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"Alternative Reality" or Cover Up?

Dr. Richard Samuels was back on the stand today, and was aggressively questioned by prosecutor Juan Martinez on his methods and diagnosis of murder defendant Jodi Arias. Dr. Samuels, a defense expert who is being paid $250.00 per hour diagnosed Arias with PTSD, acute stress and dissociative amnesia stemming from the 6/4/08 killing of Travis Alexander.

Juan Martinez battled Samuels and at times seemed to belittle him, as Samuels admitted to making several clerical errors and omissions on the reports he generated relating to Arias. Martinez questioned whether Samuels had lost his ability to be objective in regards to Jodi Arias, which triggered angry objection from Jennifer Willmott and Dr. Samuels.

Martinez was as aggressive as we've seen him. I was surprised to hear a few things today I wasn't aware of. Martinez stated that Jodi Arias sent an 18 page letter to Travis's family at some point, I believe after she was arrested - although they didn't say. The reason I believe it was after the arrest is because she mentioned wanting to send them a letter during the arrest/interrogation video we have seen. It was also stated today that during a visitation with her mother, Jodi Arias kicked her! Juan Martinez was questioning Dr. Samuels about Arias's anger towards her mother, after 6/4/08. Martinez argued that Arias has always had a contentious relationship with her mother, this didn't begin after the murder.

Juan Martinez did seem to be taking his issues with Dr. Samuels to a personal level today, and I have to say that although I don't agree with this doctor's diagnosis of Arias, Jennifer Willmott did a pretty fair job redirecting Samuels near the end of the day. One thing I don't agree at all with, Samuels claiming Jodi Arias created an "alternative reality" as a way to cope with the trauma of killing Travis Alexander. The alternative reality he speaks of were all the lies Arias told and her attempts to cover up her involvement in the crime. He testified that it was because it was too painful for her to admit or cope with what she had done, and if we hadn't heard Arias testify otherwise, I may have bought this line! But Arias has already testified that she lied to cover up her involvement due to her fear of the consequences, and she didn't want everybody to know she was capable of such a crime. So the alternative reality theory doesn't hold water - she lied to evade punishment!

I'm so glad this witness is going to be off the stand because they have been over these same points many times. Wondering how the jury viewed Martinez during his questioning of Dr. Samuels objectivity, and his allegation that Samuels had feelings for the defendant. Would have loved to see how that played out. Now let's move on to the next witness! I believe the domestic violence expert is up next, Alyce Laviolette. Laviolette is usually an expert for the prosecution, so this will be interesting!

Juan Martinez Gets Another Crack At Dr. Samuels

Dr. Richard Samuels is expected to return to the witness stand today. His testimony last week seemed to leave jurors with more questions than answers. His diagnosis of Arias with PTSD and dissociative amnesia have left many people scratching their heads. He has some serious credibility issues, not only around his diagnosis of Arias but of his methods of testing and his sloppy reporting. Juan Martinez will have another shot at pointing out the shoddy and questionable reporting from this defense expert today. These two have provided some great courtroom drama, with Martinez asking Samuels "do you have problems with your memory"?, and Samuels snapping back "No, do you?". Great stuff!

For $250.00 an hour, Arias seems to have bought the diagnosis she hopes will explain her lapses in memory and her outrageous behavior in the days following the savage murder of ex boyfriend Travis Alexander. I think too much is being made of this "expert" witnesses testimony. Does the defense team believe they can create sympathy for a woman who's own brutal actions caused her to have the PTSD to begin with? Samuels testified that 30% of people convicted of a homicide reported having some type of amnesia following the crime. Seems awfully convenient. I'm not saying that there aren't people that truly do suffer from these syndromes following traumatic events. I just don't believe Jodi Arias is one of them.

Let's look at the circumstances Arias has created around her defense. The evidence that could prove or disprove many of the events she has described in court are gone - disposed of, deleted, or just missing. There are no eyewitnesses to any of the alleged abuse of Jodi at the hands of Travis. There are no family members, friends, counselors, doctors, law enforcement officials, pastors, bishops or clergymen that Arias confided in. Her own personal and private journals do not contain any entries about alleged abuse.

The weapons used in the crime have never been recovered. Had the gun NOT been Arias' grandfather's stolen 22 caliber, why would she take it with her and throw it in the desert, where it would never be recovered? I don't believe there are any records that show Travis Alexander owned a registered handgun or firearm, but that doesn't mean he couldn't have had one. The point is, as long as it wasn't the stolen .22 caliber, that would show that she did not go to Mesa packing a gun. The knife has never been identified or recovered. Arias has a vague recollection of putting a knife in the dishwasher, but police were not able to link one to the crime. If the knife was in fact from Travis's home, and it was used to cut this rope used to tie Arias up, why take the knife? Why not wipe it off and leave it? The knife isn't quite as telling as the gun, but still, you have to wonder if there was a knife in that room prior to him getting into that shower.

I think it's almost poetic justice that Arias, who prides herself as a professional-grade photographer may be undone by a camera, her tools of the trade. She thought she knew how to get rid of the damaging photos that memorialized her presence at the Alexander home on June 4, 2008. She carefully went through the photos on his new digital camera, decided which ones she needed to delete and which ones could remain. She thought she had erased herself from the crime scene by deleting the nude photos, clearly time and date stamped June 4, 2008. She knew enough about evidence and crime scene cleanup to remove the bedding with her DNA on it, and put it in the washing machine. Whether she put the camera in the washing machine on purpose or if it was accidental, that memory card would be the beginning of the end for Jodi Arias. Arias must be kicking herself for leaving that camera behind! She likely would still be on trial for murder, because of the bloody palm print she left behind, but jurors may have had a more difficult time believing a woman of her small stature could be strong enough to bring down a much heavier Travis Alexander.

So what more can Dr. Richard Samuels add to this whole story? He only saw Arias 12 times, and spent maybe 30 hours with her - how can he form an opinion of her state of mind based on this little time? The jury may decide to ignore Samuels testimony altogether. This expert was so sloppy in his work, that he failed to re administer the diagnostic tests after discovering his patient was lying to him about what really happened on June 4, 2008. There is no excuse for that failure, although Samuels believes the outcome of the testing would be no different - basically saying "trauma is trauma". He is not paid to draw those type of conclusions. Why didn't Samuels do more testing on Arias, given the lies she told law enforcement and lies she told him? Wouldn't it have been prudent to do more thorough testing for other possible diagnosis? I don't know what type of testing there is to determine if somebody is a sociopath or a psychopath, but it would have been interesting to know what other personality disorders she may suffer from.

Whatever you believe about Dr. Samuels and his diagnosis, this only really goes to try to explain why Arias cannot remember the crucial points in the murder of Travis Alexander. She remembers everything and anything that is beneficial to her case, but doesn't recall those things that prove she is a cold blooded killer. The facts of the case remain the same, with or without the testimony of Dr. Richard Samuels. The sooner he gets off the stand, the better. He adds nothing either way, in my opinion he was a complete waste of $250.00 an hour!

I'd still be interested to know what those documents and folders that Arias was captured by courtroom cameras sneaking off the defense table last week contained. I'd also be interested to know if a murder defendant is allowed to be passing papers to people in the gallery. The court video cameras have captured an awful lot of interesting and suspicious activity going on with Jodi Arias. Is she passing her doodles or artwork to somebody in the gallery to sell for her on EBay? What was the pill she was seen taking? Is she trying to get another coded note to Matt McCartney? Is she passing along suggestions on who she wants to play her in the Lifetime movie "Dirty Little Secret - The Jodi Arias Story"? 

This trial is truly getting more bizarre by the day. Last week, court had to be adjourned for the day after a spectator vomited in the courtroom. I'm surprised that didn't happen more when Jodi Arias was on the stand. Should be another interesting week. What new theories will emerge about this crime? What does Juan Martinez have up his sleeve for his rebuttal case? Stay tuned!

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