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Juan Martinez Delivers Powerful Closing Argument

Arizona prosecutor Juan Martinez began his closing arguments today to a packed court room in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Court is in their noon lunch break now. The morning began with Judge Sherry Stephens setting forth each count against the defendant and how the law applies to each. The jury instructions were extensive, I'm sure the jurors will refer back to those instructions many times during their deliberations.

Then it was time for Juan Martinez to begin. During the morning session, he began by describing Arias as a lying and manipulative woman, "she has lied to each and every one of you", he told the jury, "and she is trying to manipulate you too". That has been the theme, as Martinez mocks Jodi Arias' claims of not writing about the alleged abuse in her journals because of "The Secret" and the Law of Attraction. He is weaving the story, not necessarily going in chronological order but methodically putting together pieces of the puzzle with premeditation. Martinez has said "with the truth you don't have to remember nothing", as he pointed out where Arias lies tripped her up.

He put all of the known lies of Jodi Arias out on display, lies she told to law enforcement, family and friends, her own expert witnesses and most importantly the jury. But when he started the afternoon session, he really began to focus in on the killing and how premeditated it was. He said that the trip to Mesa was not impromptu, as she would have the jury believe. She planned to go to Arizona to kill Travis Alexander and that plan was hatched as early as May 26, 2008 following that angry text message Travis sent to her in which he called her "the worst thing that ever happened to him". There was so much said during his closing I cannot possibly cover it all - but the afternoon session in particular was outstanding ad powerful.

The court room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop as Martinez explained that when Jodi Arias arrived at Travis' house around 4:00AM on June 4, she did not knock on the door - she knew his garage door code and she let herself in. She stood in the doorway, Travis happened to be awake and on his computer. Jodi watched him for a good 35 seconds before Travis' dog Napoleon began to bark as he noticed someone was in the house. I hadn't heard that before. It was a powerful moment, and he suggested that Travis may not have been at all aware Jodi Arias was coming to Mesa despite the phone call between the two. Rather, Arias called Travis to get information on what he was doing, if he was alone and who else may have been at the home.

Wow. A silent courtroom seemed to hang on his every word as Martinez then described how he believes the killing of Travis Alexander unfolded. There was a shower photo that Martinez displayed that I had never seen before, but it's the last photo of Travis alive. You can't see his face, he is seated in that shower stall with his legs slightly bent and his arms over his knees. Martinez described how vulnerable he was, no weapons, no clothes - with Arias standing over him fully clothed and potentially with a knife on her person. It's then when the State believes Arias stabbed him in the chest. The first stab wound would have been fatal, but not immediately. Travis gets out of the shower and is standing in front of the mirror, more than likely he can see the reflection of Jodi standing behind him as she begins to stab him in the back.

Martinez describes Travis' attempts to get away from Jodi Arias. The photos of the sink were displayed, followed by the photo of the bloody hallway where Martinez believes Travis struggled to get away from his attacker before he collapsed on the floor outside of the closet. The photo of the bloody carpet was then displayed, Martinez says this is where Jodi Arias cut his throat. The attack was relentless and it took time. Calling it "a well orchestrated killing", it was not a heat of the moment type of killing - those tend to be more disorganized and this was very targeted. Travis Alexander was likely dead when Jodi Arias shot him in the head, based on the lack of blood on the bullet, Martinez said. The photo of the bloody carpet was particularly chilling, as Martinez pointed out all of the footsteps around where Travis Alexander's body would have been. Martinez focused in on everything Arias did after the killing, while she says she was in a "fog" - she didn't wash Travis' body off because she cared about him, she did it to get rid of any DNA evidence that may have implicated her. She removed her bloody socks and was careful not to track blood out of that master suite. All of these things would not have been done by someone with dissociative amnesia.

Very powerful story. I'm riveted, I can see this all happening. It makes sense with the photos and the evidence. Martinez showed Jodi's consciousness of guilt around this killing. All the planning before and after were discussed, such as how Arias took such steps to be sure she wouldn't be discovered in the state of Arizona, turning her phone off and having adequate gas to not have to stop. She arrived at Ryan Burns house and acted as if everything was normal, she talked to Leslie Udy about her children playing with Travis' children at some point in the future. Who does that when you know the person is dead? 

Martinez told the jury that Jodi Arias lied about all of the abuse. "She went too far with her lies", Martinez said. He also pointed out that Jodi Arias loves the media attention she was getting. Her lies about Travis Alexander were an attempt to take away the only thing he had left, his reputation. The allegation of pedophilia was as low and as vile as she could get. "She chose a hot-button issue", Martinez told the jury.

Juan Martinez is talking about the charges for first degree murder, premeditated murder and felony murder. It seems that Jodi Arias tripped herself up here. IF the jury believes she took her grandfather's gun to Arizona, that goes to premeditation. IF the jury believes the gun she used was Travis Alexander's gun, Arias in essence stole the gun after during the commission of a felony, and that equals felony murder! Juan Martinez has pointed out how the State has more than met their burden of proof for both premeditated and felony murder counts. I've got to catch the rest of this closing argument but wanted to post this in case you can't watch it online or on TV.

Jodi Arias Trial - Judgement Day Looms

Today is expected to be a monumental day in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Nearly five months after the trial began, prosecutor Juan Martinez is expected to deliver his closing arguments to jurors who will ultimately decide the fate of Jodi Ann Arias.  Judge Sherry Stephens is expected to instruct the jury in matters of the law this morning before handing the stage over to the State of Arizona and Juan Martinez.

Yesterday in court the defense called their surrebuttal witness Dr. Robert Geffner to the stand to challenge the diagnosis of state expert witness Dr. Janeen DeMarte. DeMarte spent 12 hours interviewing Jodi Arias, studied the collateral evidence and reports before doing her own psychological tests on the 32 year old murder defendant. Through her battery of tests, she told jurors that she believed Arias had borderline personality disorder - not PTSD as the defense experts believed. Her testimony was clear-cut and easy to understand, and most importantly it was backed up by specific examples of patterns of behavior displayed by Arias. Speaking of Jodi Arias, perhaps her attorneys suggested that she try to feign interest in the proceedings? For the last several days, she has appeared somewhat disconnected to what's happening around her - she appears almost bored. I noticed yesterday she looked up at the screen more and seemed to be paying a little more attention to the testimony. 

Dr. Geffner challenged the tests that DeMarte used to diagnose Arias, telling the jury that they were not appropriate for use in diagnosing borderline personality disorder. Much of the day was spent describing his experience and credentials. OK, he has 35 years in the business. But how well does he know Jodi Arias? Turns out he has never met her, rather - he was called by the defense and asked to review her findings in the days after DeMarte testified. He believes Arias' tests reveal more of an anxiety disorder, and agreed with the diagnosis of PTSD.  I guess KILLING somebody would cause quite a bit of anxiety.

Jennifer Willmott did her best to get this witness to convince the jury that DeMarte's testing was flawed in some way and cannot be trusted. She then made the mistake of delving into the area of the testimony of medical examiner Kevin Horn.  Dr. Geffner may have a PhD, but he is not a medical doctor. Did Willmott make a mistake in trying to have a shrink challenge a medical examiner's opinion on the effects of a gunshot wound to the head? I think she did. I also believe the jurors are getting frustrated with the repetitive nature of the expert witness testimony, all of which hinges on the honesty or dishonesty of Jodi Arias. Willmott elicited some interesting testimony about the potential effects of the gunshot wound to Travis Alexander's face.

Geffner, who has never performed or even attended one single autopsy told the jury that based on his interpretation of Dr. Horn's autopsy report - he believes it's quite possible that Travis Alexander was not incapacitated after being shot in the head. This is crucial for Jodi Arias, because if the jury doesn't believe Travis had the ability to attack Jodi and threaten to kill her AFTER being shot, as Arias has testified - they likely won't believe any of her story about what happened during the killing. As expected, Willmott used as much of the court time as possible during her direct examination of the witness, leaving Martinez with as little time as possible to discredit Dr. Geffner.

When Juan Martinez began his cross examination, he wasted no time in tearing into Geffner's past testimony in other states - bringing to light the fact that a trial judge in Tennessee said he was "nothing more than a hired gun" and "his testimony had no merit" after he testified in a trial there.  Martinez asked him about Hawaii vs. French, another trial Geffner testified in where his testimony was actually excluded. The jury also discovered that Dr. Geffner is the editor of one of Alyce LaViolette's publications, need I say more?  Juan Martinez was aggressive and challenged Geffner at every opportunity. Dr. Geffner appeared nervous as Martinez grilled him, so much that he spilled water twice during questioning, and there were some awkward pauses as he cleaned up the mess.  Martinez asked him how many autopsies he had performed, "none" Geffner said. "How many autopsies have you witnessed"? Martinez asked, "none" Geffner responded. Dr. Geffner may have knowledge of how the brain functions, but clearly he lacked the expertise to be speaking as an expert - I'm not sure why Judge Stephens even allowed them to go into this area.

I only viewed the trial up to the point where Willmott began to redirect Dr. Robert Geffner, so I'm not sure how this all ended or if Juan Martinez ever got to introduce his surrebuttal witness, Dr. Jill Hayes. I do know this much, the testimony has concluded and judgement day is coming for Jodi Ann Arias. Did she manage to sway one or more jurors into believing her stories of emotional and physical abuse?  Do the jurors believe her depiction of the events leading up to the killing of Travis Alexander? Does her story make sense to them?  Has the defense managed to put Arias in front of them for long enough to humanize her and garner some sympathy? We will soon find out, as the jury is expected to get the case for deliberation as early as Friday. Since there is no security at the Superior Court where deliberations will be held, they are not expected to deliberate over the weekend.

This is it folks. The final days, the closing arguments.  I hope Juan Martinez got a good night's sleep and delivers his best closing argument ever.  I'd expect nothing less from him. He is the voice for Travis Alexander, and he wants justice.  Have a great day!

(Some of you have asked about getting notifications when the verdict comes down. I found a source for text alerts for Jodi Arias news, I HAVE NOT TESTED it yet! You may want to test it to see if you get news before the weekend, from cbs5az.com:
Text BREAKING to 23765:



**UPDATE**
Thank you to NancyB for posting a comment from Tanisha Sorenson from the Justice4Travis Facebook page. Her message can be seen on one of NancyB's comments from yesterday's post. 



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