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Juan Martinez Squares Off Against Dr. Samuels

Another day, another battle between Arizona Prosecutor Juan Martinez and a defense witness.  This time, he took on "expert witness" for the defense, Dr. Richard Samuels.  Dr. Samuels is an individual who interviewed Jodi Arias twelve times over a period of 4-5 years, and who has diagnosed her as having PTSD and amnesia. Arias attorney Kathleen Willmott continued questioning Samuels today in an effort to explain away the memory issues (aka "the fog") Jodi Arias has relating to the actual stabbing/slashing of Travis Alexander.

Samuels is a paid witness - make no mistake about it, his report more than likely was tailor made to fit the Arias defense theories. Her memory issues are the least of her problems.  Just because she claims to not remember what she did to Travis Alexander, that in no way relinquishes her responsibility nor does it alter the absolute savage nature of this murder.

Dr. Samuels has explained the function of various sections of the brain, and how some areas will shut down and effect a persons memory because they essentially do not create memories of stressful events. Could it really be that simple? No memory created and therefore nothing to remember? Arias' amnesia is very convenient - since she does remember things immediately before and shortly thereafter, it's the actual stabbing/slashing she doesn't remember. She admittedly remembers removing items from the crime scene that would implicate her, so I have a hard time believing she was in some "dissociative state" of mind.

This testimony sickens me, attempting to create sympathy and give Arias excuses for lying and covering act this brutal act.  What about Travis Alexander? We haven't heard one word from the defense on how terrified he must have been being trapped in the shower and/or the bathroom while being shot, viciously stabbed and having his throat slashed by a woman he allowed into his life and into his home. I can't imagine how painful his death was or how confused he must have been once he realized what was happening.  We are supposed to feel empathy for Jodi Arias because she shakes when people raise their voices at her?

Arias could not fool Detective Flores or the Mesa Police Department - it's hard to tell if Dr. Samuels actually believes what Arias told him, or if he is giving the opinion he is being paid handsomely for.  They could parade 10 experts to the stand and it wouldn't change the facts of the case or make her less liable. The facts of the case reveal that Jodi Arias had minor injuries immediately after this "life and death" struggle she had with Travis Alexander. The crime scene and autopsy photos tell any reasonable person that this was never a fight or struggle between two people fighting for their lives. It was a blitz attack on Travis, and it appears he never had a chance. She had him relaxed and with his guard down in that shower, and the first stab wound probably sent him into shock, but Arias was far from finished.

She incapacitated him and while he was unable to protect himself, she unleashed a rage that had been building up inside of her for months. She didn't stop until he was no longer moving. If he ever did have a chance to fight back, I'm certain Jodi Arias would have been injured. He was stronger and bigger than she was.

Juan Martinez finally got his shot at Dr. Samuels today, and he wasted no time in discrediting many things Samuels said and did during his appointments with Jodi Arias.  Among the highlights:  Samuels administered the PTSD test to Arias BEFORE she admitted to killing Travis Alexander. When he found out that she had taken the test while still sticking with the two armed intruder story, did he re administer the test?  No. He didn't. Martinez got him to admit that it would've been the prudent thing to do!

In addition, Martinez pulled some of Samuels dirty laundry out of the hamper. It seems he was fined and/or censured for conflicts of interest involving some women he previously treated. He has a history of "crossing boundaries" with people he has treated or done assessments on. He also gave Arias a self-help book, another no-no since he wasn't technically treating Arias, just assessing her. Martinez also questioned Samuels as to why he used a pencil while testing or grading Arias's PTSD test instead of a pen. Did he use a pencil so he could alter Arias's answers? He denied altering anything.

By the time Juan Martinez was done with Samuels, he didn't seem like such a great witness anymore.  Good job Mr. Martinez!!  Until tomorrow.....

Former Cell Mate Of Arias To Testify?

Who's left on Jodi Arias' defense witness list? Far as I can tell, Dr. Samuels, Kimberly Ross and possibly Alyce Laviolette are on that list. Dr. Samuels, who we saw last week is expected to continue his testimony today, once the attorneys and judge duke it out over what he is qualified to say and whether or not he will be able to use the PowerPoint presentation Juan Martinez objected to last week. He also had an opinion on whether the murder was premeditated based on the crime scene photos he reviewed! Ah, no - what qualifies him as an expert on crime scene photos? Does he use a Magic 8 Ball to tell him if the murder was premeditated?

Jodi Arias's former cellmate, Kimberly Ross may also testify on her behalf.  I did some digging around on Kimberly Ross, and I found it very interesting that while she was incarcerated, from 4/6/09 - 10/5/09 she was a "Clerk in Library", and from 5/16/07 - 3/17/09 she was listed as "Library Aide". I found this information on, looks like she has at least two mugshots on file (see below) and it's not clear to me if she held these jobs in the library during her time in jail or during her prison stint.  It would be interesting to know if she worked in the jail library, and it would be even more interesting to have a look at what books Arias may have checked out!  What will Ross have to add to further Jodi Arias's version of events leading to the murder of Travis Alexander? What Jodi Arias told her while they were sharing a cell is not evidence - I always wonder why they call these type of witnesses to the stand. They have such a weak case that apparently they are hoping the jurors find their witnesses credible.  Here are the two (undated) mugshots of Ross:

Hard to believe these are the same person - quite a different look between the two photos.  I can't imagine why they are calling her as a witness but just because she is on the witness list doesn't mean she will ever be called.

Alyce Laviolette is another person who has been mentioned during the trial. Her website lists her as a specialist in Anger Management, Domestic Violence Counseling for Survivors and Perpetrators, Gender Issues, and Expert Witness.  Laviolette is located in the Long Beach area and it's unclear how she became involved in this case but I've heard Juan Martinez mention her several times during his cross examination of Arias.

So what do these "expert witnesses" charge for their services?  I found a website ( that will give you an idea of what these people are making for trial time etc:

Expert Witness Fees By Area of Expertise
The survey includes responses from over 1,000 expert witnesses in over 300 areas of expertise, from Accident Reconstruction to Wound Care. This is the most comprehensive study ever conducted on expert witness fees.
There was significant variation in fees amongst different areas of expertise. Medical expert witnesses are on average better compensated than non-medical expert witnesses. The average hourly fee for in court testimony for all non-medical experts is $248. The average hourly fee for in court testimony for all medical experts is $555. Medical expert witnesses on average earn more than double (124% more) what non-medical expert witnesses earn. 45% of all responding experts were medical experts and 55% of all responding experts were non-medical experts.
Surprisingly, less experienced experts generally charge more than experienced experts. The median hourly rate for all experts for in court testimony was $300. The median hourly rate for experts who have been testifying 1-5 years was $350 and the median hourly rate for experts who have been testifying 26+ years was $275.

Not a bad hourly rate! Does anybody else feel this is unethical, to be paid for giving testimony? It certainly would seem to give an expert the incentive to say what the defense/prosecution needs them to say. I can understand why experts are useful in certain cases but any form of compensation other than travel costs and reasonable reimbursement seems excessive.

What will happen in the courtroom today when Dr. Samuels resumes his testimony, and when will Juan Martinez finally get to his rebuttal case?  This trial has had so many breaks and 3-day court weeks that it seems there is no end in sight. Over the weekend, I was thinking about that check that Jodi Arias was so worried about - if you recall after she was informed of Travis's death, she asked Detective Flores if he knew when the check she wrote Travis would be deposited. I believe the check was dated either 5/25/08 or 5/28/08 and it was either money she borrowed or a few car payments, because I remember it listed two months on the "memo" section of that check.

Now that we believe Arias staged the break in to steal her grandfather's gun, traveled to Mesa without telling a single soul - I began to wonder if she KNEW that check would never be deposited because Travis Alexander would be dead? Wasn't she broke during that trip? Would that $525+ dollar check have cleared her account had Travis lived to deposit it?  I would love to see her bank records to see if she wrote the check knowing it would never clear her bank. If she had to borrow money to take that trip, what are the chances she had more than $500 sitting in her account to pay Travis back?  Just another one of those little things that only Jodi Arias knows.  

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