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Arias Explains Fatal Road Trip - June 4, 2008

The defense is finally getting to Jodi Arias's fatal June 4, 2008 road trip and trying to take the sting out of some of the State's evidence against her before Juan Martinez gets a shot at her.  As we speak, Kirk Nurmi is questioning Arias on whether or not she arrived at Travis Alexander's home with a gun or a knife.  She claims she did not leave Yreka or arrive in Mesa with either.  (where did she get the gun and knife?) 

Arias explained that on her way to Utah, she had planned to visit ex boyfriends "Matt" and "Daryl" - Daryl is the ex that she lived with and owned a home with. She claimed that Travis did not want her to go to Utah to see Ryan Burns, but rather he wanted her to come to Mesa and see him.  In the same sentence she described Travis as being angry with her for planning to go to Utah but then he was sweet so she decided to visit him.

Here are a few key points that were addressed during today's testimony so far:

The rental car:  Arias rented a car in Redding, CA - instead of renting a car closer to home in Yreka.
Arias's explanation:  She rented the car using Orbitz, and she had to pick it up there to get the rate she wanted.
The rental car color:  A representative from the rental car agency testified that Arias requested a car that "wouldn't stand out".
Arias's explanation:  The first car the agent gave her was red, and she heard red cars tend to get pulled over by the police more often so she asked for a different car. 
(My thoughts)  Where did she get that statistic from? There at the rental counter?
Her hair color:  The Budget rental car representative was able to pick out Jodi Arias's photo from a police line-up, although in her booking photo Arias had brown hair. Although he identified Arias as the woman who rented the car, he noted that she had blonde hair when she rented the car.
Arias's explanation:  She said her hair was "auburn/brown" before and after the road trip.
The gas cans: In addition to filling her gas tank in Southern California, Arias borrowed and filled two 10 gallon gas cans borrowed from ex-boyfriend Darrell.
Arias's explanation:  She told attorney Kirk Nurmi and the jury that she took the gas cans because she didn't want to run out of gas in the middle of the Nevada desert.
The license plate: The license plate on Arias's rental car was upside down when the car was returned to the Redding rental car agency.
Arias's explanation: Arias claimed that on her trip, she stopped at a Starbucks. When she came out of Starbucks, there was a group of skateboarders in the parking lot who were laughing in her direction as they rode off. She didn't outright say they were the ones who flipped the license plate on the rental car, but it was clear what she was implying.
Her cell phone:  Law enforcement discovered that Arias's cellphone was shut off during crucial times during this trip - namely, during her time in Mesa Arizona.
Arias's explanation:  She claims her cell battery was running low, and although she had a car charger with her, she says she couldn't find it in her car. She says she called Matt & Daryl to see if she left it there but they didn't have it. She then shut off her phone to conserve the power.
(My thoughts) A convenient answer - lucky for her, she later found the charger under her car seat later in the trip (probably when she crossed Arizona state lines!)

Arias told the jury that she arrived at Travis Alexander's home around 4:00AM, and entered through a side door that led to the garage and entered the home through the garage into the kitchen. Travis was in his office on his computer when she arrived.  Her memory seems sketchy today, she couldn't recall if there were any other cars parked in the driveway when she pulled up to the home.  Alexander greeted her after his dog Napolean barked as he noticed Jodi Arias had entered the room.  She said Travis smiled and kissed her when he saw her.

Kirk Nurmi bluntly asked Jodi if she shot Travis when she entered the room. She answered "no".  He then asked if she stabbed him, she answered "no". I think I see where this is going.  Earlier today, Arias explained that in the days after she left on this road trip to Utah, she visited ex boyfriends "Matt" and "Daryl" - Daryl is the ex that she lived with and owned a home with, and who gave her the two gas cans. She claimed that Travis did not want her to go to Utah to see Ryan Burns, but rather he wanted her to come to Mesa and see him.  During same sentence, she claims that he was "angry" at her but then he was "sweet", so she decided to make a detour in the trip and see him.  

Nurmi is now questioning her about who was at the home when she arrived, Arias said she believed that one of his room mates may have been there, but she didn't know for sure. She was tired when she arrived, and told Travis she wanted to go to sleep.  Arias woke up around 12:00PM the following day while Travis was still asleep.  Nurmi just asked her "did you get up and grab a gun and shoot him"? She answered "no", he asks "did you grab a knife and stab him?", she answered "no".  This line of questioning is strange. I guess Nurmi is trying to make the point that if Arias went to Alexander's house intent on killing him, she had the chance to do so when she arrived and Travis was in his office, and again when she woke up and he was still sleeping. 

When Travis woke up, Arias says they had sex several times. Arias claims that Travis wanted to tie her up, but he had a sleigh bed which has no bedposts. She explained how they had to measure out some rope to use to tie her hands together, and then wrap it around the width of the headboard.  Nurmi asked what they used to cut the rope and where Travis was when he cut it. She said he used a knife that he got from his own home and he was in the bathroom when he cut the rope they measured. 

She claims she didn't really want to be tied up, but she didn't find it "unbearable". She went on to tell the jury that Travis Alexander tied her wrists together. She was naked. but Travis remained in his "temple garments". Nurmi makes a point of asking again how the rope was cut. She repeated her answer. Nurmi is trying to ensure the jury remembers this point that the knife was retrieved by Travis, from Travis's own home - and used/left in the bathroom.  If this is true, why didn't the police and crime scene technicians who spent days at the home find any knife sets that were missing a knife? Where did she get the .25 caliber gun??

They reviewed some of the nude photos recovered from Travis's digital camera, and Arias said she felt "stupid" for taking the photos and said they made her very uncomfortable. She has her head down is now sobbing on the stand as she gets closer to the time of the attack.  I almost feel sorry for her - if I didn't know the extent of the damage she inflicted on Travis Alexander, I suppose I might feel sorry for her. It's easy to forget about the victim when you see a woman crying on the witness stand. Her demeanor is different today.  This is the day she's been dreading and now it's here. Soon she will face cross examination and be forced to explain each and every stab to Travis Alexander's body. She will be cornered with no way out. She's been on the stand for 7 days, telling "her story" and much of what she has said has gone uncontentested - but that's about to change.  She seems to know this.

We are now learning from Jodi Arias that in addition to the XXX rated photos they took on June 4, 2008, they also made a "movie" using Jodi Arias's Olympus camera - the video was viewed and then deleted. Arias is speaking softly and looking down a lot today. She is speaking so softly that Kirk Nurmi has had to ask her to speak up and repeat her answers. After they watched the video they made, Arias says they deleted the video and she took a shower alone.  She got dressed and began to get ready to "hit the road". During this time, she testified that Travis was first in the kitchen, then in his office. She says his bed sheets were removed and put in the wash following their sexual encounter. She couldn't recall who put them in the washing machine.  Again, her recollection of things is getting worse as time goes on. She is having problems remember times, and who did what - in stark contrast to her remembering what colored socks she had on when she was 10 years old earlier in her testimony.

She loaded her stuff into her car, then went to his office to give Travis some photo CD's that she had made for him. The CD's were damaged, scratched - and this angered him. She was laying on the floor next to his dog at the time Travis was attempting to retrieve the photos on the discs she had just given to him. She claims Travis became very angry when the discs were found to be damaged and he threw the CD across the room. It bounced off a wall and nearly hit her in the head. She claimed she saw more signs of anger from him and she became worried - she didn't want the whole trip to be ruined since everything was good before this happened.

Nurmi asked her if she became "fearful" at this point, she answered "no", she was not fearful of him becoming physical but she was "somewhat worried" - but still she didn't leave. She stood up behind him and began rubbing his shoulders and he grabbed her and spun her around and bent her over his desk. She is barely looking at her attorney or the jury. Her head is down, her voice low - her answers seem hesitant. She's using the word "uuumm" quite a bit.  I've heard body language experts say that this word is used when a person is trying to buy time to think of something to say.  Don't know if that's accurate, but it makes sense to me.

Arias is now describing an encounter in the office where Alexander bent her over his desk in his office and it was clear he wanted to have sex with her. She testified that she was "relieved" he wanted to have sex with her because it was better than him being mad at her and sex always calmed him down. They had sex again in the office. Travis then told her to "go clean herself up". Nurmi asked her if she felt "used or humiliated" after that encounter and she says she was only upset about his comment about cleaning herself up.  It seems Nurmi is trying very hard to elicit certain comments from Arias, without outright leading.

Instead of leaving after this ackward encounter she described, she decided to stay, hoping to end the visit on a more positive note. She says he was in a better mood at that point. Juan Martinez is objecting to much of Nurmi's questioning, he seems to be asking the same question more than one time and repeating things Arias has already stated. Nurmi is clearly annoyed about the objections, most of which were sustained by Judge Stephens.  Nurmi and Martinez do not like each other and it shows!  

Arias is now discussing how Travis Alexander was getting into shape in anticipation for the Cancun trip he won through Pre Paid Legal.  He began exercising and dieting back in 2007 for this trip, and he reached his goals and was proud of how he had slimmed down and toned his body for this trip.  Arias admits she was never invited on this Cancun trip, but she does say that Travis Alexander told her that he was taking a friends babysitter!  She says he told her that he owed these people money, and giving the Cancun ticket to their babysitter would be a way of paying his friends back?  This is the first I've heard about this - the significance being that she claims that she DID NOT know that he planned on taking Marie "Mimi" Hall.  I seem to recall that she DID know about the trip with Marie Hall, but I could be mistaken.  This is how they are getting around to Jodi taking the pictures of Travis in the shower.  Travis apparently wanted photos to be taken of himself once he reached his goal weight and body tone.

Arias testified that because her camera was already packed away, they used Travis's new camera to take the shower photos.  They are calling it a day in the courtroom now, so first thing tomorrow they should actually get to WHAT happened in the shower and master bathroom of Travis Alexander's home. We are almost there folks! Tomorrow is the day we will hear how this tragedy unfolded.  

Jodi Arias Trial - One Day Closer to June 4, 2008

Murder defendant Jodi Arias is expected to return to the stand today for her 7th day of testimony.  Arias and her defense attorneys have taken us from a 7 year old Jodi's home life, in which she alleges her mother and father were physically abusive towards her - to every relationship she has had with a man, and through her meeting and dating murder victim Travis Alexander.

The jury has listened patiently, as Arias describes her relationship with Alexander in painstaking detail.  We've heard more than any of us care to.  In the interest of justice and to protect the case against potential appeals, Judge Sherry Stephens has allowed Arias to testify on things that seem irrelevant to self defense - such as their sordid sexual encounters. Arias has spoke, uncontested, about Travis's appetite for role playing (his "antics", according to Arias), his attraction to young boys, an affair he allegedly had with a married woman and the now infamous audio recording that she alleges to have recorded at the insistence of Travis Alexander.

We've watched his family in court trying to mask their feelings about Arias's testimony, we've seen their heartbreak as crime scene photos were displayed and their anguish at the defense's portrayal of their brother.  It's been difficult to watch, and I often times find myself screaming at the television as Arias portrays herself as an innocent victim of a sexual deviant, someone who went along with said acts in an effort to please Travis Alexander.  I believe her testimony to be a mix of 5% truth, 95% embellishments - we may never know the real formula of whats true and what has been a fabrication.  Only Jodi Arias knows for sure, and she may have convinced herself that her third version of events is actually what happened.

My comments on this blog may seem somewhat one-sided.  But for anybody who thinks they are, I'd just like to say this.  I've been following this story since it broke.  You see, June 9th happens to be my birthday.  So when I first saw the story, it caught my attention for many reasons aside from the fact that his body was discovered on June 9th.  We don't see many cases involving women that are this brutal in nature. Women tend to murder in a more passive manner, like poisoning or a single gunshot.  I can't remember a murder that was this brutal since the Susan Wright case. Wright was convicted of murdering husband Jeffrey Wright by stabbing him more than 197 times.  She claims she killed him in self defense, her attorneys argued she was a victim of "battered wife syndrome."

Wright then buried her husband next to the home they shared, and attempted to cover her tracks and resume her life as if Jeffrey had simply left.  There was some evidence pointing to spousal abuse in that case, but Wright's attorneys had a hard time explaining why it she stabbed him more than 197 times in "self defense".  Susan Wright was a  bright and attractive woman with two small children.  She was ultimately found guilty of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison for her acts. 

Another woman convicted of the brutal murder of her husband and now sits on Arizona's death row:  Wendi Adriano. Adriano was convicted of murdering her terminally ill husband Joe in Arizona in 2000.  The prosecutor in that case was none other than Prosecutor Juan Martinez.  Adriano also claimed she killed her husband in self defense after being attacked by him.  The jurors discounted her claims as Joe Adriano was much too ill to have attacked her. He had terminal cancer - and evidence uncovered during that investigation showed that Wendi Adriano had tried to poison husband Joe before that fatal encounter.  Adriano was convicted and sentenced to death.

These cases have one common denominator - they all involve women who have used self defense and/or battered wife syndrome, all were extremely brutal.  Today, we should get one step closer to learning Arias's version of what happened on June 4, 2008 and what Travis Alexander allegedly did that preceded this killing.  The jury wants to know, the families want to know and the world wants to know.  After 6 days of Arias's chatter and allegations of deviant behavior, it comes down to this date.  Was Arias really in danger, or did she really believe she was about to be killed by Alexander?  Only Travis and Jodi know what really happened, so we have to rely on the evidence to tell the story.  Regardless of who you believe, the evidence is the teller of truth.

And I believe the evidence doesn't align with the self defense claims.  A single gunshot, a single stab wound would have been a more understandable claim of self defense.  The many mortal wounds point to something entirely different.  A rage killing.  Once Jodi Arias began her attack, she couldn't stop herself.  I believe she had so much rage built up inside of her against Travis Alexander, perhaps because she did feel used by him and then tossed aside in favor of a more presentable and suitable Mormon partner.  For that, I feel sorry for her. We've all been there, but most of us would never take it anywhere near where she went.  We are one step closer to June 4, 2008, and one step closer to the cross examination we are all waiting for.

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