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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!

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