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Prosecution Expert Dr. Janeen DeMarte Holds Up Under Intense Cross Exam

The Jodi Arias murder trial continued yesterday with the State's expert witness Dr. Janeen DeMarte taking the stand for her second day of testimony. DeMarte spent 12 hours interviewing Jodi Arias and in addition to the clinical interview, she gave Arias several psychological tests and ultimately diagnosed her with borderline personality disorder. DeMarte outright disagreed with defense experts diagnosis of PTSD.

Arias attorney Jennifer Willmott gave DeMarte a fierce and fiery cross examination, calling into question DeMarte's years of experience as a licensed psychologist, the rate she charges her patients versus the rate she is being paid for her participation in this case, her level of expertise in the areas of domestic violence/battered women's syndrome and PTSD. Willmott was abrupt and bordered on rude in not allowing DeMarte to elaborate on her answers, at one point saying "no, I'm moving on" when DeMarte asked if she could reference materials she brought before answering a question posed to her. There's aggressive - and then there's rude. Willmott managed to be both.

DeMarte had no interest in portraying Jodi Arias as bad and Travis Alexander as good, rather her concern seemed to honestly be providing accurate test results and what information she used to draw upon the conclusions she ultimately came to in Arias's diagnosis. Her testimony was easy to follow, and it was relatively clear how she came to each "data point" and test conclusion. In contrast, the defense experts disregarded Travis Alexander's own written words, believed every word out of Jodi Arias's mouth and gave her the benefit of doubt at every single turn. They were not concerned by her lies and refused to even entertain it may be a pattern of behavior. Is it any wonder the jury had hundreds of questions for Alyce LaViolette?

Some new information came out about Jodi Arias's odd behavior during Juan Martinez's redirect of Dr. DeMarte. In an example of another "data point" DeMarte used, she testified that Jodi snuck into Travis's house and hid behind his Christmas tree! She also testified about Arias allegedly stealing a ring from Travis. The defense objected and all attorneys went to a sidebar with Judge Stephens. DeMarte was allowed to only testify that a ring of Travis's was believed to be taken by Jodi. The jury will be left to draw their own conclusions about that ring, but that ring is believed to be an engagement ring that Travis had purchased for another woman! No other details were disclosed and the jury was left with the perception that this was Travis's ring, not a woman's ring purchased by Travis. It's too bad the jury is left with this half-truth and not the whole truth. I know, I know, it would be unfairly prejudicial. Whatever!

DeMarte provided testimony that Jodi Arias's breakup with Matt McCartney wasn't as easy as Arias testified it was. DeMarte stated that McCartney had a difficult time getting Arias to come to terms with their breakup, despite the fact that he had already moved on and was seeing another woman. DeMarte also testified about Arias's behavior following Travis Alexander's memorial service. On the plane ride back after his memorial service, DeMarte testified that Arias met another man and exchanged phone numbers with him, and she actually called plane-man at some point after returning to Yreka! I keep hearing that everybody grieves in their own way, but this doesn't make Arias look remorseful or upset about the man she claimed to care so deeply about that she put his feelings and needs before her own.

There were far fewer jury questions for Dr. DeMarte than for Dr. Samuels or Alyce LaViolette. They asked her how many times she had testified in court, how many of those times were related to abuse, what type of people are at risk for borderline personality disorder, is it normal for someone who is incarcerated to feel depressed? An interesting question relating to the camera - they asked "do you believe that deleting pictures and attempting to wash the camera destroying evidence?" During her cross examination, Willmott argued that if Arias was having organized thoughts, she would have taken the camera with her instead of leaving it behind. Many people believe Arias more than likely thought deleting the photos took care of the problem, and running it through the washing machine would more than likely destroy any remaining evidence. The point is she took the time to delete the specific photos, not all of the photos! The jury knows this.

The jury asked DeMarte "would it concern you if a person answering questions on a test used psychological terms instead of laymen terms? and "do you see any issues with Dr. Samuels completing the answer sheet for Arias based on his summary of notes?" They asked "if stabbing, shooting and slicing a person's throat would be a traumatic event" and they asked another question regarding the PTSD issue - something to the effect of "if a person is attacked by a lion, but on a psychological test they say it was a bear would their test be invalid?". But perhaps the most telling of all juror questions was this: would saying "mark my words, no jury will ever convict me be part of your borderline personality disorder diagnosis, especially since she was smiling when she said it?" Wow. What a telling question. Seems the jury has not forgotten Arias's ill-stated quote. Right about now, she's probably wishing she never made such a public prediction of her fate. But she did utter those words and can never take it back. It's out there. She claims she intended to kill herself before her case ever went to trial - but it that believable to you?

Juan Martinez seemed to be satisfied with the jury questions. He had no further redirect of DeMarte, but you know Jennifer Willmott is not through! This is it for the defense. After having twice as many days on the stand as the prosecution, they are still seeming to scramble to convince jurors Jodi had to kill Travis. How effective have they been? Only time will tell, and the clock is ticking.....

Have a fabulous weekend!

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