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Who's Profiting From Jodi Arias Murder Trial?

Another late start in court today, I believe they will begin at 4:00PM EST. **UPDATE** Court is done for the day. The Judge called it a day after somebody in the gallery vomited in the isle in the courtroom!  Really, this actually happened. I'm surprised nobody got sick during Jodi Arias's testimony......

After hearing that expert witness Dr. Richard Samuels may be planning to write a book, I began to think of the people who may try to profit from their involvement in this murder trial. It seems wrong on every level. If Samuels does intend on writing a book on his trial experience in general, that would not seem as unethical as writing about his personal dealings with Arias.

Did you know that Jodi Arias supporters have the ability to accept donations "in support of Jodi"? The website clearly states all such donations will be credited to Arias's commissary account by her family (see below). Casey Anthony is another defendant who received many checks, money orders and donations so she could order food and personal products from the jailhouse commissary!  People from all over the country sent in their hard earned money to feed Ms. Anthony while she awaited trial.

*All support donations received will be deposited into Jodi’s commissary account by the Arias family.
(From the jodiariasisinnocent.com website)

In addition to Dr. Samuels, I would say that Gus Searcy was another person who actively sought out involvement in the Jodi Arias trial. He had information that was relevant, Arias reportedly called him in the middle of the night on June 5, 2008 to tell him that Travis was dead. Did Searcy dial 911, or have an officer go by the Alexander home to do a welfare check? No, he did nothing. In fact, he went on the same Cancun trip Travis Alexander was supposed to attend. Still, he said nothing. I don't believe withholding this type of information is technically illegal, but it goes a long way towards showing what type of citizen he is. He kept information closely guarded until it became beneficial to him. Once he testified, he wasted no time in booking himself on any/every media outlet that would have him. If you do a search on this guy, you will see that he's peddling a book he wrote called "The Charm". I'm not going to promote anything this man is selling here, but I will say it appears this book is about the power of positive thinking and of making positive choices. Sound vaguely familiar? Is this just another ripoff of "The Law Of Attraction" and/or "The Secret"?

Then there's the matter of Jodi Arias selling her artwork on Ebay. The proceeds of any sales are reportedly being used to help finance the Arias family's travel costs to and from Phoenix so they can attend the trial.  I'm pretty sure this constitutes income, and the proceeds from any sales of her original artwork has to be reported as income on her tax return.

What about the Alexander family? They are also traveling from out of town to attend the trial - is there a site to make donations to help them offset the costs?  If there isn't, there should be.  If the Arias family is receiving help via donations than the Alexander family should be too.

In one of the early interviews between Arias and Detective Flores, she asked him if/when the check she had written to Travis for car payments would be deposited. I remember that because it was such a tacky and trivial question to be asking after a death notification. If the check(s) were not deposited, I believe that would also be considered taxable income. This is taken from the IRS Publication 334 (2012):

"Generally, if your debt is cancelled or forgiven, other than as a gift or bequest to you, you must include the cancelled amount in your gross income for tax purposes. Report the canceled amount on line 6 of Schedule C if you incurred the debt in your business. If the debt is a non business debt, report the canceled amount on line 21 of Form 1040.

If the check that Jodi sent to Travis for the two months worth of car payments was never cashed, it appears this would be considered a non-business (forgiven) debt and should be taxable income.

On her artwork - the paragraph below was taken from eHow.com, and it clearly states that producing and selling art for money is reportable income  In addition, this activity constitutes a business.  Does Arias even have a business license?

"If you are engaged in the production of art and you sell that art for money, profiting from that endeavor in the process, then you must usually claim that profit on your income taxes for that year. The process of creating and selling art for money constitutes a business like any other, and is subject to the same tax regulations as any other for-profit business".

Read more: Do I Need to Claim Taxes on My Artwork? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_7999566_do-need-claim-taxes-artwork.html#ixzz2O7XCy6KL

Also from eHow.com, a business license is required if you are selling your own artwork. Business licenses are granted in the City and State where you live. Arias would also need a Employer Identification Number ("EIN") to file taxes on said business. So is Jodi Arias breaking the law while already behind bars? Seems to me that she is.

This may sound petty and trivial in the grand scheme of things. But it's quite possible that Arias is receiving substantial donations. Her "original artwork" would have little to no value if she were not on trial for murder. Was Arias paid for her Inside Edition, 48 Hours and Arizona Republic TV interviews? Has she received money for the photos they show on the various news shows reporting on her case? This became a concern in the Casey Anthony trial - when her parents were being paid for interview and the Anthony's received monies for the "licensing rights" to more family photos to show on the air. In fact, things got so heated around payments to Casey and her family that networks decided it wasn't worth the backlash to pursue getting that first post-acquittal interview with her after all. Wise move.

Testimony finally began this afternoon after another late start. Jennifer Willmott picked up where she left off yesterday, trying to rehabilitate their "expert" with the jury. It's going to be difficult to convince them that the blaring errors and omissions on Samuels reports were "irrelevant" to the diagnosis. For $250.00 an hour, I'd expect a little more out an expert witness.
The price tag to the taxpayers for the Jodi Arias trial is estimated to be upwards of $1,000,000.

Casting Call Goes Out For "Dirty Little Secret: The Jodi Arias Story"

The Lifetime movie about the Jodi Arias Murder Trial is in the works. A casting call has reportedly gone out for the project, tentatively titled "Dirty Little Secret: The Jodi Arias Story" - filming will begin April 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA according to reports from New York Daily NewsThe film is being produced by City Entertainment and Peace Out Productions.

The casting call went out for a white woman in her late 20's, who is "coquettish (huh?), head turning, with a palpable sexy allure and is well aware of the affect she has on men".  OK, I didn't write that description of Arias, it's from the NY Daily News article! The Jodi Arias character is further described as a head strong, quick tempered young woman who "emotionally suffocates and controls Travis Alexander". Casting Agent Fern Champion is said to be at the helm. Champion has handled casting on "Police Academy", "Naked Gun" and "90210".

For the role of Travis Alexander, they are looking for a handsome young man with a "winning personality" and a great sense of humor who becomes emotionally undone by the sexually aggressive Jodi Arias. In the movie, when Arias finally realizes that the object of her desire will never fully commit to her, her jealousy drives her to violence. It will be interesting to see what point of view the story is told from - hopefully the producers of this project will take their cues from the evidence and the crime scene photos, and not from the uncorroborated tales from this murder defendant. In this case, the truth is juicy enough to make a good made-for-TV movie, there is no need to give any credence to Jodi Arias' allegations that Travis was a sexual deviant.

According to reports, the move will portray Arias as a cold-blooded killer, who savagely slashes and stabs Travis Alexander "like a fevered animal".  Although the ending is still unknown, I've read that the closing scene will show Arias smiling slightly at the camera. Sounds about right to me. A source close to Lifetime confirmed that pre production and casting has begun but no air date has been set. 

In other Arias-related news, many of you commented on something that Arias was seen doing in court yesterday. Thanks for all of the comments and YouTube links to these clips! I couldn't believe my eyes when I viewed two of these clips. In a .12 second video clip, Arias can clearly be seen sneaking an entire manila file off the defense table and sliding it under the table and presumably under her rear end. What was in that folder? Was she removing something or adding something to it? In another .32 second video clip, Arias can be seen taking a document and sliding it under the table and out of the view of the camera. What was that document, and what did she do with it?

These clips are being talked about all over the Internet now - will the Judge and Prosecutor try to determine what Arias was up to? Are there any rules around a defendant handling or tampering with their own legal documents, if that's what they were?  Perhaps she was trying to get one of her courtroom doodles out to someone in the gallery, to be sold on EBay?  Who knows what does on in the mind of this woman.

How do you think Juan Martinez did with discrediting the work of Dr. Samuels yesterday? At the very least, he was able to point out how sloppy this doc's work was in a high profile death penalty case. It's hard to understand how someone can go into court and be so ill prepared - his entire diagnosis should be tossed, based on the realization that Jodi Arias took that PTSD test while still telling the 2 armed intruder lie. If her answers are based around lies, how can the diagnosis be a valid one? How can Dr. Samuels say that her inconsistencies (aka LIES) were not relevant to him? Did he really say that?  Jennifer Willmott did her best to rehabilitate the diagnosis of the doctor, but this jury seems fairly bright - we should learn quite a bit about how they viewed this evidence when we hear the jury questions for Dr. Samuels.

Personally, I've never seen an expert witness who was as sloppy with his work as this one was. When Martinez pointed out that Samuels report had several errors that directly effected the PTSD diagnosis, Samuels was quick to say that he accidentally omitted these pieces of information, yet he didn't feel it was important to update his own report? How unprofessional can one be? His face appeared very red while Juan Martinez was grilling him on Arias' inconsistencies as well as his OWN inconsistencies. He looked like his head was about to explode. How will the jury view his diagnosis of PTSD and amnesia for Jodi Arias?  It seems fairly clear that this man found out that Arias had been lying, yet he failed to re administer the test. Was he afraid of that the new results would not show what the defense wanted them to show, so he simply chose to ignore the lies as "irrelevant"? I doubt the jury will see lying as irrelevant - just goes to show that Arias is lying to everybody - even her own experts and her attorneys.

Her demeanor while the jury is not present is completely different than when they are present. She is just one odd and creepy woman. I always wonder what's going through her head as she stares blankly ahead during testimony. She almost looks bored, now that she's off the stand and out of the spotlight. I truly believe she enjoyed all of the attention she received during her time on the witness stand. Will the jury get their opportunity to question this expert witness today? Will Jodi Arias try to sit on additional office supplies today, or will she up the ante and swipe something from Jennifer Willmott's briefcase or purse? This has to be the most bizarre behavior seen in an American Courtroom in recent history.

Updates to follow......

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