Amazon banner

Arias Defense Alleges State Deleted Porn Files

Wow, I've only recently began reading up on what's been happening in that Phoenix courtroom and the never-ending trial of Jodi Ann Arias. Convicted of first degree murder in 2013, Arias remains unsentenced - and what was supposed to be a 6 week penalty retrial has turned into almost a bigger circus than the guilt phase of the trial!

It's been difficult to get a real sense for how things are playing out in the courtroom this time around, without the television coverage we are dependent on the written words and observations of those who are in the courtroom.  It's not remotely the same because when you are watching for yourself, you can pick up on things other people may not feel are important.  One thing is certain, this trial has gone into triple overtime and is bordering on nasty. Attorneys on both sides are alleging misconduct and Arias' new computer expert's "bombshell" revelations and allegations about what has been described as thousands of porn files that were deleted from Travis Alexander's laptop has been center of this storm.

I'm no computer expert, and even the terminology is somewhat Greek to me, but apparently the Defense's Motion to remove the death penalty as an option due to prosecutorial misconduct largely centers around these thousands of deleted porn files discovered on a clone of Travis Alexander's laptop while it was being examined by defense expert Bryan Neumeister last summer. Neumeister and the defense claims that there were thousands of files containing child porn, photos of child porn existed on the laptop before being deleted - allegedly by the State and/or Juan Martinez.  During Arias' trial, the State's expert testified that no pornography was found on Travis' computer.  These allegations only came up after Neumeister was brought in to examine a clone of the original computer, which the State's expert argued was an "altered clone".  Big difference between an exact clone and an altered one.

The defense says the State mishandled and destroyed this key evidence, that State strongly denies doing any such thing and suggest the defense expert is the one who tampered with evidence on the altered clone.  Bryan Neumeister was brought in during the time when Jodi Arias was acting as her own attorney.  That alone makes the timing of everything suspicious in my own mind, as I believe Arias is willing to do anything to paint Travis Alexander as a sexual deviant who was into child pornography.  Remember, many believe Arias submitted letters written to her supposedly by Travis that apologized to her and basically admitting that he was into that kind of stuff, but those letters were copies and not originals - in the end they were inadmissible because they could not be authenticated and many people believe they were forgeries.  Many people also believe Arias pressured Matt McCarty (spelling?) into falsely testifying about things he had no personal knowledge of, and thankfully in the end he did not testify which speaks volumes about the validity of Arias' claims.

These arguments have been made out of the presence of the jury.  Dubbed "Porn Gate" by the media, the defense is banging their fists that blatant prosecutorial misconduct has occurred and this sham of a trial should be stopped because it is based on false information.  Do they really think Jodi Arias should be set free because they have an expert who claims there was deleted porn files on a clone of Travis' laptop?  The very word "clone" is cause for suspicion.  A clone is not the original evidence, and in this case how can it be authenticated and how did THIS expert find so many deleted files that weren't previously detected? Something is rotten in Denmark.  I read somewhere that Jodi is or was reading the book about Casey Anthony "Presumed Guilty", written by Jose Baez - her attorney.  Could she have gotten the idea to go after the computer after reading or hearing how Anthony's team found an expert who showed the State's expert on the subject of chloroform searches on the Anthony computer was false?  That was actually very relevant information in that case. But still that case was very different from this one.

So the defense makes these very serious prosecutorial misconduct allegations about destroyed evidence, conveniently said evidence was only ever viewed by the defense. It no longer exists.  A lot of finger pointing on both sides, who deleted what and when.  Can any of it be proved or disproved?  The State scored big-time when they got a expert witness to testify that those "thousands of porn files" were not actually files at all. Rather, they were links to "possibly questionable sites" but not porn or photos as the defense has claimed.  Then in what I'd say was a Perry Mason moment, the State got expert witness Perry Smith to testify about the existence of an "Incinerator" program that was discovered in the Recycling Bin of the altered clone that Bryan Neumeister examined!  This seemingly solidifies the States argument that they didn't view, delete or tamper with any pornography files on the original hard drive of Travis' computer.  All of the alleged files and deleted files Neumeister testified about were on the cloned copy ("altered clone") and the Incinerator folder that was found in that Recycling Bin could not have existed on the original hard drive because the program did not even exist when Travis was alive!  The topper:  at 10:16PM on October 22, 2014 somebody attempted to manually delete the Incinerator program. It wasn't Travis Alexander, and it wasn't the Mesa PD or the prosecutor's office.  Porn-Gate case closed.

Even after their deleted porn theory went down in flames, Nurmi continued to argue that misconduct occurred:  "this case is more about prosecutorial misconduct than it is about evidence".  Evidence, they call this evidence?  If you are going to allege that the State and their prosecutor and police force tampered with, destroyed, deleted or altered a computer - you damn well better have strong proof to back up those claims.  The defense looks pretty shady if you ask me.  Yet there are those that firmly believe this is enough to set Jodi Arias free and give her a pass on murder. Juan Martinez does not and did not take the allegations of misconduct against his office lightly.  He allegedly lit into the defense team, focusing on mitigation specialist Maria de la Rosa or "Cougarlucious" as she is better known as in the world of Twitter.
Maria de la Rosa - aka "Cougarluscious"
 We do know that MDLR had her wrists slapped and was banned from the jail for some time after being caught with some of Jodi's artwork in her possession as she was leaving from a visit with her infamous client.  I think that's just the tip of the iceberg with this woman.  It has been long rumored that Miss Cougarlucious was linked to one of Jodi's PayPal accounts, one of those accounts linked to art and other websites selling Jodi Arias' murderabilia.

This should be very easy to validate and prove.  I truly and sincerely hope that if and when this trial is finally put to rest and Arias is sent to prison, the State of Arizona and/or the Bar Association takes a good, long look into the actions and activities of the mitigation specialist.  Many people believe she is deeply involved in Arias' financial ventures - yes I said it, financial ventures, from the inmate who claimed she didn't have enough money to even file for bankruptcy while directing her supporters to which website their cash donations would be safe going to.   As mitigation specialists are independent contractors with Maricopa County, there are professional standards they are expected to comply with. From the Maricopa County website, one such clause reads: No Additional Compensation. Contractor may not solicit or accept
private or additional compensation of any kind from any source
including fees, costs or any other form of present or future
compensation, in any matter that relates to or arises out of a

pending assignment or representation. 

Here is a link to the entire document:

 I hope everything that has occurred with Jodi Inc. is completely scrutinized and examined, including a nice long audit from the IRS into unpaid taxes of these businesses and undeclared income Arias has been taking in since her incarceration in 2008.  I've said it many times before and I strongly believe Arias has been attempting to hide or divert this income and hasn't paid one red cent in taxes on any of it.  That would seemingly make MDLR an accessory to money laundering if she is touching that Pay Pal account and diverting the funds to the Arias family for future use by Jodi.  MDLR was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for her work on this death penalty case, yet they've had such a problem with their mitigation case and getting people to testify.  Maybe Cougarlucious should be putting in more time and effort on that than leaking information to the media, bloggers or anybody else on social media as it has also been alleged.

As for the trial, court is expected to resume on Monday the 15th.  There is no word on who will be testifying on Jodi's behalf - as you will recall, the defense filed motions to have witnesses testifying in private, out of public view and that ruling was overturned by a 3 judge panel.  Will they ultimately take the stand?  You know what I say?  If they don't, that's Jodi Arias' problem.  Do you remember that Scott Peterson had to get his college golf coach or instructor to come in as a character witness? That's pretty deep on the depth chart as far as character witnesses are concerned!!  That's after current friends and family, old friends and acquaintances - an old golf coach or instructor?  Still, Scott's trial went on and the jury came out with a verdict.  That trial was just as big as this one, with just as much media coverage and just as much of a circus environment as Jodi's.  So if Jodi's witnesses won't testify, that's on her. Not the State of Arizona's problem.  What do they want, witness protection? What is this, a mob trial?  New identities, police protection? Come on, really? If I were a friend of Jodi's and I was asked to testify truthfully, what would I have to fear?  I'd testify truthfully for someone I believed in, regardless of what the public thought about me or about the defendant.  I believe something else is at play here. You either believe in her or you don't.  Nobody is going to crucify you for your thoughts and feelings about your friend or family member.  The truth shall set you free, testify!!

Jodi Arias Trial - Public & Media Allowed Back In

At last, sanity prevails!  A 3 judge panel at the State Appeals Court ruled that the media and public be let back in to the Jodi Arias penalty phase retrial, over ruling Judge Sherry Stephens decision last week to allow at least one defense witness to testify outside of the presence of the public and the media. Judge Stephens closed the court room to the public and media last Thursday at the request of the defense, a move that raised many eyebrows and angered others.  Who is the witness? 

Lead defense attorney Kirk Nurmi continues to argue that many, if not all of their mitigation witnesses are reluctant to testify publicly out of fear of the repercussions for supporting Arias. Hmm. Something smells fishy to me.  If you are a supporter of Arias and if you are telling the truth, why be so afraid of the public hearing your testimony?  This is no witch hunt, Jodi Arias has already been convicted to I don't see why this person or persons would be afraid to be heard.

It's not like standing up to defend Charles Manson or some other mass murderer.  You either believe she is worthy of living and should not be put to death or you don't.  Even murderers have friends and family who love and support them even after they have committed an act they could never have imagined them committing.  I don't believe my mom or my sister would be capable of killing somebody, but if there were circumstances that led them to I'd still love them, support them and I certainly would not be afraid to testify to the reasons why they should be granted life.  What gives?

I know I'm late in posting all of this because my computer is in the process of crashing, and I haven't had the time to get it fixed so logging in has become somewhat of a time consuming task but one of the more appalling things I've read about recently was that Sandy and Bill Arias had posted a video via You Tube asking people for money to use to obtain "the best possible legal counsel" to handle Arias' eventual appeal(s).  I hear the video was taken down within 2 days, without explanation but that doesn't surprise me at all. Jodi Arias seems to have no boundaries whatsoever in the lengths she is willing to go to in order to get people to give her money!  I'd be willing to bet that she's gathered more money while sitting in the Estrella jail that she made as a free working member of society.  That's just plain wrong, especially given the fact that had she not butchered a well loved and respected man 6 years ago, nobody would know who the hell Jodi Arias was - let alone would they be purchasing her wares.

We have a convicted murderer skirting the Son of Sam Laws and selling everything from "artwork" to eyeglasses to t-shirts and wristbands, shamelessly claiming to be a domestic abuse survivor and trying to attach her name to as many charitable causes as she can while lining her own pockets and her commissary with money and nobody seems to be doing anything to stop her.  Can somebody please make her stop?  She SHOULD be facing an audit by the IRS and I truly hope that a letter makes it's way to the Internal Revenue Service and Arizona Tax Board begging them to take a look at this tax dodging inmate before the money has been laundered or spent. Whatever happened to the old Tweet that claimed that she would file for bankruptcy but didn't have enough money to do so?  I've heard estimates that she's raked in well over $35,000.00 but I'd bet she's received more than that. There's nobody watching so her hand will remain in the cookie jar as long as she's allowed to.

Hey Jodi, how about giving those funds back to the taxpayers who are footing the bill for your $2.5 million dollar defense (and counting)?  How about giving some of that money to the victims family?  Do you think your family is the only ones who have suffered financial loss from this long and drawn out court battle?  Let this all be over with.  Whether she gets life or death, just let it be done. I'm sure Jodi Arias will reinvent herself while in prison, get herself a hobby card and continue to sell her murderabilia and keep herself stocked with commissary items.  There are many that would argue she doesn't deserve to live in prison, rather she should be sent to Death Row where she may spend the next several decades but maybe that's what justice calls for in this case.  I've heard Arias talking about how long the case will drag on if she's given the death penalty due to the automatic appeals, and wouldn't it just be easier for everybody involved to send her off to prison and forget it all happened?

Travis Alexander has already waited more than 6 years for his killer to be brought to justice.  There shouldn't be any shortcuts along the way.  It may be cheaper and easier to sentence her to life, but does that punishment fit this crime?  I only wish we could hear what's happening in that courtroom.  I get the feeling Jodi Arias is STILL trying to sell her self defense story to this new jury, despite the fact that this trial is not about that.  Another jury already made that decision, but she doesn't seem to be willing or able to let that go.  Of all of her websites, I think the "Justice4Jodi" site is the one that's the hardest to swallow.  Think about it, justice for Jodi?  What injustice has been done to her?  Does she really consider herself to be the victim in this tragedy?  What does "justice" look like to Jodi Arias?  A walk or acquittal is what she was banking on.  She claimed that "no jury would convict me, you can mark my words on that", guess what - she was wrong.  I don't know that she ever considered there would be ramifications for the murder because she never planned on getting caught.  She thought she had the perfect alibi.

Justice4Jodi, really?  Soon enough, we will all find out what justice is in store for her.  It won't be long now until we know how this all ends.  It's been a sickening thing to watch, the absolute horror of the actual killing and the string of lies Arias was caught in and even more she told that can't be proven false. I can think of few things that are worse than a person cashing in on the death of another person when that death came at their own hands.  It's truly despicable.  And her "abusive and unsupportive" parents seem to be right there along side of her now.  So what was it, were they uncaring, neglectful parents who dished our corporal punishment that scarred her and effected all of her future relationships or are they parents who loved their out of control teenage daughter who rebelled regardless of what actions they took?  Why won't they testify for their daughter?  Why won't one single member of the Arias family get on that witness stand for mitigation?  Or are they this time around?

I also am highly suspicious of Maria de la Rosa and her relationship with Jodi Arias - her name has come up one too many times as being associated with Arias' auctions and PayPal accounts.  Not to mention being caught red-handed smuggling out Arias' murderabilia/artwork after a jailhouse visit.  Talk about conflicts of interest!  Where is the bar association on all of this?  Do they have an internal affairs office or some type of compliance or watchdog department to investigate these allegations?  MDLR got paid six figures for NOT putting on a mitigation case during the trial in chief.  Wasn't that enough income?  Why would she be willing to jeapordize her career for Jodi Arias?  It's all highly suspicious and unscrupulous.  Perhaps Jodi Arias isn't so fond of Kirk Nurmi because maybe Nurmi wised up to the type of client he is representing. The whole cast of characters is something to think about.

What should never be forgotten through all of this murky water Arias has created is that a young man with a promising future was snuffed out in the prime of his life.  From all accounts, Travis Alexander was somebody that many many people looked up to and he inspired those around him to be better people and live life with purpose.  Sure, Jodi Arias made certain that his name was muddied and people found out he seemingly was leading a double life of sorts in that he had strayed beyond his Mormon faith around sex before marriage.  That's not a crime, and it seems that Travis punished himself for those lapses and was trying to make a change - keeping Jodi Arias out of his life was the start and sadly the finish for him.  Who knows what he'd be doing now if he had not been butchered in his own home only days before he was to embark on a trip to Cancun with another woman who may have been a better match with his personal and religious beliefs.

Travis Alexander did not deserve to be murdered.  Nobody does, but had Travis not met Jodi Arias at that convention all those years ago, he would be alive and well today.  The Alexander family has suffered a loss so great that his brother still has nightmares about him being killed. He can't take a shower without locking the door.  There is an empty chair at family gatherings and holidays and forever will be empty. Travis' chair. And for what?  Out of jealousy, rage, lust or revenge?  We may never know the whole truth.  We know what forensic evidence there is and THANK GOD for that memory card in the camera.  The bloody palm print and hair helped too, but Jodi Arias can be very convincing when she needs to be.  That memory card told a story, a story she could not get out of.  Even when confronted with her own date stamped photo in Travis' bed on the day he was murdered, she tried to lie her way out of it.  "Are you sure that's me"?

That's all for now.  Will have to catch up on my reading because I don't know what's going on now.  Last I heard, the media and public were back in per the State Court of Appeals and the trial was postponed until 11/12/14.  Is the mystery witness finished testifying?  How much testimony was given while the courtroom was closed?  How many of Nurmi's witnesses will refuse to testify if the public are allowed in the courtroom?  This is definitely a case for the law books.  It has to be one of the most outrageous court trials in Arizona history. What do you think?  Did the 3 judge panel make the right call in allowing the public and media back into the courtroom?  Will Nurmi fold, as he did in the first penalty trial when things didn't go their way?  Will this end in another deadlocked jury, leaving it up to Judge Stephens to decide whether Jodi Arias has the possiblity for release after serving 25 years?

I hope not.

Public Kicked Out of Jodi Arias Retrial

I haven't had as much time to watch for news relating to the highly secretive and closely guarded Jodi Arias retrial, and given that the public has been denied the right to view the trial on television I'm simply waiting to hear the outcome and hoping at some point it will be televised and we will know the end of this long drawn out drama.  There has been news relating to the dismissal of jurors and I believe the State has called most if not all of their witnesses.

It sounds like a condensed version of the original (pre-verdict) trial, with the Mesa Police Department recalling the events surrounding the murder of 30 year old Travis Alexander and one of the State's most important witnesses is arguably Dr. Kevin Horn, the medical examiner who performed the autopsy and recorded all of the injuries inflicted onto Travis. Both sides have made arguments over the sequence of injuries and whether Travis Alexander was shot in the head first or whether that injury came last, almost an afterthought in this overkill murder.  Does it really matter? Can anybody argue that this murder wasn't cruel or heinous regardless of whether he was stabbed or shot first?  I think the State put on enough witnesses who testified that Jodi Arias walked out of that "life or death" struggle with little damage to her person. This clearly appeared to be an ambush killing.  To continue to argue self defense is ridiculous.  

The defense is still trying to convince the jury that Travis Alexander was the real "bad guy" who pushed Arias to the brink of insanity with his callous and abusive behavior - using Jodi Arias as little more than a booty call.  Coupled with what they have described as an abusive childhood with two unsupportive parents, will it be enough to spare Arias from a life on Death Row?

Thursday's proceedings came to an abrupt halt, with Judge Sherry Stephens kicked the public and press out of the courtroom following what is being described as a secret meeting with attorneys on both sides.  Apparently she is allowing an Arias witness testify in complete and total secrecy, with only the jury,attorneys present - she reportedly allowed members of the Alexander family to remain.  Who is this top secret witness and what are they so afraid of?  This is highly irregular, and seems to be an over reaction on the part of the Judge!  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  It's bad enough the whole trial has been top secret - does the Judge believe Jodi Arias' trial was more talked about and watched than the OJ Simpson, Scott Peterson, Casey Anthony or Dr. Conrad Murray trials?  So much for the concept of tranparency in the justice system.

Apparently Judge Stephens has a reason for closing the courtroom to the public and the press, but naturally her reasons and rulings are sealed so who knows?  All that we know is this mystery witness would not testify if what he or she says became public.  Who could this be and why are they so afraid to testify?  Arias and her attorneys have made a big stink about the fact that her mitigation witnesses backed out of trial #1.  We know at least one of those witnesses seemed to be more afraid of her own prior bad acts coming out at trial, and perhaps the potential for legal or financial repercussions. That witness instead said that they wouldn't testify because of "threats" made by the public.  Were any such threats ever validated? There has been no hints as to who this mystery witness is or what they have to add to Arias' mitigation case but sadly it's par for the course in this shameful trial.  His or her testimony has been sealed until the conclusion of the trial, and according to Judge Stephens it was "necessary for the administration of justice". Hmmm.

Also on Thursday, two of Travis Alexander's siblings reportedly gave tearful testimony about how the murder of their brother has effected their lives.  Steven Alexander told the jury he still had nightmares, ulcers and constant trauma from losing his older brother Travis.  He also told them he locks the door whenever he showers, clearly this is something that will forever be linked with the death of his brother.  How very sad how Jodi Arias has changed this family forever.

It appears by some of the newer still photos from the trial that Jodi Arias' hair is now shoulder length - did she just recently cut it so she could donate it to Locks of Love to show what a humanitarian she is?  Or is she selling that online too?  This is just too much!  The family and friends of Travis Alexander have to be seething over this trial and can you blame them?  Their brother was murdered in such a violent way and his killer is getting all of the consideration in the world while dragging him through the mud every step of the way.  I don't know what justice will look like at the end of this trial, but we can rest assured that regardless of the jury decision, the very best Jodi Arias can hope for is a fairly long stay in the Arizona prison system.  She may spend the rest of her life there, if her life is spared.  Do you think it should be?  Will the delays in getting this back into a courtroom help Arias in the long run?  Will this jury pool remain through the duration of the trial and deliberate to a unanimous decision one way or another?  I certainly hope so.

Arias Jury Dwindles After First Week of Penalty Retrial

Nurmi, Willmott & Arias
The penalty phase retrial of Jodi Arias is finally under way in the same Phoenix Arizona courthouse where the murder trial was held.  After more than a year of delays and numerous changes, in the end as expected Jodi Arias chose NOT to act as her own attorney.  It's hard to say whether the move to self represent was ever sincere, or just another attempt to manipulate the system into giving her more phone calls, jail visits and time out of her cell. She had to know she would be no match against someone like Prosecutor Juan Martinez, and I didn't ever really believe they would go toe to toe.  It could also be that Arias wanted Kirk Nurmi off the case so badly that the request to represent herself was in itself another form of manipulation - Arias always seems to be trying to pile on appellate issues to use down the road.

It's disappointing that we, the public don't get to view the hearing live and instead the news trickles down through the reporters who are in the courtroom but we will eventually get to see it once a verdict is handed down.  So far the most concerning thing I've heard is the loss of jurors in only the first week of what is expected to be a 2 month trial. The jury panel of 19 has already dwindled down to 16. There are 12 jurors and now only 4 alternates.  On the first day of the trial, a juror failed to show up and was excused due to an ongoing family emergency.  My question there would be why was this juror chosen if there was already an "ongoing" family emergency? Seems to me that would be a person you would excuse given the length of this trial.

Another juror was dismissed after she approached attorney Beth Karas, who she thought was Nancy Grace.  The juror reportedly was not wearing a "juror" badge, but Karas immediately reported the incident to the Judge and it was quickly handled with the dismissal of that juror. There was another juror incident that caused Thursday's court day to end abruptly - all I've heard is that "Juror #17" was asked to remain in the courtroom while the jury was led out and court was dismissed for the day. Is this headed for a mistrial already?
Kirk Nurmi (Trial #1)

Kirk Nurmi (Retrial)

I was surprised to see a photo of Kirk Nurmi this week from the trial.  In fact, I didn't recognize Nurmi at all.  He now has hair, slightly peppered with gray and he appears to have lost a significant amount of weight.  I haven't yet seen any photos of Jennifer Willmott but a photo of she and Jodi Arias shows Arias still has long dark hair but even she has some gray hair now. Kirk Nurmi's opening statement to the jury reportedly picked up right where he left off during the previous trial in that he's trying to paint Travis Alexander as a heartless and devious man who used Jodi Arias for sex and emotionally abused her.  Arias' parents are also in the line of fire as he told the jury how Jodi was abused at the hands of both parents as a child.  Doesn't this appear to conflict with the photos Arias showed the jury during the prior penalty phase?  Remember all the family photos of happy vacations and smiling people?  Didn't Jodi Arias ask the jury to spare her life "for them"?  She can't have it both ways, either they were horrible parents who abused her so badly that she is incapable of feeling empathy or Arias was a rebellious teenager who's parents attempted to discipline for her own good. Which of these options is more likely or believable?

Nurmi attacked "beloved Travis" for causing Arias to suffer extreme emotional distress by using her for sex and not wanting her to be something more significant in his life. Even if you believe them on this point, Jodi Arias wouldn't be the first woman in the world to be used for sex - and by the sound of the infamous sex tape she seemed to enjoy having sex with Travis as much as he enjoyed her.  She just was more emotionally invested in him than he was in her.  Is this really that uncommon in the world of relationships?  Thankfully not all who are "scorned" or feel used for sex take a knife and gun to their ex lovers!  Who is the victim here?  Clearly the Arias defense team wants this jury to view Jodi as the victim and Travis as a heartless womanizer who pushed her to the brink.  The jury composition is mostly female, I think this bodes well for the Prosecution but I could be wrong.  I think most people male or female can relate to relationship issues and we've all been hurt at one time or another.  It does not excuse the methodical planning and carrying out of a horrendous homicide or the cover up that followed.

During the first week of trial, the State's witnesses included Michael Melendez of the Mesa Police Department, Lead Detective Esteban Flores, Medical Examiner Dr. Kevin Horn and Nathan Mendes who is the former Detective for the Siskyou County Sheriff's Department who was involved in executing a search warrant at the home of Jodi Arias' grandparents house in Yreka, CA.  I'd imagine the testimony of Dr. Kevin Horn will be very important for both sides.  Prosecutor Juan Martinez needs to drive home just how painful Travis' death would have been, how much he suffered and how long he would have remained conscious during the relentless attack.  The defense wants the jury to believe that Jodi shot Travis first and only because he came after her - the self defense claim.  Again, even if you believe Travis was such a volatile person that he'd jump out of the shower and "body slam" Jodi for something as minor as dropping his camera the definition of self defense does not include stabbing somebody 30 times and nearly decapitating him before shooting him in the head. There is no spin the defense can put on the way Travis was butchered.  Jodi walked away unharmed.  The difference in their size and the lack of injuries to Jodi Arias versus the defense wounds to Travis' hands and the sheer number of injuries to his body tell you everything you need to know about the attack.

Jurors need to listen to the facts of the case and not forget exactly how injured Travis' body was. It's got to be a difficult decision whether to put another human being to death or not, but if you are chosen as a juror that is exactly what you are tasked with.  They need to listen to the facts and apply the law.  I personally don't know if there is any amount of mitigating factors that could justify killing someone in this manner.  Even if there was a trail of verifiable domestic abuse records with injuries that were photographed an documented, Jodi Arias drove to Mesa of her own free will.  Would she have done so if she were afraid of a volatile and violently abusive man?  Why put yourself in a position to be harmed if you have reason to be afraid?  Which brings me back to self-defense in general.  It allows you to defend yourself to the point where you are no longer in danger.  It doesn't give you a pass on murder, and the facts in evidence just do not support a "kill or be killed' scenario she is trying so desperately to paint.  Those facts haven't changed and they won't change, because they are facts!

It will be interesting to see if and how Juan Martinez ramps things up this time around.  During the original trial, there was so much evidence to convict Jodi Arias and the real task was showing the premeditation and planning that went into the killing.  This time, he needs to focus on the brutality of the murder and the suffering and absolute terror Travis must have felt as he was being stabbed over and over and over.  This was a prolonged attack, it can't be easy to stab someone that many times and to keep going in at least 3 different locations in that house.  It started in the shower, continued at the sink area and appears to have ended in the bedroom where his throat was cut with such force that it nearly decapitated him.  That's cruel and it's heinous. What mitigating factors can excuse that type of rage?  Good luck with that Mr. Nurmi.

There are also rumors swirling about Mitigation Specialist Maria de la Rosa being involved in the financial affairs of Jodi Arias - we know she was banned from the Maricopa County jail facility for some time for getting caught smuggling out artwork of Jodi Arias.  We know Arias has been selling everything from artwork to the eyeglasses she wore at trial and we know she's getting help from people on the outside.  It's surprising to me that a professional would jeopardize her career by assisting a convicted murderer auction off anything.  De la Rosa's name has allegedly been linked to a Paypal account associated with Arias.  Jodi Arias may be trying to outwit the Sheriff's Office, the taxpayers of Arizona and the IRS by not having accounts in her own name but a good forensic accountant could rip this stuff apart given a chance.  I sincerely hope they do just that, after the trial is over.  She has been blatantly selling things and asking for donations since she has been incarcerated.  All the while she claims to be indigent and not have enough money to even file for bankruptcy?  She also allegedly has been making "donations" to charitable entities - I don't know all the details around this but my guess is that she wants people to believe she cares about the less fortunate and she isn't just being a greedy opportunist cashing in on her 15 minutes of fame.

If this is true and de la Rosa has been assisting Arias in skirting the law and the rules of Maricopa County's jail, she should be severely sanctioned at the very least.  If my memory serves me, she was paid six figures for her work as the death penalty mitigation specialist for Jodi Arias.  Doesn't all of this reek of conflict of interest?  What will it take for the IRS and the Arizona State Tax people to get involved as Arias apparently is for all intents and purposes running a business from behind bars.  She wants a multi million dollar defense, she just wants YOU to pay for it.  And she set up that trust account for the public to donate towards her appeals! It's all disgraceful and distasteful to think that Jodi Arias has probably made more money behind bars than the last year she filed a tax return as a free woman. Perhaps the most disturbing "donation" I read about was one made in the memory of Travis Alexander - a $900.00 donation.  Probably anonymously made, or by one of Arias' people on the outside.

I don't know why this bothers me so much but it really does.  OK that's about it for now.  If anybody out there knows what happened to the juror that closed Thursday's court proceedings can you please comment?  Let's say a prayer that the jury pool remains where it is now and the trial will end with an actual sentence handed down by a jury and not the Judge.  Until next time, enjoy your weekend!

Jury Selection Begins - Jodi Arias Retrial

It's been more than 6 years since Jodi Arias slashed, shot and stabbed Travis Alexander to death in his Mesa Arizona home.  It's been nearly a year and a half since a jury found her guilty of first degree murder yet were unable to decide on sentencing, forcing Judge Sherry Stephens to declare a mistrial. After countless delays and an attempt to self represent by Arias, 300 or so potential jurors were expected to be on hand in Phoenix today to choose a new jury to hear aggravating and mitigating circumstances and decide whether Arias' life should be spared or if she should be sent to Arizona's Death Row.

We are already hearing that nearly two dozen potential jurors have been dismissed because they said they could not be impartial. reported that 20 people were dismissed during the first 20 minutes of proceedings, stating they could not be impartial and they had seen and heard so much of the trial.  One of Travis Alexander's sisters was said to be in the courtroom.  Arias reportedly turned around to look at the court watchers and the media and smiled just before potential jurors filed in. Typical. I'd expect Arias to be trying to connect with all potential jurors, probably trying to zero in on those she feels she can get through to and those who aren't receptive to her facade. I'd imagine she probably will have some input on both sides of the coin, remember that Arias (incorrectly) predicted that no jury would ever convict her.  That means she has a hell of a lot of confidence in her ability to tell stories.

It's been a very long time coming.  Aside from the sensational trial that drew in millions of viewers on television and online, Arias has done everything in her power to remain in the spotlight even after the guilty verdict was handed down.  She remains in the Estrella jail where she has lived since her arrest in September of 2008 and where countless jailhouse interviews were given by the convicted killer.  Arias has courted the public and media through various websites, peddling everything from her artwork, wristbands, right down to the glasses she wore throughout the trial.  Everything about Jodi Arias seems to come back to the all mighty dollar.  She even set up a trust to raise funds for her appellate attorneys, although who knows exactly where any of these funds will land. 

During her infamous "speech" to the jury prior to deliberations, Arias shocked and angered many court watchers by holding up one of her "Survivor" t-shirts and telling jurors that "100% of the proceeds" from sales of the t-shirts were being donated to charities that support domestic abuse causes.  I happen to know for a fact that the site that originally was selling those shirts said "a PORTION" of the proceeds....we have been paying attention, Ms. Arias.  Jodi has said that money that has been donated or raised through her artwork was being used for her family to offset travel costs during the months long trial - I don't believe anybody really knows just how much she has raked in from "supporters" over the past 6 years.  All the while, claiming to be indigent and on the brink of bankruptcy she has the benefit of a $2,000,000 (and counting) defense. What are the chances Arias will donate to THAT cause?  Less than none.

Jury selection marks the beginning of the end for Jodi Arias, and I hope that her sentencing brings some relief to Travis' friends, families and all of the people who loved and miss him dearly.  Jodi Arias and her defense team did their best to dirty up his reputation through Jodi's 18 days on the witness stand, but I get the sense that the public largely discounted her testimony as little more than vicious lies.  Just as she viciously murdered him on June 4, 2008, she continues to stab him with vicious lies.  Arias, who we all know loves the media and the attention it brought her fought tooth and nail to keep the cameras out of the courtroom this time around.  Claiming her mitigation witnesses were threatened and too frightened of the public to testify previously, Judge Sherry Stephens exercised an over abundance of caution and declared no trial footage would be aired until after a verdict was rendered.  It's Stephens first death penalty trial, and many believed she has been very generous with the defense and their Motions.

Do you mean to tell me that the media is responsible for Jodi Aria being found guilty?  If the public and the media has that big of an influence on the outcome of trials, why was Casey Anthony acquitted?  Why wasn't Arias sentenced to death?  Has the Arias case gotten more media air time and attention than Scott Peterson, Drew Peterson, Casey Anthony or OJ Simpson's trials?  These were the highest profile cases I can recall - and we can't forget the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray.  All of these cases were televised, and Jodi Arias' trial should be no different.  The Judge in this case says she has a good reason for the blackout, but there has been rumors of more death threats and general intimidation of witnesses so we have to live with this. While many believe this sets a dangerous precedent in the transparency of our legal system, Judge Stephens is trying to ensure Arias gets the fairest trial possible and that no issues arise that would give Arias ammunition for an appeal.

So while Arias and her defense team won that battle, it's been disclosed that Jodi Arias gave permission to a documentary film maker and crew to interview and film her at the Estella jail!  That's right, I guess she's only worried about the way the media will portray her - and she apparently has found a sympathetic documentary film maker who has worked with domestic abuse survivors in the past, and Arias unsuccessfully tried to get them into the Estrella jail to follow her plight behind bars and through the American legal system. "As Sheriff in charge of Ms. Arias' incarceration, I do not feel it is in the community's best interest to play into her hands and glamorize this inmate, her crime and her tale of woe", said Sheriff Arpaio.

Brenda Clubine, released from prison after 26 years

The documentary film maker is Olivia Klaus, who sought permission for a one day shoot with Jodi Arias back in February of this year. Klaus is known for the documentary film "Sin By Silence, which won many awards following the stories of women behind bars for killing their abusive spouses or partners - Brenda Clubine was one of the women featured.  Clubine was started "Convicted Women Against Abuse" from behind bars at the California Institution for Woman in 1989.  Brenda Clubine's story is far different than the story of Jodi Arias. Brenda Clubine spent 26 years behind bars for the murder of her abusive husband, and Olivia Klaus' documentary was instrumental in bringing attention to her and the cause of domestic abuse in general. Clubine had a well documented case of domestic violence against her husband.  There were numerous emergency room visits and regular beatings. She truly did fear for her life when she took his.  This is very different than the plight of Jodi Arias, they aren't even in the same league.  While I have to concede there's a chance that Jodi isn't lying about everything she claims Travis did to her, I think with most abusive men it doesn't start and end with abusing just one woman.  The defense wasn't able to find one single woman who dated Travis that could say he ever abused them.  Travis may have been guilty of dating more than one woman or lying about the nature of his relationships, but that's a far cry from physical violence.  Jodi is the only woman in Travis' life who alleges he was physically abusive and therefore she feared him.  She feared him so much that she willingly detoured on the way to Utah to see him?

Outspoken Sheriff Joe Arpaio very wisely refused the request to allow the film maker access to Arias or the jail.  In fact, Sheriff Joe issued a press release to all members of the media that no further interviews for inmate number 438434 will be allowed during her retrial.  Arpaio believes Arias played the media, and refers to it as "self-aggrandizement".  Good for you Sheriff Joe!  "America's Toughest Sheriff" also revealed that he as on to certain people on the outside who have been assisting Arias in getting items such as the eye glasses and artwork out of the jail and onto websites where they are being sold or auctioned off. He's aware and they are watching.  Nobody is gonna make a fool out of Sheriff Joe.  

It's public knowledge that Arias' mitigation specialist was caught red-handed leaving the Estrella jail with Arias' artwork and other "personal items" and she was banned from the jail for a period of time for the discovery.  And who could forget the secretly coded magazines Arias attempted to smuggle out of the jail through a friend, meant for Matt McCarty?  This is a woman who is willing to do and say anything to evade full responsibility for her brutal acts.  Is there any doubt who was the victim of domestic violence in this case? Juan Martinez needs to drive this point home - the only way the much smaller and weaker Jodi Arias slaughters the much larger and stronger Travis Alexander is by catching him completely off guard and off balance.  Wet, naked and completely vulnerable - trapped in his own shower stall.  Make no mistake, this was an attack and the only wounds from self defense were on Travis.

So when the new jury is finally seated, what will they see and who will they hear from? The matter of guilt or innocence is no longer in question, it's all about deciding punishment for the crime.  The mini-trial is expected to last through December.  That seems like a long time and a lot of testimony.  Will the jurors hear again from medical examiner Kevin Horn? Will Detective Flores return to the stand and will the new jury see all or some portion of the numerous pre and post verdict Arias interviews? Will they see her websites, hear about the auctions and read all of the Twitter activity? I certainly hope so.  What it shows is how self absorbed Jodi Arias really is.  This is and always has been about her, when it should have always been about Travis Alexander.  She tried her best to turn him into a perverse womanizer, someone who used her as his own sexual play-thing, abused her and tossed her aside like trash.  The first jury didn't hear about the stalking behavior, the slashed tires for example.

According to Arizona law, the new jury will be able to consider the entire record from the previous stages of the trial, including nearly five months of testimony - yet it's not clear how those records will be presented.  The new jury will be notified early in the proceeding that Arias was convicted of first degree murder and Arias committed the murder in a "cruel manner", according to Jerry Cobb, public information officer for the Maricopa County District Attorney's office. Attorneys may get a chance to present evidence, and the jurors may be given transcripts of prior testimony.  There is also a chance Arias may return to the witness stand to testify during the new phase of the trial.  She will also have the opportunity to give a statement to the jury that will not be subject to cross-examination, as in the first trial.  

Will previous witnesses Chris and Skye Hughes testify? They could offer potential insight into when this murder was set into motion. Remember, in late May of 2008, they believe Jodi Arias had done something considered unforgivable to Travis, which caused Travis to respond in a way they had never seen before. Some sort of betrayal, could it have been that audio sex tape? Did she reveal to him that she taped the phone sex call and threatened to play it for his Bishop or his Mormon friends? It had to be something on that level, but the Hughes have stated that they believe this event may have been what led to her deciding to kill him because it happened on May 26th and on May 28th, her grandparents gun was stolen and she asked Daryl Brewer to borrow the gas cans.  The very next week she told Ryan she was coming for a visit.  Did Travis' reaction and him essentially cutting her out of his life, coupled with the fact that he was getting ready to go to Cancun with another woman send her into a furious jealous rage?  It's all related.  I simply do not believe this happened because of a dropped camera.  That story never rang true.  And if Jodi really was "body slammed" on the tile floor in the bathroom, wouldn't she have been hurt by that impact? Think about it, that would really really hurt.  And although I'm no wrestler or fighter, I think one has to have a lot of traction to pick up another person and body slam them. That's quite a maneuver even for a person who is dry, I can't imagine a slippery and wet person having the footing to pull that off.

The whole story was so outrageous from the start.  Just about as likely as Josh Powell's story of taking his 2 very young children on an impromptu camping trip on a snowy Sunday night when wife Susan went missing.  It was a school and work night and it stank from the time it came out of his mouth. Yet he stuck to that outrageous and unbelievable story. It's bull. It's not true, and we know how tragically the Powell story ended.  There were no survivors. 

It will be interesting to see how this penalty phase retrial plays out.  I don't know what to expect, and I'm counting on Internet and television sources to bring us as much information as possible.  I still feel like the public should be watching this play out - that's our judicial system in America, or that's what it's supposed to be!  Apparently as long as they are allowing the public into the trial, they are fulfilling their duty but I think it's a grave injustice and an over reaction by the Judge in this case.  Will we ever know what the reasons were for her decision?  I guess we will have to trust and wait.  

Justice is just around the corner!

Jodi Arias Won't Represent Herself

Is anybody surprised as her day of reckoning inches forward that Jodi Arias has flip-flopped once again about acting as her own attorney at her penalty phase retrial?  I didn't believe for a second that when it came trial time, Arias would be acting in that capacity - her motives for all of this is a mystery.  What we do know is that she does not like her lead attorney Kirk Nurmi, and many believe Arias was attempting to twist the Court's arm by acting as her own attorney unless they agreed to let Nurmi off the case.  Obviously that strategy backfired.  When Arias' Motion to represent herself was granted by the Judge, she received additional time out of her cell to conduct research and "witness interviews" at the Estrella jail complex where she has been held since July of 2008.  She also received additional phone calls acting in capacity of her own attorney and some believe this was part of her game as well.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez has to be shaking his head at this point.  He struck back at Arias by asking for sanctions against her for failing to provide information she is required by law to give to the State, such as her witness list.  Arias and her defense team refused to give this list to the State and has been tight lipped around who will testify at trial.  I noticed on a 9/2/14 court minute entry the defense is now required to have defense witnesses ready for interview on 9/22/14 - that's just a week before jury selection is set to begin! That doesn't give the State much time to conduct their own investigations into these witnesses and gather information to impeach things they may say. This is just incredible that she seemingly has been allowed to run the show here:

IT IS ORDERED setting Capital Case Management Conference on 9/15/14 at 8:15 a.m. in this division.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED setting Oral Argument on David Bodney’s Request for Camera Coverage and Modification of May 21, 2014 Ruling on 9/15/14 at 8:30 a.m. in this division.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defense is to submit their witness names and addresses in a sealed document to this Court by 12:00 p.m. on 9/3/14.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the State is to schedule interviews with Defense witnesses through Defense and not contact the witnesses directly.
Defense counsel informs the Court that their expert is available to be interviewed by the State on 9/22/14.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that all other interviews are to be scheduled and completed during the week of September 8, 2014.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Defense expert is to provide any raw data and scoring sheets to the State by 9/9/14.

Based on Defense Motion to Release Property and there being no objection by the State, IT IS ORDERED granting the motion and affirming that the Defense investigator may pick up the property listed in the motion.

Filed: Defendant’s Motion to Release Property
9:39 a.m. Matter concludes.

This case is eFiling eligible: http://www.clerkofcourt.m

So if I'm interpreting this correctly, the State cannot contact defense witnesses outright, rather they have to contact the defense to arrange interviews?  The second phrase I highlighted has to do with raw data and scoring sheets.  Will Arias introduce a new psychologist or new test results, hoping to validate that she suffered from the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder she argued she had during the trial?  I get the sense from these minute entries that she is still going to try to argue that she was a victim of domestic violence.  OK, I don't believe that but even if you give her argument some validity, there is so much evidence of a violent attack against Travis Alexander and so little injury to Arias that she's out of her mind if she thinks this murder was justified in any way.  This did not appear to be a kill or be killed argument with Travis.  It appears to have been an unprovoked ambush while he was vulnerable in the shower!

So much of this trial just infuriates, and it's all because of Jodi Arias and her inability to take responsibility for her cowardly act of violence. I have little doubt she could have walked out of that house, while Travis was showering or even if you believe he "body slammed" her over a dropped camera - she could have gotten out.  I don't believe a naked and wet Travis would have chased her into his front yard had she simply left.  As we know, Arias has hired her own investigator to review evidence from the crime scene - here is the latest minute entry from 9/4/14:

The Court has reviewed the For the Record (FTR) recording of the sealed court 
proceeding conducted on August 20, 2014. The minute entry for that date incorrectly stated the Court’s order.

IT IS ORDERED amending the Court minute entry dated August 20, 2014, page 3, paragraph 4, as follows.
Defendant requests that the State set a date and time certain for her investigator to review evidence maintained at the Mesa Police Department. The prosecutor will contact his case agent immediately following this hearing to schedule a date and time certain for that review to occur. The meeting shall occur on or before August 28.

So Jodi Arias, who has received a $2,000,000 plus defense free of charge now has funds to hire a private investigator.  Did the funds come from her supporters and sales of Arias' art or from her JA Appellate Fund?  I don't know what else to say about Jodi Arias, except for I cannot wait for this trial to conclude.  Since she killed Travis Alexander, it's been all about Jodi and her rights.  She's managed to drag her trial out for 6 long years, and even managed to put a year and a half between the guilty verdict and her sentencing.  I guess you have to hand it to her for learning how to work the system.

After Sentencing - What's Next for Jodi Arias?

 I'm already wondering what's next once we learn if a jury sentences Jodi Arias to life or death.  We are fairly familiar with what should happen if Arias becomes one of the few women sentenced to death:  1.  Direct appeal; 2. Post Conviction Relief and 3. Federal Habeas Corpus.

In the automatic direct appeal, the Arizona Supreme Court independently reviews the sentence and focuses on the facts and circumstances of the crime at issue and the character and record of the defendant.  As soon as the mandate is issued affirming a defendants conviction and sentence, the Arizona Supreme Court automatically issues a post conviction relief proceeding.  Post conviction relief hearings allow the defendant to voice claims relating to whether trial counsel provided effective representation during the trial and sentencing hearing, any "newly discovered" evidence that would have changed the verdict or sentence had it been presented at the time of trial; and whether a change in law that applies retroactively would probably change the conviction or sentence.

Federal Habeas Corpus - under 28 U S C 2254, a state prisoner may seek relief in federal district court for claims that his federal constitutional rights were violated at trial or at sentencing.  A federal constitutional claim can only be raised in federal court if it has first been raised in a procedurally appropriate manner in state court.  If the prisoner's claim was not properly presented in state court, he can still pursue the claim in federal court if he establishes "cause and prejudice" for his failure to present the claim in state court or that failure to consider the claim would result in a "fundamental miscarriage of justice"; i.e. actual innocence or ineligibility for the death penalty. 

Jodi Arias has referred to the long appellate process that comes with a death sentence many times. She has said that sentencing her to life would allow Travis' family and friends a chance to move forward while shipping her away to prison and forgetting about her.  I doubt the Alexander family will ever forget Jodi Arias.  According to the ACLU, life without the possibility of parole "is a swift, severe and certain punishment".  They further mention that no one sentenced to LWOP has ever been released on parole in any state.  One study shows the average number of years for death penalty case appeals is 17 years and increasing. The ACLU also reported that in California, which has the most people on death row than any other state in America (*more than 660 prisoners) had 4 times as many prisoners die from other causes while awaiting execution then have actually been executed.  I understand the point, and the statistics around the cost and effectiveness of capital punishment as a deterrent to violent crime.  But while the death penalty remains an option in the state of Arizona, some crimes are so brutal, heinous and when evidence of guilt is overwhelming it should remain an option for these jurors.

If Arias ends up being the rare female sentenced to death, we can expect her to meander through the long appellate process.  A long appellate process should not be a consideration in determining her sentence for the crime she committed.  Had she not been caught red handed, I truly believe she never would have come forward with a guilty conscious and had she been able to sell the 2 masked intruder story or the self defense theories she would have stuck with whichever best served her to the bitter end.  

If the second jury is unable to reach an unanimous verdict for a second time, Judge Sherry Stephens will be tasked with sentencing Arias to natural life or life with the possibility of release after serving 25 years.  With credit for time served and with good behavior, she could potentially be out of prison by the time she's in her mid fifties if she doesn't receive a natural life sentence. That will be up to the Judge and it's hard to read Judge Stephens based on her trial rulings, which have seemed to lean towards the side of caution where the defense is concerned.  That doesn't mean she feels the crime wasn't horrible and worthy of a death or LWOP sentence! She has to remain impartial and protect the integrity of the trial record so she's probably right to be cautious. This was also her first death penalty trial.

A person sentenced to LWOP receives only one automatic appeal and is not provided any court appointed attorneys.  Once the sentence has been determined and any appeals have been exhausted, I have a feeling Jodi Arias will find herself tangled up in a whole other legal web - the possibility of a wrongful death suit by the family is still there.  The Alexander family has had to patiently await their day in court until the criminal trial has concluded.  The most important thing is to see their brother's killer put away and punished for taking his life.  And to have to sit back while Jodi Arias launched a full on smear campaign against their brother during the trial, based not on fact or evidence but only her word had to be torture.  Their time will come, but sadly the damage has been done and no punishment or financial ramifications against Travis' killer will give them what they most want, their brother.

Jodi Arias will soon be sentenced and either way she'll be leaving the familiar surroundings of the Estrella jail complex she's lived at for the last 6 years and will find herself in a much different prison setting.  There are no media interviews in prison, so the spotlight will indeed fade for Arias soon as she integrates into her new world behind bars.  Still, I can't help but think we haven't heard the last of her.  Chances are she will continue to tweet and post crap from wherever she is being held!

Justice Delayed - The Jodi Arias Trial

 The penalty phase retrial for Jodi Arias should have been starting on Monday, but once again the defense has successfully argued for more time to prepare for their case.  Unless you've totally avoided the countless stories about this trial, you know that Ms. Arias has decided that she is the best possible person to represent herself this go around.  Oh man, that has to have Juan Martinez grinning big time!  On September 29th, jury selection is supposed to begin and this 6 year long ordeal may finally come to an end.  Justice may be delayed, but we have to believe it won't be denied. 

Convicted murderer slash attorney at law Jodi Arias faces the death penalty or life for the June 4, 2008 murder of 30 year old Travis Alexander.  Since this sad story came to light 6 years ago, it seems it's been all about Jodi Arias - when it should be all about Travis Alexander.  He is, after all the true victim of this horrendous crime - brutally killed in what should have been the safety of his own home at a time when he was most vulnerable; in the shower of all places.  Naturally, as Arias tells it he attacked her and she fought back.  The jury apparently found plenty of reasons to doubt her kill or be killed story because they found her guilty of murder in the first degree.  It's truly a shame they were divided on her punishment after months of testimony and millions of dollars were spent providing the defendant with legal council.  With judgement day just around the corner, what could Jodi Arias have left in her bag of tricks?  She's a well documented liar, probably the most well documented liar seen in a courtroom since Casey Anthony.  Casey Anthony had the sense to keep her mouth shut, which probably went a long way in gaining an acquittal in her murder trial. I have a feeling her verdict may have been much different had she spent 18 days on the witness stand and had she taken any of those media outlets up on interview requests!

In choosing to represent herself, Arias has reportedly gained additional phone calls and time out of her cell to prepare for trial. It's been a huge sticking point for people around the country, myself included who are outraged that Arias has been able to peddle her artwork and fund raise from behind bars! We all know who is footing the bill for her defense after all - so where is the money going that she has managed to get her hands on?  Does anybody actually think one red cent of it will be used to repay the good citizens and taxpayers of Arizona, or is it more likely Arias' family will retain control of the funds and use them however they see fit?  Who knows, but it is outrageous that she's been "free" to do so much while incarcerated.  First there were the arts sales at auction websites such as ebay (who later banned the sales due to public outrage), then Arias managed to get people on the outside to create and maintain websites for her where she could post her artwork for sale to the highest bidder.

And let's not forget those "Survivor" t shirts, the ones she told jury #1 that 100% of the proceeds are donated to battered women's shelters and domestic violence causes. Most of us have been paying close attention and know for a fact that the website said "a portion of the proceeds.....", not 100% of the proceeds as she claimed in her mitigation speech.  She must have had that footnote amended to 100% just prior to her trial, in an attempt to make herself look less opportunistic and greedy.  Then there were the Jodi wristbands, did they say "Free Jodi" or something to that effect?  I just remember they were like $20 or $25 bucks.  And who could forget the "JAA Appellate Trust Fund"?  Created for the purpose of collecting the public's funds to foot the bill for legal fees associated with any appeals.  Call me skeptical, but I feel like she's pulling a fast one - I'd love to see that trust document which probably gives Arias free reign to spend the money however she sees fit.  I do remember the site had a disclaimer that the money was non-refundable!!  Naturally.

Sorry I seem to go off on this aspect of the case frequently, but it's just such an outrage.  One more comment on Arias' fundraising.  There's a snippet on that's reportedly part of a taped conversation between Jodi Arias and an unidentified person in which Arias can be heard telling them "I wanted the collected money to stay within my family.." Doesn't that say it all? Hard to believe it but she does actually have some "supporters" out there, as well as a whole lot of what she refers to as her "dedicated haters".  Those would be the people who didn't buy into the abuse and pedophile allegations she smeared Travis Alexander with at trial.  The latest reports has Arias hiring an investigator (probably with those very same funds!) wanting to snoop around the crime scene.  What does she hope to gain by these types of activities?  She does realize this trial isn't about her guilt or innocence right? She should be focusing her energies on finding a way to make herself come across as a remorseful and humble human being who made the worst mistake of her life.  She needs to take responsibility for her horrible act and stop portraying herself as the victim in this.  In my opinion, that's the only way she stands a chance of getting life in prison.  She needs to own it and stop the slander and smear campaign on the murder victim.

That being said, does anybody out there think she is capable of doing that? Or will this trial be all about justification of her crime?  Will she try to convince the new jury that despite what the first jury decided, it was a case of self defense? I don't know what exactly the Judge will let into this phase of the trial, I have no idea what to expect legally.  It's hard to decide the penalty without hearing the story to some degree.  What will be allowed in, will the defense be allowed to introduce new evidence at this trial?  I wouldn't think that would be allowed.  How long will the retrial last?  And will Arias really end up questioning witnesses or will she ultimately defer to Willmott or Nurmi?  The questions racing through my head are endless.  I've never seen a penalty phase retrial and there's been so much secrecy around this one it's hard to know what to expect.  But with this case, we've all come to expect the unexpected.  You just never know what Jodi Arias is going to do.  

It's truly a shame and disservice to the public that the trial will not be televised until after the verdict is announced.  Our justice system is supposed to be open and on display to the public.  But apparently Jodi Arias feels the very same media she had lined up at Estrella jail to interview her turned the public against her and influenced the jury.  I seriously doubt the media was to blame for her guilty verdict.  She was convicted because she did it, and with an overabundance of evidence beyond any reasonable doubt.  Let's lay blame where it belongs.  Had the media coverage been as big of an influence on the first jury, don't you think Jodi Arias would be sitting on death row right now?  I do.

Jodi Arias Granted Access To East Queensborough Crime Scene

Travis Alexander's Home - from MSN News

I just read Jodi Arias petitioned the Court for access to Travis Alexander's East Queensborough home in Mesa, aka "the scene of the crime" - her request was granted. Arias reportedly plans to bring a new investigator to the home where the brutal slaying occurred.  What she hopes to accomplish during her twisted field trip is anyone's guess.  Since Arias' guilt is NOT at issue for the upcoming penalty phase retrial, what can possibly be gained by returning to the scene?  Naturally there are new occupants at the home and they can't be thrilled with the prospect of Jodi Arias in that house.  After all, she is responsible for the horrors that unfolded more than 6 years ago when she yielded a knife and gun, and presumably attacked an unassuming man who was simply taking a shower.

Sadly the house on East Queensborough had become somewhat of a tourist attraction in the years that followed the murder - the people who ultimately purchased it initially thought it had been vandalized when they saw it.  There were fixtures missing and there was work to be done, all of which they were willing to do.  By the time the house was listed and being shown to prospective buyers, there were no outward signs that this was the scene of such a brutal murder.

I'm all for doing whatever needs to be done to get this trial back on track, I simply don't see what can be gained by her revisiting this site.  I can't see WHY she'd want to go back there where such a devastating and life altering event happened.  What exactly is the probative value in doing so?  Is she still hung up on trying to prove justification in this attack? Does Arias hope a walk through will cure her of the foggy amnesia she claims erased much of her memory of the stabbing and slashing that took place?  The only act of violence she seems to remember was the gunshot - but even that admission came with a qualifier.  She said Travis was coming after HShe does still speak of herself as a survivor of domestic abuse, despite there being not a shred of evidence to support her claims other than some verbal altercations that went both ways.  Is this why Kirk Nurmi has fought so hard to be removed from this case? Is this one of the impasses they reached during the course of their business relationship?

From what I've read, Arias has hired on a new investigator with the funds she has raised through her various online ventures and art sales.  Hey, who's to say what any one of us would do if we were fighting for the right to live and avoid death row - but everything Arias does seems to be in the gray area of the law.  How could she go back there?  I don't get it.  I'll probably never get why she has done many of the things she has done but if she has hopes of getting her guilty verdict tossed via this penalty phase retrial she's in for a big surprise because it's not going to happen.  

During this penalty phase of her trial, both sides will argue - the prosecution will lay out the aggravating factors that make this a death penalty trial and the reasons her actions support a death sentence.  For Arias, this is her chance to argue mitigating factors, and she didn't lay out many during the first trial other than pointing to her parents and asking to be spared "for them".  Jodi Arias also presented the jury with several pet projects she hopes to spearhead from prison, such as a recycling program and various educational and literary groups.  She should be focusing on the reasons she isn't a death row candidate, NOT domestic violence or what she has repeatedly referred to as a "wrongful conviction".  Not during this trial - I have no doubt the prosecutor will have none of it.  He must be salivating at the thought of Arias representing herself at trial.  He clearly has the advantage but he also must walk a fine line or risk Arias gaining the sympathy of the jury if he is perceived as bullying her.

I'm just shocked that they are allowing a convicted murderer to return to the scene of the crime before this phase of the trial, just unbelievable to me.  I'd love to know what the basis for the request is since it would seem to be completely irrelevant to the matters that will be argued during the penalty phase. It all seems to point to Jodi Arias not wanting to concede that she LOST at trial. She is a convicted murderer - that part is done, history.  Granted there undoubtedly be appeals, but we are nowhere near that at this point.  I just don't see what can be gained by her returning to the house where she committed murder.

I've got to keep reading and find out more about this move.  There are no new minute entries that speak of this move and for the most part hearings have been done out of the public with the transcripts sealed under lock & key. Will the jury selection begin on September 29th, or will Arias seek yet another delay to prepare?  Remember, when Judge Stephens granted her motion to represent herself she told her there would be no further delays! Don't any of these warnings stand, or are they so afraid of denying this defendant anything she asks for because of potential appellate issues?  Your guess is as good as mine.

Let's get this trial started.  Travis has been dead for more than 6 years now! 
S I X   Y E A R S!   Arias and her defense team have had plenty of time to prepare for trial and it's time to stick to the program starting now.

Jodi Arias Trial Delayed.....Again

It's not surprising, yet the news that's bound to make prosecutor Juan Martinez cringe - Judge Sherry Stephens has granted a motion giving Jodi Arias more time to prepare for her upcoming penalty phase retrial.  The trial was slated to begin with jury selection on September 8th is now set for September 29th.  I know the wheels of justice in this country can be painfully slow, but this is beyond ridiculous given that the Arias defense has had a year and a half to prepare for this day.  We basically have a convicted murderer who doesn't get a long with lead attorney Kirk Nurmi. She wants him off her case and he wants to be off the case.  But given the time and resources the state has put into giving Jodi Arias the defense team she fought to keep prior to going to trial, there is no time or resources to allow her to hire another attorney and get them up to speed.  She has competent representation, she doesn't have to like him and vice versa.

She may blame Kirk Nurmi for losing her trial, but she can't really think it's his fault.  He had a bad case to start with, the police had so much evidence against Arias and she really was her own worst enemy in the way she has handled herself since she smiled for her mug shot. When it became clear Arias couldn't lie her way out of this murder charge, she turned to slander, shock and what many believe to be outright lies to try to garner sympathy and make this slaughter look justified.  None of which worked, thankfully the jury saw through the attempts to paint Travis Alexander as a pedophile and domestic batterer - but Arias' and Nurmi's infighting didn't help them either. The extent or exact reasons for their apparent hatred of each other isn't really known, but it's been chalked up to a difference in opinion on trial strategy.  I think Nurmi was realistic about their chances of anything other than first degree murder, but I think Arias thought she could actually walk away with a lesser charge of second degree murder or manslaughter.  With all the evidence pointing to a calculated and planned murder that was not likely to happen.

There has been so much secrecy around this trial it's hard to know what's really been happening.  All we can do is look to the Court's Minute Entries to try and see what's going on in all of these closed door hearings.  Here's the latest two minute entries, the first of which is from August 20th:

IT IS ORDERED that the For the Record remaining portion of these proceedings shall be sealed and not provided to any person or transcribed absent further Order of the Court.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Court Reporter, Mike Babicky shall seal his notes as to this portion of the proceedings; not to be made available for the public or persons other than: counsel associated with this case, or any higher Court that may request it; absent further order of 
the Court. Ms. Arias’ expert appears telephonically and is questioned by Ms. Arias, Mr. Martinez and the Court. This expert does not anticipate authoring a report in this case.

LET THE RECORD REFLECT the State’s experts for the penalty phase are set forth on the record. The State requests the addresses of the civilian witnesses disclosed by the Defendant and that interviews of those witnesses be scheduled September 5, 6 and/or 7, 2014. Defendant advises that the witnesses have asked that their addresses not be given to the State; and that contact between the State and Defendant’s witnesses go through defendant’s 
advisory counsel. 

IT IS SO ORDERED. Defendant is directed that the State must have a mechanism for contacting Defendant’s disclosed witnesses and that those witnesses shall submit to an interview by the prosecutor prior to trial. 
The Court will look into where the interviews will be conducted, either at the Courthouse or at the Estrella Jail.

IT IS ORDERED setting the next Capital Case Management Conference and hearing on pending motions for SEPTEMBER 4, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. in this division. The State has no objection to Defendant’s Motion to Continue, so long as firm dates and times are established for interviewing Defendant’s expert and for her civilian witnesses.

IT IS ORDERED setting a date and time certain for interview by the State of Defendant’s expert – SEPTEMBER 2, 2014 at 9:00 a.m., in Arizona. Specific location to be determined. There being no objection by the State and for the reasons articulated on the record this morning as well as issues discussed in an ex parte proceeding.

THE COURT FINDS extraordinary circumstances exist warranting a delay and that delay is in the interest of justice. Accordingly,
IT IS ORDERED vacating the September 8 re-trial of the Penalty Phase of this Capital Case and resetting same for SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 at 8:30 a.m., 16 days allotted. 

Jury selection will consist of three panels of 100 jurors, appearing at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on September 29. Those available/not excused will complete the Questionnaire; the Questionnaires 
will be copied and provided to counsel/Defendant. Division staff will re-send the Questionnaire via Email to counsel. Defendant requests that the State set a date and time certain for her Investigator to observe the crime scene. The Prosecutor will contact his case agent immediately following this 
hearing to schedule a date and time certain, on or before August 28, as requested by Defendant. Prior custody orders are affirmed.

9:04 a.m. Matter concludes

So what does it all mean?  Who are "the defendant's expert and civilian" witnesses?  Will her family testify under the circumstances that Arias is acting as her own attorney this time around? How many of you think Arias will really end up acting as her own attorney when it comes down to trial day? She may make it through the jury selection, but I can't believe she expects to go toe to toe with Juan Martinez and come out on top.  I believe Jodi Arias' move to self-represent is largely in part because she believes this action will sway the Judge into letting her fire Kirk Nurmi and the other part being her narcissistic need to be front and center in that courtroom.  This could end up being the SECOND BIGGEST MISTAKE OF HER LIFE!  Let's take a look at the other minute entry from August 19th:

Courtroom SCT-5C
Based on request by Defense because their witness is not available,
IT IS ORDERED vacating Evidentiary Hearing on 8/22/14 and resetting same on 8/20/14 

at 8:30 a.m. in this division.

Not much there, the defense's witness was not available - is this going to be the tone of the rest of this trial? Witnesses who are not available, or who say they are afraid to testify because of harassment and threats made against them?  Arias is already complaining that she doesn't have adequate access to interview witnesses because she is in jail. Duh.  Aside from not having a law degree, that's probably one of the top reasons people who are behind bars should not represent themselves.  

Meanwhile, television stations are making requests to the court to air delayed trial coverage - one such proposal has them airing the footage after court has recessed for the day.  The 2012 trial grabbed millions of TV viewers, and naturally the media wants to cover the retrial. However, Arias' defense has complained that the excessive coverage was to blame for witnesses refusing to testify due to threats and general harassment.  This is the crux of the reason they aren't airing the trial live this time around.  I have to believe Jodi Arias wants her face on that TV. She seems to love the attention, and seems oblivious that much of it isn't positive. 

According to a report on, since Arias is representing herself she could choose not to oppose the request for live coverage or some variation on when it would be played. She doesn't ultimately have the power to make this decision, though her opinion on the matter would be heard.  If trial footage was played after court recessed, any witnesses who testified would be gone and since the witness list is sealed their testimony would not be anticipated or known until after the fact. This could solve a lot of the problems they encountered during the first trial, and it seems like a fair proposition.  I think the public absolutely has a right to see this trial play out - and since the courtroom doesn't hold millions of viewers, television is the only way most people will ever get to see the justice system at work.  It gives the defendant a fair trial and it gives the people access, just not in real time.  

Will this trial ever begin? Will Travis Alexander's rights ever be taken into consideration while we bend over backwards to ensure the person convicted or murdering him has everything she wants and needs at her penalty phase retrial?  Sorry, but I hate that the murder victim and his loved ones seemingly have so few rights when it comes time for an actual trial to begin.  I understand why, better to use an overabundance of caution and in the interest of justice we never would want to risk sending an innocent person to prison for life - but she was already found guilty!  Isn't a year and a half enough time to prepare for this one part of the trial?

This has to end.

My Apologies for Yesterday's Offensive Photo

I wanted to apologize for the photo posted with yesterday's story about a large mural that appeared suddenly on Christmas Eve in NYC.  I...

Most popular posts