The jury questions and the back and forth by the prosecution and defense completed computer expert witness “John Smith”s testimony today. Former Mesa Detective Steve Flores was called back to the stand to testify a little more about what happened with Travis Alexander’s lap-top computer. The two sides have finally gotten to the bottom of what happened with the computer and who did what.
The court had been grappling with two giant crater issues in the Jodi Arias Penalty Phase Re-trial. The first was Judge Sherry Stephen’s decision to clear the court room for the testimony of Jodi Arias. This decision must have everyone stumped. Be aware that that decision ONLY pertains to Jodi Arias, and not any other mitigation witnesses.
Giant Crater #1
Can Jodi Arias continue to testify in secret?
No. Many prosecution supporters were incensed with that ruling and have lashed out at the Judge, claiming that she is on the defense side and some have implied that she has been that way throughout the proceedings. It doesn’t seem so, yet they cite this ruling as a major example that Stephens is rooting for the defense.
Yet, the Judge must have had a reason, other than sending the decision to a higher court to take the blame for making the decision. The media was the most upset about the ruling, citing the Constitutional 1st Amendment right of the public to be present, especially in high profile and high consequence trials. They already can’t broadcast until after the trial, and they’re not about to be pushed any further. It’s difficult to think of a compelling reason for the Judge to have made that decision, but we should be fair in believing that she did have an important reason.
The only one I can think of is that Jodi Arias was going to talk about the other mitigation witnesses in her testimony and integrate them into her testimony. This means she would have to name them or otherwise expose them. The only way to keep the witnesses who did not want to be identified protected would be to also make Arias’ testimony secret.
Giant Crater #2
The Porn on the computer issue.
The second Large Crater in this penalty retrial is the issue of porn on the computer. How did it get there? Was it purposely accessed or was it automatically accessed due to malware? Did the prosecution try to hide porn found on the laptop hard drive, or was automatic actions of the computer creating that appearance? Canadian Deborah Maran has a good set of articles explaining the inner workings of computers, site-blockers, viruses, and malware, etc. It’s a good background on the issues surrounding Travis’ lap top computer.
Judge Stephens waited for Bryan Neumeister and his assistant, “John Smith”, to complete their testimony before issuing her ruling on lots of motions pertaining to the defenses’ desire that the court reverse the conviction or remove the death penalty from the proceedings. These rulings were released today. Boom!
“IT IS ORDERED denying the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty Due to Continued Misconduct filed October 1, 2014,
the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss the State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty Due to Defendant’s Inability to Present a Complete Case for Life filed September 26, 2014,
the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty Due to Continue State Misconduct Supplement #1 filed October 24, 2014,
the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss All Charges with Prejudice and/or in the Alternative to Dismiss the State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty due to Recently Discovered Purposeful and Egregious Prosecutorial Misconduct filed on November 10, 2014,
the Defendant’s Motion for Reconsideration: Motion to Dismiss State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty Due to Defendant’s Inability to Present a Complete Case for Life filed November 26, 2014,
and the Defendant’s Supplemental Motion to Dismiss all Charges with Prejudice and/or in the Alternative to Dismiss the State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty Due to Recently Discovered Purposeful and Egregious Prosecutorial Misconduct filed December 14, 2014.”
Judge Stephens ruled that nothing the defense brought up, including the computer evidence, can be construed as prosecutorial misconduct, and nothing the defense brought up justifies any sanction including the removal of the death penalty. Also the tweets by Steve Flores’ wife may or may not have been leaks from sealed meetings, however the Judge rules that the defense presented no evidence that the information tweeted came from closed meetings.
As to the hard drive evidence, it was determined that no pornographic photos were found, that much of the accessing of porn sites was the automatic workings of malware, as Deborah Maran stated in her article, and that the prosecution did nothing wrong that would change the outcome of the trial. The court also determined that differences between the different clone copies of the hard drive created on different dates were the result of waking and inspecting the original computer, and only system files were overwritten. The computer did not overwrite any registry files or porn information.
The court also determined that a porn site was accessed purposely by a user on June 3, 2008, one day before the killing.
This should put an end to the computer porn issue, and it’s doubtful that this could be deemed to be a legitimate appeal issue by a higher court. Deborah Maran also reported in her article that she felt the defense violated their “duty of candor” by purposely filing accusations and allegations they knew to be false. Juan Martinez also filed a motion to sanction the defense for the issues and allegations regarding the hard drive. That motion was also denied.
“ IT IS FURTHER ORDERED denying the State’s Motion for Sanctions (Compaq Presario Computer) filed November 16, 2014 and the State’s Motion to Strike (Compaq Presario Computer) filed November 18, 2014.”
These two Huge Craters in this elongated penalty re-trial seem to be traversed, but there’s one huge chasm left.
The remaining Giant Chasm
The remaining giant chasm is will Jodi Arias agree to continue her testimony in open court? Will her mitigation witnesses agree or refuse to testify in open court?
The Judge has ruled that there are many options available to protect the identity of witnesses short of clearing the courtroom. This is true, and we have already seen this in action with Darryl Brewer not showing his face in the original trial, and most recently, a computer expert who was given the pseudonym of “John Smith” to protect his identity. Maybe “John Smith” was fearful of what his participation in this trial would do to his prospects of being hired by “major corporations” as a private contractor.
That’s one of many reasons Arias’ mitigation witnesses are reluctant to testify. Another is cyber-stalking by over-zealous social media followers. Witnesses from the main trial had their books disparaged in reviews by trial activists on sites such as Amazon.com. Others have found photos of their children and maps to their home, as well as phone numbers publicly displayed on Facebook. Alyce LaViolette has had her speaking engagements seriously curtailed as a result of backlash from her participation and opinions in this trial. Other participants have had their safety and their life threatened.
The media appealed Judge Stephen’s decision to close the court to the Arizona Court of Appeals. The Court ruled in favor of the Media, and stayed the ruling. Arias had to stop testifying until the defense gets a chance to appeal that ruling. The Appeals Court also ordered Arias’ sealed testimony to be released to the public which happened yesterday.
Here are a few samples from Jodi Arias’ secret testimony:
(Click to enlarge)
Many people theorized that Arias wanted the testimony to be secret because she was going to make wild and outrageous new allegations of abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse and pedophilia, either by the victim, Travis Alexander or someone in her family when she was a child, or both. We have yet to see an indication of this yet.
The released transcripts reveal no real shockers, but there was some talk of drug use and more details of physical abuse by her parents when Arias was a child. The Appeals Court ruling put an abrupt end to Arias’ testimony, which covered her childhood and previous relationships all the way up to her first meeting with Travis Alexander and their initial motel rendezvous at a truck stop in Ehrenberg, Arizona, on the California border. Perhaps any anticipated shockers were yet to come? Perhaps there were not going to be any shockers at all?
The released testimony had more color and detail than in the original trial. Arias seemed to be very eloquent and comfortable and she revealed new information in terms of different friends she made and how she came to move to the different places she lived. For example, Jodi did not just cruise down to the California Coast and find the Ventana Inn job. A man named Richard Molay from Oregon worked there and she actually got a recommendation from him.
She also revealed that when living with Bobby Juarez in Montague, 6 miles outside of Yreka, Jodi owned a Samurai sword. After Bobby allegedly choked her, and then convinced her to hang up on the 911 call, she told her brother Carl that Bobby had choked her. Carl showed up with a posse at Juarez’ place to intimidate Bobby, who came sailing out the door with the Samurai sword and chased Carl and his friends away. There are interesting details like that, but no real exploding bomb shells.
Now, the big question is, will Jodi Arias continue her testimony in open court, or will she refuse to testify? Also, the Court of Appeals is under no obligation or time limit to respond to Nurmi’s appeal of their decision to stay Judge Stephen’s ruling to clear the courtroom. The Arizona Court of Appeals also said that the defense could not use their decision as a basis to put the trial on hold or to delay the trial further.
Will the defense work with the court and the prosecution to find creative ways to protect witnesses and information while still having an open court? Will Jodi Arias continue her testimony or refuse to return to the stand? If she testifies, will other mitigation witnesses refuse to testify now that the promised anonymity may not be available? Will they agree to modifications so they can testify in open court? These are the big questions coming up soon.
A witness can be given a pseudonym, a witness can ask not to be identified, a witness can testify on video or by affidavit. Another person, such as mitigation specialist Maria De La Rosa or another suitable person can testify in the place of a witness. The witness can also be subpoenaed and compelled by the defense to testify. There are many ways a witness can testify and protect their identity without going to the extreme solution of clearing the courtroom, and Judge Stephens has explained this in her ruling.
So, if witnesses make a personal decision not to testify, this most likely cannot be an appealable issue at this point, because the prosecution and the court have offered many ways for witnesses to testify without having to reveal their identity.
This is not such a simple issue, because the Judge is reluctant to force Jodi Arias or her mitigation witnesses to testify in open court, because Nurmi has appealed the ruling. Should Jodi Arias be sentenced to death, and afterwards, Nurmi’s appeal is granted, then the retrial becomes a mistrial and Jodi Arias’ sentence would possibly need to be converted to life, especially if some witnesses refuse to testify. Anything done in open court cannot be undone, so it is questionable how this trial will proceed or even if there will be a postponement of the trial pending the ruling on Nurmi’s appeal.
Some prosecution supporters believe that this “witnesses are afraid” claim is just a ruse by the defense to find an excuse not to present mitigation witnesses. This is because some death sentences have been stricken down by the 9th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, based on ineffective assistance of counsel for failure of a defense attorney to present mitigation witnesses. They claimed that this was what Nurmi did in the first penalty trial, also.
If this is his strategy, it’s not going to work at this point. So, it will be interesting to see what happens next. Will the defendant and her mitigation witnesses testify or not?
Another notable thing that happened on Tuesday the 13th was that Jennifer Willmott finished re-direct questioning of Mesa Detective Steve Flores about the chain of custody and what he witnessed about the computer in the evidence room. Some evidence favorable to the defense was elicited from Detective Flores. Juan Martinez got up on re-cross and went after him in a fury and with as much ferocity as he has displayed with any defense witness. Fireworks in the courtroom. Juan Martinez also referred to himself as “Mr. Martinez”. “Objection to what Mr. Martinez thinks”.
Two Giant Craters have been traversed. Many prosecution supporters blamed the defense and Judge Sherry Stephens for all the delays and for throwing this crazy train retrial off the tracks, but that’s not the only perspective. The defense did not threaten and intimidate witnesses in the original trial and the defense did not put the porn on the computer. Theses two issues could not be ignored, they had to be confronted and worked out one way or another. The final Giant Chasm is what will the defense do now? Court is out until Tuesday after the Holiday, and we may or may not find out then.
What do YOU think?
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Much has been made of the 1st degree Felony murder charge in the Jodi Arias case. The popular consensus is:
1) This is a totally legitimate charge under Arizona law.
2) The prosecution can charge whatever they want. It’s still up to the jury whether or not to convict on each charge.
3) Arias’ defense attorneys are a “joke” and “do not know what the hell they’re talking about”.
4) “F*ck Off, f*cktard!!”
5) Nobody cares / It doesn’t matter, because the jury did not find Jodi Arias guilty of 1st degree Felony Murder.
6) The jury instructions said that jurors can make a finding of both 1st degree AND felony murder, and that’s what some of them did. So what?
7) Jodi Arias butchered Travis Alexander. She was unanimously found guilty of first degree Premeditated Murder by a jury of her peers, so f*ck off!
8) It was Felony Murder, because it was a felony AND it was a murder. – It’s not rocket science – Duh!
“Ladies and Gentlemen: There’s nothing.
It’s silly. It’s fearful. That charge is there out of fear.
It makes no sense …. not under any scenario does that make any sense.
Either she was there to kill him … or she wasn’t.”
– Defense Attorney Kirk Nurmi
What does he mean by “Either she was there to kill him … or she wasn’t”?
What does he mean by “That charge is there out of fear”?
Now is a good time to review the different charges for a murder:
1st degree Premeditated Murder: A deliberate plan to kill or a “period of cool deliberation”.
It’s deliberate and there is an intent to kill in the person’s mind. It’s also called a “cold-blooded murder”. It’s considered worse than 2nd degree Murder because a person calmly made a decision to murder, reflected on it, and then carried it out.
1st degree Felony Murder: A deliberate plan to carry out a dangerous felony (other than 1st degree murder) and in the course of that felony, a death occurs.
The primary or “predicate felony” is the main intent of the person. The person usually has no premeditation to commit murder. As a result of and in the course of carrying out that dangerous felony, somebody dies.
2nd degree Murder: There is no deliberate plan to kill nor a “period of cool deliberation” or it cannot be proven in court, but the person intentionally caused the death of another person.
There is no provable deliberation, but an intent to kill is formed in the person’s mind. It is a murder born of unplanned circumstances. Often, this would be called a “hot-blooded murder”.
If a jury finds that this 2nd degree murder was committed in the intense emotional turmoil called a “heat of passion”, Arizona law requires that the charge be reduced to Manslaughter.
Manslaughter: There is no deliberate plan and no intent to kill, but the person negligently or recklessly caused the death of another person.
Justifiable Homicide: A murder is justified because a person was defending their life or the life of another person.
We have a situation in a Capital murder case, where the prosecution is pushing hard for a 1st degree murder conviction, this will mean lifetime imprisonment or the Death Penalty.
The defense is pushing just as hard to get, at the least, a 2nd degree murder conviction, where the Death penalty cannot be applied and the defendant has some chance of parole and one day getting out of prison. Of course, a heat of passion manslaughter verdict or an acquittal would be even better for the defense and Arias.
The Defense in the Jodi Arias case had a primary goal or mission to get anything BUT a 1st degree murder conviction for the same reasons.
Can the additional but bogus charge of 1st degree felony murder assist the prosecution to achieve their goal of a 1st degree murder conviction?
Now, let’s review the actual instructions that the jury was given and that Judge Stephens read word for word to the jury.
“THE CHARGED OFFENSE – PREMEDITATED MURDER
Count 1 charges the defendant with First Degree Murder. Arizona law
recognizes two types of First Degree Murder – Premeditated Murder and
Felony Murder. The state has charged the defendant with both types.
The crime of First Degree Premeditated Murder requires the state to prove the following:
The defendant caused the death of another person; and
The defendant intended or knew that she would cause the death ofanother person; and
The defendant acted with premeditation.
“Premeditation” means that the defendant intended to kill another human being or knew she would kill another human being; and that after forming that intent or knowledge, reflected on the decision before killing. It is this reflection, regardless of the length of time in which it occurs, that distinguishes First Degree Murder from Second Degree Murder.
While reflection is required for First Degree Murder, the time needed for reflection is not necessarily prolonged, and the space of time between the intent or knowledge to kill and the act of killing may be very short. An act is not done with premeditation if it is the instant effect of a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.
The crime of First Degree Premeditated Murder includes the lesseroffense of Second Degree Murder. You may consider a lesser offense if either:
You find the defendant not guilty of First Degree Premeditated Murder; or
After full and careful consideration of the facts, you cannot agree on whether to find the defendant guilty or not guilty of First Degree Premeditated Murder.
You cannot find the defendant guilty of any offense unless you find that the State has proved each element of that offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
SECOND DEGREE MURDER
The crime of Second Degree Murder requires proof of one of the
The defendant intentionally caused the death of another person; or
The defendant caused the death of another person by conductwhich the defendant knew would cause death or serious physical injury; or
Under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to humanlife, the defendant recklessly engaged in conduct that created a grave riskof death and thereby caused the death of another person. The risk must be such that disregarding it was a gross deviation from what a reasonable person in the defendant’s situation would have done.
The difference between first degree murder and second degree murder is that second degree murder does not require premeditation by thedefendant.
CHARGED OFFENSE – FELONY MURDER
As stated earlier, Count 1 also charges defendant with First Degree Felony Murder. The crime of First Degree Felony Murder requires the state to prove the following two things:
The defendant committed or attempted to commit Burglary in the
Second Degree; and
In the course of and in furtherance of committing Burglary in theSecond Degree, or immediate flight from it, the defendant caused the deathof any person.
An “attempt” requires the state to prove that the defendant intentionally did something which, under the circumstances she believed them to be, was a step in a course of conduct planned to culminate in the commission of the offense. The crime of Burglary in the Second Degree requires proof that the defendant:
Entered or remained unlawfully in or on a residentialstructure; and
Did so with the intent to commit any theft or felony therein.
Residential structure means any structure, movable orimmovable, permanent or temporary, that is adapted for both humanresidence and lodging whether occupied or not.
“Intentionally” or “with the intent to” means, with respect to a result or to conduct described by a statute defining an offense, that a person’s objective is to cause that result or to engage in that conduct.
There are no lesser included offenses for First Degree Felony Murder.
Okay, I hope you lived through that. If so, you may have noticed a few things. First, it seems as if juries were very confused about how if they decide it’s a second degree murder, then they must decide if it was a “sudden heat of passion” killing. If the jury decides it is, then the 2nd degree murder is reduced to manslaughter. The instructions repeat so many times on this that it seems that there was trouble with the comprehension of this instructions.
The 1st degree pre-meditated murder charge includes the lesser offenses of 2nd degree murder, sudden heat of passion murder, and manslaughter. The Felony murder charge has no lesser included offenses.
The jury is informed that all can vote for premeditated M1, or all can vote for felony M1, or all can vote for both, or there can be any kind of mixture, as long as they are all unanimous that it’s a first degree murder.
In order to make a finding of Felony murder in this case, the jurors need to find that the defendant committed or intended to commit 2nd degree burglary. In Arizona, this only means that a defendant entered or remained unlawfully in a residence with the intent to commit any other theft or felony.
Can two people both be guilty of felony murder with one victim? Yes they can.
Example: Joe Blow and Lou Blew go to rob a horse track. Lou Blew blows away a cashier. Both Joe Blow and Lou Blew are guilty of felony murder.
Can one person be guilty of felony murder with two victims? Yes they can.
Example: Snidely Whiplash is in his Humvee being chased by the police. The police car smashes into a motorcycle, killing Hairy Ryder. Snidely runs over Midge, a little old lady with a walker who was trying to cross the street. Snidely Whiplash is guilty of two counts of felony murder.
Can one person be guilty of both felony murder and premeditated murder with two victims? Yes they can.
Example: Robin Redrum plans on killing Bumptious Q. Bangwhistle in his home a month in advance. She goes to his home and shoots him dead. Bumptious’ brother, Sumptious Z. Bangwhistle, is visiting that day. He hears the gunfire and comes out of the bathroom and Robin shoots him dead. Robin Redrum is guilty of one count of 1st degree Premeditated Murder and one count of 1st degree Felony Murder.
Now, can one person be guilty of BOTH felony murder and premeditated murder with a single victim? Only rarely, and it would take some doing and some verbal gymnastics to explain how this could be so without a separate felony.
Premeditated murder is a planned murder, or at the very least, the person had a moment of cool reflection.
Felony murder is an unplanned murder. The person plans another felony, and in the course of and in furtherance of this felony, a death occurs. (The victim could have a heart attack, your accomplice could murder the victim, the police could shoot the victim by mistake when trying to shoot you, or you could be surprised by an unexpected victim and kill them, or you could just suddenly decide to kill somebody. All these are examples of felony murder).
How does one person commit BOTH a planned and an unplanned killing with a single victim? Not very easily, BUT Arizona law does allow jurors to find both pre-meditated murder 1 and felony murder 1 concurrently under certain circumstances.
Doesn’t that seem like a blessing for prosecutors?
A) Let’s say Horatio Hornblower plans to tie up and rob little Billy Pilgrim. He ties him up and steals his computer and big screen TV. He drives away, then he thinks again and drives back to Billy Pilgrim’s house and kills him with a George Foreman 3 minute hamburger grill. Now, is this felony murder or premeditated murder or both?
B) Let’s say Horatio Hornblower again plans to tie up and rob little Billy Pilgrim. He ties him up and steals his computer and big screen TV. Billy tells Horatio that he’s a useless cowardly thieving dirt bag. Horatio Hornblower then brains Billy with a George Foreman 3 minute hamburger grill. Is this example felony murder, pre-meditated murder, or both?
C) Let’s say Robin Redrum has NO intention to kill Sweet Polly Purebred in her home by suffocating her with a plastic bag. Robin is a welcome guest. A fight breaks out. She puts a plastic bag over Polly’s head, but she’s not dying. She’s injured, but not dead. So Robin stabs her with Polly’s knitting needle 99 times until she dies. She takes the bag and the knitting needle with her. Is this premeditated murder or felony murder or both?
D) Now, let’s reverse that and say that Robin Redrum plans for months to stab Sweet Polly Purebred to death in her own home with Robin’s knitting needle. She stabs her 99 times, but she doesn’t know if she’s dead or not. She puts a plastic bag over her head just to be sure and takes her own knitting needle. Is this felony murder or premeditated murder or both?
The last example is the equivalent of the prosecution’s theory in the Jodi Arias case (gunshot last, pre-meditation, Jodi brought the gun). The one before that is the alternate theory of murder in the Jodi Arias case (gunshot first, no pre-meditation, Jodi used and stole Travis’gun).
Now, can you apply the jury instructions to these 4 cases? What do you come up with?
A) Under the laws of California and many other states, this would be premeditated murder. It starts out as a felony, but Horatio leaves, then deliberates and after cool reflection, decides to go back and kill Billy Pilgrim. For me, this would be 1stdegree premeditated murder plus separate kidnapping and burglary charges.
In Arizona, however, this fulfills all the requirements for a finding of BOTH Pre-meditated M1 AND Felony M1.
B) I would call this felony murder. Horatio intended to commit a felony. While engaged in the felony, he becomes enraged at Billy Pilgrim and, without a plan or cool reflection, murders him. I would charge felony murder and add on the kidnapping and burglary charges.
C) This would seem to me to be premeditated murder or it could be 2nd degree murder, depending on the details. Robin Redrum didn’t plan the murder. There was no intended felony. A fight broke out and Robn went wild. If there was a cooling off period proven, then it’s 1st degree premeditated murder. If there was no time for reflection, then it’s 2nd degree murder. If the jury finds it’s a sudden heat of passion killing. (Robin and Polly had an intimate relationship of some kind), then the charge could be reduced to manslaughter.
D) This would also seem to me to be premeditated murder. Robin Redrum planned the murder and carried it out. There doesn’t seem to be any intended felony or further felony other than the murder itself.
Did you come to the same conclusions as I did?
In the Jodi Arias case, there were 7 out of 12 jurors who found that it was BOTH a felony murder and a premeditated murder. How did that happen? There were also 8 jurors out of 12 jurors who voted for death. Since I do not know, I think it’s a very good educated guess that the 7 who voted for both felony and premeditated murder AND 7 of the 8 jurors who voted for death are the same people.
I would love to hear their explanation as to how this is BOTH. I would love to hear anyone’s explanation as to how this can be both a planned AND an unplanned murder.
In Arizona, there IS an explanation:
If the prosecution proves that a death occurred “In the course of, and in furtherance of, another intended felony”, a juror can make a finding of Felony Murder 1, even if that same juror also made a finding of Pre-meditated M1.
Kirk Nurmi argued that since there is no predicate felony, there is no Felony Murder. So, it is either 1st degree premeditated murder, which the prosecution argued almost exclusively, or it is a LESSER CHARGE, such as 2nd degree murder or heat of passion manslaughter. Here’s what he said about this in the guilt phase part of the trial in 2013:
“Remember when we heard the charge of Felony Murder yesterday and the state making an argument that was….incomprehensible? This idea that well…if you believe Jodi’s version of events she’s guilty of felony murder because she went to Travis’ home, and she decided to steal his gun, and in the course of trying to steal his gun, she shot him. She went there, they had sex, they did all these things, then she decided she wanted his gun, and decided to take it, and wanted it so bad that she was willing to kill him.
That’s the theory of felony murder they have put forward. That shows a little fear, and we’ll talk about some of the fear that the state has demonstrated throughout this case, but that’s just some of it – alright? We also heard this idea that….well, she was unwelcome once she put the weapon upon him and she was there to commit a burglary or another felony ….. there’s no other felony.
Ladies and Gentlemen: There’s nothing. It’s silly. It’s fearful. That charge is there out of fear. It makes no sense …. not under any scenario does that make any sense. Either she was there to kill him, because the state said “Hey this is a plot that began in May”. Either she was there to kill him … or she wasn’t, and that’s ultimately what we’re here to determine.”
– Defense lead attorney Lawrence “Kirk” Nurmi in the guilt phase closing argument.
Start at 9:15
So, in his closing statements, what does Kirk Nurmi mean by “Either she was there to kill him … or she wasn’t”?
What he means is that this is either a deliberate pre-planned, cooly reflected upon murder, or it should be a lesser charge.
The reason why he’s saying this is because he doesn’t see an underlying felony in the felony murder charge. Martinez’ answer during Nurmi’s motion to dismiss the felony murder charge is that the underlying felony can be any lesser offense of Premeditated Murder. This is after he states once again the reasons why this is clearly a premeditated murder. Then Martinez offers up “assault” as the underlying felony in the felony murder charge.
We are well on our way up the hill to the Holy Grail, I promise. But first, let’s take a small detour and look at the genesis of the felony murder charge. It never changed from the time of the indictment, although premeditated and felony murder are clearly stated as ALTERNATIVES.
Here’s the relevant wording from the original indictment on July 9th 2008 (Jodi Arias’ birthday):
“The Grand Jurors of Maricopa County, Arizona, accuse Jodi Ann Arias on this 9th day of July, 2008, charging that in Maricopa County, Arizona:
JODI ANN ARIAS, on the 4th day of June, 2008, intending or knowing that her conduct would cause death, with premeditation caused the death of TRAVIS V. ALEXANDER, in violation of A.R.S. $$ 13-1101, 13-1105, 13-702, 13-703, 13-703.01 and 13-801.
The State of Arizona further alleges that the offense charged in this count is a dangerous felony because the offense involved the discharge, use, or threatening exhibition of a .25 caliber handgun and/or knife, a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and/or the intentional or knowing infliction of serious injury upon TRAVIS V. ALEXANDER, in violation of A.R.S. $$ 13-604 (P).
OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE
JODI ANN ARIAS, on or about the 4th day of June, 2008, acting either alone or with one or more other persons, committed or attempted to commit Burglary, Second Degree, and in the course of and in furtherance of such offense, or immediate flight from such offense, JODI ANN ARIAS or another person caused the death of TRAVIS V. ALEXANDER, in violation of $$ 13-1105, 13-1101, 13-702, 13-703, 13-703.01 and 13-801.
The State of Arizona further alleges that the offense charged in this count is a dangerous
felony because it involved the discharge, use, or threatening exhibition of a .25 caliber handgun and/or knife, a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument and/or the intentional or knowing infliction of serious physical injury upon TRAVIS VICTOR ALEXANDER in violation of A.R.S. $ 13-604(P).
Did you see that? Premeditated Murder OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, felony murder. Not both, how could it be both? You either planned a murder or you didn’t, right? In Arizona, for whatever reasoning, a juror can find both if the pre-meditated murder happened “In the course of, and in furtherance of, another intended felony”.
In Arizona, you get to
I’m going to throw out a word to you now – Boilerplate. It’s a legal term meaning a standard way of wording things such that there are few problems understanding it. The exact same, time-tested phrasing is used every time. July 9th was just a month after the body was found.
“JODI ANN ARIAS, on or about the 4thday of June, 2008, acting either alone or with one or more other persons, committed or attempted to commit Burglary, Second Degree”. This standard boiler plate language should be narrowed down to exactly what the evidence shows by the time of the trial.
At that point, Jodi could have been hiding and protecting an accomplice who actually did the killing while she just watched. She would still be guilty of 1st degree felony murder, because she was a willing accomplice. Someone could have assisted her, even if Jodi did the killing. Maybe it would turn out that either Jodi didn’t premeditate the murder OR there was not enough evidence of premeditation.
So that boilerplate wording on the indictment including the felony murder charge are there as a catch-all or a just in case. They’re basically a one size fits all. Three or Four years later, you would think the prosecution would know if it was felony murder or a premeditated murder. Everyone knows what they are going to try to prove and what their theory of the case will be.
– But they left the defense guessing.
Kirk Nurmi made two major points in his closing about the Felony Murder Charge.It makes no sense, and it’s only there because of “fear”.
“Either she was there to kill him, or she wasn’t”.
In Arizona, there are 16 statutory (witten in the law) predicate felonies for felony murder. These are:
1) Sexual Conduct with a minor
2) Sexual Assault
3) Molestation of a child
5) Marijuana offenses
6) Dangerous drug offenses
7) Narcotics offenses
8) The use of minors in drug offenses
9) Drive by shooting
15) Child abuse
16) Unlawful flight from a pursuing law enforcement vehicle”
Jodi’s predicate felony is burglary? You’ve got to be kidding me. Incredibly, Juan Martinez sold that B.S. To the jury, or to many of them, anyways. I don’t think you can stretch, mutilate, and warp a law any more than Martinez did here. Then he sold it to them, because he is the fireside story teller. There were five astute jurors, though, who weren’t buying it at all.
The State has put forth that the felony predicate is burglary. In Arizona statutes, burglary is akin to trespassing with the intent to commit any felony. Jodi Arias at some point became an uninvited guest in Travis Alexander’s home. When, exactly did Jodi Arias become an unwelcome guest in Travis’ home? According to the twisted logic of the State, Jodi Arias became an unwelcome guest as soon as she began her premeditated murder of Travis Alexander.
According to the state, when Jodi Arias began killing Travis Alexander, at that point in time, she is no longer welcome in Travis’ home and is now guilty of 2nd degree burglary.
“The crime of Burglary in the Second Degree requires proof that
Entered or remained unlawfully in or on a residential
Did so with the intent to commit any theft or felony therein.”
– Arizona 2nd degree burglary statute.
Here there is a situation where, as soon as Jodi Arias starts killing Travis Alexander, she is now guilty of second degree burglary, because Travis obviously would not want her in his home at that time = remaining unlawfully in a residential structure. That same act of starting to kill Alexander also serves as the further felony Arias intended to commit. So the killing of Alexander serves as the reason why she is guilty of 2nddegree burglary, plus it is the further felony Arias intended to commit, plus it is the killing that was committed in the course of the burglary.
Do you see why this is insane circular logic? As a matter of fact, that’s what Kirk Nurmi argued when he asked the court to drop the Felony Murder charge after it became clear that the State was arguing just about exclusively for 1st degree premeditated murder. He said this is circular logic. The murder and the predicate felony and the further intended felony cannot be all the same thing.
Not only is it circular logic, but also, there’s a law against it:
“Felony-murder cannot be charged if all the elements of the felony are included in the elements of murder.This is known as the merger doctrine,which holds that if the underlying felony merges with the killing, the felony cannot constitute felony-murder. For example, all of the elements of the crime of Assault and Battery with a deadly weapon are included in murder. If a killing, therefore, occurred during the course of this crime, the accused would be charged with murder.”
Yet this is exactly what Martinez is putting forth. He wrongly divides a stabbing murder into a series of assaults with a knife, and calls the intended further felony “assault”.
Update: It has come to my attention that, In Arizona, Martinez and Judge Stephens correctly cited the law when stating that the intended felony defining the burglary can be assault even if the victim was murdered.
Again, the predicate felony = remaining unlawfully in the home (via killing Alexander) with the intent of committing any further felony (killing Alexander) and the murder part of the felony murder is (killing Alexander).
For this charge of Felony Murder, aren’t all of the elements of the felony predicate “merging” with the murder?
You cannot do that. Yet, Martinez and the state of Arizona did do it. Sound familiar?
It seems that in the Bizarro world of Arizona, a murder can be divided up into a series of assaults.
Now, let’s entertain the theory that it was Travis’ gun that was used in the killing. Besides the fact that this significantly weakens the State’s case for pre-meditation, this scenario doesn’t work so hot either. That’s because the State would have to prove that Arias’ stated intention was to remain in Alexander’s residence with the intent to steal that gun, and in the course of committing this felony, she was willing to kill Alexander.
He would have to prove that Arias intended to steal the gun prior to, rather than after, the murder.
Following this theory, the death occurred while she was in the process of stealing Travis’ gun, which was her primary intention. This is absurd. Since she got rid of the gun, one can then be confident that her main purpose was not to be in the home unlawfully in order to steal his gun.
There’s a much better argument for that:
What if, she broke into the home, was in there without Alexander’s consent or knowledge, and then he caught her with the gun in her hand? She shoots him and kills him because he identified her in his home when she was supposed to be 1,000 miles away in Yreka. This is a much clearer case of felony murder. But, as we know, Travis let her in the home, Jodi knew what he was watching on his computer (You tube: “Harder Better Faster Stronger”).
We know they took pictures of each other, and we know they had sex a number of times. One could have confidence that she was welcome in the home (at least, at first).
Neither theft of the gun, nor “assault”, nor the killing of Alexander can fulfill the “intent to commit any felony” part of the Felony Murder Statute, according to Nurmi. The intended felony must be separate from the killing.
Update: It has been brought to my attention that Arizona does not recognize the merger rule in all instances, meaning if a person is murdered, you can break down that murder into a series of assaults and you can use assault as the felony defining the felony predicate of burglary.
The prosecution, after being asked over and over again by the defense about their intentions with the felony murder charge, in 2010, finally stated what they would be using “any of the lesser included offenses” (murder 2, manslaughter). Later, they added “aggravated assault” and “theft” as the intended offense beyond 2nd degree burglary (remaining in the home unlawfully). Doesn’t this show that they have no clear theory?
Nurmi brought up a motion to dismiss the felony murder charge on the ninth day of trial, in open court minus the jury, on video. There he states that there is no underlying felony for the felony murder charge (video below). Nurmi said “The essence of the argument, your honor, is that there was nothing facilitated, at all. There was no distinct offense for this burglary….and the assertions of felony murder based on that should not stand.” Here he is saying that there was no intent to commit a theft or any felony other than the killing itself.
Juan Martinez states that the further felony is assault, now her status has changed to an unwelcome guest, the assault, and the stabbings that happened after that become the felony. Nurmi responded that it is either a premeditated murder or it’s not, and the felony murder burglary charge is just an “empty vessel” in order to seek a first degree murder conviction. (The motion was denied by Judge Sherry Stephens).
The defense motion to dismiss the felony murder charge.
Start at 47:15
Do you remember this? Jodi must have forgotten her glasses or something and is wearing a different pair. Nurmi and Martinez fight it out over the felony murder charge
At SpotLightOnLaw, we have talked about the felony murder charge a lot. Now, we hope you will soon understand why. Who gives a hoot about the felony murder charge when it’s old news? It’s over and done with, the jury was unanimous for pre-meditated murder anyways, and Nurmi is a blooming idiot!
No, there’s something to this. Either this is Martinez’ trick, or it’s just bad common law. Not the first time we’ve seen a poorly worded statute interpretated poorly in Arizona.
Nurmi seems to feel internally that this is incorrect. He’s not wrong, but his argument is not persuasive enough. He didn’t invoke the merger rule and he couldn’t find any case law specific enough to this issue. He’s a really good attorney, but he’s lacking as a trial lawyer.
I will reiterate this now in a visual format, so I hope you can see that this felony murder charge is ridiculous. It’s ludicrous. It makes no logical, practical or legal sense, does it?
Stay with me, now. I hope you will see that this is at the root of what’s wrong with the Jodi Arias case. The Holy Grail is in sight!
What do you believe is the theft or felony that Jodi intended to commit or committed? No, Juan Martinez and Judge Stephens, it cannot be the murder itself.
But, wait. According to Arizona law, and only Arizona law, Juan Martinez and Judge Stephens are correct in saying that assault CAN be used as the the felony defining the burglary.
Martinez in closing arguments of the guilt phase discussing the felony murder charge
Starts at 23:30 then he picks it up again at 37:30
Now, if you don’t believe me, look at what a very good attorney in Arizona has to say:
Vladimir Gagic, Criminal Law Attorney
“That, for the moment, leaves the felony murder charge, which is count two in the indictment. At common law, felony murder meant that someone could be charged for murder even if they never intended to kill a person, so long as the a death was the foreseeable result while the defendant was committing a dangerous felony.
The classic example of a felony murder is when a kidnap victim dies from a heart attack while stuffed in the trunk of a kidnapper’s car. Thus, even though the kidnapper never intended to kill his victim, he is still guilty of felony murder because the death of his victim was a foreseeable consequence of the underlying predicate felony, kidnapping.”
“Another example is when during a bank robbery the police shoot and kill a bank robber’s accomplice. Even though the bank robbers certainly never intended the police to kill one of them, that result was foreseeable, and thus felony murder. Other common law predicate felonies included rape and burglary. Assault is not a predicate felony in Arizona for the felony murder rule.”
“The important point with the felony murder rule is that the predicate felony is different from intent to murder, depraved indifference murder, manslaughter, or any other homicide charge because the goal of the felony murder rule is to deter the predicate felony itself, while non-felony murder homicide and murder laws deal with homicide charges directly.”
“As most of you are aware, the government has charged Ms. Arias with felony murder, with the predicate felony being burglary. The important point here is that while even though common law burglary required breaking and entering with the intent to commit a theft therein, in Arizona, which follows the model penal code, defines burglary more broadly as (see “Arizona Revised Statute ARS 13-1506 and 13-1507):
Entering or remaining unlawfully in or on a nonresidential structure or in a fenced commercial or residential yard with the intent to commit any theft or any felony therein; and A person commits burglary in the second degree by entering or remaining unlawfully in or on a residential structure with the intent to commit any theft or any felony therein.”
“The prosecutor does not allege Ms. Arias entered into Travis Alexander’s home with the intent to kill him or commit any felony, for that matter, at the moment of entry. How could he when all the evidence shows Mr. Alexander invited Ms. Arias into his house? The evidence is clear she spent at least 8 hours in his house, and during that time together they had sex multiple times.”
“Instead, the prosecutor’s argument is that felony murder applies because at some point Mr. Alexander revoked permission from Ms. Arias to be in his house, and at that point, she was “remaining unlawfully in… a residential structure”. This is where things get quite silly for the government’s felony murder allegation:
if in fact at some point Jodi Arias was still in Mr. Alexander’s house without his permission (we can call that point T1), what felony was Ms. Arias’ intending to commit at T1? If she was intending to kill him at T1, then that would be the exact same thing as count one, murder in the first degree intent to kill, premeditated murder.”
“The defense filed a motion to dismiss the felony murder charge, stating quite correctly the allegation makes no sense. In response, Judge Stephens ruled Ms. Arias’ intent at T1 could have been assault, not intent to kill Mr. Alexander. I believe that ruling is in error because of something called the merger rule.
To count any death that occurred during the course of an assault as felony murder would obliterate the distinction between assault and murder. And even more importantly, there would be no distinction between second degree depraved indifference murder and first degree intent to kill murder.”
“P.S. What I mean by merger rule is that the predicate underlying dangerous felony, the dangerous felony of felony murder, must be different from the actual murder charge itself; that is why assault is not a predicate in felony murder. If it was a predicate, then every murder would automatically be felony murderbecause every murder involves an assault. In other words, proving the murder would automatically prove the assault as the evidence is circular. And thus, there would be no degrees of murder charges (first degree, second degree) as there are now.”
There’s more to it. Let’s move on to the other pieces of the puzzle.
This explanation makes good sense and it’s the law in most states. Here is another instance, like the F(6) cruelty aggravator, where the statute is poorly written, coupled with illogical jury instructions or case law, that leaves Nurmi and Gagic and I, feeling like something is not quite right. That’s my overall feeling about the Jodi Arias case, too.
What did Kirk Nurmi mean by “That charge is there out of fear”?
Now, we are getting to what Kirk Nurmi said about the prosecution’s ”fear”. What’s the distinction between 1st degree Felony Murder and 2nd degree Murder? Both involve no pre-planning, and in both, the person must have an intent.
The difference is that in Felony Murder, as normally observed, there must be an intent to commit another dangerous felony (where a death is foreseeable). There must be a primary or “predicate felony” OTHER THAN THE KILLING, with no pre-planned intention to kill. In the course of committing this dangerous felony, a death occurs.
Martinez argued premeditation throughout this case. He even argues a short moment of cool reflection in the bathroom was also possible, in case the jurors don’t accept the long premeditation theory. The – Travis was “killed three ways” argument is also meant to show deliberation and premeditation. He argued throughout the case that Travis didn’t own a gun, and that Jodi brought the gun with her from Yreka.
Now, Martinez is telling the jury that according to Arias’ version of events, Travis did own a gun and he’s arguing that she did steal it and that makes theft the felony defining the burglary. He’s arguing that Travis Alexander was murdered, and in the process of the murder he was assaulted, making assault the felony defining the burglary.
Martinez is telling the jury that yes, you can find that this was both a felony murder and a pre-meditated murder if the premeditated murder happened in furtherance of the burglary. He’s telling them that as soon as Arias first assaulted Alexander, that at that point, she was now unwelcome and unlawfully in the home. He’s telling them that this fits the Arizona burglary statute.
Who’s right and who’s wrong?
Why is he doing this? What is going on here?
Imagine there are 4 rooms, like motel rooms. Imagine there is a door to each of these rooms. The first room is 1st degree pre-meditated murder, the second room is 2nd degree murder, the 3rd is manslaughter and the 4th is justifiable homicide. Which door will the jury walk through?
If some jurors are unsure about premeditation or if some feel it’s a heat of passion homicide,they could have a compromise verdict and choose to walk through the door of 2nddegree murder. But what if the state is allowed to add the door of 1st degree felony murder? In this motel scenario, that extra door would lead into the same room as the 1st degree pre-meditated door, (or they could be connected rooms). In any case, it’s another choice for the jury.
It’s another choice which gives the prosecution another opportunity for the jurors to go into the room they want. That’s only fair, Martinez would say, because the defense has 3 doors and 3 rooms and we only have one. Now, it’s more fair because they have 3 doors and we now have 2 doors.
That’s what’sreally going on here. He wants it to be as ambiguous as possible.
Whether Jodi Arias is completely innocent or whether she is a cruel and evil, cold-blooded murderer shouldn’t even matter. Does what Jodi did give officials the right to do what they’re doing here, or what they have done and continue to do in the State of Arizona?
Maybe the statute and/or the interpretations of the statute is just plain wrong.
In the beginning of this case, Juan Martinez had much less information about the gas cans than he did by the end of the trial. The major evidences of pre-meditation at the beginning of the trial were the license plates being tampered with, the car being rented 90 miles from Yreka, the borrowed gas cans, the hair coloring, the phone being off, and the recovered bullet being the same caliber as the gun stolen in Yreka.
All these occurrences could have nefarious explanations, but all these could have innocent explanations. If I were the prosecutor on this case, I would have been a little worried. Maybe that explains, both the change by the prosecution in the order of injuries from gun first to gun last (with the help of Dr. Horn), AND the retention of the felony murder charge. Is it just a coincidence that both of these absurd assertions help to dramatically increase the odds for the prosecution?
The biggest untold embarrassment of this trial is that there was division in this jury. They could not agree on the essentials of this case, and they disagreed 8 to 4 over the death penalty. Seven jurors voted for BOTH felony murder and premeditated murder.
Just because the boiler plate jury instructions state that you can vote for both felony murder AND premeditated murder doesn’t mean that voting for both in any way applies to this particular case.
These 7 people were following Juan Martinez’ interpretations while the remaining 5 were at least considering some of the defenses’ arguments.
All this is the Holy Grail of the Jodi Arias case.
Remember the list of 16 predicate felonies?
If you or someone with you causes the death of a person in the course of one of these dangerous felonies, the killing is elevated to 1st degree murder. You could say that 1stdegree Felony Murder is when a person commits a 2nddegree murderin the course of one of thesedangerous felonies.
Notice that 1st degree premeditated murder is not on that list. Premeditated murder cannot be the predicate felony for felony murder. Assault with a deadly weapon also is not on this list. Assault can be the further intended felony that’s required in 2nddegree burglary, but it cannot be the predicate felony for felony murder.
So, 2nddegree murder and 1stdegree felony murder have A LOT in common. Also, 2nddegree murder and 1stdegree premeditated murder have A LOT in common, particularly when the period of cool deliberation or reflection is very short.
This caused a legal expert to say:
“The point is that in jurisdictions where no time is too short to support a finding of actual thought and reflection, sufficient to establish premeditation, the dividing line between first and second degree murder is extremely murky, to put it mildly”.
They could fear that they would lose the case. Remember, Juan Martinez, as shown in his prior and current cases, will cheat even when he has a slam dunk case.(State vs. Morris, State vs. Dixon, State vs. Gallardo, State vs. Lynch). But we know that Juan will cheat even more when he fears he may lose the case (State vs. Falater, State vs. Grant, State vs. Carr, Robert Towery commutation hearing, State vs. Chrisman).
For Juan Martinez, not getting a 1stdegree murder conviction would be a LOSS in the Jodi Arias case. The Death Penalty would be off the table and Jodi Arias would get out of prison one day. That’s unacceptable to the prosecution. This case has been widely viewed throughout the United States and the world. People are getting a good look at Arizona Justice, and this trial was on live TV. Also, the 2nd penalty phase will be available on video and transcripts after the sentencing.
This case is a very big deal in Arizona. There are plenty of biblical law types, who demand the most severe punishment possible when a woman kills a man. The Mormons are a very powerful political base of themselves, and they support the ultra conservative right which reigns supreme in Arizona. Woman’s Death Row just lost one woman (due to a wrongful conviction), so there are now only two women on Death row in Arizona. Isn’t it awful expensive to run a maximum security Death Row for only two women?
Remember that Juan does not like to lose a case, and anything less than 1stdegree murder would be a loss. Remember also that Juan did not really have a handle on the gas can situation until late in the trial. As things stood in 2011, this is too risky for a guy like Juan. He wants every advantage possible. He got that advantage by changing the order of injuries and not dropping the felony murder charge, for starters.
Now, I hope you can understand this just a little better and we hope you will start to see why we consider the retention of the felony murder charge, along with the one-two switcheroo of the order of injuries to be the Holy Grail of wrongdoing by the prosecution.
The Jodi Arias Murder Trial: The Other side of the story
plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose
(The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing)
What happened in that bathroom?
Just wandering around on my favorite Twitter channel, #JodiArias, I came across this very interesting tweet with an attached picture.
The picture was actually an array of the shower photos of Travis along with some commentary. I call it the Shower Instagram. It has comments and explains why the shower photos show that Jodi attacked Travis in the shower. The Instagram is given as further proof that Jodi Arias is guilty of 1st degree premeditated murder.
I downloaded the “Shower Instagram” and later I looked for the original Tweet. It was either deleted or I could not locate it. The original Tweet said something I’ve seen a few times before.
I have no ideas who made this. It said something to the effect that Jodi Supporters avoid the shower photo evidence at all cost because it proves it’s a 1st degree murder. So I wanted to show that we can look at the shower photo evidence and see where it leads us.
This is the text of the Shower Instagram:
“Jodi Arias LIED AGAIN she said she was kneeling kneeling when she dropped his camera. Travis got mad. He told her she holds the camera like a 5 year old & told her I’ll f****** kill you bitch. He lunged at her and body slammed her… knocking the wind out of her.
HE WAS INJURED INSIDE THE SHOWER – IT’S ALL PREMEDITATED PERJURY
The shower Door was closed for every pic & and he was standing inside the shower until photo 5:29:20.
Photo 5:30:30 Travis is down / injured-inside the shower.
In 50 seconds after the door was open he was shot or stabbed. He never had time to get out of the shower or body slam her. The gun jammed, she ran downstairs got the knive (sic) while he staggered to the sink/mirror. She came back upstairs & started stabbing him in the back.
He turned around trying to defend himself & she kept stabbing him like a wild savage. He was trying to get away & she kept stabbing him until he got to the hall where she ended his life by slashing his throat.
HER WELL THOUGHT OUT PLAN WAS TO UNLOAD THE GUN IN HIM INSIDE THE SHOWER AND LEAVE WITHOUT A TRACE OF EVIDENCE…
NOT ONLY DID SHE PREMEDITATE THE MURDER, SHE PREMEDITATED ALL THE LIES AND PERJURY
WE’RE READY FOR ROUND TWO – THE SENTENCING TRIAL”
This is very interesting and thought provoking, but at the end of the day it’s more of the same.
It’s an El Speculation Supremo. Let us show you how we got there.
You can click on many photos to enlarge, so you can see them better and read them.
Gun in her left hand? Left handed gun owners would not agree. Black gloves on? What evidence is there of that?
Jodi lied? She said she was kneeling kneeling in front of Travis? What purpose would that serve? Why is standing or crouching so much more sinister than kneeling? I don’t get that point. Oh, BTW, Jodi testified that she was crouching.
Defense Attorney Nurmi correctly stated that Travis’ seated position would be awkward for a knife strike from a left-handed person. Lefties usually fire a weapon and use a camera with their right hand. Prosecutor Juan Martinez responded that Arias stated she was ambidextrous (can use both hands well). This is an idiotic response, because it implies that Arias switched the camera to the left hand, struck with the knife right handed, then switched back in the middle of a knife fight to get the ceiling shot!
Looking at the Instagram photo and reading what it says, I want to share the ways we think about evidence. These are the kinds of mental steps we go through:
1) Surface Errors
The first thing is we look for factual errors and things that are incorrect on the surface of the Instagram.
2) Facts given
What facts is the argument presenting?
3) Scenario Identification
How do these facts fit into both a scenario based on guilt and a scenario based on innocence? We look at the situation in good faith from both sides.
4) Implications of the argument
What is implied by the argument? Do the implications of the scenario hold up under a lens of guilt? Do the implications contradict or dispute the scenario under a lens of innocence?
What have we determined by objectively looking at the evidence?
Now, we can introduce the Shower Instagram:
(You can click on the photo to enlarge it)
1) Surface Errors
“Travis got mad. He told her she holds the camera like a 5 year old… He lunged at her and body slammed her… knocking the wind out of her.”
What Travis said, according to Jodi was that a 5 year-old could do a better job taking pictures (paraphrase). This according to defense domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette, was character assassination, as Jodi prided herself on being a talented photographer and hoped to do it professionally.
“Body Slammed her” and “Knocking the wind out of her” are expressions that can have different meaning to different people. A body slam can be a particular wrestling move where a person is lifted up and thrown or slammed down to the floor. Another person can say that a body slam simply means forcibly pushing a person or throwing them to the floor. Knocking the wind out of a person in sports is a term meaning the person is hit so hard that the air is expelled out of their lungs and they are briefly knocked unconscious. Another person can mean that they hit the ground with enough force to push air out of their lungs.
“*(Travis) told her I’ll f****** kill you bitch.”
This is incorrect. According to Jodi, Travis did not threaten to kill Jodi until after the gun went off and they were both on the floor
“HE WAS INJURED INSIDE THE SHOWER”
“Photo 5:30:30 “Travis is down / injured-inside the shower.”
Let’s remember to look for any evidence of that based on the shower photos.
“In 50 seconds after the door was open he was shot or stabbed.”
Let’s look for evidence of this in the photos. “Shot or stabbed”: Here, again, is the contention offered by prosecution supporters that it doesn’t matter whether Travis Alexander was shot or stabbed first. But, it does matter. It matters a lot. The prosecution went to extreme lengths to demonstrate that it was impossible that Jodi shot Travis first. The ME said he would have been “immediately incapacitated”, so the defense wounds and knife wounds had to be first. The ME also said that the gunshot wound above Travis’ right eyebrow was post mortem, in his opinion.
If you take the ME’s statements and opinion as fact, this is all you need, along with the crime scene evidence, to conclude that Jodi Arias premeditated the murder of Travis Alexander. If you choose not to believe the ME, it could be a 1st degree premeditated murder or it could be something other than 1st degree premeditated murder. If the gun was first, we may need to re-evaluate both Jodi’s veracity on the stand and the idea that her story actually is possible. The order of injuries matters. If Travis was shot first, then the ME was either severely mistaken or he lied on the stand.
“The shower Door was closed for every pic.”
This is an interesting observation. Let’s look into this claim and see if it’s true.
“He never had time to get out of the shower or body slam her.”
We can investigate this claim, too. Martinez said that according to Jodi’s story it’s impossible for everything she said happened to have happened in 1 minute and 2 seconds. (The amount of time between the ceiling photo and the foot photo.)
At the same time, Martinez also demonstrated to the jury how incredibly long 2 minutes is with his all too predictable 2 minutes of silence when the jury was considering the cruelty aggravator.
Jodi pointed out on the stand that the “foot photo”, taken 1 minute and 2 seconds after the “ceiling light photo”, could show Travis partially injured, specifically by the gunshot, and that this photo is not necessarily the end of the deadly skirmish. There is plenty of time for Jodi’s story to be true, but that’s something for another article.
“The gun jammed, she ran downstairs got the knive (sic) while he staggered to the sink/mirror.”
This statement directly contradicts the arguments of the prosecutor as well as the testimony and evidence from Dr. Horn. Adding this to the idea that it doesn’t matter whether the gun injury was last or first, is troubling. This is a capitol murder trial. The life of the defendant/convict hangs in the balance. We cannot be ambivalent about these facts. Was Travis Alexander shot or stabbed first? Was he shot or stabbed when he went to the sink? Before a possible execution or life imprisonment for Arias, we had better know for sure.
“She came back upstairs & started stabbing him in the back.”
This goes back to the question of the back stabs. Where, when and why did Arias stab Alexander in the back? Amazingly, only that genius detective, Vinnie Politan, was able to give a decent answer to that question for the prosecution. Vinnie Politan once theorized on HLN that all or most of the stabbings, including the back stabs, could have been done when Travis was in the shower. Travis, unable to escape the shower, may have turned his back or doubled over while Arias kept stabbing.
Since the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, isn’t it unsettling that two avid prosecution supporters, one a former criminal attorney and the other a Twitter tweeter, give such different accounts of what happened? Alternate scenarios should be the province of the defense, not the prosecution.
“He turned around trying to defend himself & she kept stabbing him like a wild savage.”
Now this is a new variation. This is the first time I heard someone from the prosecution theorizing that the back wounds were the first knife wounds.
Many people from the defense also believe the back wounds stabs were the first knife wounds. The wild savage part, I can also agree with. Having the mind of a wild savage works equally well coming from a lens of innocence or a lens of guilt.
Now we can move to step two:
2) Facts Presented
A) Jodi Arias lied about kneeling on the floor.
B) She was standing when, according to her, she fumbled and dropped the camera.
C) Arias lied about Travis’ “5 year-old” statement. He did not yell at her, he did not come out of the shower and throw her down, She did not shoot him by accident and he didn’t say “F****** kill you b*tch!”.
D) Travis was injured inside the shower and the shower photos demonstrate this
E) By photo 5:30:30, Travis is seated in the shower and injured.
F) 50 seconds after the shower door is opened (5:29:20 to 5:30:30), Travis is injured. Where is the Instagram person getting the 50 seconds? This is 70 seconds. There are 44 seconds between the seated photo and the ceiling light photo. Is that what the Instagram maker means?
G) Shot first or stabbed first, it doesn’t really matter.
H) The Instagram theorist is going with the gunshot first murder theory.
I) There was no time for Jodi’s scenario to happen.
J) Jodi leaves the bathroom to get a knife and returns while Travis is standing at the mirror.
K) She jabs him in the back multiple times (WHY?).
L) She continues stabbing him until he’s down on the bedroom carpet at the end of the bathroom hallway
M) Since Travis doesn’t know Jodi is there taking pictures, he is not cooperating with poses and he’s just showering.
We have assembled all the facts alleged in the argument, let’s look into Scenario identification from both sides and put them all together.
3) Scenario Identification
Guilt perspective knife first:
Within 50 seconds of the shower door being opened, Jodi attacks Travis with a knife. Jodi was standing the whole time and just bent her knees or crouched to attack Travis. Let’s call the Instagram theory the Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger theory. At some point Travis makes his way to the sink. Travis gets to the end of the hallway, and collapses shortly before or after his throat is cut. She drags him back by the sink, stops, and shoots him in the face before putting him back in the shower.
Guilt perspective gunshot first:
Jodi is standing with the gun. She shoots him while he sits in the shower. This fits the trajectory of the gunshot well. The gun must have jammed or it only had one bullet, because otherwise Jodi would have continued firing. Travis is injured but still alive and he’s presumably crawling around before making it to the sink. This fits the blood evidence. Jodi leaves the bathroom to get a knife. She returns and Travis is now at the bathroom sink. She jabs him in the back and then continues stabbing him, he gets the defensive wounds to his hands. Travis gets to the end of the bathroom hallway and his throat is cut. Jodi drags Travis back to the shower.
Jodi is kneeling on the mat while taking photos of Travis in the shower. Travis sits down in the shower and the shower door is opened. According to Jodi, there is a simmering argument going on, but she did not elaborate. Jodi fumbles and drops the camera. At this point, Travis becomes enraged. He calls her a stupid idiot and yells that a five year-old could do a better job. He knocks her to the floor, her breath rushes out of her lungs on impact. She rolls away, gets up and books down the hallway.
Afraid that Travis will catch her before she gets to the bedroom doors, she cuts right and into the closet and slams the door shut. He catches up and opens the door. Jodi puts her foot on a shelf and reaches for an old gun that Travis keeps near the picture of his dad. Jodi enters the bathroom and turns around. Travis comes into the bathroom and Jodi points the gun at him with two hands. Travis, perhaps knowing the gun is unloaded comes at her like a linebacker and tries to tackle her. The gun goes off and Travis is shot. There must have been a round in the chamber. They both fall to the floor and continue to struggle. Travis threatens Jodi’s life (F***ing kill you, b*tch!). Jodi’s memory is overwhelmed at this point and she goes on auto-pilot..
Now, we can look at the implications of these 3 scenarios.
4) Implications of the argument
Jodi’s presence in the bathroom:
Under the innocence scenario, Jodi uses the excuse of taking muscle or body photos of Travis that he can keep. She wants one more intimate experience with Travis before they part company and move on to their new lovers. She convinces Travis to do the photo shoot. He’s aware he’s being photographed. She directs him in a number of poses. The shower door is always closed. At the time of the 5:29:20 photo, Jodi is going for the “Calvin Klein” photo.
Modeling shots of men in the shower are a very common thing. Travis had recently been working out heavily and bulking up. At some point Travis sits down in the shower. This could be because Travis becomes agitated by the photos and asks Jodi to stop. Maybe Travis was going to do some seated poses, or he wanted to see the photos. At the point of the 5:30:30 photo, an argument that has been smoldering all afternoon is heating up again. At the time of the 5:31:14 photo, Jodi fumbles and drops the camera and Travis lunges out of the shower, attacking Jodi.
Under both guilt scenarios, the Shower Instagram implies that Travis had no idea Jodi was in the bathroom with him taking the photos. He may have thought she was downstairs or had already left. Jodi may have been angry at Travis and wanted to get his attention somehow or wanted to invade his privacy out of spite. The photos then would be less trying to capture poses and more just attempting to control and annoy. The idea of the Instagrammer is that the shower door was closed until she’s ready to strike because he doesn’t know she’s there. The shower Instagram idea is reinforced by two shower photos that appear to show Travis reaching for the shampoo and washing his hair.
At the time of the 5:27:18 photo, Travis looks out the clear shower door and sees Jodi with his camera. He’s startled and becomes angry. He turns around and turns the water off, according to the Instagram. He faces Jodi. He’s very upset and aggravated. Travis appears to be close-mouthed and not talking. Maybe he is giving her a cold, angry staredown. Perhaps Jodi is already flashing a weapon. If so, we can imagine that Travis may be trying to give her a warm, pleading stare. This is the look he describes giving the man with the gun in the story he tells at the hotel, when Jodi has her head in his lap.
We can imagine that Jodi is smiling and perhaps laughing as she shows Travis a knife or a gun. Maybe she shows anger. Jodi threatens Travis with a weapon and forces him into a seated position. Then the attack begins.
Here, Gray Hughes, a prosecution supporter, attempts to prove that Travis was an active participant in the shower photos and that the door was open throughout. Gray even thinks the camera was inside the shower for some shots.
Is it true that Travis is unaware that Jodi is right in front of him for over 5 minutes (5:22:16 – 5:27:18) snapping photos? Then this must be a regular shower when Travis is soaping and shampooing.
Jodi is avoiding taking any photos where he is soaping up. Maybe he had already done that. At 5:24:30, you see Travis appears to be wetting down his hair in preparation for a shampoo. At 5:24:49, he appears to grab a handful of shampoo. At 5:24:56, according to the Gray Hughes video, Travis appears to be washing the shampoo off. That’s 26 seconds to wash his hair. Is that too fast for a guy to shampoo his hair? It’s seems about right.
The Shower Instagram states that the shower door is closed in all the photos until the seated photo. Gray Hughes, a prosecution supporter, believes the shower door was always open. Gray Hughes also believes the water in the Calvin Klein photo is water on the camera lens, and the door is open. From Travis’ blogs, we know that Travis’ mother couldn’t stand bath water on the floor, and she punished Travis for this. We can theorize that the shower door would be closed unless he agreed to take the shower photos.
Then again, for this same reason, we can also believe that Travis agreed to the photos but he wanted the door to stay closed. So the closed shower door may not be as evil as it seems.
The Instagram and Martinez both claim Travis was jabbed in the back by surprise at the sink. Martinez claims Travis was already stabbed in the chest and abdomen by the time he got to the sink, while the Instagram claims that Travis had only a gunshot wound when he was jabbed in the back a the sink. Jodi supporters and some prosecution supporters also believe that Travis only had the gun wound when he was at the sink.
For the Shower Instagram ideas to be correct, Jodi would need to have avoided any photos of Travis soaping and shampooing, while managing to take all the seemingly posed photos. Another Tweeter claims these poses match the poses from the shower scene in the classic movie Psycho. Could this be done accidentally? Could Jodi be that quick to know these poses by heart and capture them all accidentally? Isn’t that highly unlikely? Perhaps Travis had finished soaping and shampooing and he was just rinsing off when Jodi suddenly appeared in font of the shower and started snapping the photos.
It’s also possible that Jodi convinced Travis to let her take the shower photos as a way to get him into a vulnerable position for attack. In this case, he would be aware of the photos and posing for them. Wouldn’t the quality of the photos be better then? The photos were deleted and needed to be recovered, so it’s difficult to know.
For this same reason, it’s difficult to know if the door was open or closed. The Shower Instagram claims that the shower door was closed at all times because Travis was not aware Jodi was there. Looking at the back photo, it is difficult to tell. Is the shower door so clean, clear and water drop free that it appears to be open?
Travis Alexander shower photo. Can you tell if the door is open or not?
Here is a professional model photo:
A Calvin Klein type model in the same pose
Is it a stretch to believe the photos were posed? They certainly could be posed. Until the Shower Instagram came along, I thought most people agreed that the photos were posed.
What about the ceiling light photo? If Travis was injured in the shower by gun or by knife, what happened to cause the ceiling photo at 5:31:14? Prosecution supporters need to explain how that photo happened. One could theorize that an injured Travis came out of the shower suddenly, causing Jodi to move her arm and snap the photo.
How about the back wounds? Jodi supporters believe it’s possible Jodi stabbed Travis from under him or from in front of him with shallow, defensive jabs. What is the reason for these stabs under a theory of guilt? No one has provided a reasonable answer except, incredibly, Vinnie Politan, the vacuous, and shameless hot-headed entertainer from CNN’s Head Line News.
Martinez’ idea about the back stabs makes little sense and neither does the Instagram’s. What would be the purpose of the back jabs?
Now we can make our summary.
What have we determined by objectively looking at the evidence?
We have honestly looked at the Shower Instagram evidence and opinion. We have looked at it from theories of guilt as well as innocence.
Did Jodi lie when she said she was kneeling on the mat when she took the final 3 shower photos?
Here we can look to the evidence of the iris photo scientist. Although Martinez and most prosecution supporters believe this is junk science, the scientist works with law enforcement and his iris enhancements have been used as evidence for the prosecution to determine such things as license plate numbers, proof of location and time of day. He also testified that his enhancements are 10 times more visible in the perfect darkness of his lab and when shown on his expensive lab equipment.
It’s inconclusive whether Jodi is standing or kneeling for the Calvin Klein photo. It seems that Travis is seated in the photo, and therefore, Jodi would have to be kneeling or crouched down at the time of the 5:30:30 seated photo. It appears that the camera is pointed straight at the subject.
Seated in the shower seems like a vulnerable position that Jodi wanted to coax Travis into. It’s also possible that Jodi forced Travis to sit down or that he sat down out of embarrassment or frustration, or to look at the photos. It seems to be an open question.
A male model posing while sitting in a shower
The idea that Jodi planned to shoot Travis in the shower and leave no trace is possible, but it goes against the ME and the prosecutor. The idea that the shower door was closed at all times until the seated photo is inconclusive. The surprised look of Travis could have an innocent explanation. The idea that Travis had no idea Jodi was there until the surprised look photo is contradicted by Travis not soaping and shampooing and all the poses Travis seemed to do, whether Jodi wanted the Calvin Klein look or she was going for the Psycho look.
-It’s likely that both the “Calvin Klein” photo and the seated photo are shot not while Arias is standing, but while she is kneeling or crouched on the bath mat. They both appear to be straight on shots. The Iris photo is inconclusive.
-It’s inconclusive as to whether the shower door was always closed until Alexander is seated in the shower. Even if it was, there could be an innocent reason for this (Travis was beaten for getting water on the bathroom floor).
-The theory of the Instagram contradicts the testimony and evidence of the M.E. and the arguments of the prosecutor.
-One can theorize that Travis Alexander did not know that Jodi Arias was snapping photos of him. But one cannot be sure the shower door was closed for all the shots. Alexander is not seen washing his body or hair and he he may be posing like a model or doing poses from the Psycho shower scene. There is too much reasonable doubt.
-The look of surprise on Alexander’s face in one photo is strong evidence, but it’s inconclusive. Arias would have to be snapping photos for over 5 minutes through a plexiglass door before being noticed.
-Alexander’s face in the “Calvin Klein” photo could be registering fear, anger, pleading, or frustration. His face could also be a posed in a stern look typical of male models.
-Contrary to popular belief, there’s plenty of time for Arias’story to fit the timeline of the photos. All of the knife wounds could have happened in 10 seconds. That’s a whole other article, though.
-There’s no real evidence that Travis was attacked in the shower. You can surmise that it happened that way, but you can’t really be sure. The seated photo provides no evidence either way.
The Shower Instagram theory of Hidden Dragon, Crouching Tiger is interesting, but it’s a theory with major problems.
In a strange inversion of tradition, the prosecution and prosecution supporters seem to have numerous speculations, explanations and theories regarding the Jodi Arias case, even though it should be one proven theory beyond reasonable doubt. At the same time, the defense and Jodi supporters are not allowed to speculate or raise any possibilities or alternate scenarios, like the system intends, because they are just dreaming or being spoil-sports.
Prosecution supporters need to take a nice cold shower, but they should watch out for stealthy, ninja paparazzi in revenge mode!
What’s YOUR opinion? Leave a comment, we want to know!
“Somebody lied to you about important facts in this case.” – Juan Martinez
“If you believe what the defendant is telling you, then all the arguments begin to make sense.” – Juan Martinez
According to Juan Martinez:
If it is written down, it’s the truth. If it’s not, it’s a lie. A white lie is just as bad as a regular lie. Not telling the full and complete truth at all times is a lie. Omitting details is lying. Anything that anyone says happened that is not in their diary is a lie. If you are attacked or beaten by your partner and you don’t document it, tell someone or call 911, it never happened and you are a liar.
You are a liar if, after you do something unspeakable, you do not tell every person you meet what you can remember about what you have done.
Somebody did lie about important facts in this case, and we’re not talking about Jodi Arias. We have broken these lies down into five categories. The headings in bold type are assertions made by Juan Martinez in his closing argument . These are the categories of lies:
White Lie Typically a white lie is a harmless lie that is often done to be polite. Here, it’s a lie that plays into Martinez’ themes and theories, but it’s immaterial to the murder charge. These white lies are far from harmless. Exaggeration Something from the facts or testimony is taken out of context and magnified. It’s a fish story where a mountain is made out of a molehill.
Misrepresentation This includes presenting mere speculation as fact, and changing the meanings of facts. It’s a deliberate effort to skew a fact to align it with other facts in the case.
Mirror It’s a manipulation of the jury. Juan Martinez is projecting his own feelings, motives and ideas, or those of others, onto the defendant. (see more about the this in the previous article, Lies and Juanipulation: The Mirror Crack’d) Whopper It’s an obvious untruth in light of the facts. It’s deceitful and a breach of integrity Let’s examine more of the territory covered in the prosecutor’s all-important closing arguments:
The Manifesto and Salt Lake City
“She has signed a Manifesto just in case she becomes famous” – Juan Martinez
This is another thing Martinez dug up in Alyce LaViolette’s notes. The prosecution had no witnesses attesting to any “Manifesto” and it was never entered into evidence, even though Martinez wants the jury to believe that Arias made copies and autographed the copies in jail in Yreka. Even if she did, it’s just the same “intruder story” again, and Arias has already claimed she invented the story as a stalling tactic.
Reporters have requested proof of the Manifesto from the prosecutor’s office, and they’re still waiting.
“This woman who claims she never went to Salt Lake City” – Juan Martinez
Martinez tells the jury Jodi testified that she was never in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was in West Jordan, on the far outskirts of Salt Lake City. This honest answer is a lie and a manipulation, according to Martinez, because a gas receipt near West Jordan states “Salt Lake City”. This is simply a trick of semantics.
“Staging The Scene”
Arias believes “she will not be convicted, after she has staged the scene for you”. – Juan Martinez
It’s The Mirror. The most important question here is why does Martinez feel he needs to add all the ornamentation you see throughout the trial? This is yet another behavior that El Espejo, the mirror, attributes to Jodi Arias. Juan tells the jury that “in the light of truth you can see who she really is.” “This is an individual who is manipulative.” “This is an individual who will stop at nothing and will continue to be manipulative and will lie at every turn and at every occasion that she has.”
This from the man who peppered the trial with lengthy inquiries and discussions about Bobby Juarez, high school era windows and doors, happenings from Arias’ life when she was 5 and 8 years old, the backspace button, the criminal, the stupid sister, the gopher, the dog, the chameleon, the wildebeest, that thing, Snow White, the Shack, the Christmas tree, the Ring and The Fog.
Yet in his closing argument, when referring to Arias’ answers to mostly irrelevant questions, Juan says “There’s nothing, absolutely nothing important about that as it applies to the killing other than to try to manipulate you, to try to shock you…”
Who is really “staging the scene” here and who is really the manipulator? Who uses lies to kill instead of a gun or a knife? Who is “not a very nice person”?
Arias Has Memory Problems
This is one of Juan Martinez’ favorite tactics and he uses this often at trial. Everyone who testifies will have some discrepancies in their testimony. Martinez seizes on this to discredit witnesses. He will claim that there is a memory problem and that it must be because the person is lying. Martinez says that Arias has trouble remembering things, but yet he says “she has an incredible memory for her fantasy world”.
The events were over 4 1/2 years before. Arias used photographs, her bank records, and her journal to try to remember dates and times. The evidence showed that Jodi has a very good memory.
Juan likes to say “with the the truth, you ain’t go to remember nothing” – This is false for an event that happened 4 ½ years ago. Any honest person trying to accurately recall an event will remember things incorrectly and will correct themselves as related facts are brought to light.
Jodi does not have memory problems.
Arias Is a Manipulator Because in 5th Grade She “played the victim”
Can this seriously be presented as evidence? There’s not one detail or example about how Jodi “played the victim”, other than the statement itself. This is another Martinez Special, and he serves these up frequently throughout the trial. What is going on in this death penalty case with this kind of “evidence”?
What did you do in 1st through 5th grade? Anything different now? This is a self-defense case. Of course, Arias is claiming the victim attacked her and she was forced to protect her life.
Jodi is not playing the victim.
Jodi Arias Is a Criminal
Martinez said during the trial that Jodi does in fact have a prior record because: She’s a liar and a murderer. She probably has committed crimes and engaged in criminal type crime behavior in the past. She has engaged in criminal behavior during the trial. She would not hesitate commit plenty of crimes if she could, but she’s in jail, so she can’t.
Prior to this trial, Jodi had no prior convictions for any offense, and had nothing more than a few traffic tickets. Of course, Martinez tries to fit her into the category of hardened criminal or insane psychotic, both proven to not be true.
She was convicted of 1st degree murder in an unfair trial, but Jodi Arias is not a criminal.
Jodi Was Not Abused by Travis
Jodi was abused by Travis throughout the relationship as demonstrated by testimony, facts and evidence. Travis called Jodi a “skank” and a “pathological liar” behind her back within two months of meeting her. One and a half years later, he is still fanning the flames in phone sex conversations, conducting various business deals with her (including having her clean his house), and jumping into bed with Jodi Arias.
He had to have known she has a mental illness, it’s obvious to anyone who has some experience with the mentally ill and watched the trial. He confided in no one about her, and he took the relationship underground early on. He hid her away and berated her to his friends and acquaintances. He is the one who made it a sex only relationship. He used her for sex and he threatened her. Then, he blamed her for the whole thing.
All these things are excused by his community, the media, and his LDS Church because of his terrible demise.
Travis Alexander callously tampered with Arias just like someone would recklessly play with explosives. The result should have been readily foreseeable.
Jodi was abused by Travis, without question.
Nothing Is Jodi’s Fault
Juan claims in his closing argument that Jodi refuses to take responsibility for any problem. She blames others for everything and she projects her problems and bad qualities onto other people. Juan is saying this after he himself invited a completely non-threatening and amiable woman in her sixties to “spar” with him in open court.
Jodi accepted responsibility for killing Travis Alexander. She has stated numerous times that her dealings with Alexander were the results of her own bad choices and bad decisions and they are entirely her responsibility. Jodi Arias has shown remorse and regret for her acts on numerous occasions, both in and out of the courtroom. She has shown sympathy for the victim’s family, regret for her false stories, and has shown concern that the victim’s family “can somehow find peace”.
Jodi Arias has stated that she will accept her punishment, whether it’s execution or a life sentence, and “deal with it”. She said “I will be sorry for the rest of my life, probably longer.”
According to Juan, everything is Jodi’s fault. He even says it’s Jodi’s fault that Darryl Brewer did not want to commit to her or start a family with her after almost four years of being with her. How does that make any sense?
Yet when Deanna Reid testified to the exact same thing about Travis Alexander, it was perfectly reasonable.
Jodi accepted responsibility for her actions and for Travis’ death.
Arias Targeted a Good Mormon Boy
“She decides those boys from the Mormon faith are people with lots of family values and they’re successful hard workers and can give her what she needs.” – Juan Martinez
Jodi Arias did not target a Mormon boy. She met someone who happened to be Mormon who often gives a book of Mormon to non-LDS friends and girlfriends.
Travis Alexander actively sought converts as part of his position in the church. The evidence strongly suggests that Jodi Arias, far from being dependent on a man, went to Las Vegas to the PPL convention not to meet a Mormon boy, but to start a new, independent career for herself.
She was met by some good Mormon boys doing what they were normally doing at PPL conventions: Trying to set one of their away from home friends up with a potential sex partner by impressing her with an Executive Dinner.
These friends of Travis lied when they tried to suggest they were setting Travis up with a future wife. Jodi wasn’t LDS. They knew she was with him in his hotel rooms in the early months of the relationship. These were hypocrite phony Mormons and they knew exactly what was going on. Non-LDS girls are fair game for trysts for single and married Mormon men alike, because they don’t count.
Travis’ Mormon friends targeted Jodi Arias. They set her up with him. They provided Alexander with cover in their homes where they went to hook up. They warned Travis not to play games with her. They then began to warn Travis about Jodi when she began to take the relationship too seriously. Alexander then took the relationship underground. Why? Because Arias was bad for church and business, but good for some guilty pleasure.
Jodi and Travis met and talked about common interests and they quickly fell for each other. Jodi was looking for a religion where there are strong family values and the men do not cheat on their wives. It appears that in this case, the LDS Church was not the answer to Jodi’s dreams.
Travis knew that Jodi was not ready to be baptized into the church and he was not qualified to baptize anyone due to his behavior. This shows his utter disregard for the teachings of the church. Travis is the only one to blame about that.
Jodi fell in love. She did not target a good Mormon boy, and she did not even target Travis Alexander
Mormon Rules Were Arias’ Responsibility
Did Jodi corrupt Travis by offering him a Strawberry Frappuccino, (a caffeine beverage not allowed by the LDS church)?
“There’s a word in the English lexicon called ‘No’ that you can use when you don’t want a person to do something.” – Juan Martinez
Juan Martinez claimed that Jodi blamed the young missionaries who came to her home in California for not teaching her the specifics about the law of chastity. He claims that Jodi blamed Travis for telling her that avoiding vaginal sex was the really important principle. Juan is suggesting that it was Jodi who manipulated Travis to accept this interpretation.
– “It’s unconscionable to blame Travis Alexander when she had the same knowledge and same position as him.” – Juan Martinez
Jodi Arias was giving literal answers to literal questions. She was asked if the missionaries taught about the details of the vow of chastity and she answered the question. It’s obvious that she didn’t want to say “No” to Travis. They both knew what the Mormon rules are relating to pre-marital chastity and they both broke the rules. Jodi said that there is no commandment that says “Thou shalt not fornicate”. She also said that “If it’s wrong, I don’t want to be right”.
However, Jodi was not an ordained leader of the LDS Church. She was not an active member of the LDS Church for 20 years. Travis introduced the religion to Jodi. Travis baptized Jodi into the church. Is there any evidence at all that he tried to get her to follow the rules? We have never seen any.
One guess is that the younger generation of Mormons probably follow the guidelines of the Law of Travis more often than strictly adhering to the laws of chastity. “Grinding”, heavy petting, and even oral sex are probably rampant, but it’s a big secret.
So it seems Jodi is much more knowledgeable than Juan Martinez about the vow of chastity, at least for many young Mormons. Jodi did not have the same position as Travis. Who would you rather ask important questions about the LDS Church? A novice or an ordained elder who has been involved in the church for twenty years?
Juan Martinez must be snorting some crystal blue meth.
Arias Made Her Own Rules
As far as when Jodi and Travis were not exclusive, Jodi seemed to be more concerned that they were being honest and open with each other, which Travis never was, and not hiding things from each other, like Travis often did.
Jodi told Travis all about her date with Abe Abdelhadi and about Ryan. Travis responded with Jealousy and threats of violence towards Abe.
Travis may have been lying to Jodi, or Jodi may have been lying to herself about Travis. In any case, there seemed to be a big communication problem going on there.
Jodi didn’t make her own rules, She was sticking to the rules she followed long before Travis, rules that many people have. Being intimate together means commitment. Exclusivity is expected in a relationship and if it’s not exclusive, they want to know if and who the other person is seeing.
There’s an important reason for this, it’s called STD’s.For Travis, being intimate meant exactly the opposite. It meant there was no commitment, not now and not in the future. Here is the confusion. As long as Travis kept coming back to Jodi, she thought she still had a chance with him.
Jodi Arias wasn’t following her own rules, Travis Alexander was.
Arias Moved to Mesa to Stalk Travis
This is what’s really important to the “stalker” question. What happened in the summer of 2007 when Travis and Jodi “broke up” and Jodi moved to Mesa? Juan thinks that this is the the fulcrum of an obvious stalking that led to murder, that Jodi is a liar and her witnesses are all liars because they base their conclusions on Jodi’s lies.
Since the defense is just one big lying lie, Juan thinks whatever bull he digs up or says should automatically become the truth by default.
There is no evidence that Travis discouraged the move. In all the communications, there was no evidence presented that Travis didn’t want Jodi in Mesa or that Jodi was unwelcome at Travis’ home. There were late night calls and late night rendezvous sessions. Travis was seeing both Lisa Andrews-Daidone and Jodi Arias at the same time, and neither of them knew about the other for quite some time. That doesn’t sound like stalking. It sounds more like Travis was not being honest with Jodi or Lisa Andrews, ….. or Mimi Hall.
Jodi was confused about what was going on in the relationship. This is what the evidence says. This was the testimony. Jodi was going over the line in trying to find out what was really going on, but there’s no intimidation or threats of violence.
Jodi was fighting for Travis. She was not threatening him or attacking him. It’s not a typical “fatal attraction” situation because Alexander continued to get together with her time and time again.
Here are the ten stalking acts attributed to Jodi Arias form that dubious source, Radar Online:
There’s a rivalry going on, and Travis is not stopping it. He’s actually stoking the fires by continuing to play Jodi and lie to Lisa and he’s refusing to honestly deal with the situation. Lisa Daidone testified, and she offered very little knowledge about what was going on. Dan Freeman also knew almost nothing about it either, other than Jodi was confused about the relationship and that Travis planned on ending it with her in January, 2008, but he didn’t really get around to it until March and April.
Arias was not “stalking” Alexander.
Arias Displayed Stalking Behaviors
Here is the entirety of Jodi’s so-called “stalking behavior”: 1) When they were firstseeing each other, Travis and Sky and Chris Hughes left her alone in their house and the three went to the master bedroom to discuss Jodi. This is rude behavior. Jodi was wondering what was going on (which we all sometimes do) and may have been eavesdropping (which we all sometimes do). She became angry at this, which is understandable.
2) She went into Travis’ e-mail and phone at least once. Many people check up on their partners and spouses. 3) She went over to Travis’ house, found Lisa-Andrews with Travis, and left immediately. 4) Travis had his tires slashed, which was never linked to Jodi. If she did this, this is known to often be a passive-aggressive behavior designed to get a person’s attention. Maybe she was saying “stop avoiding me. Communicate with me.” 5) A letter was sent to Lisa Daidone, supposedly by Jodi, warning her to not sin with Travis.
Two of these so-called stalking incidents are these: Mimi Hall said that Travis “thought Jodi had followed him on a date”. Lisa Daidone said that “a home security alarm alerted that a door was open”. Of course, why would a smart professional like Alyce LaViolette challenge and question this so-called evidence in a capital murder trial?
The legal definition of stalking revolves around an intent to instill fear or injury. There is no intent to instill injury whatsoever. There is no intent to instill fear. Jodi is either trying to find out what Travis is up to, or she wants proof of what he is doing. These are techniques law enforcement uses all the time.
This is the time when some intervention should have been done, yet other than a police report, nothing was done. With all these incidents going on, there is no sign of a big fight between Travis and Jodi until after she leaves Mesa. Travis did almost nothing to allay her concerns.
A person with a mental illness showing obvious signs of distress and confusion over a relationship is not “stalking behavior”.
Travis Claimed That All He Was to Jodi Was a “dildo with a heartbeat”
Here, Travis gives Juan a run for his money as far as reflecting his own deviant thoughts and behaviors onto others. Like Travis’ addict parents, Travis and Juan are both snorting the crystal blue meth.
It was Jodi who wanted a full relationship, it was Jodi who was in love. It was Travis who forced the relationship into a secretive, sex only situation. Travis was conjuring up all kinds of sexual scenarios. Travis’ actions are wholly devoid of any caring, love or romanticism, save one candlelit bath with flower petals and one instance of leaving a pastry on her car. The romanticism was directed towards the good Mormon girls.
Jodi, probably due to childhood issues and mental illness, thought she could rescue the relationship. She was staying loyal to him. She was in love with Travis Alexander and Eddie Snell, the late night guy we hear on the sex tape.
This remark that Travis made does not make any sense and actually applies to himself, based on what the trial revealed. Travis is going to extraordinary lengths to keep the lid on what he had done and what he was doing. What’s the reason? The LDS church is the source of his business, his customers, and his community.
A more accurate version is that Jodi was nothing more to Travis than a living blow-up doll with a heartbeat. It’s an addiction with just as many disastrous consequences.
This is not the entire truth, though. Jodi seemed to be smitten with Travis because the relationship embodied secrecy, chaos and the emotional extremes from her unresolved childhood. Travis seemed to be drawn in by the love/hate relationship he may have had with his mother or both parents from his childhood.
The more he kept getting back with her, the more he unleashed blame, repulsion, and hatred onto Jodi Arias that was better reserved to himself. Tensions were increasing, and Jodi was beginning to lose her already tenuously balanced mental stability.
One can assume because Jodi was ready with her Helio phone to record their sex conversation in May, 2008 that this must have been a regular thing. He was calling Jodi late at night again while continuing with Mimi and who knows who else, in the light of day.
Travis’ friends didn’t call him T-Dawg for nothing. It seems that he continued this dating of multiple women the entire time, using his traveling and long hours to keep the women separate and at bay. It was ideal to have Jodi in Palm Desert, California and he just added her to his list. Jodi started to cramp his style when she moved to Mesa, but Travis seemed to think he could control it and handle her and he just kept on with his game plan.
Jodi Arias probably got closer to the real Travis than anyone had. Jodi Arias to this day is still enchanted by her memory of Travis.
It’s clear that Travis Alexander was much more than just sex to Jodi Arias.
Jodi Was a Peeper and a Stalker (because she refused to let Travis play her)
Much was made by Martinez about the “peeping incident”, even though Jodi went over to Travis’ unannounced, which she did all the time, found the doors locked and went around to the back only to see Travis on the couch with an unknown woman. She peeped for a while and then she left. Most of Jodi’s so-called stalking behavior seems to be intelligence gathering. This is the same thing people do when they hire a detective, or go on a show called “Cheaters”.
She wanted to know the truth, she felt she was being played, and it appears she was right. This peeping incident is interpreted not as Jodi doing what she normally did, heading over to Travis’ for a nighttime rendezvous and being surprised, but something much more sinister. This is because Juan fits it into his stalking theory, and cleverly persuades others to do the same.
This theory makes all the sense in the world, had Jodi been scorned, but she had not been scorned.
The trial shows us that Travis is talking to Jodi late nights regularly over the span of their relationship. He is meeting Jodi first in hotel rooms and on trips away from home, on secret trips to his friends homes in California, and then in secret trysts in his bedroom. But he never gave Jodi any status among his friends and acquaintances, and that’s what her e-mails show.
Additionally, after Jodi left town, Travis was also being very helpful to two married women who were having problems at home, Ashley Reed and Shannon Crabtree. Both ladies had been over his home a number of times. One admits to at least kissing him and the other was planning on living at his house during her separation.
These two appear to be possible replacements for Jodi. This could mean more secrecy, late night sex, and no obligations or emotional involvement. Amazingly, after Juan Martinez forces Arias to reveal the name of one of the married women on national television over Arias’ protests, Juan then claims in his closing arguments that Arias could not name any “other women”.
Arias also knew that Deanna Reid was Travis’ first sexual experience, which was confirmed by Deanna on the stand. Arias was telling the truth here, and it also shows that Travis did confide in her.
Arias seemed to be okay with Alexander dating other women as long as “she knew where she stood”. The two did discuss their other love interests with each other at times, according to communications shown in court. At the very least, it appears Jodi did not know where she stood at times.
Are we to believe that Arias was so powerful as to push and control Travis and constantly invade his life and he was completely powerless to stop her? Are we to believe that Alexander was just too nice a guy to not be honest with her and end the situation?
He never sought help or the counsel of anyone, Mormon or not. Jodi was pushed to fall prey to her own mental illness and to perhaps become unstable due to Travis’ dishonesty and contradictory communications.
These were not “stalking behaviors”.
Regan Housley’s IM’s Prove Jodi is a Stalker
Travis needed to make excuses to his dates and friends for why Jodi is seen late at night at his home, why she was contacting him and why she was often around Travis. When Jodi was in Yreka, California in May, 2008, Travis was communicating with non-Mormon Regan Housley, telling her that he had a stalker and he was extremely afraid, they even joked about the possibility that Jodi could be seeing their IM’s and be privy to their conversations.
Juan Martinez makes this a huge point, stating that this proves that Alexander was in fear of Jodi. But Regan Housley was never called to testify as a witness, and why not? You just have to wonder if there was something damaging she could have revealed about Travis.
Yes, he was extremely afraid, but of what? That he would be exposed? That the lid would be blown off all the things he had done and was still doing?
Arias was 1,000 miles away.
This is another big hole in the prosecution case. We know Travis must have been annoyed and agitated by what had been going on. After all the warnings and all these incidents, he is still engaging in phone sex with her, still complimenting her, and still encouraging her, right up until the end of May. That’s the reality that Alyce LaViolette was pointing out.
This does not add up with the prosecution’s view of stalking, in spite of Juan’s skill in forcing unproven allegations to become reality via clever interrogation tactics on the witness stand.
Regan Housley doesn’t prove a thing.
Jodi Arias “scammed” Travis Alexander
This is yet another charge just thrown out there by the prosecutor and Travis’ text message with nothing to back it up. How did Jodi “scam” Travis? There was nothing brought out at trial that gives any credence to this idea other than the statement itself.
It sounds like Jodi may have been threatening to play the sex tape or go to the Bishop and expose Travis in some way. This is a huge threat to Travis’ standing in the community and his business affairs. He and Deanna went to the Bishop about their one time dalliance and Travis was punished. He did not go to the Bishop about all the sins committed since then. Travis would be a two-time offender in the LDS church which would require an excommunication for a period of time.
Jodi had every right to go to the Bishop and confess about her relationship with Travis. Travis should have gone to the Bishop himself when he made his clean break in April, 2008. Had he done so, there would be nothing to allegedly bribe him with.
Travis, from PPL Team Renew seemed to be engaging in a little of the “law of attraction” himself, just hoping this whole thing would just go away and writing his blog about how great he was going to be in 2008. Trial watchers forget that though we assume that Jodi was going to cause Travis some kind of problem or exposure, it was Travis who actually threatened Jodi, and that’s right in the communications.
Gus Searcy from Jodi’s PPL Team “Freedom” is another witness who testified that Travis was chasing down Jodi, at least on the phone, and that his call to Jodi when she was with Gus in Las Vegas made her very upset, even terrified.
In Las Vegas, it was Gus Searcy who gave Jodi the Helio phone, one of the few at that time with a recording function.
How did Jodi “scam” Travis Alexander? Were there any facts, evidence, or testimony in support of this? Travis said this to Jodi in a text message. Does that make it true? This scam idea sounds really good, it sounds so devious, but it’s meaningless.
A white lie, by definition, is a harmless lie sometimes meant to be polite or courteous. This is far more than a white lie from the mouth of Juan Martinez.
Jodi did not “scam” Travis. This is Travis projecting his own behavior again. Travis, the influential and highly organized motivational speaker, who could did the work of 20 people, according to his friends, scammed Jodi.
There is zero evidence of Travis trying to get some help for Jodi. He lied to everyone for his own selfish interest. He scammed everyone that he tried to recruit into the Church and his entire LDS community. He scammed everyone in the LDS church that he taught about the tenets of the Church in his bible studies and everyone he baptized into the church.
This is not “trashing Travis”, it’s just the truth. Jodi did not “scam” Travis.
Jodi Lied Because She Did Not Masturbate Properly
According to Juan, Jodi owes Travis a sincere apology for not properly masturbating while having phone sex with him and allegedly faking an orgasm. She’s manipulating it. She’s faking it, when she’s “squealing like a cat” according to Martinez. She’s being insincere, because Jodi usually used two hands, and she needed one hand to hold the Helio phone.
She’s lying even during the phone sex. Juan wants the jury to remember this vital fact. This is in the closing statement in a search for the truth, capital murder case, after all.
Jodi Is a Stalker (because she hid a sexual relationship)
To Jodi and her defense team, “it was really, really bad that someone had sex and didn’t want other people to know about it.” –Juan Martinez
They were both enjoying and hiding a sexual relationship. Arias’s defense doesn’t dispute that, and Arias doesn’t dispute that. Who was the controller and who was the controlled? That’s where the dispute is. Because of the nature of the secretive relationship, Jodi is at a distinct disadvantage in knowing what Travis is up to.
Jodi is being loyal to Travis. She can’t go to the suspected other woman or to the other woman’s circle of friends, because that could expose Travis. She can’t seek outside help or seek the counseling of the Bishop or a friend like Dan Freeman, because that could also expose Travis. What little she could do to assert herself and have some idea of what the truth was about her relationship with Travis is confined to actions that seem stalking- like in nature, because of the secrecy.
Travis Bears No Responsibility (because he hid a sexual relationship)
Juan tries to portray Travis as adapting to sexual encounters that Jodi Planned and provided. This is nothing more than convincing and persuading the jury to accept a simple tale that just doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.
It’s a campfire monster story, and it sounds so very convincing coming from a very good story teller. Watch the trial video and you can see Dennis Alexander just eating it up.
This is Juan’s career and his talent. Jodi’s the violent sexual deviant, the instigator and the aggressor, while Travis is the befuddled and hapless victim. Jodi is some kind of insect that blinds and overpowers Travis with her outlandish mating rituals. Jodi is the toxin that poisoned the relationship.
It’s nothing more than some really good Crystal Blue Persuasion.
Travis Was Not That Into Jodi
This is simply not true. Instead, they were attracted to each other and they hit it off. The evidence strongly suggests that they were into each other not just due to physical attraction and common interests, but also because they subconsciously recognized certain psychological deficits in each other.
This was a meeting between two highly charged and ambitious young people. Most likely, Travis also had an untreated mental illness. Travis is often commenting on Arias’ beauty and sexiness throughout the relationship and states that he loves her.
Judging from many communications, including the sex tape and the way Travis carefully hid his relationship from his friends, there must have been more to this for Travis than just sex. He was carefully managing and controlling these relationships.
It was like an addiction. The deviancy, the illicit secrecy seem to strongly appeal to “Eddie Snell form Alabama”, Travis’ hidden alter-ego. This is why there was so little testimony about what was going on in that relationship. No witness came to the stand to shed light on what was going on from Travis’ point of view. Out of all his friends all over, Mormon and non-Mormon, he confided in no one about this.
Who did this troubled man confide in? Jodi Arias says he confided in her. Why should we be so quick to disbelieve her? Travis was very much “into Jodi”. She was fun to talk to and to be with. He even once said she was beautiful, inside and out.
Travis was always denying the relationship and being derisive towards Jodi to his friends. So, of course they would say that he was “not that into her”. Travis needed to marry eventually, and that meant he would have to get rid of Jodi. She wasn’t a true Mormon and she didn’t count, anyways. Maybe this was the real crux of the problem.
There’s no question that this was a volatile and combustible relationship, and the evidence shows that Travis was encouraging it by fanning the flames. He did not want it to end.
Jodi was an outlet for Travis’ deviant alter-ego. He even confesses to this hidden side of him in his blog.
– “Desperately trying to find out if my date has an axe murderer penned up inside of her and knowing she is wondering the same thing about me. That’s usually when I think myself into a panic and start acting weird in consequence to trying so hard to act normal.”
– “I realized the reason I wasn’t married wasn’t because the type of person I was looking for doesn’t exist but that the type of person I wanted wouldn’t be interested in me.”
– “What they usually don’t understand is those same character flaws are in them too. In fact that is usually at least partially what attracted them to each other.”– Travis Alexander, “Being Bette” Blog, May 15, 2008
Not to blame him, but Travis, a high school drop-out and a poor speller from the looks of his e-mails and text messages, required the services of at least two women to help him write his rather simple blog.
This hidden side emerged way before Jodi entered his life and probably extends back to his background as a child of meth-addicted parents. With Jodi, it was okay to act weird and to be himself. This Eddie Snell character looks like a way that Travis Alexander could bring his deviant and crude side out into the open. “Woman, I will beat you dead.” and “Hit a woman every now and then.” were two “jokes” Eddie Snell told at a conference full of salespeople in Las Vegas. He also joked about Vegas being full of “shows and hoes” and he talked about chlamydia being something that happens in Vegas, but doesn’t stay there.
Is this really appropriate for a mixed group of salespeople, many of whom are Mormon? Is this something more than a comedy act? Travis appears to have been addicted and like a conflicted addict, he was very into Jodi at times and pushing her away at other times.
Travis was very into Jodi, but not in a healthy way.
Friends of Travis Said Jodi Was Stalking Him
One friend of Travis stated that Jodi basically pulled him into her world, and he just couldn’t get himself away from it. Knowing Travis’ horrendous childhood and the deep psychological trauma and emotional scars he must have had, this is too simple an analysis. There was something very compelling in this relationship for Travis and it wasn’t just sex. It had to be psychologically magnetic, too.
It must have been a full blown addiction. It attracted him like no other, and it repulsed him like no other. Alexander is projecting his own thoughts and behaviors onto Arias, and his own self-loathing and guilt manifest into a palpable hatred and anger directed at Jodi Arias.Unlike so many of Juan’s claims, this is right in the testimony and it’s right in the evidence.
One popular blogger thought that this was a classic example of the Madonna Whore complex, where a child has both great love and great disgust with his mother, and this manifests in later life with a powerful fascination for women that he can both worship and hate. This seems to fit very well into what the evidence shows. Travis’ friends had no idea what was really going on.
Travis is the Hapless Victim Jodi Targeted, Stalked, and Finally Murdered
This defies the evidence. People vilified Alyce LaViolette, because she was showing how this charge does not comport with the evidence. In just the 10 months since the “break up”, Alyce rattles off a whole list of women that Travis appears to be involved with. Of course, just messaging and communicating doesn’t mean that anything more is happening. But it’s indisputable that Travis is involved with more than Jodi Arias and the good Mormon girls he dates with an eye towards marriage.
Juan wants the jury to believe that it’s all Jodi, that she’s the one coming at him, showing up unannounced, reeling him in with sex, and forcing herself into his life. That Jodi is the scorned woman stalking the hapless Travis is refuted by Travis’ own words:
– “I want you to ride my face like a horse.”
– “When I’m all by my lonesome I have nobody else to think about in my scandalous fantasies.”
– “I’m gonna take you like youvé never been taken before. When it’s done the intensity will make you feel like you’ve been raped, but you will have enjoyed every delightful moment of it.”
– Jodi Arias? ‘She’s a skank!’
– “I love you.”
– “It will be like…legitimate rape”.
– “This photo shoot is gonna be one of the best experiences of your life and mine.”
– “You’re Evil….soulless… a corrupted carcass.”
– “I haven’t stopped thinking about the pics I’m gonna take, The progressiveness of it, from the very clean to the very dirty and everything in between.”
– “It will tell quite a story and be a lot of fun and not a day has gone by that I haven’t dreamt about driving my shaft long and hard into you.”
– “Nothing from my own experience, nothing is even enjoyable compared to you.”
– “You are beautiful inside and out.”
– “You’re a whore and a slut.”
Travis was the up and coming salesman and motivational speaker. He was extremely persuasive and endearing. He had the strength of an entire Mormon community behind him. He had many friends, a vast network of social and business connections, and he was an ordained elder priest holder in the LDS church. Jodi was under his influence and she was influencing him.But by March, 2008, she was on the outside looking in.
In the midst of the break up and chaos in early 2008 as Travis is trying to keep the lid on and trying to end things with Arias, she claims she was physically assaulted by Alexander several times. Arias, who is supposed to be so obsessed with Alexander, suddenly moves 1,000 miles away, home to Yreka, California. Travis had lost control of Arias. He was also going to lose his “sex slave”. Jodi was looking for a new partner and she is undeniably faithful and exclusive to her partner. Travis has shown jealousy before. Jodi Arias may have told him she was going to the Bishop to confess the entire relationship, so she could start clean with a new boyfriend.
Travis Alexander had very compelling motives for both assault and murder.
Travis Alexander was conflicted by his success, and his wholesome-pretense exterior, not unlike the outstanding and very promising medical student, Philip Markoff, the Craigslist Killer. Travis Alexander was conflicted and driven by his hidden inner demons, just like the pillar of the community, John Wayne Gacy, the bisexual control-freak serial killer.
Would Travis have become a killer like Markoff or Gacy? That’s doubtful, but all the same precursors existed in his personality and his psyche, especially a stunning lack of empathy or insight into his own behaviors and their potential causes.
Travis was the hapless victim? Only in Juan’s World with his misrepresentations, his inability to see things from a different perspective, his many lies and his crystal blue persuasion.
Martinez even managed to get seven of the eight death jurors to vote for both of two mutually exclusive theories of 1st degree murder. Translation: They were following Juan’s erroneous facts and his seasoned gifts of persuasion. Some jury members clearly didn’t understand the facts and they weren’t following the law.
The defense team claimed that much of this trial was all about lies, but many of the lies didn’t come form Jodi Arias. The prosecution claims there is no corroboration of Jodi’s testimony. There is plenty to suggest that Jodi’s story is highly plausible if not probable.
It is the prosecution that cannot corroborate many of it’s claims other than sneaking things in on re-cross and re-direct, alluding to what someone might have said, and speaking of evidence and witnesses never presented at trial.
Martinez’ closing arguments were an exaggeration, a misrepresentation, a speculation, a consternation, and a detestation. The point is simply this: He lied.
That’s okay, because for Juan, Jodi Arias is a liar and a murderer. She doesn’t count. She’s not entitled to a fair trial and he is justified in getting the conviction and a death sentence by any means necessary. This makes Juan Martinez a very dangerous person.
Staple an American flag to it, say that it has God’s blessing and say something about “justice”, and we might just get a death sentence out of this complete embarrassment of a trial.
What does this say about America and our deeply entrenched inability to see that all stories have two sides?
There is no “Justice for Travis”. There is either Justice for all or there is no Justice. The insistence on the Death Penalty in this case has prolonged suffering for all involved and has actually obstructed justice.
Jodi Arias lied to live, while Juan Martinez lies to kill. Just ask the family of Robert Towery. Juan Martinez is a bigger, more sophisticated and accomplished liar, manipulator, and persuader than Jodi Arias could ever hope to be.
Let us know what you think. Your opinion matters. Opposing views are welcome!
The mirror and dual sinks in Travis Alexander’s master bathroom
Fact Based Reporting by
Amanda Chen and Rob Roman
His broad clear brow in sunlight glow’d;
On burnish’d hooves his war-horse trode;
From underneath his helmet flow’d
His coal-black curls as on he rode,
As he rode down to Camelot.
Juan Knight Stand
From the bank and from the river
He flash’d into the crystal mirror,
“Tirra lirra,” by the river
Sang Sir Lancelot.
She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro’ the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume:
She look’d down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack’d from side to side;
“The curse is come upon me,” cried
The Lady of Shalott.
From The Lady of Shalott, by Alfred Lord Tennyson
“This individual, the defendant, Jodi Ann Arias, killed Travis Alexander. And even after stabbing him over and over again, and even after slashing his throat from ear to ear, and then even after taking a gun and shooting him in the face, she will not let him rest in peace.
But now instead of a gun, instead of a knife, she uses lies” – Juan Martinez
It’s important to remember that the prosecution has the burden of proof. It’s not a popularity contest and it’s not about which side has a better story. It’s about a search for the truth. We review Mr. Martinez’ efforts towards a search for the truth in his final argument.
“After all the lies you’ve told, why should we believe you now?” – Alternate Juror #17, Tara Kelley, questions Jodi Arias during the guilt phase of the trial.
This is a “white lie”. Typically a white lie is a harmless lie that is often done to be polite. Here it is a lie that plays into Martinez’ themes and theories, but it’s immaterial to the murder charge. These white lies are far from harmless.
This is an exaggeration. It’s a fish story where a mountain is made out of a mole hill.
This is a misrepresentation. It’s a deliberate effort to skew a fact to align it with other facts in the case.
This is a mirror. It’s a manipulation of the jury. Juan Martinez is projecting his own or other’s feelings, motives and behaviors onto the defendant.
This is a Whopper. It’s an obvious untruth in light of the facts. It’s deceitful and a breach of integrity
The Ninja Intruder Story
For Juan, Jodi’s intruder story illustrates how well she can lie and manipulate and how she can turn this situation into one where she’s the victim who then plays the hero. On the surface, this appears correct, but a deeper look reveals a far more salient truth.
Juan tells the jury that Jodi said “I wish I stayed and fought more”, showing how she plays the hero. Juan shows the jury how Jodi manipulates the story to make her look better. He tells them “Her lying does not stop. She lied to the jury, she lied to the medical professionals, the police, and the media”. “She lied and made herself look like a person who could not do it (murder Travis).”
Juan likes to dwell on the interrogation videos as evidence in the murder trial, yet Arias has admitted that she lied, and explained why she did it. The main thing about the intruder story is there is no way Arias could have thought that her story would be believed by anybody. It’s a really bad lie. She failed to manipulate Detective Flores and no one could possibly believe her story, including Jodi herself.
She claimed it was merely a stalling tactic, and there is no reason to believe otherwise. She’s still counting on the law of attraction to fix everything at that point. That’s what you see in her early interviews. So there are two remaining hypotheses. One is that Jodi is mentally ill (which has been proven), and the other is that she had a diminished capacity, was in an altered state of mind, and her self-defense story is true. Both of these remaining hypotheses are in favor of the defense.
Jodi Has “Violent Tendencies”
Juan claims that Jodi had violent tendencies because she wrote that in an e-mail to Travis.
Note to Juan Martinez: Writing in an e-mail that you once became violent is not displaying “violent tendencies”, it is exactly the opposite. Juan highlighted an e-mail Arias wrote to Travis Alexander where she admits to having broken a door and a window at some vague time in the past.
Juan and his Psychologist witness both seized on this single report of violence in 15 years of journal entries and 80,000 communications as proof of both Borderline Personality Disorder and 1st Degree Murder.
Knowing that she has had violent episodes in the past (probably in her high school days), and acknowledging them is great therapy. It’s something known as telling the truth. It shows she has insight into her feelings and behaviors, she’s trying to improve them, and she’s acting on her feelings in a socially appropriate way by writing them down. If only Travis Alexander, or Juan Martinez, for that matter, had that kind of insight and honesty about their inappropriate behaviors.
Travis Did Not Give Jodi the Underwear
There’s some attention given by Martinez about there being no mention in that same e-mail of the chocolates, T-shirt and underwear that say “Travis Alexander’s” and “Travis’”, and the boys Spiderman underwear Travis was supposed to have given Jodi for Valentine’s Day 2007. We do know for a fact that Travis wanted to dress up as a park ranger, for example, and he wanted Jodi to dress up in a schoolgirl outfit.
Now, maybe Travis gave her these things and maybe he didn’t. Maybe Jodi bought those things for herself and maybe she didn’t. Maybe they both thought the Spiderman underwear was sexy and maybe they didn’t.
How are Juan Martinez’ accusations any different than those he condemns Jodi Arias for making? Jodi Arias and Travis did not exchange e-mails or text messages about the Valentine’s gifts. They still might have talked personally or called each other. Nothing was proven one way or the other. Juan Martinez does not get to say that Jodi Arias and her entire defense are liars, so therefore his baseless accusations are true, does he?
Obviously, Travis became very upset by something Jodi allegedly did or was going to do by May 26, 2008. But there is nothing about that in their communications. This, according to Juan, must not have happened either. They must have talked over the phone, or communicated some other way. So why doesn’t this apply to Valentine’s Day? Just because there is no mention of gifts by text message or e-mail doesn’t mean there were no communications about the Valentine’s gifts.
Jodi Attacked Travis’ Reputation
How do you apply a justifiable homicide defense without saying anything negative about the victim?
Travis has left us his reputation independently of what Arias said. But that sex tape really helps us to see that Arias was telling the truth about Travis. In just 45 minutes, he mentions orgasms and a 12 year-old girl in the same sentence, and talks about taking the virginity of a little girl, reveals his overbearing personality, his love for talking about himself, and his callous use of Arias solely for sexual gratification.
At least one former friend has finally come forward and talked about the Travis he really remembers as opposed to the sympathetic denial of anything bad Travis has done because of his awful death.
Jodi Lied about Travis’ Sexual Interest in Children (that he displayed on the sex tape)
The pedophilia claims do not help her case in any way, except one. It’s a very dangerous claim to make in a death penalty case. The jurors will retaliate if they don’t believe you.
As a juror, even if the victim was a convicted pedophile, it would make zero difference to me as far as my sympathy for the victim or the guilt or innocence of the defendant. The only reason Arias brought up the pedophilia claim is to show what happened in January 2008, and why the abusive relationship may have quickly escalated into physical violence.
If Travis Alexander had a dark secret, he may well have confided in Jodi Arias. Her story about catching him in the bedroom with pictures of young boys also illustrates Travis’ open-door policy. She typically let herself in and she went right up the stairs and into his room.
Talking about a “twelve year-old having her first orgasm” and “corking the pot of a little girl” is just role playing and fantasy talk, says Juan Martinez, the apologist.
Pedophilia “is termed pedophilic disorder in the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), and the manual defines it as a paraphilia in which adults or adolescents 16 years of age or older have intense and recurrent sexual urges towards and fantasies about prepubescent children that they have either acted on or which cause them distress or interpersonal difficulty.”
Travis Alexander just happened to casually and spontaneously mention these things in the only sex conversation that happened to be recorded. Draw your own conclusions.
Nothing Noteworthy To Report
The Law of Attraction + my lies + my word + Alyce LaViolette = It did happen. – Juan Martinez (paraphrase)
Dr. DeMarte, when questioned by Juan Martinez , told the jury that she would take this entry in Jodi’s diary at face value. What he didn’t ask her is if she would take a client’s claim of domestic violence on the same day at face value.
Martinez wants to say that nothing bad happened between Jodi and Travis, like Alexander kicking her in the ribs, slapping her, or choking her into unconsciousness, if it’s not written down in Jodi’s journal.
Jodi did not write negative things about Travis in her journal, and besides a few carefully worded entries, we saw at the trial that there were none. We do know that Travis and Jodi had a large number of violent arguments and caustic break-ups, and that Travis was cheating on Jodi. Entries about these incidents are rarely found in her journals. These incidents must not have happened as well.
About the “three tender kisses”, when does Travis ever get romantic with Arias? When he’s leaving her or when he’s in trouble with her. So yes, the three soft kisses in April, 2008 could have been a sweet goodbye like Juan says, or they could have been an apology for physical violence like Jodi and Alyce LaViolette claim.
Remember, the defense only has to show that it’s possible. The prosecution must prove their case to the exclusion of any other possibility. This may also explain why Travis could not break it off for good with Jodi in January, like he told Dan Freeman he was planning on doing, because he felt too badly about what he had done.
Are there any other entries in 15 years of journals where Jodi writes that there was “nothing noteworthy to report”? That is something we would need to know. We didn’t see other entries like this. Martinez proved nothing here, and maybe it’s time for Juan to actually prove something, because this is a Capital murder case.
Jodi Was Not Physically Abused Because She Didn’t Call 911
Juan’s big contention that Jodi would have called the police on Travis just isn’t realistic. She wasn’t going to do that and it has nothing to do with the 911 call with Bobby Juarez. She was remaining loyal to Travis and she did so even after his death.
The idea that if there is no documentation, no photos, no journal entry, and no police report, then there was no physical violence is insulting. This is the reason that Jodi is working now on helping to get the message out that if you are physically abused, you should tell someone, document it and call the police.
Jodi Told Darryl Brewer She Was Going to Mesa
Juan seizes on any minor inconsistency he can find, and then magnifies it into a major piece of evidence. Here is a big lie from Martinez: After Darryl Brewer testified in court that Jodi never told him she was going to Mesa, here is Martinez lying to the jury in closing arguments, and telling them that she did tell Darryl Brewer that she was going to Mesa, because it was in his notes.
Here is what really happened. Darryl, at the time he was questioned, knew that Jodi had gone to Mesa and killed Travis. What he was saying at the questioning incorporated what he knew then, not what he knew in June, 2008.
Juan jumped on this and tried to use it as proof of premeditation. Even after the witness said under oath that Jodi did not tell him she was going to Mesa, he still uses it in his closing argument.
This is the prosecutor who claims that even an exaggeration, a failure to tell the complete truth to everyone you know, or even a little white lie, is a shocking breach of trust.
Jodi Lied Because She Didn’t Use Priceline
“The only reason Jodi Arias went to Redding airport was to kill Travis Alexander.” – Juan Martinez
How does Martinez know this? Because, he says, Jodi lied about Priceline. This is a fact from Juan, so we better be sure. This happened in 2008 and the trial was 4 ½ years later. Jodi did make a purchase for air tickets on Priceline a few weeks later.
Jodi did use her records to refresh her memory and she did state she used Priceline to scout locations and prices. At no time does she say she purchased the rental through Priceline. If she did intend to say that, she could have been mistaken. After all, Jodi was on the stand all day for 18 days.
Here’s the thing: IF Jodi planned on killing Alexander, and the trip to Utah was only for purposes of an alibi, then the California, Nevada, Utah part of her trip would need to be very visible. Therefore, there is no reason whatever to hide a car rental. There’s better deals at the airport, whether you use Priceline or not.
Jodi Is Guilty Because She Brought the CD’s
Juan likes to make a lot out of the fact that Jodi brought the CD’s from her vacations with Travis. This tells Juan she knew she was going to see Travis. Jodi did say it was a possibility and she planned too many things for the amount of time she had.
These CD’s were never entered into evidence and we don’t know if they just have the trip photos on them or if they have all kinds of pictures on them. Many people, including myself, have CD’s and DVD’s in their laptop carrying case. They go with us wherever we bring our laptop.
There was no evidence to suggest that Jodi brought those CD’s because she knew she was going to murder Travis Alexander. It was merely an unsupported allegation presented to the jury with nothing to back it up. Think how stupid this idea is. I want to murder you, but before that, let’s reminisce about our lovely vacations together and let me give you those photos I promised you.
Jodi Violated the Law (of attraction)
Here, Juan Martinez is trying to revive the blown theory that Jodi dyed her brown hair brown as part of some kind of plot rather than doing it to improve her appearance for Ryan Burns. This is the real law of attraction: Improve your appearance to attract a new boyfriend.
Jodi Is Lying Because Other People Misunderstood Her
As far as the knife story with the apple and the rope and whether her ankles or wrists were tied, this doesn’t mean anything. There is no specific statement by Jodi which says the knife was for cutting an apple or her ankles were bound. These came from Alyce LaViolette’s notes.
Jodi Arias has a habit of talking about a subject generally instead of a specific incident. So when she spoke to Detective Flores at the interrogation about her fingers, she talked about other times she cut or hurt her fingers besides on June 4th. When she was asked about Travis shaving, she talked about other days that she saw Travis shave, besides June 4th. This is one source of inconsistencies Juan Martinez likes to seize upon.
This can easily be attributed to a misunderstanding or error of the person documenting the story. LaViolette specifically stated that she was hired to look into the question of whether there was domestic violence in the relationship and she was specifically not hired to be a detective or look into any of the events of June 4th.
About the sleigh bed, there is nothing about the bed which means you cannot have a rope. The rope could be behind the head board or looped around the head board. This can also explains why the rope was more than 20 feet long.
Jodi Is Lying Because She “Staged the Scene”
Juan Martinez told the jury that if Jodi were in an altered state of mind, she would have not taken off her socks and she would have left bloody footprints all the way out of the house. Martinez also stated that in an altered state of mind, Jodi would have left bloody footprints near the bed, when she went to retrieve the rope. Martinez offered no scientific evidence to substantiate his claims other than his own statements and a general assessment by Dr. DeMarte..
Sometime before the shower and photos incident, the bed sheets were removed and thrown in the wash by either Travis or Jodi. At that time, the rope could have been taken downstairs. Self-preservation is automatic and it extends to removing evidence. Juan’s repeated contention that Jodi would have to leave bloody footprints through the house or to get the rope are nonsense.
Jodi Lied about the Gun Being First Because Martinez Lied First About the Gun Being Last
There is no forensic evidence saying the gun was last. Every bit of logic and evidence, forensic and otherwise, suggests the gun was first, except for the photo of the bullet casing on top of a 2 inch spot of blood at the edge of the floor and the highly questionable testimony of Dr. Horn.
Jodi Lied Because the Shell Casing Defied the Laws of Physics
We know there was a large amount of water on the floor. We know there was a cleanup and a lot of hectic movement in the bathroom after the killing. We know the roommate went into the bathroom and found the body and the police went in after that. We know there is an unexplained foot print in blood near the closet door and things were moved around.
It would be far more likely that the shell casing was not in it’s original position than that it remained exactly where it landed after the gun was fired on June 4th, 2008.
Jodi Is Guilty Because She Was Not Random and She Was Goal Directed
Juan Martinez points out that someone in an altered state of mind would behave randomly, not “striking to kill”, but stabbing someone all over, like a blind robot. Where is the science for this? That’s not the experience of documented homicides in an altered state of mind.
The blood on the carpet appears more like Arias wiping her feet than stomping and hovering over him. This says nothing about what happened. Arias also left the camera in the washing machine. This is all chaotic activity. Here, Juan is saying that Jodi is both goal directed and chaotic. But you can’t have it both ways, can you, Juan?
Juan states that in an altered state, there would be knife wounds all over instead of a strike to kill. There were knife wounds all over and the idea that someone in an altered state of mind cannot have directed behavior such as aimed stabs and some clean up is a fallacy. There is no evidence for that.
Juan’s contention seems to be that if this happened the way Arias says it did, then Travis would have stab wounds randomly all over his body. He would not have a slit throat, he would have been found at the end of the hallway. There would be bloody footprints going out the bedroom and down the stairs. There would be bloody footprints around the bed as Arias retrieved the rope. There would have been no cleanup and all the incriminating evidence would be left behind.
This is the same argument he used in the Falater case. But there is no evidence, facts or testimony and no serious source which can prove that this is what would have happened if a killing took place by a person with an altered state of mind.
“It takes time and takes thinking to chase and kill. In front of the sink, in the mirror, Travis can see ‘that thing’ deliver the strikes to his back.” – Juan Martinez
That Alexander can see Arias coming at him with the knife in the mirror is totally unsupported speculation. There is nothing to support the idea that Travis was stabbed in the shower or in the back at the sink. A person under attack would not support themselves on their severely wounded left hand as Martinez claims. A person under a knife attack would not be able to stand at the sink for that length of time.
A hand cut as severely as Alexander’s left hand would have left much more blood than that at the sink. If Alexander were stabbed in the shower, he wouldn’t have taken a left and headed for the sink, trapping himself in the bathroom. He would have gone right and out the closet door or down the hallway immediately. He wouldn’t have gone to the sink at all. The prosecutor’s theory makes no logical, scientific, common, or intuitive sense at all.
A “strike to kill” has no bearing on state of mind. This is not blind man’s bluff or a blindfolded girl striking at a piñata
Jodi “lied in this sacrosanct place of finding the truth” – Juan Martinez
Here is a crystal clear instance of projection by a dangerous sociopath and Maricopa County’s “Prosecutor of the Year”.
Like the Falater case, the Grant case, the Carr case, the Lynch case, The Morris case, the Miller case, the Towery case and the Chrisman case, Juan has once again badgered witnesses, misrepresented facts, made exaggerations, given incomplete or distorted facts, told white lies, told regular and ornate lies, and presented mere speculation as fact.
The Falater Case:
Juan suggested no less than six competing motives for why Mormon high Councilor Scott Falater killed his wife. None of the six motives were supported by any facts, testimony, or evidence. Juan badgered and ridiculed defense experts, yelled at a priest, and intimidated child witnesses.
Martinez produced a highly biased expert witness who was chosen for his rapport and communication skills rather than for his knowledge on the subject. Martinez misled the jury by suggesting, that people in an altered state of mind cannot engage in goal directed behavior and do not clean up or remove evidence . There was only one college graduate on the jury.
The Grant Case:
Juan withheld evidence from the defense, objected over 50 times during the defense opening statements (something that is just not done), pressured the judge to not allow evidence into trial, wouldn’t let defense witnesses fully answer questions, and then objected constantly when they were being questioned by the defense.
Juan accused defense witnesses of lying but offered no supporting evidence. Juan intimidated defense witnesses by claiming they had violated the law in some way. Juan’s theory of the crime was fashioned out of whole cloth.
The jury did not believe his theory of the crime, and Doug Grant was found guilty of manslaughter instead of 1st degree murder.
The Carr Case:
Juan withheld evidence, was admonished by the judge for an offense punishable by jail time, and refused to admit wrong doing. He was provided with a top attorney by the County. He blamed the defense for his actions, was forced to write a letter of apology, and lost the case.
The Lynch Case:
Juan told the jury there were four death penalty aggravators when in fact there were only two, forcing a retrial.
The Morris Case:
Juan unsealed an evidence bag containing the jacket of a victim who had been buried near Morris’ trailer and invited jurors to take a good whiff. Juan lied to the jury by trying to convince them that Morris had sex with his dead victims because the dead bodies smelled badly.
The Miller Case:
Juan is still angry at Judge Bartlett for not doing something that no judge has ever done: Charging Miller with the cruelty aggravator for execution style shootings. He argued with the Judge even though Miller already had four other death penalty aggravators (prior violent crimes, pecuniary gain, multiple murders, and the murder of a child).
Juan never forgot this, even though Judge Bartlett was protecting him from being over-zealous. To this day, Juan declares that Judge Bartlett, who has presided over numerous death penalty convictions, is soft on crime and the death penalty. He is continuing to try to get Judge Bartlett thrown off the pending Redondo case in favor of a “hanging judge” .
The Towery case:
Juan suggested to the commutation board that Robert Towery injected his victims with battery acid and his claims of severe childhood abuse had no foundation – two obvious and and glaring lies.
The Chrisman case:
Juan told jurors that Officer Chrisman was lying because gun powder residue was not found on the bicycle, proving that the decedent, Danny Rodriguez, did not threaten him with the bicycle before Chrisman fired his weapon. In fact, no gunpowder tests were ever performed on the bicycle. How is this not a lie?
Juan did not get the 2nd degree murder conviction he wanted, but he blamed that on the police and he told the jury this was because the police must have somehow hidden his evidence and obstructed justice. Juan, as usual, offered no facts, testimony or evidence in support of this allegation, other than the allegation itself.
The Arias case:
Juan purposely dropped the camera on the floor, then denied any wrongdoing. Juan invited Alyce LaViolette, a completely non-violent therapist working with the victims and perpetrators of violent domestic crimes, to spar with him. Juan badgered defense witnesses, threatened at least two of them with criminal prosecution if they testified, and made baseless accusations. Juan personally attacked the defense attorneys on such things as their knowledge of the law, their appearance, and whether or not he would kill himself if married to one of them.
Juan once again withheld evidence until shortly before the scheduled start of the trial and there is reason to believe he suborned perjury in the testimony of the medical examiner. Juan bent the law and logic to the breaking point by insisting that if it is not a 1st degree premeditated murder, then it’s a 1st degree felony murder because Arias entered or stayed in the home with the intention of committing 1st degree premeditated murder.
This carefully planned and concealed surprise intimidation of defense witness Lisa Andrews- Daidone, which also needlessly shocked and emotionally traumatized members of the Alexander family, is typical of Martinez’ courtroom decorum in a capital murder trial:
(The video itself contains more lies about Arias’ reaction to the photo. She was looking at the judge, not at the video screens.)
Juan Martinez sees everything in black and white. In a rare case where things are not as they appear, Juan insists on seeing things only as they appear on the surface. Juan is the mirror in this case, projecting his own flaws and inner demons onto Jodi Arias.
Juan Martinez is a certified liar.
Juan Martinez is a sociopath per DSM – 5 Anti Social Personality Disorder with the following characteristics:
Superficial charm and good intelligence
Untruthfulness and insincerity
Lack of remorse and shame
Poor judgement and failure to learn by experience
Specific loss of insight
Pathological egocentricity and incapacity for love
Juan projects the behaviors of a typical hardened criminal or psychopath onto Jodi Arias. She is proven to be neither of these. His closing arguments, on the shallow surface, make sense and are logical, but a closer, deeper look, coupled with a history of Juan’s behavior in other cases, shows that once again, Juan told a pack of lies, and the mirror crack’d from side to side.
All comments are appreciated and opposing views are welcome!
The Jodi Arias Murder Trial: A Juanderful Closing Argument
(SpolightOnLaw The Jodi Arias Murder Trial: The OTHER side of the story)
Fact based reporting by
Rob Roman and Amanda Chen
In this photo, Travis Alexander is wearing the costume and carrying the wig of “Eddie Snell from Alabama”, his crude and violent alter-ego.
In the all-important closing argument, Maricopa, Arizona prosecutor, Juan Martinez, promised to “shine the light of truth” on the defendant. He explained that Jodi Arias is guilty of first degree murder because:
Jodi called her sister “stupid” (Important)
She had conflicts with her parents
She got in big trouble and lied about it
Jodi “adjusted” Ryan Burns
A Mormon couple, modeling their “magic underwear”.
She “committed perjury”. Everything she said is nothing but lies.
Jodi is a liar and manipulator because she testified that Ryan Burns was “full of crap”…
…after Ryan testified that he thought she said “she worked at Margaritaville” and he “touched her vaginal area”.
“A field of lies sprouted every time she took the witness stand”.
After earthly life, the next step for Mormons is to become celestial rulers and live with God on Earth’s sister planet Kolob, which is closer to the throne of God, because Earth was relocated away from Kolob to it’s present position in our solar system.
She is a waitress / manipulator who flirts with customers for tips.
The defense experts and defense team are all liars.
If Jodi told the truth about Travis having a gun and she did not premeditate the murder, she’s still a thief because she stole Travis’ gun and she’s still a murderer in the first degree because the prosecution, with the approval of the judge, legally manipulated the law with the felony murder charge.
Jodi Ann Arias is ” a chameleon who will adjust to the situation and make herself go further to manipulate. ” – prosecutor Juan Martinez
She stomped around like a wildebeest migration and left behind incriminating evidence.
She was focused and deliberate, removed incriminating evidence and she did not leave a trail of bloody footprints while exiting the home.
A real Wildebeest standing, not “hovering”, in a real field.
Jodi is a liar because she has a good memory for buying a Strawberry Frappuccino but can’t remember the details of a horrific, traumatic killing.
The only victimization or trauma Jodi ever experienced in her life was this: Jodi is “a victim of the trauma of lying”.
Jodi implicated herself on the stand and violated the spirit of the law by stealing a license plate that she was not absolutely sure belonged to her rental car.
Jodi was criminally careless and negligent in possibly depriving a citizen of their lawfully obtained California license plate.
Jodi “has created a fantasy world”. Yet, even in her fantasy world, Juan reaches in and catches her several times violating the law.
Scene from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
She decorates her lies with ornamentations to make them more believable.
Jodi is a lying liar. She even lied to Travis by faking an orgasm.
Jodi is a story-teller and sociopath who will defy the laws of common decency, bend the law to suit her purposes, lie, manipulate and even break the law in order to achieve her goals.
Jodi is strong-willed.
Scene from the “Wildebeest Stampede” in Disney’s The Lion King
“She’s not a reasonable person, she’s a liar and a murderer.”
She is physically strong enough to take Travis and she “Adjusted Ryan” (Important)
After killing Travis the “chameleon” proceeds to Utah where “that thing” kisses Ryan Burns, straddles and “adjusts him”, and “rubs genitalia”.
Jodi exaggerates and is dramatic.
“Has a dumb, stupid sister”
“Is not nice to her mother”
“Is not a very nice person”
“will lie and manipulate at every turn”
“targeted a good Mormon boy”
Because she “decided she needed to breed”
Good Mormon boy whose halo is a CTR (Cherish The Right) Ring reminding him never to defile his future bride by engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct prior to marriage.
For prosecutor Juan Martinez, this is key evidence in the Jodi Arias trial. Jodi called her sister stupid one time while communicating with Travis Alexander. This was one of the first questions he put to Arias on cross-examination. Juan made certain to bring up this major piece of evidence in his closing argument.
Allegations that Arias also once stuck her tongue out at her sister, Angela, and called her a “poopy face” were not allowed into evidence.
Judge Sherri Stephens absolutely controlled the courtroom because earlier in the trial she made sure the spectators remained silent and did not interrupt the prosecutor in an hour back and forth examination about crucial testimony concerning Snow White, the role of the Prince, the ages of the Seven Dwarfs, and whether their home was a “shack” or a “cute cottage”.
If Judge Stephens had the temerity to simply ask Juan “Where are you going with this?” she may have risked a mistrial or a successful appeal. It was a grand fishing expedition, but Juan got nary a nibble.
According to Juan Martinez, Jodi Arias should allow Travis Alexander to berate her father and her grandfather (people he never met) because Jodi called her own sister “stupid”. These are the footprints of murder.
Arias, like many young people, had a strained relationship with her mother. This is evidence of either abuse or Jodi’s mental and emotional problems stemming from her childhood and mental illness. This is an issue which supports the defense, not the prosecution.
Martinez stated that Arias’ behavior and acts from her birth to her late teens were irrelevant to the crime or it’s mitigation. Yet, he brought them up again and again in this capital murder case.
Juan Martinez is fond of saying “You can’t have it both ways”.
This is a man whose imagination is confined to the world of Disney, where the whole world is invited to participate in the reduction of great works of literature and psychologically profound fables about passages into adulthood, into simplistic and pleasing tales and colorful, lilting rides.
That’s why author E.L. Doctorow, in his historical work, The Book of Daniel, called Disney World rides, themed after simplistic Disney stories loosely based on the true literary works of art, “a sentimental compression of something that is itself already a lie”.
“If it’s not written in the journal, it didn’t happen” – Juan Martinez
That’s the Jodi Arias trial in a nutshell, ladies and gentleman, after the actual, and complicated truth was corrupted and bastardized into a simplistic good versus evil morality play by the “Bulldog” of Maricopa County.
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The story between Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander is the very much like an episode of the Sopranos. In Season 3 of the Sopranos, Mob leader Tony Soprano meets Gloria Trillo as both are patients of a therapist who schedules them both at the same time by mistake.
Both couples were screwed up.
Tony Soprano and Gloria Trillo both had problems which prevented them from functioning in their daily lives. Tony had panic attacks due to guilt and his “mother” issues. Gloria was getting knocked around in a series of abusive relationships.
Tony finally sees his mother in Gloria, who he calls a miserable, “bottomless black hole”. Gloria most likely sees her abusive father in Tony and her other short-lived relationships.
Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias also had problems from childhood. Travis grew up with absentee addict parents who provided an atmosphere of severe neglect.
Jodi Arias had a cold and emotionless father, abandonment issues, and she was in a series of unfulfilling relationships,
Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander were attracted to each other, but deep down, they unconsciously saw their problems in each other.
Like Tony and Gloria, there was a “power differential” in Travis’ relationship with Jodi. Also like Tony, Travis was lying to the world about who he really was and what his true intentions were.
Both couples sought out their partners because of their flaws.
Tony saw his mother in Gloria. Gloria saw her abusive father in Tony. Travis was attracted to the excitement of sin and chaos of his childhood he found with Jodi. Jodi thought she saw stability and honesty that was missing in her life in Travis
Tony kept Gloria away from his family and friends, and so did Travis. Gloria resented this secretive relationship and so did Jodi. Jodi tried, by converting to Mormonism, to be acceptable to Travis’ family and friends, but with little results.
Both couples had an illicit affair.
Tony was married and had other girlfriends. Travis was interested in marrying Jodi at first, but then he just wanted to add her to his stable of women.
Gloria wanted an exclusive relationship and so did Jodi.
Both couples became abusive.
Gloria was seeing only Tony and was faithful to Tony. She began to suspect that he was cheating on her and she didn’t know he was married. Jodi was seeing only Travis and was faithful to him. She also began to suspect that Travis was seeing other women.
Gloria got suspicious and angry because Tony was lying to her and cheating on her. Jodi also felt betrayed by Travis.
Neither Tony nor Travis were revealing any more details about their lives outside the relationship than they had to.
Both couples had a chaotic and stormy relationship.
Because both Gloria and Jodi grew up in chaos, they felt comfortable only in chaotic and highly emotionally charged situations.
Tony and Travis preferred no-drama, but were excited by certain aspects of the relationship as well as reveling in the secrecy.
Gloria threw a cooked roast beef at Tony.
Or was it a London broil? Anyways, Gloria prepared a romantic dinner for Tony. Tony needed to leave early for an emergency. Gloria started complaining and Tony headed for the door. On his way out, Gloria sent a freshly cooked roast beef flying through the air hitting Tony in the back. Tony hesitated but then left without a word.
Jodi also treated Travis in a romantic way, but her efforts were not rewarded. They began to have sporadic arguments and fights.
Tony ignored Gloria
After the first big fight, Tony put a lot of distance between himself and Gloria. Gloria tried to re-ignite the relationship, calling and asking around about Tony.
After several large fights, Jodi tried to re-ignite the relationship by moving from Southern California to Mesa, Arizona.
Tony broke it off and resumed seeing other women. He was done with her, but Gloria didn’t get that. Feeling that they were “soul mates”, she became obsessed with Tony.
Jodi also felt that she and Travis were “soul mates”. She did everything she could to get back with him, eventually settling for “friends with benefits”.
Gloria stalked Tony
Gloria secretly became friends with Tony’s wife, Carmella. They even went to the Soprano home together. Gloria became even more enraged when she realized he was married and saw how successful he was. She also found out he had other girlfriends.
Gloria continued to go after Tony
Tony tried to end the relationship, but Gloria continued to pursue Tony, even following him around town and looking in the windows of his girlfriend’s apartments.
Tony’s friend told Gloria to stay the F away from him.
Tony had a friend take Gloria out to a deserted lot and he showed her his gun. He told her if she didn’t stop, she would disappear without a trace.
Travis’ friends were also warning Travis about Jodi, telling him to stay away from her and that she was dangerous. However, Travis’ friends only knew what they knew about Jodi from Travis. He conveniently left out his part in creating the situation.
Someone slashed Gloria’s and Travis’ tires
Someone followed Tony to Gloria’s house, where they slashed her tires. Tony and Gloria did not see who did it, but he thought it was another girlfriend. Another argument started up. Tony did not take any action.
Travis also had his tires slashed, and he determined it was Jodi. Slashing tires is widely known as a passive aggressive act meant to get attention. Jodi may have wanted to tell Travis “I was there”. Travis took no action, not even locking his front door, changing his locks, or changing his garage code.
Tony got on top of Gloria and choked her nearly to death
Tony went to Gloria’s apartment let her know they were through. Gloria revealed that she would make the secrets of their relationship known to all. Gloria threatened to tell Tony’s wife and daughter if Tony left her. He was enraged that Gloria was communicating with his wife.
Then there was a sudden and violent altercation. A big argument erupted and Tony ended up hitting and nearly choking Gloria to death on the floor of her living room. Gloria spit in his face and let Tony know that she didn’t care if he killed her or not. She begged him to kill her.
Tony ended the relationship and he never looked back.
In early 2008, things allegedly became physical as Jodi reported that Travis began to physically restrain her in his bathroom and he choked her to the point of unconsciousness in his bedroom.
After Jodi moved home to Northern California, communications reveal that both Jodi and Travis threatened to make the secrets of their relationship known to all.
Both situations became deadly.
Things became toxic, and then they became deadly. It could have easily happened that Gloria killed Tony or Tony killed Gloria. The situation escalated and death ensued.
Gloria hung herself in the beginning of season 4.
It could have happened that Travis killed Jodi or even that Jodi would kill herself. They got back together for a brief visit in Mesa. Here there was a violent and chaotic alteration and Travis was killed.
So, what’s the point?
The point here is that both Tony and Travis had serious psychological and emotional problems as well as relationship problems.
They both got involved in illicit relationships, not just because of sex-appeal, but because they saw their own flaws in their new partners and felt comfortable and strangely attracted to them because of this.
As the sexual attractions were offset by the emerging dark sides and chaos, they both became even more powerfully attracted to their partners, but they were not as sure why they felt this way.
They both tried to keep their relationships secret, and both became angry when the secret became threatened and could be exposed. At that point, both relationships rapidly became toxic. Both relationships were suddenly poised to deteriorate and then suddenly escalate into extreme violence.
Arguments turned physical and the physical violence escalated. Tony was finally able to end his relationship with Gloria after nearly killing her. Travis’ tried to end his relationship with Jodi, but he wasn’t able to make it final.
Tony bears as much responsibility as Gloria for starting and continuing an illicit and toxic relationship. The same goes for Travis and Jodi.
Travis bears as much responsibility as Jodi for starting and continuing an illicit and toxic relationship. Both were complicit in the escalation to violence. It’s just not reasonable to think that Travis bears no responsibility for the final deadly consequences of his behaviors.
….and the fans of the Sopranos know what deadly results there could be at the drop of a hat and from a mile away.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is truly the trial of the century.
She’s a young pacifist with a long term, stable, and loving relationship. Gentle as a lamb, she butchers a successful businessman. Next, she kindles a new love interest, watches a scary movie, then goes out to Chilli’s for a business meeting. She sees the police at the door and just gets in the car.
She hunts for paper, does some yoga, sings some songs, and preens her hair during a 4 hour interrogation. She smiles for her mug shot and thinks getting booked is an interesting learning experience. The camera is with her every step of the way.
She sends flowers to the victim’s grandmother and goes to his memorial service. She calls the homicide Detective happily offering her assistance. She is wild and messy and spontaneous. She’s ditsy, appearing shallow.
She is shy in crowds but incredibly social and intense one to one. She is trying to grow spiritually. She is strong but slight of build. She’s got Barbie blonde hair and breast implants. She is smart and articulate. She comes from humble origins.
She’s Princess Grace of Monaco, a refined artist in a crude environment.
The victim is a Mormon church elder.
The requirements are more than strict and the church rules his life. He’s successful, traveling the country, tremendously social and popular. He also comes from humble origins. He is trying to self-actualize and develop in his business and religious communities.
He’s a clothes horse and anal-retentive neat-nick. He’s kind and considerate while running multiple girl-friends.
Power, success and ego corrupt him as he scales the social and financial ladders. He’s got biceps like cannonballs and legs like a sumo wrestler.
He’s Eddie Snell from Alabama, a crude showman in a refined environment.
They find each other and “open the gap”. It’s a snowy combustible mix inside the bell jar. Breaking the rules, if it’s wrong, they don’t want to be right. He allegedly leads her into an anal sex only relationship.
She claims he has propensities of pedophilia. She has Spiderman powers and pink thongs. He has magic underwear. She writes in her journal about his “three soft kisses” while he talks about “tying her to a tree and sticking it up her ass all the way”.
Is he physically and emotionally abusive? Or is she corrupting, conniving and smothering? He’s pulling her up while she’s pushing him down? She takes artistic photos of him worthy of a Calvin Klein Ad. He takes crude photos of her Backside not worthy of Hustler Magazine. She calls him “my inspiration” while he calls her a “3 holed wonder”.
She’s looking for love and a family. He’s looking for a thousand ways to screw before you die. He won’t get that from good Mormon ladies. Her hope is to be a good Mormon lady, but she loves him so she cannot be one and cannot have him. 20 super-sized bottles of KY later (and you can believe that’s what was on the kitchen table that started the hiking fight), there’s blood in the water and a horrendous killing caught on camera.
Was she really trying to protect their external reputations, appearances and their secret internal life, or is she just a pathological liar with no feelings for anyone but herself? Are the victim’s family and Flores losing their minds……?
Is she just another maniac like Ted Bundy with absolutely no conscience or was she cornered like a kitten by the T-Dogg, washed in adrenaline and turned into a cyclone of anxiety-amnesiac Neanderthal self-survival?
No matter if she tried to kill him or he tried to kill her, now she is being pursued by a macho Latino genius who really does want to kill her. Every day, he is masterfully ushering her farther and farther down a surreal vortex. Each day her team pushes back as she’s pushed further and further down the long, dark corridor to the execution chamber.
In her court, she has seemingly morphed into a bright, and articulate princess. Her emotional maturity has ripened and the GED lady seems more intelligent than many college graduates. The prosecutor thinks linearly and only in black and white. She thinks in 5 dimensions and 64 colors.
It’s an F’ing bullfight. Some days, you don’t know which is the bull and which is the matador. Deadly serious, he’s sprinkling one-liners from My Cousin Vinnie into his relentless death house cadence. She’s saying “Oh crap!…. I think I killed somebody”.
The prior capital case defendant, he broke that young lady on the stand, quickly sending her grieving to death row. Everyone knows she’s Wendi. She poisoned her terminally ill husband then beat him with a barstool and stabbed him to death for money.
The new defendant is mirroring the case prior. Did you see it? Jodi used Wendi’s words “It’s because of my wrong choices”, and mimicked her actions on the witness stand. Juan is having déjà vous. This new trial is sickening and naturally raw contemporaneously.
Prior, Wendi was also a young woman, a bottle colored blonde with two young children. The resemblance is shockingly similar to Jodi on the stand. Juan showed zero mercy, and rightly so. Wendi was the easier kill. This is a man who has always done his homework on-time.
Now, it’s Juan and Jodi. They are harmonious opposites. It’s an opera like dance of death. It’s the soft-spoken, cavitating kitten against the raging pit-bull. He is killing the defense case exactly as Travis was killed. It has 19 knife wounds already.
There’s blood on the courtroom floor. Is it dead already? Only the jury knows. Will there be a coup de grace? When will it be? Deep inside Juan’s case is a built-in old fashioned patriarchal spanking and a Mormon sermon to boot.
Do you know what happens when you lie??
Basically, you are condemned to hell!!!
Numerous and sundry Vinnie Pelicans and Nancy Drewberries cheer and scream for the kill. Biased media cheerleaders can’t ever grasp the real story here. It’s a rare ancient recipe of fine art and pop culture. Maybe the bigger story here just will not sell.
And to top it off the whole trial may depend on the existence of a soft rope
or a match of shell casings
or the number of steps to delete an image
or a blue plastic gas can from Walmart.
Lethal gas cans or lethal injection? Is it buttons or zippers, Juan?
Do you think it’s easy for Juan? Your Dad was too strict.
You missed a rare example of his true compassion.
No compassion for Travis? You are diseased.
Nothing but hate for Jodi? You haven’t evolved nearly enough.
There’s much more to this picture than meets the eye.
This here is one super sized global morality play.
Is it about Travis and Jodi?
Or is it really about you and me?
Bud, you cannot make this stuff up.
Don’t cha know?
There’s a startling secret nobody knows about …
…hidden deep within the final enigmatic photo.
Wednesday, June 4th, 2008
5:30 PM Mesa, Arizona
Great potential suddenly swirled down the drain,
Leaking out onto two bathroom Matts.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Unlike most blogs, ALL comments are accepted and will be posted.
At the trial, Jodi Arias said something very true about Dr. Horn and the prosecution. She said “I disagree with the order of injuries”.
The diagram above is how Jodi explained the gunshot. A not incapacitating shot stunned Travis, and he fell to the bathroom floor, before going to the sink. This diagram is not scientific. The shot (red line) would have to come from above Travis’ head and to his right on a roughly 45 degree downward angle.
This theory fits the forensic evidence. Jodi Arias may have gone to his aid, when the deadly struggle resumed. Dr. Horn made the jury and all of us certain that this could not be so. So we should take a look at the very important testimony of Dr. Kevin Horn.
There are many ways a prosecutor can win a case. There is hard work, attention to detail, experience, excellent direct and cross-examination of witnesses, and preparation. There is also a fierce devotion to the job of bringing a dangerous criminal to justice. Finally you will need a good grasp of the evidence, and know how to explain and persuade a jury that your evidence is sound.
Detective Flores was very convinced before the trial that the gunshot was first. He told the 48 hours interviewer three times that this was so. Was this because he trusted what Jodi Arias told him? I don’t think so. Detective Flores said that he is not a medical doctor and he cannot determine the order of injuries. He must rely on the medical examiner to be so confident that the gunshot was first or last.
Why does it matter? If the gunshot was last, this means many things that Jodi Arias said on the stand about June 4th, 2008 must be lies. It means that the attack on Travis Alexander began with a knife. After so many knife wounds and slitting the throat of her victim, Jodi then shot Travis in the head in cold blood, just to be sure he was dead or maybe to create the illusion of two attackers. Here, there is no possibility of self-defense.
Pretend that it was proven that the gunshot was first. What does this mean? Here, there are two possibilities. Jodi shot Travis while he was sitting in the shower. The shot did not incapacitate or kill him and he was still moving about in pain. Jodi could not call the police or get help, because it looks very bad for her. So she gets a knife and “finishes him off”.
The other possibility is that Jodi was telling the truth. She shot him in self-defense and he continued to come at her, so she got hold of a knife and fought back. Then in a highly charged state fueled by adrenaline, she went too far. Her memory was impaired in some way.
If even one juror could believe this possibility, this jury could “hang”. If more jurors see the possibility, Jodi might not be found guilty of 1st degree murder. This is not a good position for the prosecution. Jodi Arias already tried to plead guilty to 2nd degree murder. Every member of the jury must be convinced that the gunshot was last for the prosecution to be certain of winning this case.
Then we are introduced to Doctor Kevin Horn. Dr. Horn proved convincingly that the gunshot was last. During his testimony, the prosecutor asked over and over about this point. Dr. Horn testified three times during the trial, and each time he gave more testimony about the gunshot and the order of injuries.
A medical examiner is a trusted public servant, a scientist, and something of a detective. They are experts in their field and we can be sure what they say is true, right?
If you saw the trial of George Zimmerman, you will remember Dr. Shipping Bao testifying for the prosecution. First he said Trayvon Martin could only live 3 minutes after being shot. Then he said Martin could live 10 minutes. He thought Martin could have been shot from .4 inches away or maybe from 4 feet away.Bao said Trayvon would be immediately incapacitated. Later, he said Martin could have walked 20 feet. He said that many things were “not my job”. He read from notes that no one ever saw before. He admitted to improper procedures before, during and after the autopsy.
Why do I bring up Dr. Bao? It took Dr. Vincent DiMaio, a renowned medical examiner and gunshot expert, to discredit Bao’s testimony. It seems that many times, lower level workers and assistants do a lot of the work, and a supervisor signs off.
Dr. Bao said something very interesting. ‘My opinion is mine, it belongs to me. I can change any time, my right to change.’ But a change in opinion in a capitol murder case can mean the difference between life and death.
There’s always plenty of other evidence and witnesses in a case. Can the testimony of a medical examiner be so critical to a case? Can a small change in the medical examiner’s report or opinion change the outcome of a trial? Let’s look at some recent cases:
“Dallas, Texas — A jury found appellant, Victor Hugo Quinonez-Saa, guilty of murder and assessed punishment at 75-years confinement and a fine of $10,000.
In his first point of error, appellant asserts that the admission into evidence of autopsy photographs was reversible error because the medical examiner who testified had not performed the autopsy or viewed the body of the deceased. The autopsy had been conducted on the deceased by Dr. Auerlio Espinola, an assistant medical examiner.”
“BROCKTON, Mass. — Massachusetts prosecutors have taken the highly unusual step of charging one of their own expert witnesses — Connecticut state medical examiner Dr. Frank Evangelista — with perjury for what they allege are inconsistencies in his testimony in a murder case.”
“ST. PAUL, Minn. — After spending six years in prison, a Minnesota man has been exonerated in his daughter’s death. Avry was just four months old when she died. Mike lost his daughter and then six years of his life, after being convicted of killing her. A judge found the Ramsey County medical examiner gave false or incorrect testimony.”
“Highlands, Texas — On May 5, 1999, Brandy Briggs found her 2-month-old baby Daniel Lemons limp, barely breathing and unconscious at her home. She called 911 and the baby was rushed to the hospital. On May 9, the baby died. Ms. Briggs was prosected for 1st degree murder. The evidence was based on the opinion of Dr. Moore, a medical examiner.
The trial court found that “Dr. Moore’s trial opinions were based on false pretenses of competence, objectivity, and underlying pathological reasoning, and were not given in good faith.” The trial court characterized her testimony as “expert fiction calculated to attain a criminal conviction.””
Here is a passage from the court report on this case:
“The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is violated when the State knowingly or unknowingly uses perjured testimony to obtain a conviction. We held on direct appeal that false testimony resulted in a due process violation when there was a fair probability that the death sentence was based upon incorrect testimony.””
Medical examiners make honest mistakes like everyone else. Medical examiners are overworked and they are under pressure to help the prosecution team get a conviction. So, what do a few cases gone wrong really show?
Doctor Horn appeared confident, thorough, and trustworthy. We should not try to implicate Dr. Horn because of mistakes in other states and under different conditions. He is very careful with his reports and testimony, isn’t he? Let’s take a look at two of Dr. Horn’s past legal cases:
“Ms. Randall operated a home day care business. She discovered a four-month-old child unconscious on her floor on April 18, 2007. She called 911. Paramedics transported the child to Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The youngster was taken off of life support the following day, and passed away.”
“Kevin Horn, M.D. (“Horn”) performed an autopsy. A CT scan revealed a “possible skull fracture, secondary to brain swelling.” The Peoria police were notified and Detective Kevin Moran was assigned as the lead investigator. Subsequently, Dr. Horn concluded that the youngster died from “blunt force trauma of the head and neck.”
A grand jury indicted Randall for the child’s death in November 2007.The Prosecutor’s Office announced they would seek the death penalty.”
“Nearly two years later, the State finally withdrew its notice seeking the death penalty. After argument, the charges were dismissed with prejudice on August 4, 2010.
Ms. Randall then filed a complaint. The amended complaint alleged eleven causes of action and the named defendants included Maricopa County, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Thomas, Whitney, Horn, Moran, and the City of Peoria.”
Here, Dr. Horn seems to make a neutral diagnosis of injuries, which then changes to intentional infliction of injuries shortly after meeting with Detective Moran and the D.A.’s office. This death penalty case never made it to trial. In the next case, the self-defense case of Harold Fish, Dr. Horn seems to pass off mere speculation for scientific certainty.
“ISSUE PRESENTED FOR REVIEW:
The speculative testimony of the Medical Examiner, Dr. Horn (in State v. Fish), was relied upon by the State as “forensic science” in arguing their case to the jury. Yet, the testimony of Dr. Horn failed to meet minimum evidentiary standards.”
“Although the Court of Appeals found that Dr. Horn ultimately focused upon “offensive” and “defensive” wounds as equally likely ….. we submit that expert testimony speculating about gunshot wounds as “defensive wounds” when they are no more likely than “offensive wounds” not only falls short of evidentiary standards, but is more prejudicial than probative.”
“The State relied upon the testimony of Dr. Horn as essential evidence to support its conviction. It is obvious that the State would not have prevailed (in State v. Fish) without the testimony of Dr. Horn.”
“An expert opinion must be within a reasonable degree of medical probability which is an important evidentiary standard throughout the United States that must be enforced in order to prevent unreliable medical testimony from swaying juries, which is exactly what happened in Fish’s case.”
“Dr. Horn’s interpretation of the wounds as “consistent with defensive wounds” was nothing more than a speculative judgment about one possibility within an array of many possible inferences.”
“The testimony of Dr. Horn not only swayed the jury, it was used as the decisive “evidence” against Fish. Dr. Horn’s testimony fell below evidentiary standards and was misleading. It violated due process of law.”
In the Arias case, Dr. Horn said that the gunshot pierced the skull and therefore must have impacted the brain. Dr. Horn said the victim was shot in the frontal lobe and therefore would be “immediately incapacitated”. Dr, Horn’s report indicated that the brain was not impacted by the bullet, but he claimed it was a typographical error. All of this is highly questionable.
Dr. Horn stated that he found no blood in the wound tract. Crime scene photos show blood pouring out of Mr. Alexander’s nostrils. Dr. Horn stated that the gases from the gunshot would cause a massive shockwave through the brain. If the brain was impacted, the wound tract through the brain could only be mere fractions of an inch.
Shortly before the trial, Juan Martinez aksed Detective Flores to meet with Dr. Horn. They met to discuss possible death penalty aggravators. Detective Flores changed his opinion and his sworn testimony. Dr. Horn’s opinion and report also changed. Detective Flores stated all this at trial. Dr. Horn was insistent and adamant about his new opinion after holding the opposite opinion for years. Imagine that!
Imagine this: Lisa Randall was a grandmother and Day care operator who faced the death penalty and three years of prosecution based on no evidence other than the faulty medical opinion of Dr. Horn.
Harold Fish was a retired teacher and a Mormon father of 7. Fish was an avid hiker and hunter forced to kill a man who attacked him on a trail. His conviction was reversed and he was released from prison to enjoy three years of freedom before he passed away.
In both cases, there was no evidence at all to support a conviction. There is nothing anywhere in the past of either to suggest they would harm or kill another person. There are only the tragic events of one day and the testimony and opinion of Dr. Kevin Horn.
Lisa Randall: Death Penalty and First Degree Murder Charges Dropped
Harold Fish: Conviction Reversed
The Prosecution was certain that the gunshot was last. It was a post-mortem gunshot and Travis Alexander was already dead. If so, then there is no question that this is “gratuitous violence”, needlessly inflicting a gunshot after the victim had died. If so, this easily proves the heinous and depraved prongs of the cruelty aggravator. Interestingly, heinous and depraved were not charged in this case.
The prosecution took the gunshot last theory, persuaded the jury and most trial watchers, and got the conviction. Yet, the way the case was presented shows that the prosecutor does not even believe his own theory.
Here is something else to imagine: the theory, using a presumption of guilt, that the gunshot was first and that Travis Alexander was shot above the right eyebrow while sitting down in the shower.
This theory fits the forensic evidence. It has a much more profound “cruelty aggravator”, and it is a much more reasonable theory to seek a 1st degree murder conviction. Further, this is the only scenario under which the charges of both 1st degree premeditated AND felony murder make any sense at all.
So you really need to ask yourself: Why, then, did the prosecution try so hard to disprove it?
Death From Above
I call this the “death from above” theory.
It’s not so scientific. Like Jodi, I’m an artist, so maybe I can see images in my mind and understand the dimensions easier than others. Maybe we need to use a dummy to truly see it.
If Travis was sitting in the shower, then taking a presumption of guilt, this is how he was shot. It’s a slightly angled downward shot from in front and above Travis. The prosecution didn’t want the jury to consider this theory because then the jury would also have to consider the defense theory, and the defense theory is the most reasonable of the three, according to the facts.
Post Traumatic Death on the Floor
This is the prosecution’s theory. After Travis Alexander is stabbed and his throat is cut, Jodi drags him still “bleeding out” near the bathroom sink where, for some reason, she shoots him at a slight angle. She doesn’t shoot him last in the shower, because he was found in the shower with his left side facing out.
The average width of a human head is 18cm (7.1 inches). Let’s imagine Travis’ head diameter is 8.0 inches. The gun barrel would have to be somewhere near 8 to 12 inches above the floor.
That makes good logical sense, doesn’t it, Dr. Horn?
? ? ?
These are actual X-Ray and CT scans of the brain. Look at all that room right where Travis was shot. There is easily plenty of room for that gunshot to completely miss the brain. Travis was shot in the face through the skull and the nasal cavity. Travis was not shot through the frontal lobe. It was not “rapidly incapacitating”. Dr. Horn is wrong again.
The “Linebacker” position
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Unlike most blogs, ALL comments are accepted and will be posted.
This article kind of jumped out at me, and I just had to read and analyze it. Obviously, Wendy Murphy was just another in a long line of useless idiots riding the wave of the Jodi Arias trial. She is always trying to sell one book or another, like most people who came on HLN and walked all over Jodi Arias and the facts to hawk their latest book. She is some kind of a law professor at some or another college somewhere.
Wendy Murphy is supposed to be a Victim’s Rights Advocate. She is supposed to be a Civil Trial lawyer. You know, the ones who go after the deep pockets money and have a much lower burden of proof than in a criminal trial. According to her Website, she has recommendations from such celebrities as Geraldo Rivera (Who was the only one I know of to publicly condemn Nancy Grace for her twisted reporting on Arias and the trial), Judge Andrew Napolitano, the jovial bloviator with the hair that seemingly grows out of his forehead, also put in a word for Wendy Murphy.
These two people just happen to both appear on FOX News Network, where Wendy also appears from time to time. The next recommendation comes from Dominick Dunne, who congratulates her for her work on the 1996 Jon Benet Ramsey case. Wendy! You must be older than I thought! A fourth “celebrity” who recommends Wendy Murphy is Rita Cosby, yet another FOX Friend, and possibly a drinking buddy of Ms. Murphy when she’s in town.
Wendy Murphy is looking for Victims to represent in civil court. Apparently this line of work is not enough to sustain her, so she writes books and appears on FOX NEWS or she tries to con her way onto CNN or MSNBC as they all do.
Apparently, she was too busy to reply to my letter which I E-mailed to her in early June. When I took exception to her “Porn Defense” article. I saw this as just a blatant attempt to garner Civil Trial clients and book deals by being the next opportunist to throw rocks at Jodi Arias. Rita Cosby probably told her to never respond unless it’s a business opportunity.
Now, rape on Ivy League campuses is her next big thing. Maybe Wendy discovered where the real lucrative civil suits can be found. Wendy Murphy is happy to share her new-found expertise on campus rape, if you buy her new E-Book for $8.00. Of course, she’s plugging another in a long, long line of books entitled “……. the book they don’t want you to read” or “things……they don’t want you to know”. Oh, it’s the old reverse psychology, forbidden information, ploy.
Wendy is another in a long line of middle aged “personality wannabees”. She got herself a facelift, wrote a couple of books, and speaks out on a couple of different news outlets. Her latest article is “An Open Letter to Juan Martinez, where she decides she must warn Juan of Jodi’s dirty tricks and give advice to Juan Martinez about the finer points of law.
I believe what she did to Jodi Arias is reprehensible, and no different than what Geraldo condemned Nancy Grace for doing.
The following is my updated response to her article:
Dear Ms. Murphy,
In reference to the State of Arizona vs. Jodi Ann Arias, I understand your sentiments. I watched you on CNN’s HeadLine News (HLN) and I respect your position and your ideas. I read your article entitled “PORN DEFENSE AND SEXIST MANIPULATION STRATEGY…”
I really have to tell you that I respectfully disagree with much of what you opined.
I believe that it more likely than not that Jodi Arias doesn’t remember the stabbings and that she was under extreme duress. I believe there is a real question as to the order of injuries, and that makes a huge difference in this case. It is abundantly clear to me that the gunshot was first, and that changes the death penalty calculus dramatically.
Your idea that she “shot him in the face for fun” is just not believable given all the facts of the case. For instance, the trajectory of the gunshot wound is nearly impossible to achieve if Travis was lying on the floor of the bathroom. Why would Travis Alexander, being under attack from Arias with a knife, be able to go to the bathroom mirror and turn his back on his attacker? It’s much more likely that Travis Alexander went to the mirror unchallenged because he was shot in the face and he needed to find out what had happened to him.
That there seems to be some malfeasance in the Medical Examiner’s report is a devious and real possibility which creates a genuine issue for appeal.
You expressed your shock and distress that Jodi Arias could go on the stand and “lie with a straight face about whether and why she stabbed a man 29 times, tried to slice off his head, and then shot him in the face for fun.”
There’s no legal basis for any of these claims. Alexander was stabbed 16 times according to the official autopsy report. He had 13 incised wounds for a total of 29 knife wounds which includes the throat wound. There is a scientific basis to claim that the “cluster of 9 stab wounds” to Alexander’s back are actually “chopping wounds” which are often defensive blows on the part of the assailant. “Chopping wounds” are defined as having the characteristics of both sharp force trauma and blunt force trauma. The official autopsy report states that among the “cluster of 9 wounds” only, “all wounds display “blunt and sharply incised ends”. These wounds could have been made by the assailant from beneath the victim defensively or face to face with the victim, defensively*. This means it is reasonable to infer that Alexander was stabbed 7 times.
None other than prosecutor Juan Martinez, using court reporter Mike Babicky as “the victim”, demonstrated at trial that the knife blows could have been delivered from a variety of positions. There is no basis for your claim that Jodi “tried to slice off his head”. Alexander’s throat was slit and the process of decomposition served to expand the size and depth of the wounds. In the famously shocking autopsy photo, Alexander’s head is tilted far backwards to fully expose and open the wound.
Travis was not stabbed 29 times. This is the media running wild with speculation as do you. This assumes facts not in evidence, Ms. Murphy. I believe that there are real questions about what happened that day and that the defense team demonstrated that there are multiple avenues for reasonable doubt.
I believe they showed that there are legitimate questions regarding the prosecution’s and the media’s narrative about what actually happened.
The prosecution’s case which forms the entire basis of the case for first degree premeditated murder AND the reason why the death penalty is warranted amounts to this mathematical formula:
In fact, there is proof of and justification for neither a first degree murder charge nor the death penalty in this case.
You wrote that “This case was always ONLY about the death penalty, as evidenced by the fact that Arias’ lawyers played their hand during trial as if the only thing they cared about was persuading a single male juror to resist voting for death.” Although the defense strategy always had the aim of avoiding the death penalty, the main thrust of the case was to present facts and evidence which all point towards reasonable doubt.
The defense team was not experienced with crime scene evidence, blood spatter, and forensic analysis. The prosecution offered little crime scene forensic evidence of its own. These factors, when analyzed, tell a much different tale than what was presented at trial.
According to you, Wendy Murphy, the Arias defense attorneys were not interested in preventing a 1st degree murder conviction or the finding of the single prong of the “Especially Heinous, Cruel, or Depraved” aggravator which opens the door to the death penalty in Arizona. Instead, you opine that Arias’ defense attorneys maintained a laser focus solely on the task of preventing a death sentence.
Their “Porn Defense”, in your words, targeted a few male jurors or even a single male juror by attempting to get a male so hot and bothered by a frank discussion of sex, that they could never put Jodi to death. I have no idea if all the 4 “life jurors” were male or were vulnerable to such a “Porn Defense”, and, frankly, neither do you.
Here’s an interesting death penalty case from Arizona:
May 17, 2011
“A Maricopa County Superior Court jury on Monday brought back a death sentence verdict against Stephen Reeves, who murdered a young woman working in a west Phoenix insurance office in 2007.
It was the second trial for Reeves, 56, who was caught on surveillance video on June 2, 2007, as he beat 18-year-old Norma Gabriella Contreras with a brick, then choked her with a stick and finally slit her throat with a box cutter. Reeves was later found covered in blood in Contreras’ car.
On Dec. 10, the first jury pronounced Reeves guilty of first-degree murder, armed robbery, kidnapping, burglary, and auto theft. A week later, the jury found aggravating factors that would qualify Reeves for the death penalty.
But despite the surveillance video, the jury could not reach agreement on life or death, forcing a retrial.”
This jury actually saw the crime on video. The video was so horrific that jurors were given trauma counseling referrals prior to viewing the video. There were 3 Aggravating Circumstances found to be proven true beyond a reasonable doubt.
Yet, these jurors were unable to present a unanimous verdict for a death sentence. Did these jurors have a “porn defense” to make them “forget” all about the brutal killing?
In furtherance of your theory, you state that the “phone sex tape” was the centerpiece of the “porn defense”. I would say that I am at least your age and probably older. What you call “porn”, I call rather pedestrian and basically common and normal behavior between consenting adults
That is except for the things that are not common and normal about their sex life or the sex tape:
Evidence that Travis Alexander preferred anal sex almost exclusively and used religious doctrine to justify this to Jodi Arias.
The dismissive and callous way Travis treated Jodi in that tape and the things he didn’t say on the tape that are normally said by a person who cares about his sex partner. It reveals something more like a John being serviced by a prostitute than a girl and a guy engaging in some playful sex talk.
The sex evidence is absolutely necessary to explain why this is a dominant / submissive relationship and why it was abusive to Arias. It gives us an insight into what this relationship and the victim were really all about.
Travis got what he wanted without having to give anything. Jodi wanted love. The incredible extremes people will endure simply to be loved know no bounds.
You stated that “guys like to protect girls in danger, especially when they dress up like 12 year-old librarians, even if that danger is an appropriate legal judgment of death by lethal injection”.
I don’t remember any “12 year-old librarian” at the Jodi Arias trial. If they were really going for sex appeal, why didn’t the defense dress Jodi up like a model for the trial? They could have made her up like a young Hannah Montana or an older Miley Cyrus. I never felt sexually attracted to Jodi Arias. I was more impressed by the sexual exploitation and the psychological and emotional abuse by Travis Alexander towards Jodi Arias which is objectively evident in all aspects of their relationship:
Photos of Travis’ genitals he sent to Jodi Arias
This is the photo Travis Alexander took of Jodi
This is the photo Jodi Arias took of Travis
A cunning narcissist who demands compliments and needs to quell his anger with sex. A religious hypocrite who uses a passive and vulnerable woman for his wish-list of fantastical sex acts while simultaneously despising her, ridiculing her to his friends, blaming her for his own behaviors and withholding even a hint of love.
You wrote about all the supposed “red herrings” in the defense case. Yet I saw more red herrings on the prosecution side. No real blood spatter evidence or other crime scene evidence was introduced to buttress the prosecution’s theory of events. It was only proved that a killing had occurred and that Jodi Arias committed it. It was merely proven that Jodi Arias premeditated a road trip. We knew all this at the very start of the trial.
The ample evidence of abuse on the part of Alexander was glossed over by attacking the defense witnesses. Do you honestly believe that there is no room for reasonable doubt in all of Kurt Nurmi’s final argument? There is plenty of room beginning with the ridiculous motive proffered by the prosecution (murdered over a trip to Cancun!), to all sorts of questions about absence of blood evidence, crime scene evidence, medical and ballistic evidence that should reinforce the prosecution narrative of events, but in reality contradicts it.
It is just as likely an explanation that Arias did in fact want the death penalty and did try to sabotage her mitigation case after the guilty verdict. Faced with a choice of life in an Arizona prison or death, who among us could say for certain that we would choose life?
This is, in fact, further proof of Jodi’s veracity. So you are saying that the whole case was about avoiding the death penalty, and yet the defense at the last minute took away the mitigation witnesses which were clearly her best shot at avoiding a death sentence? That is absurd on its face.
You stated that Arias’ allocution was “full of hokey acts of benevolence”. You wrote that Jodi had never engaged in benevolent acts before she was in jail. How would you know this? She was only 27 at the time. You are not as able to perform acts of benevolence when you are struggling economically, although you may always have planned on giving to others, and hoped to do it someday.
You stated that “Arias admitted in subsequent interviews that she intentionally came up with project ideas in order to manipulate jurors by appealing to their specific interests.”
That a man is hard of hearing in no way supposes that he knows or appreciates sign language. How could you name a list of planned benevolence without stating a common interest of any 12 people? Some people would say that Arias’ boldness in asserting that she was a “survivor” of domestic abuse was proof that her story is true. Who would dare do this in the face of death, when the cost of making that claim may well be death? This is the act of someone who is either psychotic OR someone who is telling the truth.
You stated “she blamed the prosecutor’s refusal to give her a sentence she did not deserve for why she smeared Travis Alexander’s reputation during trial”.
Did you know that in Arizona, a man went to a 4th of July event where he spied the younger sister of a girl he knew camping overnight at the event. He lured this 13 year-old girl and her 13 year-old companion out into the desert with his accomplice. He savagely beat, choked and raped the girl on the hood of his car. He then strangled her to death and stomped on her body with all his weight. Then he threw her naked and lifeless body down a mine shaft and burned her clothes.
It was his plan, his DNA, his car, his foot impressions on the victim, and the victim’s impressions in the hood of his car.
This man was charged with 2nd degree murder in Arizona and is free today. He made a deal with the prosecutor. Is this the sentence that he “deserved”?
Jodi was willing to plead guilty to 2nd degree murder but was refused. It couldn’t be because Jodi lied, because both these defendants lied about what happened when they were caught.
Let’s look at what you had to say, Wendy Murphy:
“Arias doesn’t deserve a deal because a deal would only reward her bad behavior and manipulation strategies, and indulge all the shady antics of her lawyers who shamelessly hustled the male jurors by exploiting sex and other gender-biased irrelevancies for tactical gain.
Indeed, allowing Arias to testify falsely under oath for eighteen days may have amounted to legal malpractice otherwise. But they knew that having a cute female defendant talk about oral and anal sex for weeks, and describe how she “bent over” for Travis Alexander, followed by the playing of a recording of Arias engaging in phone sex with the guy until orgasm, would surely, um, stimulate the male jurors to think about all sorts of things OTHER than the near decapitation of an innocent murder victim.”
That’s quite a barrage of unsubstantiated allegations for an attorney such as you, Ms. Murphy. What makes you think anyone, under any circumstances, could possibly forget those horrible crime scene photos and shocking autopsy photos?
How do you suppose that a self-defense homicide case can go forward without bringing up negative evidence against the victim? It seems to me that this was an abusive and volatile relationship. Travis Alexander was more than happy to use the LDS Church for business contacts, for customers, for social contacts, and for a bevy of young women who would not tell about their sins.
Yet, though he was an ordained Church Elder who taught bible study and baptized children into the LDSChurch, he did not feel he needed to follow the sacred tenets of a very serious and strict, family oriented religion. In light of his religious upbringing, the way Alexander treated Jodi Arias is particularly sickening. To goad a woman into anal sex on the day of her baptism into the faith on the pretext that vaginal sex was a violation of their chastity vows?
It is obvious to me that Travis Alexander’s preference for anal sex had nothing to do with vows and plenty to do with his freely stated excitement about little girls and sex. It is also clear that his abusive childhood and absentee parents could easily have become a catalyst for abuse, both sexual and physical. This is no fault of the victim’s.
Did you see the disgustingly crude picture he took of her anus on June 4th? How can you honestly say that Travis was the innocent victim and that Jodi is a Psycho-demon? Hannibal Lecter, you called her. You liken Jodi Arias to a fictional serial killer who consumes the victims? Is that in any way fair-minded and rational?
At the trial we heard objective evidence about Travis’ hot headed outbursts in front of two pious Mormon friends on relaxing vacations, no less.
At trial we were shown objective evidence by text messages of a 3 hour marathon of seething and violent anger from Travis Alexander. Do you honestly have doubts that Travis could have been sexually and physically abusive towards Jodi? Can you blame that all on Arias, or did Travis have to finally deal with the truth and the inevitable exposure of his lies and hypocrisy? Do you really have absolute certainty that Travis didn’t attack Jodi on June 4th?
You wrote that “Arias had “no mitigating factors” but then the defense attorney refused to call her family members to testify as mitigation witnesses, while helping her create a slideshow demonstrating all the “mitigating” things they could think of.”
Actually, Arias was telling the truth. She didn’t have any of the usual statutory mitigating factors, (extreme child abuse, abandonment, mental retardation, insanity, severe drug and alcohol abuse and child sexual abuse) and that as many of the miscellaneous mitigating factors as possible needed to be found and employed.
How do you know that the slideshow wasn’t prepared long before as a review during her allocution after the proposed witnesses testified?
How do you know that Arias didn’t try to sabotage her own mitigation case? How do you know the mitigation specialist didn’t scramble to find a way to put her factors into a slideshow so that she could present them without her witnesses?
You stated that “Arias’ lawyers hedged their bets, knowing that even if Jodi’s entire family and all her childhood friends took the stand and begged for her life, the jury would still vote for death simply because no amount of mitigation evidence would make a dent in the mountain of reasons that justify imposition of the ultimate punishment”.
What is your mountain of reasons for justifying the death penalty? There is no one on death row in America today for a murder with extreme cruelty or any other murder without one of the following factors: (Murder with Prior violent convictions, murder for money. murder by conspiracy, murder with kidnapping, rape, or torture, multiple murders, murder of a uniformed law officer, murder of children).
Please let me know if you find one without at least one of these factors. Scott Peterson? He killed his helpless pregnant while she was 8 months pregnant with his own child. Unlike Arias, we have clear and convincing proof of his bad character and bad intentions prior to the murder.
You wrote that “As judgment day on the ultimate issue grew closer, Arias’ lawyers were near frantic in their efforts to derail court proceedings, no doubt worried that the little mitigation evidence they had to offer was nowhere near substantial enough to justify life rather than death.”
No prior record is not substantial?
4 relationships lasting years, not months, 3 of which ended against Arias’will and amicably are not substantial?
A history of mental illness is not substantial?
No history of violence or rage both years before meeting Alexander and years after the killing is not substantial?
Proven emotional and psychological abuse (which are the precursors to sexual and physical abuse) are not substantial?
A GED graduate who is more articulate and poised than many college graduates is not a reason to show leniency?
A prisoner with no prospects for happiness or freedom using her time and talents to reach out to victims of abuse is not a reason to show mercy?
A major part of the strategy seemed to be to put Arias on the stand, not for sexual stimulation, but to bond with the jury in either an empathetic way or in a Stockholm Syndrome type of way. Your Victorian views on sex and your outdated views on the priorities and the lack of a capacity for empathy in males cannot change the wisdom of such a strategy.
Since that effect can hardly be achieved in the second penalty phase, why do you think “the defense is at an advantage the second time around”? Why does Arias and the defense have an advantage the longer the distance is between the 1st and 2nd penalty phase? The same review of the facts has to take place. The same aggravating and mitigating factors have to be presented. The same media and social media hounds will rise up again. So, where’s the advantage of time? Arias must spend more time behind bars because she must wait to file most of her appeals until after the inevitable sentencing.
You wrote about how the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is reversing death penalty convictions based on “ineffective assistance of counsel” because the defense attorneys refused to present mitigation witnesses.
Since you are an attorney, would you care to cite some cases in support of your position? Did you notice that in Arizona, Capital defendants are required to have a mitigation specialist? Defense attorneys have no justification for failure to present mitigation evidence or witnesses in Arizona. That is unless they are threatened and intimidated into not testifying as seen in State v. Jodi Ann Arias.
The way you put it, Arias’ defense “ploy” to not present mitigation witnesses would only work if Arias were in fact sentenced to death. You can’t appeal a death sentence in the 9th Circuit if you don’t get sentenced to death. So then, why were Jennifer Willmott’s final arguments so visceral, heartfelt and heroic? Why was Kirk Nurmi’s closing argument so full of valid and substantial reasons to be doubtful of the prosecution’s theory?
The defense can’t refuse to call mitigation witnesses the next time and you have already stated that no amount of mitigation could help Arias. So how is your imaginary strategy supposed to work? Did you forget that Arias presented no mitigation witnesses, yet there was no unanimous decision for a death sentence?
I believe your analysis is full of holes, full of speculation, and full of …. contradictions. It flies in the face of all we know about Arias’ life years before the incident all the way up the month and day of the tragic event on June 4th, 2008.
Also, there are the 5 years since that day, where Arias has been a model, compliant prisoner. It flies in the face of what you must concede we know about Travis Alexander, the lying, the manipulation and the abuse. The idea that she has “no conscience” is easily debatable. I feel that she has shown remorse all through this trial. It is really asking a little much for a mentally ill woman to show contrition to Travis Alexander’s estranged family and Mormon community as they fervently seek revenge and will stop at nothing short of execution. This woman is clearly mentally ill and clearly unable or unwilling to show emotions in the way that we would like.
You say her slideshow was “offensive”. Given her situation, what would you expect her to present? I found it pitiable. I found her allocution a singular exercise in bravery and sincerity.
What is she supposed to say and do? I think the subject of remorse is also a red herring. What could she possibly do to show remorse in the face of this killing while fighting for her life? Your answer is that she should confess to what “really happened” that day in the bathroom. As an attorney, you should know how stressful a trial like this is and how stressful 18 days on the stand can be, even given the best conditions.
Many people have very good reason to believe that this is not as it seems and that Arias did tell the truth to the best of her ability. Even though she has lied in the past, there is reason to believe that the objective and physical evidence can prove that the prosecution’s narrative is false.
Even if we take all the verdicts to be absolutely correct, it should still be abundantly clear to thinking and feeling human beings that the facts of this case do not merit the death penalty and Arias herself does not warrant execution.
Instead, I believe that this case will be successfully appealed and a new and fair trial may yield vastly different results. Then perhaps the family of crime victims will learn to their benefit that such things as “closure” and “forgiveness” should not and do not depend on the actions or the fate of the accused or the convicted.