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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.

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