if he had her by the waist - and she held the gun up with both hands and pointed it at him. Wouldn't that have been right in his face?? The medical examiner stated this wasn't a point blank range gunshot wound, likely she was standing above him. I don't know how long Travis's arms are, but again - her story doesn't make sense.

She said after she shot him, "he kept coming" at her and screamed "I'm going to kill you b****".  Would a person who was just shot in the head be able to speak, and continue pursing her? Doubtful. She testified that she wasn't even aware the shot hit him. If Travis was shot first, his head would've been bleeding quite a bit. She testified that he got on top of her, "he was a wrestler in high school", and this terrified her because she couldn't get out from underneath him. People who are lying tend to add a lot of detail, such as the high school wrestler comment. If he was on top of her, his head would've been dripping blood all over her. There's no way she didn't know she shot him, that is IF he was alive when she shot him, as she claims. This is all about that aggravating factor - that's why she has to insist the shot came first.  

I realize people can black out, and they can block out things that are very traumatic for them.  But since Arias remembers the smallest of details prior to, and immediately after killing him, it just seems to be too convenient and unlikely that she wouldn't remember pushing a knife with force into a human body, 27-29 times. And don't get me started about slicing his throat. That had to have been hard to do, yet she did it - and doesn't remember it. Convenient.  I wish Travis Alexander were here to tell that jury how it made him feel when Jodi Arias was plunging that knife into his chest over and over and over.  We've had to listen to Nurmi asking Arias "how did it make you feel when Travis said this..."

Lastly - the big surprise of the day last Thursday were definitely the magazines that had the messages, written in pencil and in code that Arias tried to get out to somebody during a jailhouse visit. This is the first I've heard of the magazines, and it was quite a moment when Juan Martinez had Jodi Arias read each sentence separately - and then together. They made sense when you put it all together, and seemed to point to Arias trying to have somebody alter their testimony to fit what she had been telling her attorneys for the last year.  Wow, talk about a catch!  Thank you for all the great comments. I really enjoy reading them and talking to others about this case!  Can't wait to see what happens tomorrow and next week.  This trial has been full of drama, and surprises.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Arias Tripped Up During Cross Examination

Prosecutor Juan Martinez is hammering away at key issues that Jodi Arias testified about, and he's doing a pretty good job discrediting her story about walking in on Travis Alexander "pleasuring himself" to photos of young boys on January 21, 2008.  She claims this happened at some point during the afternoon, after she got off from her shift at Mimi's Cafe - she couldn't recall what time she worked that day, what time she got off, or what time she arrived at Travis Alexander's home that day. She went there to help him put away some boxes in the attic. She says he gave her a little angel statue that day.

She testified that when she left that day, she forgot the angel - when she returned to his house to get it, she claims that she walked in on him "pleasuring himself" to a photo of little boys. Her testimony was one of the most dramatic points in the trial - and much was made about how upsetting this was to her, and it's been a central theme throughout this trial.  She claims that after catching Travis in this act, she left the house and was so upset that she drove home and threw up in the bathroom. She then left her house and drove around aimlessly - and she claims Travis called her numerous times trying to reach her to explain what she had just walked in on. She testified in great detail about how awful this event was, and how it scared her.  Prosecutor Juan Martinez has just about proven that it never even happened. I'm not at all surprised it never happened, but I am surprised at how he's put together the real physical evidence that seems to point to this being a complete and total fabrication.

Martinez and Arias were nearly sparring today. She was defiant, wouldn't answer his question directly with a "yes" or "no" answer - and they argued each and every point. What he ultimately showed the jury, through phone records, text messages between Jodi and Travis - is that IF this had really happened, neither of them acknowledged anything had happened, and her timeline of when this supposedly happened doesn't fit with the actual phone and text message time lines. Earlier today, Martinez highlighted Arias's 1/24/08 diary or journal entry in which Arias wrote "I haven't written in a while because nothing noteworthy to report". This was just 2 days after Travis supposedly body slammed her, threw her to the ground and kicked her in the ribs and broke her left ring finger (1/22/08) and 3 days after she supposedly  walked in on Travis "in the act" of pleasuring himself. If those events are not noteworthy, I don't know what is!

HMurder defendant Jodi Arias has been on the witness stand for a little more than an hour this morning, but Prosecutor Juan Martinez has already began to dig in and bring up the inconsistencies from her (direct) testimony.  The questioning has frequently been broken up with objections and sidebars, seemingly before each question Martinez asks. Arias appears somewhat nervous, as the prosecutor hammers away at her and she has no way to wiggle out of answering.

He has been able to bring out some major issues:  "The finger" He entered a photo into evidence that was taken 5/15/08 of Jodi Arias with sister Angela. In the photo, Arias has her left arm around her sister and her left hand is very clearly depicted. There doesn't appear to be any abnormality in that left ring finger that she (dramatically) lifted up and showed the jury during her direct examination. When she showed the hand/finger to the jury under direct, she told a story about a January 21, 2008 fight that she had with Travis Alexander in which Alexander "body slammed" Arias in his bedroom, then kicked her in the ribs and kicked her raised hand - she claims he broke her finger during that incident. Her hand appears completely normal in the 5/15/08 photo. He also brought up the different accounts Arias gave to different people of what happened to that hand and finger.

Martinez is bringing out Jodi Arias's personal journals today.  He hasn't been able to ask many questions so far, between the sidebars and time allowed for the defense attorneys and Jodi Arias to read and review the journal entries. It's been a painstakingly slow cross exam. They are in a lunch break now, however I think something major is coming with the next journal entry they all just reviewed. Juan Martinez previously referred to a journal entry written by Arias on 1/22/08, she wrote " I haven't written in a few days because there's nothing noteworthy to report".  This was just 1 day after she supposedly had this physical fight with Alexander in which she alleged he kicked her in the ribs, body slammed her and ultimately kicked her in that left hand. Wouldn't she have written about something that frightening in her personal diary or journal?  They have just reviewed her 1/24/08 entry. I believe Martinez is trying to impeach Arias's testimony about the violence she suffered at the hands of Travis Alexander and his alleged "deviant" behavior with her own journal.

As we all remember, one of the most shocking allegations Arias has made about Travis Alexander is that sometime in January of 2008, she walked into Travis Alexander's home to find him "pleasuring himself" on his bed - she claims he had photos of 5-6 year old boys on the bed with him.  I believe Martinez has cross checked these incidents with entries made in Arias's personal journals.  Arias claims she never told family or friends about Travis's violence or any of the sexual "deviance" she so blantantly discussed during this trial because she was trying to protect his dignity and his reputation.  That may be believable, but diaries and journals are private by nature. We write things in our diaries that we do not expect anyone else to ever read. Wouldn't she have made some notation of these incidents in her own personal diary?  We've only seen one diary entry so far, but there was nothing whatsoever about the alleged January 21, 2008 "body slam, kick to the ribs and broken finger" fight that she tearfully recounted to this jury!

Wow, I cannot wait to hear more. Martinez is fired up. The defense team is doing their best to break his stride, objecting frequently and causing numerous sidebars. I hope this pace doesn't continue throughout the cross. Martinez limited his objections, and let the defendant tell her story with minimum interruptions when the defense was doing the questioning.  She was allowed to "tell her story". I'm hoping Judge Stephens gives Martinez the same latitude she gave Kirk Nurmi & Jodi Arias. The flow has been so slow so far, and I really want to hear Martinez question Arias without the interruptions and sidebars that have plagued the first 2 hours of the cross.

Another thing I've noticed, much more today than in the past:  Jodi Arias removes or lowers those eyeglasses when she reads documents!  Are those eyeglasses just props for the trial?  We haven't seen Jodi Arias in eyeglasses in any of her MySpace photos, or any other personal photos we have seen so far. I think this was part of the "Transformation of Jodi Arias" that I wrote about a few weeks ago.  Purely for looks - in an effort to tone down her looks, make her look innocent and intelligent. Although Jodi Arias was a high school dropout (she got her GED during her time in jail), she is a very intelligent and articulate woman.  For all of us who have been biting our tongue as Arias ranted for 7 days, without challenge - our time has come.  Jodi Arias is now on the hot seat and it's been a long time coming.  I honestly don't have anything against Jodi Arias.  I just don't like liars, and I don't like it when people make hideous things up about somebody who isn't around to defend themselves.  That's what I don't like about this defendant.

Her memory has been extraordinary, until now...she recalled things that happened years ago in great detail during her earlier testimony, yet now she is plagued with lack of memory, "I don't recall" has been her answer to many of Martinez's questions. If Juan Martinez is able to discredit her story in which she walks in on Travis looking at the pictures of little boys, I think much of Arias's testimony will be shot.  If she's willing to fabricate something so distasteful about a person she supposedly loved - what part of her story can be believed?  Only the jury can judge Arias in the end.  The journal may not be absolute proof that she made these stories about him up, but if he is able to show that she made no mention in the diary, the journal, in any text message or e-mail to Travis or anybody else - than all we have to go on is Jodi Arias's word.  I don't think it will be enough.  Look for updates later today!

Juan Martinez has absolutely drilled away at Jodi Arias on this first day, and some have criticized his line of questioning by saying he was all over the place and not focused - but he eventually got where he needed to be. He's tripped her up in her own lies. Didn't she realize there would be records of the calls between her and Travis, and there would be copies of their text message conversations? Jodi Arias couldn't recall the exact time she walked in on Travis - all she could say is that it was in the afternoon. She said he called her repeatedly afterwards, but she didn't answer. She eventually returned his call but it was later. Martinez showed the jury the text messages between Jodi and Travis from 1/21/08 - their conversation was around them swapping automobiles. Not sure why they were going to swap cars, but by the text messages it appears Travis got a ride from a friend to attend a "family home meeting" that night - those normally begin at 7:00PM. 
6:48PM JA sends text "can we swap cars before FHE?"
7:20PM JA sends text "never mind"
7:24PM TA sends text "I got a ride from some peeps in the ward, now you can just go get it and let me know when exchange is done"
7:29PM JA sends text "I'm almost asleep ZZZZZZ"

There is absolutely no discussion that would lead us to believe anything at all out of the ordinary happened that day. Martinez also challenged Arias on the point that she said he called her repeatedly after she left his home. There were 5 calls from Travis to Jodi on 1/21/08, and 5 calls from Jodi to Travis on 1/21/08. He had the times of each call - Arias was clearly getting rattled, you could see her trying to think of what she could say. She mentioned that Travis also had a "land line" that he often times called her on.  She testified that after going home and throwing up, she drove around for a long time before ending up at the "Visitor Center", which I believe is a Mormon Visiting Center. She says she sat there and cried that day.  Yet the text messages show she was asleep, or was nearly asleep when a text message or phone call woke her up. This was around 7:30PM. Travis would've been at that Family Home Meeting. 

While none of this absolutely proves that event didn't happen, it makes it look very unlikely that it did. The phone records, the text messages, her journal and diary - all of those things directly contradict something as outrageously major as that happening on January 21, 2008. It looks to me like it was an ordinary day for both of them. Court is on break right now, but I wanted to update this page again because there is so much happening.

After the afternoon break, the sparring continued - with Arias coming back at Juan Martinez with some sarcastic remarks of her own. When asked again about her selective memory, Arias said something like "yes, when men like you and Travis are yelling and screaming at me, my brain gets scrambled".  To that, Prosecutor Martinez said "so it's the Courts fault, MY fault that you can't remember things?".  Some of the TV commentators questioned whether Martinez is going too far, if he should go easier on Arias because she is a woman.  To that, I say - we should all be treated equally. He is coming at her hard for many reasons. That's the way Juan Martinez prosecutes cases, and Arias has been on the stand for 7 days, telling what he believes to be outright lies. It's his job to prove the State's case, and if she is lying, he's going to try to trip her up.

Near the end of the day, Martinez entered two magazines into evidence. The magazines were apparently subscriptions Jodi Arias received while in jail. They both had her name and address on the label - one was a photography magazine and the other a entertainment magazine. In August of 2011 during a visitation with somebody named Ann Campbell, Jodi Arias requested that the magazines be given to Campbell, her visitor.  The jail has a process for releasing any article from an inmate to a visitor - it goes through a rigorous screening process, and these magazines were not given to the guest.

Inside the magazines, there were cryptic notes written in pencil.  The writing was deep in the pages, near the binding - to remain hidden from jail staff, presumably.  There were several sentences and/or phrases on a dozen different pages.  If you were to read just one, it may not have meaning but in their totality, they had a message from Jodi Arias.  I wasn't able to write down the exact message in time, but it said something like "what you told my attorney contradicts what I've been saying for over a year...get down here ASAP before you talk to them again.  Interview was excellent. We can fix this".  WOW - what was THAT all about?  Seems as if Jodi Arias may have been trying to get a witness to change their statement and/or their testimony?  Martinez had Jodi Arias read the writing on each page, separately - and then he had her read the entire thing, put together.  Although they haven't yet elaborated on what that cryptic message was, or who the ultimate recipient was supposed to be, a message being smuggled out of jail can never be a good thing for a defendant who already has credibility problems.

This has been one of the most dramatic and riveting trials I've ever viewed. They couldn't write drama this compelling. It's just a tragedy that this really happened.

Arias on the Hot Seat - Are Eyeglasses a "Prop"??

Murder defendant Jodi Arias has been on the witness stand for a little more than an hour this morning, but Prosecutor Juan Martinez has already began to dig in and bring up the inconsistencies from her (direct) testimony.  The questioning has frequently been broken up with objections and sidebars, seemingly before each question Martinez asks. Arias appears somewhat nervous, as the prosecutor hammers away at her and she has no way to wiggle out of answering.

He has been able to bring out some major issues:  "The finger" He entered a photo into evidence that was taken 5/15/08 of Jodi Arias with sister Angela. In the photo, Arias has her left arm around her sister and her left hand is very clearly depicted. There doesn't appear to be any abnormality in that left ring finger that she (dramatically) lifted up and showed the jury during her direct examination. When she showed the hand/finger to the jury under direct, she told a story about a January 21, 2008 fight that she had with Travis Alexander in which Alexander "body slammed" Arias in his bedroom, then kicked her in the ribs and kicked her raised hand - she claims he broke her finger during that incident. Her hand appears completely normal in the 5/15/08 photo. He also brought up the different accounts Arias gave to different people of what happened to that hand and finger.

Martinez is bringing out Jodi Arias's personal journals today.  He hasn't been able to ask many questions so far, between the sidebars and time allowed for the defense attorneys and Jodi Arias to read and review the journal entries. It's been a painstakingly slow cross exam. They are in a lunch break now, however I think something major is coming with the next journal entry they all just reviewed. Juan Martinez previously referred to a journal entry written by Arias on 1/22/08, she wrote " I haven't written in a few days because there's nothing noteworthy to report".  This was just 1 day after she supposedly had this physical fight with Alexander in which she alleged he kicked her in the ribs, body slammed her and ultimately kicked her in that left hand. Wouldn't she have written about something that frightening in her personal diary or journal?  They have just reviewed her 1/24/08 entry. I believe Martinez is trying to impeach Arias's testimony about the violence she suffered at the hands of Travis Alexander and his alleged "deviant" behavior with her own journal.

As we all remember, one of the most shocking allegations Arias has made about Travis Alexander is that sometime in January of 2008, she walked into Travis Alexander's home to find him "pleasuring himself" on his bed - she claims he had photos of 5-6 year old boys on the bed with him.  I believe Martinez has cross checked these incidents with entries made in Arias's personal journals.  Arias claims she never told family or friends about Travis's violence or any of the sexual "deviance" she so blantantly discussed during this trial because she was trying to protect his dignity and his reputation.  That may be believable, but diaries and journals are private by nature. We write things in our diaries that we do not expect anyone else to ever read. Wouldn't she have made some notation of these incidents in her own personal diary?  We've only seen one diary entry so far, but there was nothing whatsoever about the alleged January 21, 2008 "body slam, kick to the ribs and broken finger" fight that she tearfully recounted to this jury!

Wow, I cannot wait to hear more. Martinez is fired up. The defense team is doing their best to break his stride, objecting frequently and causing numerous sidebars. I hope this pace doesn't continue throughout the cross. Martinez limited his objections, and let the defendant tell her story with minimum interruptions when the defense was doing the questioning.  She was allowed to "tell her story". I'm hoping Judge Stephens gives Martinez the same latitude she gave Kirk Nurmi & Jodi Arias. The flow has been so slow so far, and I really want to hear Martinez question Arias without the interruptions and sidebars that have plagued the first 2 hours of the cross.

Another thing I've noticed, much more today than in the past:  Jodi Arias removes or lowers those eyeglasses when she reads documents!  Are those eyeglasses just props for the trial?  We haven't seen Jodi Arias in eyeglasses in any of her MySpace photos, or any other personal photos we have seen so far. I think this was part of the "Transformation of Jodi Arias" that I wrote about a few weeks ago.  Purely for looks - in an effort to tone down her looks, make her look innocent and intelligent. Although Jodi Arias was a high school dropout (she got her GED during her time in jail), she is a very intelligent and articulate woman.  For all of us who have been biting our tongue as Arias ranted for 7 days, without challenge - our time has come.  Jodi Arias is now on the hot seat and it's been a long time coming.  I honestly don't have anything against Jodi Arias.  I just don't like liars, and I don't like it when people make hideous things up about somebody who isn't around to defend themselves.  That's what I don't like about this defendant.

Her memory has been extraordinary, until now...she recalled things that happened years ago in great detail during her earlier testimony, yet now she is plagued with lack of memory, "I don't recall" has been her answer to many of Martinez's questions. If Juan Martinez is able to discredit her story in which she walks in on Travis looking at the pictures of little boys, I think much of Arias's testimony will be shot.  If she's willing to fabricate something so distasteful about a person she supposedly loved - what part of her story can be believed?  Only the jury can judge Arias in the end.  The journal may not be absolute proof that she made these stories about him up, but if he is able to show that she made no mention in the diary, the journal, in any text message or e-mail to Travis or anybody else - than all we have to go on is Jodi Arias's word.  I don't think it will be enough.  Look for updates later today!

Jodi Arias to be Cross Examined Today

Yesterday, defense attorney Kirk Nurmi concluded his direct examination of murder defendant Jodi Arias following 7 days of testimony from the now 32 year old Yreka woman who is on trial for the June 4, 2008 murder of ex boyfriend Travis Alexander.  Arias testified in excruciating detail about her childhood years and her previous relationships with men, however her recollection of the actual killing of a man she claimed to have loved was very limited. Many have anticipated her memory may become cloudy around this day, but even I was surprised at how little time was devoted to the actual details around this brutal killing.

Arias has provided the most mundane details about things that occurred 20 years ago, yet when it came down to describing the events leading up the actual murder she claimed that she had no memory of stabbing Travis Alexander. She also claims that she didn't know the shot she fired, allegedly using the victims own gun had hit him.  Travis Alexander was shot in the forehead.  The medical examiner's report concluded that the gunshot more than likely was fired after the victim was already deceased. His body was so badly decomposed by the time it was discovered, it was hard to pinpoint what came first - the 29 stab wounds or the gun shot. His throat was slit from ear to ear. How could somebody not remember something so traumatic? This is a very convenient time to claim you had a blackout.  We can't see the jury or their reactions as she was testifying, but I have to believe they were just as disappointed as the rest of us.

Travis's sister Samantha was openly sobbing as Arias testified about the struggle that ensued after Arias reportedly dropped Travis Alexander's camera. Arias would have us believe that Travis Alexander - a man who had so much to look forward to in life, set to leave on a trip he looked forward to enough to exercise and diet for 6 months prior, would get angry enough to threaten the life of Jodi Arias over dropping his camera? Obviously the camera didn't break! The XXX rated photos they took that day were recovered by the police, despite Arias's attempts to delete all photos and remove all evidence that she had been there on June 4.  She probably would've testified that TRAVIS was the one who deleted the June 4 photos, except for the fact that photos taken of a dead or dying Travis Alexander were also deleted.  It had to have been her.

Her memory comes back after she left the house, convenient. She doesn't remember taking the gun or rope with her as she left - but she had enough sense about her to dispose of the gun in the desert where it would never be recovered, and dispose of the rope in a dumpster in a different location. She had enough sense to know what she did was wrong, and admittedly took steps to begin covering her tracks.  So many things that she said did not make sense, knowing what we now know. She is going to be subjected to what I believe will be one hell of a cross examination from Juan Martinez today. There are so many places where her story breaks down that I don't know where to begin. If you look only at the actual killing - her story doesn't hold water. The photo time stamps tell the real story. Travis was alive and looking very calm one minute, and less than 2 minutes later, he is bleeding from the chest and back - and on the ground, completely disabled if not dead.

I believe it would have been impossible to have happened the way she described.  A fight of the "life or death" magnitude doesn't start and end the way it did in less than 2 minutes. None of Travis's family, friends or room mates believed Travis Alexander owned or kept a handgun at his home.  If he did, what are the chances it was a .25 caliber? The same type that was taken from Arias's grandparents home a week earlier?  I don't believe that was a coincidence.  Even if you believe the gunshot did come first, would Travis have been able to continue his angry pursuit of Jodi Arias and keep "coming after her" as she described?  I believe a person who had just been shot in the face would've been in such shock, she would've had ample opportunity to get the hell out of there - if that had been the way it happened.  I doubt he would've posed any grave threat to her after being shot.

The crime scene evidence tells a much different story.  Travis Alexander was likely stabbed several times while he was crouched down in the shower. He may have then gotten out of the shower and gone towards the sink - there, his throat was cut from ear to ear. This would've caused massive blood loss, and he may have stumbled into the bedroom and down the hall, where he fell to the floor and was shot in the face.  This is what I believe happened.  Why did Jodi Arias do this to him? There are many theories.  Here's a plausible one.  Arias knew Travis was leaving for Cancun at the end of the week. She testified that she believed Travis gave the other ticket to a friend's babysitter. This is the first we've heard about the babysitter. Apparently, Travis owed these friends money, and giving the babysitter the ticket would've been his way of repaying the friend.  Doesn't make sense.  I believe Jodi Arias knew, or became aware that Travis was taking Marie "Mimi" Hall on that trip. If she only recently found out, this would explain her need to go to Mesa before the trip. I believe this would have bothered her a great deal, regardless of what she is now saying.

From the start of this tragic story, I have believed the Cancun trip was a factor in this murder. The timing fits, the motive fits.  Arias may have genuinely loved Travis Alexander, and she may have felt used for sex by him. Some of her testimony was believable, and I think she greatly regrets taking the actions that she took - now. But this killing was not in self defense, no matter how you slice it, even if you believe every word she has said. It doesn't meet the legal definition of self defense in the state of Arizona.  If a person slaps you, you cannot shoot them. You can only use a like amount of force when defending yourself. This was not a fair fight.  The gun is also a big issue.  What really happened to the gun that was "stolen" from the Yreka home of her grandparents? Where is it? Why would somebody break into the home, and not take the piles of quarters that were directly above where the gun was kept? Why only take the .25 caliber, and not the other gun? 

Apparently Arias believes as long as the police cannot prove that was the gun that was used in the course of the murder, the jury has to give her the benefit of the doubt.  Another thing that bothers me - her loss of memory around the stabbing. She didn't just stab him once, twice or even five times. She stabbed him 29 times. That's alot of work. She had to be covered in Travis Alexander's blood. That's not something you could forget, even if you wanted to.  She doesn't remember that, yet her memory comes back once she's out of the house and on her way to Utah. She never looked back, rather she started looking ahead at how she was going to rid herself of all evidence of being in Mesa Arizona.  Just a partial list of things she cannot explain away:

The gun's origin
The origin of the knife
Why bring two 10 gallon gas cans, and fill them in CA where gas is expensive?
If she shot him first, she had time to run away after shooting him
She cleaned herself at the home, attempted to wipe away evidence
She deleted the photos
She took 16 minutes to listen to Travis's voicemail messages
She left a voicemail to the man she just murdered
She disposed of one of the murder weapons in the Nevada desert
She disposed of the rope in a dumpster in a separate location
She continued to Utah,was romantic with Ryan Burns
She was not injured - except for small cuts on her hand
She admitted to trying to cover up her involvement and throw the police off

This is just a partial list of the issues she did not adequately address.  The defense took so much time trashing Travis Alexander and trying to portray Jodi Arias as the real victim - as if Travis had this coming to him.  They spent 95% of her time on the stand making Travis Alexander look as deviant, mean, controlling and abusive as they possibly could. Building their defense out of the audio tape, and whatever text messages or e-mails Arias conveniently saved, yet they had no evidence to back up their claims that he was into little boys or that he ever hit or physically abused her. We are supposed to just take her at her word.  When it came time to talk about the reason those jurors are sitting there, the actual killing - they glossed over it in 5 minutes time.  I cannot believe how little was said about this brutal and heinous murder. This wasn't a one-gunshot killing, it had to have been rageful, bloody and horrifying for Travis Alexander. He was naked, relaxed and completely defenseless in the shower.

Maybe Travis wasn't the person his family and friends believed him to be. But nothing Jodi Arias alleged about him could justify her killing him in such a brutal manner.  Self defense doesn't look the way this looked. This was a rage killing, pure and simple. Today, Jodi Arias will have to face the very tough cross examination from Prosecutor Juan Martinez - who has been patiently waiting for the last 7 days, taking notes and getting ready for his shot at her. You'll want to watch today's proceedings!