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Conciousness Of Guilt? The Jodi Arias Murder Trial

As the defense's 3 month case is winding down, I thought it would be good to look at some of the facts in this case - these facts have been somewhat overshadowed with the discussion about domestic abuse, PTSD and other "syndromes" brought forth by Arias and her defense team.  As Prosecutor Juan Martinez enters into the home stretch, he needs to bring the focus back to the actual crime and all of the events leading up to June 4, 2008. If this jury believes Arias was emotionally and/or physically abused by Travis Alexander, what effect will that have on the eventual verdict? Will it make a difference between life and death for the 32 year old defendant?

Jodi Arias began discussing a visit to West Jordan Utah with Ryan Burns in late May of 2008. This is also the time frame in which Arias records the now infamous "phone sex tape".  On May 28, 2008 a break in is reported at Jodi Arias's grandparents house in which a .25 caliber handgun and $30 in cash is reported as stolen. Other items of value are untouched, a large number of quarters and change was left behind in plain view by the "robber(s)", as well as other guns stored at the house.

The first week of June, 2008 Arias and Alexander reportedly argue over Arias accessing his Facebook page. He sends her a scathing text or e-mail in early June as a result, so scathing that his friends wonder if he was too harsh.  A financially strapped Arias plans a road trip to Monterey, Santa Cruz and Southern California and rents a car.  She borrows 2 five gallon gas cans from former boyfriend Darryl Brewer, stating that she wanted to take advantage of cheap out of state gas prices and also out of fear of running out of gas in the desert. She stops in Pasadena and fills the tank of her white rental car and what appears to be enough gas for not two five gallon gas cans but three. She testified that she returned one of the cans to the WalMart she purchased it, but the prosecutor tells her that WalMart has no record of any gas cans being returned on the day in question.

Arias claims she never planned to go to Mesa, rather - Travis "guilted" her out because she wasn't planning to stop on her way to Utah. I don't recall seeing any text messages or phone records in court to back this story up, but I have missed some of the testimony. Arias shows up at Alexander's home and they sleep, wake up and have sex. They pose for pictures using his new digital camera, presumably purchased for his upcoming trip to Cancun Mexico. Around 5:30PM, Travis gets into the shower and Arias begins to photograph him. He's in a small enclosed shower stall - then something goes terribly wrong. Arias claims that Travis became enraged when she dropped his camera and lunged at her, threatening to kill her. She claims he exited the shower and "body slammed" her, yet she manages to get up and run out of the bathroom and into a closet where she claims to have seen a handgun while cleaning his house previously. She grabs the gun, off the top shelf without disturbing any of the hanging clothes or the clothes folded neatly on the shelf. Crime scene photos show nothing out of place in that closet.

Travis, wet and naked chases Arias through the closet and back into the bathroom where he lunges at her. She points the gun at him and "it goes off". She doesn't remember pulling the trigger. He was shot in the face - the shot did not kill him and she says he threatens her life. She doesn't remember grabbing a knife, stabbing him or slitting his throat with such force it severed his windpipe and his vertebra. The medical examiner testified that this would injury have required extreme force. Arias goes through the damning photos on the camera, deleted any that show she was in the home that day, attempts to clean up the bloody scene, removes the bedding and puts it in the washing machine. Somehow the camera ends up in the washing machine too, but the memory card survives and tells law enforcement the true story of what happened that day.

Arias, "in a fog" gathers her belongings and leave the scene and begins to cover her tracks once she is safely out of Arizona she finds her cellphone and contacts Ryan Burns, who was expecting her a day earlier - she tells him she got lost and stopped to rest. She cleans the remaining blood off of her and presumably changes her clothes and gets rid of the gun and anything else that ties her to Mesa. She arrives in Utah on June 5 and acts as if nothing is wrong. She even leaves voicemails for Travis, knowing he will never hear them. She calls his phone and accesses his voicemails and listens to his private messages. Obsessive behavior?

If Arias was truly in a fog as she claims, she more than likely wouldn't have even thought to clean herself up or get rid of evidence from Travis's house. If she was in some sort of dissociative state, wouldn't she have HAD TO KNOW what happened when she snapped out of the fog and saw the blood all over her? I'm no shrink, but she can't have it both ways. There is a consciousness of guilt to many of the things she did after this murder took place, and much of what she did in the week(s) leading up to the killing looks an awful lot like planning. How big of a coincidence would it have to be to believe the "break in" and gun theft had nothing to do with Travis Alexander's murder? Did Arias begin planning this when she decided to go to Utah to see Ryan Burns? That gave her the perfect opportunity to be away for a number of days and off the radar. Her attempts to show no trace of herself being in Mesa speaks volumes about this theory. Why was she so worried about gas? One 5 gallon gas can is reasonable - nobody likes to run out of gas. But three? Why lie about returning one?

There are, after all gas stations all along the routes she could have chosen to travel. There will always be people on both sides of these arguments and Arias has a surprising amount of supporters. Regardless of IF you feel Travis Alexander didn't treat Arias in a respectful manner, he is not on trial for being a bad boyfriend. She is the one who is on trial, and I hope that 12 reasonable jurors will see that Arias had ample opportunities to leave that home without taking Travis Alexander's life. She didn't have to kill him, simple as that. He had so many wounds that were described as "serious or fatal" that there's no reason she had to continue to assault him while he was likely on the ground, unable to move. The blood in the hallway seems to show he was trying to get away from her. There was so much blood in those bathroom sinks and on the floor. And what about Jodi Arias? Her injuries were treated with bandages. Who had the power? You be the judge!

Other questionable acts by Arias:

  • the coded magazines she tried to smuggle out of jail
  • the letters from Travis Alexander she tried to have admitted to evidence but were found to be forgeries
  • asking her mother Sandra Arias to leak/sell said letters to the National Enquirer
  • Arias was packed and ready to flee when police arrested her. A gun was found with her possessions

By the way, does anybody know why Arias's first public defender Victoria Washington asked to be removed from this case?

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