Rumble in the Jungle: Retrial Update with Geffner

Fact-based reporting

By Rob Roman & Amanda Chen

In this re-trial performance art, the part of Psychologist Robert Geffner will be portrayed by a hapless, knobby-kneed zebra. The part of prosecutor Juan Martinez will be portrayed by an athletic pack of hungry leopards.

The part of 2nd chair defense attorney Jennifer Wilmott will be portrayed by a bandage toting animal field medic.

 

The defense team takes a water break.
The defense team takes a water break. (click to enlarge)

Here we are in 2015, still watching the Jodi Arias penalty retrial finally wind down, and what’s changed in this case? We know there’s an overwhelming majority on one side and a small but dedicated following on Jodi’s side.

 

 

Trial by tweet is like listening to the World Series on an AM radio. You just don’t get a good feel for the tempo, the intensity, or the action. It’s so hard to get a sense of what the jury is actually experiencing. Then the story can be very different depending on who’s tweeting about it. Which courtroom tweeter can you trust?

We think the best are Monica Lindstrom (but she’s not there all the time), Michael Kiefer (some trial watchers see Michael as being against the prosecution), and Jen Wood from the Trial Diaries. The rest generally suck eggs, in our opinion. What do You think?

If we were to have a poll today of all interested trial watchers, the votes for Life would most likely easily win by a great majority. It’s only that those who want death are far more vocal. The percentages on social media can make it appear as if it’s 10 to 1 prosecution supporters, because Jodi Arias supporters are very present and vocal, but in fact the percentage of Prosecution supporters is easily 100 to 1.

The prosecutor at the ready (click to enlarge)
The prosecutor at the ready (click to enlarge)

The problems that Jodi supporters like to point out is that some facts are ignored, speculations are presented as fact, and non-facts are believed to be true. Interesting observations on the defense side in favor of Jodi Arias are often dismissed. Some important facts are not considered at all, and some prejudices that can distort the true facts inevitably leak in.

For prosecution supporters, Dr. Geffner is a slimy hired gun, who will say or do almost anything to prevent a mentally ill woman from being executed. He will cheat on tests and lie to the jury with a straight face. Plus, he’s a Dinosaur.

Geffner’s a sentimental relic of outdated psychology theory that people keep around out of nostalgia. He’s a liberal twerp who should be banned from Arizona.

Jodi Arias supporters see Dr. Geffner as another in a succession of experts trying to give the full story of precisely what went on in Arias’ head and in this relationship that lead to the grizzly killing .

I relied mostly on tweets from Michael Kiefer from the Arizona Republic and Jennifer Wood from the Trial Diaries to try and get a balanced idea of what transpired in the courtroom. Jennifer Wood blocked me on Twitter for tweeting that I thought she was biased. That really wasn’t fair, after looking at more of her tweets. One thing, I think, that gave me the wrong impression about Jen Wood is that people were re-tweeting her tweets, but then they added their own comment at the end of the tweet.

I mistakenly took this as ALL a tweet from Jen Wood. I was wrong about that, and

Jodi Arias greets the jury
Jodi Arias greets the jury

I apologize to her. Jen Wood’s tweets are actually the most complete and accurate that I’ve seen. I don’t think her reporting is biased at all, after taking a closer look. She even tweets the jury questions in exact quotes. Great job, Jen!

In our last retrial update https://spotlightonlaw.wordpress.com/jodi-arias-and-her-defense-add-insult-to-injury/, we were finishing up with Dr. Robert Geffner’s testimony. Juan Martinez was finishing his re-cross. They are discussing the PTSD testing and Martinez indelicately tries to ram in the coded messages written near the spine of a couple of magazines, supposedly intended for Matt McCartney. Jodi Arias allegedly tried to smuggle them out to Matt McCartney from the Estrella Women’s Jail in Phoenix via a reporter.

The prosecution side is cheering Mr. Juanderful for sticking another knife in Arias’ case for mitigation. Some Jodi supporters were claiming that those magazine messages were written by another defendant in another case, and Arias was blamed for it. Our take is this:

Dr. Geffner swears in
Dr. Geffner swears in

The magazine messages were in fact written by Jodi Arias and they were intended for Matt McCartney. Gray Hughes even pointed out on a FB page that the handwriting matched that of Jodi Arias. She was probably desperate to get some corroborating testimony from Matt. It is a legitimate fact to bring up, but we’re just saying that the foundation had not been laid down properly. This has no relation to the line of questioning. It’s just thrown in there while discussing the PTSD testing, Geffner keys right in on this, too. What does this have to do with the PTSD testing, he asks? He has never seen this before and he wants to know the context. They started arguing and talking over each other, and Judge Stephens had to admonish them. Geffner has no idea about the coded message in the magazines.

 

Geffner: What does this have to do with PTSD?

Martinez: Tries to ask more about the magazines and the hidden message.

Stephens: Stop talking over and interrupting each other!

Long Sidebar.

The poor court reporter is probably working up a good case off carpal-tunnel syndrome right around now.

Juan is attacking, demanding Yes or No answers. He demands to see Geffner’s notes. He’s getting all up in Geff’s grill. Juan’s always wanting to see the notes. Geffner is claiming he can’t answer these questions with a simple Yes or No. Kirk Nurmi objects to Martinez’ questioning as badgering and argumentative. Judge Stephens overrules the objection. Rumble in the jungle – it’s on.

Dr. Geffner answers a question
Dr. Geffner answers a question

Judge Stephens seems to have a very simple formula for objections. On direct and cross she sustains most objections. On re-cross and re-direct, she simply overrules most objections. Sidebars abound. The main point Juan wants to make is that Jodi Arias, still clinging to the ridiculous Ninja-intruder story, claimed a non-sexual attack by a stranger as the trauma giving rise to PTSD. The prosecution claims this invalidates the entire test, the defense claims it does not, that the trauma was actually a non-sexual attack by a known person, and all the other answers are valid. Jodi Arias suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress.

Martinez’ wingman, Detective Esteban Flores, whose teenage son recently died in a tragic accident, is noticeably missing from the proceedings.

It’s the old Lions and Tigers and Bears argument made famous by a juror in the original trial. Who cares if it was a Lion or a Tiger, or even a Bear? The attack is the same. Martinez puts the PTSD or PDS test up on the big screens. Geffner complains that the test questions are copyrighted and should not be shown to the public. Juan calls Dr. Geffner combative. Geffner actually has to appeal directly to Judge Stephens and tells her “Your Honor, this is getting real borderline”. Micheal Kiefer calls the questioning “snarly and contentious”.

The hungry leopards hang onto the hapless zebra and commence tearing flesh. The zebra is trying to shake them off.

Geffner tries to say that Martinez is mixing up two different tests. The back and forth is described as ‘going in circles’. Geffner reads verbatim from the test to show that Juan Martinez is paraphrasing and mischaracterizing what was said on the test. Juan transitions out of this and he questions Dr. Geffner’s certification to testify in Arizona. Dr. Geffner says there’s no such thing as a certification to testify. He’s licensed in California to practice, but not Arizona. Juan’s finished and Jennifer Willmott gets up for re-direct.

Juan Martinez is licensed to pounce. For now he’s returned to his chair and is crouching, scanning.

 

Juan Martinez waits patiently in his seat for his turn at the witness
Juan Martinez waits patiently in his seat for his turn at the witness (click to enlarge most photos)

Willmott explains that practicing in Arizona requires a license, testifying does not. This is where my theory about Juan Martinez comes in. Once in a while, Martinez will just throw things in that seem to be trivial, not related, to make no sense. Remember that Martinez didn’t want any co-prosecutors on this case. He has had co-prosecutors in the past. He wants to take care of this himself and he’s gonna handle every detail himself.

My theory is that he has a set way of handling witnesses. Juan has a list of testimony he wants to elicit, and points he wants to make. But he doesn’t want the defense to figure out how he prepares and how he picks the points he wants to cover, so he throws a couple curve balls in there. He brings up things which are irrelevant or not really important, just to keep the defense from discovering his system, which is pretty straightforward. I’ve noticed this a few times, and the not-being-licensed-to-practice-in Arizona is something he knows is not even an issue.

Other trial watchers have pointed out that it is an issue, and that out of state Psychologist enlisted as trial witnesses who aren’t licensed to practice in Arizona have gotten into trouble for things they testified to.

Juan Martinez contemplates his next move.
Juan Martinez contemplates his next move.

Here’s a strange occurrence in the trial. Willmott and Geffner are both saying that Juan Martinez did not tell the whole story about the porn found on the Bishop’s computer. This is the Friday before the Super Bowl football championship between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, also going on in Phoenix. Judge Sherry Stephens sends the jury out.

The story of the porn at the Bishop’s residence is that the computer either crashed or was not working well. Witness # 1 sees pop-ups of sexy scantily-clad women. Witness #1 knows about computers and investigates the malfunctioning computer. He traces this back to a file or folder with Travis Alexander’s name on it. He claims he found some child porn. Witness #1’s affidavit continues the story with Travis and the witness going out to his car and they have a heart to heart conversation about the porn. Witness #1 says, “Travis, you are not who you’re supposed to be”.  Then Travis breaks down and explains he was sexually abused at age 12.

jungle porn 30

Then Martinez and Willmott have an argument over whether or not Travis confessed to being the one responsible for the porn. At this point, Judge Stephens tells the gallery “You are not to respond verbally to anything that’s about to be said.” That was quite unusual. The judge calls the two to the stand. They return. Geffner continues. “Travis, you are not the person you’re supposed to be. You would be homeless if I told the Bishop.”  Juan objects – another sidebar. Geffner interviewed the witness with associates. Willmott asks if Geffner believed that Travis confessed to the porn? Martinez objects, and it’s overruled. Geffner answers that was his understanding.

Jennifer Willmott then goes on to show that Travis Alexander had another issue with porn pop-ups in 2007. From testimony we know that Alexander was again having a computer problem from a virus or malware on the day of June 4th, 2008. So, she’s making a connection between Travis Alexander, computers, and an ongoing problem with masking his apparent porn addiction.

Willmott gets Geffner to explain that the date witness #1 gave as the date that Travis grabbed Deanna Reid, his girlfriend at the time, and pushed her down on the couch, was off at first, but he was sure about the incident. This was when Travis supposedly said “Get it through your f*cking head, I’m not going to marry you!” the jury is brought back in. Jenn moves on to Jodi Arias and elicits testimony relating to the months after she killed Alexander. Geffner explains to the jury that Jodi was hazy about what happened. She was not able to come to terms with what she did, so, she made up some stories.

She knew these stories made no sense, but she held onto them anyways. Wilmott asks Geffner if Jodi Arias disavowed the Ninja story and finally confessed. Geffner says that she did. Willmott asks Geffner why she made up the story. There’s an objection and another sidebar and Willmott drops the question. Then she moves on to the masturbation to the photos of young boys allegation about Travis Alexander. Why was there confusion between whether the photos were paper photos or images on his laptop? Geffner explains that all versions and all notes about that story talk about paper pictures, except Alyce LaViolette’s. She had apparently assumed it was images on a computer.

Jeifer Willmott and client
Jennifer Willmott and client

Now Willmott moves on to July 29, 2007, when Arias says she broke up with Alexander after finding intimate communications with several different women on Alexander’s phone. Next she wants to explore what the difference is between the two “going steady” or “officially going out” and being broken up. Geffner explains there was little difference, because they were still seeing each other, still having lots of sex and still hiding the relationship. During that summer, there were text messages of Travis Alexander jealously accusing Lisa Andrews of seeing her ex-boyfriend, while at the same time, he’s wooing Jodi Arias and another woman.

Now it’s time to review the idea about Travis keeping the relationship secret and what that means. Martinez likes to point out that most people do not talk about their sexual experiences and that Jodi Arias also kept it a secret. Keeping things secret, especially in a Mormon environment, is normal and has no application to abusive behavior or any other alleged malfeasance on the part of Travis Alexander.

But that’s really not the point, is it? It wasn’t just the sex, but Travis kept everything else secret from his friends, his co-workers, and his community, too. He didn’t go to dinner with her, or a movie, or a walk. He didn’t participate in any social activities with her, and he made sure she stayed on a different team at Pre-Paid Legal Services. As far as her friends, cohorts and community knew, Jodi hardly existed. That’s what the defense is talking about when they are alluding to abuse.

The questioning heats up
The questioning heats up

Beyond that, text messages between Travis and Lisa show a cycle of love-lust and anger-jealousy directed at Lisa Andrews by Travis. Next, Geffner and Willmott discuss the times Travis talks about marrying several women. The implication here is that in Travis’ world of the LDS church you promise marriage in order to get sex from single Mormon women.

And this is one part of this penalty re-trial and the original trial where the two sides of supporters dramatically diverge. Prosecution supporters seem to discount the whole of Alyce LaViolette’s testimony, when she was giving this same type of evidence. There were multiple women with whom Travis was exchanging risqué messages of love and lust. They were talking about encounters they had in the past and planning more of them. There was lots of sexually graphic talk, including talk about making babies, pubic hair and sexy underwear and clothes. There was talk of boobs, too.

Geffner had to make a graphic chart of the women, there were so many. Jodi Arias supporters believed this testimony and they understood it was objective testimony straight from Alexander’s phone. It didn’t come from Jodi.

Prosecution supporters felt it was just talk and didn’t mean much. They figured that the relationship with Jodi was casual anyways, and that it’s natural for a single man to pursue a number of women. Arias supporters saw this as a betrayal, a web of lies and secret trysts that were most likely also happening in real life with a number of these women, at the same time, Travis was claiming love and monogamy with Jodi, consistent with the Mormon precepts and tenets.

 

Judge Sherry Stephens at the helm
Judge Sherry Stephens at the helm

 

Prosecution supporters saw this simply as Travis playing the field, but Jodi supporters saw it as sexual and emotional abuse, especially when you add in Travis’ jealousy whenever Arias talked about her plans to see other men.

Prosecution supporters see this as manipulation on the part of Arias, trying to keep him and draw him in by the prospect of eligible rivals in the mist.

The implication on the defense side was that this game was going on long before Travis met Jodi and continued unabated the whole time they knew each other. At the least, there’s a misunderstanding as to the nature of the relationship. There’s also a psychological component, as Arias lost out on the affections of her father when her younger sister, Angela, was born.

From a psychological point of view, Jodi Arias may have then drifted from one overbearing or controlling boyfriend to another, doing anything to gain his affections. When she was finally rejected, even as a friend, and cast aside for a younger girl, she may have lost control. Travis may have paid for the sins of the father, in addition to anything he may have done.

The defense fleshes out this line of thinking further with testimony from Dr. Geffner. Travis Alexander and a woman named Chaitanya  Lay are seen on texts discussing a tryst they had while at the same time, Alexander is texting and sexting with other women. Geffner and Willmott then go into the early 2007 Chris and Sky Hughes e-mails, where Sky is talking about various ways Alexander supposedly toyed with and abused other women.

Geffner explains about copyrighted Psych. Tests, relating how Juan had put the actual questions up on the big screen, and answers he got from Dr,DeMarte out onto the public record. It’s a serious issue. The questioning moves to witness #1 and the porn on the Bishop’s computer and Travis’ alleged admission he had been abused as a child. Juan objects, asking what’s the relationship between the admission to childhood abuse and porn on the computer? Geffner replies that it was Travis and witness #1 that made that connection, not him.

Jodi Arias looks on
Jodi Arias looks on

Geffner amplifies the subject about witness #1 seeing Travis grabbing Deanna Reid by the wrists, pushing her down on the couch and yelling at her at the Bishop’s residence. Could it have been someone else he saw? Geffner relates that witness #1 knows exactly who Travis and Deanna are and he knows he saw them, although he may have been mistaken on exactly what month and day he saw the altercation.

Geffner explains that it was only one report from “Psychologist #1”, who everyone believes was Alyce LaViolette (although LaViolette is not a psychologist), that described Travis as being on his knees when Arias alleges she caught him masturbating to pictures of young children. I still cannot figure out why this would be an issue. I suppose Juan Martinez is skeptical about Alexander’s positioning? There were a number of things LaViolette seems to have misunderstood. Next time, she should get a tape recorder and document when she makes an error in her notes.

Dr. Geffner tried to explain why Jodi Arias made up the Ninja intruder story. According to Jodi, it was to find a way to halt further questioning without revealing or facing up to what she had done.  The questioning turns to the January 22, 2008 finger-breaking incident, where Jodi claims Travis threw her to the floor, kicked her in the ribs, and broke her finger while she was trying to protect her side.  They discuss a possible hidden meaning in her journal entry at the end of that weekend: “Nothing noteworthy to report”.

Then they discuss the Secret and the Law of Attraction (The philosophy that negative thoughts will bring negative events into a person’s life) as a reason why Jodi rarely mentions negative issues involving Travis. Geffner says Jodi adheres to the law of attraction consistently in her journal entries.

Dr. Geffner relates that Jodi was experiencing anxiety and depression early in her relationship with Travis. Juan Martinez suggests that perhaps Jodi was feeling these things because of financial problems and losing her house to foreclosure. Geffner said it wasn’t money or foreclosure because her journals only speak of Travis in relation to feeling anxious and depressed.

As a counter to charges that Travis was manipulating Jodi while seeing other women behind her back, Juan charges that Jodi was being manipulative with Travis in May and June, 2008, as she was seeing Travis while also courting Ryan Burns.

Jen from The Trial Diaries reported that Jodi Arias has had the same blank stare all day long in court with no visible emotions.

more intense questioning
more intense questioning

Geffner states that there had been no aggression in Jodi Arias’ history since the teen years and there was low aggression found in her testing. Dr. Geffner stated that Dr. Janeen DeMarte’s report discussed aggression between Jodi Arias and her rival for Matt McCartney, a woman named Bianca. Geffner stated this was not true at all as the encounter was casual and amicable. He stated that Dr, D. had based some of her conclusions on this misrepresentation of facts. Geffner stated that Jodi Arias had often stated that she always wanted the best for Travis, even when they were no longer an item.

Prosecution supporters see this as more manipulation from Jodi Arias. The hungry pack of leopards is poised under shade trees on the periphery, ready to spring.

He stressed that the Havasupai trip was devastating for Jodi, as a nice vacation was soured by a bitter argument with a chilling aftermath. Juan Martinez registered lots of objections here, which were all overruled. There were contentions about a letter Jodi Arias wrote to Abe Abdelhadi, a fellow team member in her PPL group, in December of 2006. In the letter, she was saying she could no longer see him. The idea was that Travis forced her to write the letter. Juan argued that she did it on her own, possibly as a manipulation of Travis to get him to commit to her, and that she never actually sent the letter.

Here’s a video of Abe Adelhadi talking about most of the stuff he discussed on the stand as a prosecution witness:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRU4NK-7O-g

 

Geffner also reported that there was no proof that Jodi wrote the coded messages in the magazines purportedly intended for a potential witness, her ex-boyfriend, Matt McCartney.

They move on to the jury questions:

jungle leopards 21

Question: Do norms testing for the PTSD tests include incarcerated people?

Geffner – No.

Question: Since JA tested years after the incident, how accurate was the test?

Geffner – I’m looking for consistency.

Question: Could depression, anxiety and PTSD come from murdering someone and being in jail?

Geffner – Yes but we talked to other people who knew her at the time to establish it was not the result of being incarcerated.

 

Question: Can Jodi fake non-aggression on a test?

Geffner – It’s very hard to do.

Question: Why does JA continue to have sex with Travis after being abused?

Geffner – That’s the cycle.

Question: Why does JA call Travis the T-Dogg?

Geffner – That was Travis’ macho side.

Question: Who was the recipient of the coded messages?

Geffner – I don’t know.

 

Question: Is there any supportive documentation of DV?

Geffner – No, just Jodi’s word.

Question: In your review of records and expert opinion did physical abuse take place?

Geffner- Yes.

Question: Why was the DV not powerful enough to write about it?

Geffner – JA was going by the Law of Attraction but some of it still sank into her journals.

Question: Did verbal abuse really happen?

Geffner – Yes.

Just another manic sidebar
Just another manic sidebar

Question: Can a person be attracted to young girls AND young boys?

 

Geffner – Yes and also to adults as well. This would be a non exclusive type of pedophile.

 

Question: Aren’t you surprised as an expert that JA continued having sex with TA after she caught him?

Geffner – I’m not surprised anymore. JA felt bad for TA.

Question: How long did JA talk with Psychologist #1?

Geffner – Alyce LaViolette talked to JA for two days and had type written notes.

Question: How can Jodi Arias function normally and go to work, etc., after the homicide?

Geffner Jodi blocked it out.

Question: A question about giving JA the same test twice?

GeffnerShe was given 2 tests with 100 questions each. One was done from the perspective of now and one we asked her to go back in time to the months following the crime in 2008.

 

Jennifer Willmott goes back on direct after the jury questions:

Birds can be heard whooping and cawing, twigs are snapping, and snakes are heard slithering in the jungle.

 

Juan Martinez plies his craft in a previous trial
Juan Martinez plies his craft in a previous trial

Willmott elicits testimony from Dr. Geffner showing it’s nearly impossible to fake aggression on the test. Geffner says 2 tests were given over a span of 2 years and the results were too consistent to be faking.

 

 

 

Geffner states he looked very closely at Jodi’s ring finger and it’s broken, not sliced.

Geffner says the sex tape of referencing a 12 year-old while masturbating corroborates JA’s story of the incident when she caught Travis with the photos of young children.

The hungry pack of leopards leap out of the brush.

Juan crosses and states that he thinks JA learned a lot about PTSD while she’s been in jail as well while she’s been absorbing the proceedings at her trial. He shows there’s no other evidence about the photo incident except Jodi’s word. He asks Geffner if he believes there was Domestic Violence? Geffner answers that it’s not his belief, but his opinion. Juan asks where is there any reference to physical harm in her journals? It’s all based on Jodi Arias’s word, Geffner agrees.

Someone asked a juror what time it was? The juror said they can’t talk to the person. Kirk Nurmi jumps on this and wants a chamber conference.

Kirk Nurmi says Juan Martinez will now call the Mormon Bishop and Abe Abdelhadi. Nurmi wants Abe precluded from testifying.

 

The jungle is temporarily closed.

This ended the questioning of Doctor Robert Geffner in mitigation testimony. Did Geffner offer any solid mitigators as to why Jodi Arias should receive a sentence of Life in prison rather than Death? Did Geffner, along with Dr, Miccio- Fonseca and Alyce LaViolette finally explain why this was an abusive relationship that destabilized Jodi Arias? Or, are they all just hired guns attempting to rationalize and minimize what Jodi did in order to protect her?

 

jungle courtroom 12

Is there any solid evidence that Travis was sexually and emotionally abusive towards Jodi Arias? Is there any credibility to what witness #1 alleges? What exactly transpired after the relationship soured and Jodi and Travis fell apart? These are the questions many trial watchers are asking, answering, and continuing to ask.

Our next trial update will go into the testimony of PPL co-worker Abe Abdelhadi, Bishop Verno Parker, and Psychologist Dr. Janeen DeMarte.

 

 

Anything you've read that you would like to pounce on?
Anything you’ve read here that you would like to pounce on?

 

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Arias and her Defense add Insult to Injury

Fact-based reporting

by Rob Roman & Amanda Chen

We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the Flores family on the tragic loss of their 15 year-old son.

We intended to post an article all about Travis Alexander, but recent events in the penalty retrial have caused us to change our course. Additionally, I told a very good friend of mine, a prosecution supporter, about my intention to post an article about Travis Alexander, and she asked me why not do an article about Jodi Arias instead? She’s right, so here it is.

Having recently reported that this retrial was not the nightmare many believe it is, I have to backpedal a little after the events of last week. No question, it was a really dark week for the defense.

https://spotlightonlaw.wordpress.com/the-jodi-arias-penalty-re-trial-the-nightmare-that-never-was/

Two things in particular happened last week, and there are just no two sides about it. The first is an affidavit by a former acquaintance of Travis Alexander named Marc McGee, now of New Zealand. The second is the release into evidence of an 18 page letter Jodi Arias wrote to Travis Alexander’s family on July 28th, 2008. Before we delve into all that, let’s have a review of the rest of what happened last week (Jan. 19 – 22).

Dr. Robert Geffner is still on the stand and Jennifer Willmott was finishing up on direct examination of this defense mitigation expert witness. We should keep in mind that this is not all mitigation. The prosecution summed up their version of all the major events covered in the guilt phase of the trial. The defense, in part, is responding to the prosecution’s version of events. Many prosecution supporters have remarked they have seen no mitigation yet in this penalty retrial. Not so, because the two defense expert witnesses have in fact covered much of the defenses’ enumerated mitigators.

detetive FloresWe have to assume that the mitigators relating to Jodi Arias being a good friend and having artistic talents were removed due to possible difficulties in making a good case for those assertions. Why would that be, do you think? Even so, it’s foreseeable some artwork will be featured in some way during the penalty retrial. Mitigators can come from anywhere in the testimony and evidence and are not limited to those enumerated by the defense.

Here are the new enumerated mitigators:

1. Ms. Arias has no prior criminal history.

2. Ms. Arias was just 27 years old when she committed her
offense.

3. Ms. Arias is remorseful for her conduct.

4. Ms. Arias suffered both physical and emotional abuse as a
child.

5. Ms. Arias suffered both physical and emotional abuse during
her relationship with Mr. Alexander.

6. The abusive nature of the relationship caused Ms. Arias to
suffer extreme emotional stress at the time of the incident.

7. Ms. Arias has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder.

8. Ms. Arias has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality
Disorder.

9. Ms. Arias’ psychological makeup impaired her ability to cope
with the tumultuous relationship she had with Mr. Alexander.

Numbers 1 and 2 do not take very much testimony to establish. Number 3 should come from Jodi Arias’ own testimony or allocution, and that’s all on hold now pending the appeal of the ruling by the Arizona Supreme Court that she cannot be allowed to testify in a closed courtroom. Numbers 4 through 8 have all been substantially covered by the expert witnesses.

Jennifer Willmott finished up her questioning of Dr. Geffner by introducing messages and texts suggesting that Travis Alexander was having intimate and sexual conversations with a number of women, including a request for sexually provocative photos, while he was involved with Jodi Arias and Lisa Andrews.

Geffner stated that sexual exploitation was a form of domestic abuse and that Travis Alexander was engaged in such conduct with Jodi Arias. The defense also explored how Travis’ overriding emphasis on sex made Lisa Andrews uncomfortable in several different ways.

JUAN FIT 10Geffner described an “on-again, off-again” pattern in Alexander’s relationships and a history of unstable relationships for Arias. Some of the conversations between Alexander and a number of young ladies happened in the weeks leading up to Arias’ move back to northern California in April, 2008.

References to a “cycle of abuse” and Arias being constantly drawn back into the sexual relationship were made by Dr. Geffner. It was stated that there is no physical evidence of physical abuse and no mention of it in Arias’ journals. Dr. Geffner said this was not unusual. Certain incidents of alleged physical abuse were then discussed.

Dr. Geffner talked about Arias’ diagnosis of PTSD and said the psych. tests he ran on Arias showed the same results as earlier tests.

Testimony then turned to a reported drastic change in Arias’ personality in late 2006, about the time Arias became involved with the Mormon Church, Pre-Paid Legal Services (PPL), and Travis Alexander. Dr. Geffner reported that no one has reported any aggression by Jodi Arias in years and years prior to June, 2008.

Then the defense decided to introduce affidavits from defense witnesses who were supposedly refusing to testify. They introduced them via Dr. Geffner’s testimony. Prosecutor Juan Martinez, who previously argued that the court should not be allowed to be cleared for a witness, because witnesses who wanted their identity kept secret could testify by way of affidavit, was now objecting to the introduction of witness affidavits. This is the same prosecutor who famously declared that Jodi Arias and the defense “cannot have it both ways”.

pittsWilliam Pitts @william_pitts · Jan 20

Nurmi is up. Says the last time we talked mitigation Martinez said bring your affidavits. We brought them, now he says no. #JodiArias

To be fair, his objection could have been based on whether the affidavits were sworn statements or not.

At this point, there was a “sidebar” at least an hour and fifteen minutes long to discuss the introduction of witness affidavits. Then Judge Sherry Stephens went to her chambers either to consult with other judges or to research case law. Then she returned for more sidebars.

af·fi·da·vit

noun

law : A written report which is signed by a person who promises that the information is true.

: A sworn statement in writing made especially under oath or on affirmation before an authorized magistrate or officer.

An affidavit was introduced through Dr. Geffner from a former co-worker of Arias’ in Palm Springs, California attesting to a drastic change in her personality towards the end of 2006. Previously, in the guilt phase, Arias’ former boyfriend, Darryl Brewer, had testified to just such a change.

Now we can get to the dark parts for the defense.

court roomAn affidavit was introduced by Dr. Geffner, signed by one of the defense mitigation witnesses who we now know to be former Alexander acquaintance Marc McGee of New Zealand. We know this because Marc McGee has been vocal in social media, and many trial watchers, reporters and bloggers knew this information was coming from him. The other reason we know this is because Juan Martinez decided to say the name of the author of the affidavit several times in open court, even though it was agreed upon not to divulge the names of the authors/witnesses. At this point what do you think happened? That’s right – Kirk Nurmi motioned for a mistrial. Motion denied, but the Judge admonished Martinez for naming the secret witness more than once. Martinez came out again, blurted out the witness’ name AGAIN, and then he said “Crap!”

The next day, Nurmi took another shot:

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  17h 17 hours ago

Nurmi brings up that he asked that Martinez be held in contempt for stating secret witness’ name yesterday after being admonished by judge.

The two main points in the affidavit of “witness #1” are these:

  • A January 2001 incident at the Bishop’s residnce in Riverside, California where the witness claims to have witnessed Alexander forcibly grabbing and pushing his girlfriend, Deanna Reid, down on a couch and saying “Get it through your f*cking head, I’m not going to marry you.” The witness says his fiancée then provided some first aid to Deanna Reid’s wrists.
  • The same witness also recalled that while looking at files on the Bishop’s computer, as the witness lived at the Bishop’s residence at that time, a file popped up containing photos of child porn. The witness said it came from a user account or folder belonging to Travis Alexander. The affidavit then states that he had a private conversation about the porn with Travis Alexander in a car outside the Bishop’s home. The witness stated Alexander admitted he downloaded the porn, he had an addiction, and that he was sexually abused at age eight.

Jennifer Willmott then drew comparisons to an event where Alexander allegedly grabbed Arias and refused to let her leave his bedroom.

Later, on cross-examination, prosecutor Juan Martinez made the point that since the witness saw the child porn, the witness broke the law and was also guilty of viewing child porn. The child porn allegation includes no evidence or other witnesses, and it’s doubtful that Alexander would make such a damning confession to a mere acquaintance. Also, social media comments from the witness during and after the guilt phase of the trial mention porn in relation to Alexander, but not child porn. Further, the witness, from previous statements on Twitter etc., revealed that he is entirely in the defenses’ corner, seems to crave the limelight and attention, and seems to have an axe to grind with Travis Alexander over some previous incident.

As for the claim about Alexander forcefully pushing Deanna Reid down on a couch in late 2001, there are problems with that, too. First, the witnesses initially gave a date the alleged incident occurred, but it was at a time when Deanna Reid was away on an LDS mission in Costa Rica. The witness then corrected the date to December, 2001, but another problem cropped up.

Travis and deannaFirst, Deanna Reid seemed like a very honest witness, highly credible and reliable. She testified that Alexander NEVER put his hands on her in anger NOR raised his voice to her EVER. Second, Deanna Reid testified that she was not even contemplating marriage to Travis Alexander until 2005, when she broke up with him because he was dragging his feet on the issue. In addition, in December 2001, Deanna and Travis were just getting reacquainted, seeing each other at church and meetings occasionally, and talking about dating steadily again. This makes it doubtful that Reid and Alexander, who had actually dated for only a couple months by the end of 2001, could have had an argument over the subject of marriage, much less an argument that turned physical or violent over marriage.

(Excerpt from CroakerQueen123 video. For the full video, please click on this link: CroakerQueen123

For all CroakerQueen123 trial videos, please click here CroakerQueen123 trial videos  )

Deanna Reid, a prosecution witness, talks about her relationship with Travis Alexander.

So, Witness #1, Marc McGee, is giving testimony via affidavit on two major points and both allegations end up being highly questionable and problematic. No doubt Deanna Reid will appear in person on the witness stand to answer those allegations. This brings up a good question – What is the defense team doing? They brought in a critical witness but they did not properly vet his statements. Meanwhile, trial watchers were saying on the very same date the Tweets flew out of the courtroom that there was trouble with these allegations. Trial watchers picked right up on the problems with these statements, but the defense didn’t?

Another question is: Did the defense know this was a bad idea to use this witness and that his allegations were highly questionable and used him anyways? If so, the culprit might be Jodi Arias herself. Did Jodi Arias, possibly with the help of Simon Johannson, Ben Ernst, or others from the JodiAriasIsInnocent.com crew demand that this witness be introduced? Did they insist on bringing in Marc McGee despite the damage his poor testimony could cause?

This also brings up serious questions about why witnesses refused to testify unless the courtroom was cleared. Why would a man living in New Zealand, who had no trouble spouting off on social media about this case before, now be afraid to testify in a public trial?  Prosecution Supporters were upset about this weeks ago. I just thought there must be some rational reason for the secrecy, but now I can no longer defend that position. I see no reason at all why Mark McGee should refuse to testify in open court.

It’s not really his life that’s at stake here, is it? If a witness cannot get up on the stand and stand up for Jodi Arias, then why come forward in the first place? The prosecution is going to present live witnesses in rebuttal to all this, and that’s much more powerful than paper statements from witnesses who don’t want to risk anything.

jennifer willmottIt’s either really bad work by the defense, or they allowed Jodi Arias (and crew?) to drive the train and introduce this witness, knowing the harm it could cause. Either way, it’s a stunning defeat for the defense. There’s just no way to rationalize it or to describe it any other way. One really bad affidavit now casts a shadow on any subsequent affidavits from any other witnesses. It was an absolute disaster.

Beyond that, how is this mitigation? People are asking this question, but this evidence was given to back up enumerated mitgator #5: “Ms. Arias suffered both physical and emotional abuse during her relationship with Mr. Alexander”. It does apply to mitigation, because if it can be shown that Alexander physically abused another girlfriend, then it could be more likely he physically abused Arias. If there are other connections with child porn, Arias’ statements become more believable. The defense needs to prove these mitigators true by a preponderance of the evidence and they’re critical to saving Jodi Arias’ life. The defense cannot afford to introduce any more evidence that can heavily damage any of the enumerated mitigators.

Well, they just did exactly that, and it’s not going to get better, it’s probably going to get worse.

Sparks flew when direct examination of Dr. Geffner ended and cross began. Juan Martinez sprang up out of his chair ready to pounce. There were a lot of ‘Yes or No’s? and a lot of ‘Did I ask you that’s?’

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Willmott is done. Martinez jumps up to cross examine. Already with the “yes or no” please. Willmott objects. Time elapsed: about 20 seconds.

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Martinez goes to the affidavit about the child porn at the bishop’s house in Riverside. 

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Says witness #1 gave a different story about the photographs on the computer. Martinez asks for yes/no. Geffner says he doesn’t understand

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

“Yes or no?” “Yes or no, what?” Did Alexander “own” those photos?” “I don’t know if the word ‘owner’ came up.”

Prosecutor Juan Martinez continued to attack Dr. Geffner in a flurry of questions, perhaps hoping Geffner would lose control of his water again. There were questions about the affidavit. Did Alexander admit it was his porn at the Bishop’s residence in Riverside, California? Why did Witness #1 have to change the date of the Deanna Reid pushing-down-on-the-couch incident? Why was witness #1 mixed up on the dates to the point he needed to change the date to December, 2001?

At some point, Martinez reaches into his arsenal of bombs and missiles, and threatens to pull out the cat story, not admitted into the guilt phase of the trial, where Jodi Arias supposedly squeezes a cat “too hard”. Martinez is now claiming that she ‘squeezed the cat to near unconsciousness’. Juan wants this in bad. He knows people know that many of the most dangerous serial killers started out by torturing and killing small animals. Martinez also knows that this is highly prejudicial, and would be very effective in a jury of many younger women. Somehow, evidence that was not allowed to be admitted in the guilt phase of the trial is now being allowed in.

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Martinez asks complex questions and asks for yes/no, he talks fast, cuts off answers to get witness off balance. Very effective technique.

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

“Turn it over, there’s something else on it…”

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Martinez hands an exhibit to Geffner. “Why don’t you take a look it it…Take a look at it..Look at all of it…Look at the next page…”

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Martinez hammers the question about whether Travis Alexander denied the porn was his, and when Geffner answers, he shouts, “yes or no?”

kieffer lg brtMichael Kiefer @michaelbkiefer  ·  Jan 21

Martinez berating Geffner, “Don’t tell me, I’m asking you to put your eyes to it.”

juan fit 12

Martinez refers to Alyce LaViolette as “Psychologist #1”, furthering the misunderstanding that LaViolette is a psychologist. She’s not. She’s an MSW (Masters in Social Work), a Domestic Violence expert and a Psychotherapist. Martinez brings up the time when LaViolette wrote in her notes that Jodi Arias caught Travis Alexander masturbating to pictures of young boys on the computer. Geffener says that was LaViolette’s misunderstanding and mistake, not Jodi Arias’. Martinez accuses Dr. Geffener of being a speculating ‘Hired Gun’.

Martinez delves into Geffner’s history of testifying in trials. How much money he made, whether he thinks his opinion is “the best”, and some controversial testimony in other trials. Martinez asks if Geffner is qualified to testify about the brain because he’s not a Medical Doctor. Geffner replies he’s a neuropsychologist, so he is qualified to testify about the brain.

Martinez then questions Dr. Geffner’s associations on boards with Dr. Miccio Fonseca, who testified earlier in the retrial. He also questions the presence of both Dr. Geffner and Jennifer Willmott at the same speaking engagement.  He then brings up the peeping incident at Alexander’s home, when Arias saw Alexander through the window with another woman in August, 2007, after “breaking up” with Alexander at the end of July.

This journal entry is just days after the peeping incident:

Aug 26 2007 Journal entry A
Aug 26 2007 Journal entry A
Aug 26 2007 Journal entry B
Aug 26 2007 Journal entry B
Aug 26 2007 Journal entry C
Aug 26 2007 Journal entry C

Dr. Geffner’s notes and timeline do not include the peeping incident. Here again, and for the umpteenth time, the defense shoots themselves in the foot by not supplying their witnesses with negative information so they can be prepared to answer difficult questions on cross. Witness preparation has always been sorely lacking on the defense side. They move on to questions about what defines “dating, seeing each other, and being in a relationship”.

Martinez then moves on to Witness #3 who stated that Jodi Arias was cheerful, never sexual, normal, and fun in Palm Desert, California in 2006. Then she changed drastically. Martinez asks if this may have been because Jodi Arias was in financial trouble and losing her home? But Jodi Arias changed before all that, according to Darryl Brewer.

Then they talked about the January 21st kick-in-the-ribs incident. Martinez states that Arias had sex with Alexander on the same day she claims she caught him in his bedroom with pictures of young children. What’s up with that? Then there’s a discussion about the fight Arias and Alexander had shortly before leaving on a vacation trip to Havasupai Falls. They discuss how Arias writes in her journal that Alexander apologized and Arias reported “it was 99% his fault”.

This Journal entry is written just days after the alleged rib-kicking, finger-breaking incident:

January 24 2008 journal entry
January 24 2008 journal entry A
January 24 2008 journal entry B
January 24 2008 journal entry B

Martinez believes that the Havasupai Falls Fight and the Peeping incidents are key incidents that say a lot about the bad behavior of Jodi Arias. The peeping incident because Arias and Alexander were broken up and Arias invades his privacy, stalks Alexander, spies on him, and confronts him with the information the next day. The Havasupai argument incident is key for Martinez because Arias blames Alexander for something that was not his fault at all – the unpacking of the contents of her backpack onto the kitchen table. Dan Freeman initiated that, because it was way too heavy to hike with. He was trying to help Jodi Arias, and Alexander was just there.

The questioning continues to Jodi Arias’ journal entry registering surprise when she’s told early June 10th that Alexander was found dead in his bathroom. Geffner states she knew he was dead, but he doesn’t know her “level of disassociation”. Martinez remarks how Jodi Arias omits details in her journal that are unfavorable to her, especially about the Havasupai Fight. Geffner replies that people omit all kinds of details in diaries, both favorable and unfavorable. Geffner also says Arias omitted negative things because she was following the Law of Attraction, where efforts to think of only good thoughts will supposedly attract only good things to your life.

This journal entry is written the day after Alexander’s body was found:

June 10 2008 journal entry A
June 10 2008 journal entry A
June 10 2008 journal B
June 10 2008 journal B

Questioning then moved to Alexander’s position on the bed when Arias allegedly caught him masturbating to children’s pictures. He was reportedly kneeling, which Martinez is skeptical about. Martinez asks Geffner why he described Alexander as manipulative, and Geffner responded that he described certain behaviors as manipulative, not the person. Martinez likes to switch subjects suddenly and skip around the timeline to throw witnesses off. He switches to questions about the forensic computer expert “John Smith” and a teen sex website link found on Alexander’s computer.

Next, Juan projects questions from psychological tests on the wall, and Geffner protests that these are copyrighted tests, and they’ll be invalidated by broadcasting the questions to the general public. The inevitable sidebar is called. Judge Stephens orders court cameras turned off and they proceed. Next are questions about the PTSD test that Dr. Samuels gave, after Arias changed her story about what trauma she experienced.

Finally, Juan brings in the famous 18-page letter Jodi Arias wrote to the Alexander family on July 28, 2008, Travis’ Birthday. This letter was not allowed into evidence in the guilt trial for being too prejudicial to Jodi Arias. This is the second serious defeat for the defense. We have wondered exactly what was in that letter, and now we know:

Jodi Arias 7 28 letter to Alexander family

The first thing that stands out with this letter is that Arias knows this letter will be seen by the police and could be used for evidence. She even says so in the letter. Jodi Arias later stated after being arrested for murder, that she did not want to admit to killing Travis because she did not want to get into the specifics of the relationship which would be embarrassing and reflect badly on both Travis and herself.

Yet, she talks about how the couple had to avoid Deanna Reid because she gets very jealous, about everything being part of God’s plan, and about how she discovered sexual text messages with multiple women in Travis’ phone in July, 2007.

She writes about how she broke up with him and how he begged her to move to Mesa, how he cheated on Her and Lisa Andrews, about having a confession session with Travis where he admitted he had been dating Lisa Andrews, about how Travis became enraged when Jodi talked about her love interests and dates, and about Travis being cruel to her and abusing her.

Remember that this letter was sent to Travis’ devastated family, his grandmother and his 7 siblings.

juan fit 11She writes about how Travis was begging her to come over for late night romps, how he ‘guilted her’ if she refused. She wrote about how Travis beat her and how she covered up the bruises, about her leaving Mesa and moving back to Yreka, about how Travis was extremely angry, and how she pitied him and felt sorry for him for the way he got angry and abused her.

She talks of how upon telling him of new love interests and dates, he branded her “a whore”, and about how she was helping him to court Mimi Hall.

She writes about how Travis planned to travel up to her area to see 3 more of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die * ( Crater Lake, The Oregon Coast, and the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon), how Travis later guilted her into diverting to Mesa, Arizona from her planned trip to lower California and Utah on June 2-6, 2008.

* If you listen closely to the phone sex conversation, you will notice that every time Jodi Arias mentions getting together or Travis coming up to Yreka to travel in Oregon, he stops talking or changes the subject. You will notice that happens several times. Then he finally agrees, but his plans are very vague.

Then she starts giving a very detailed account of the killing on June 4th, 2008. This is the Ninja story where she is taking photos of Travis in the shower when she hears a loud “pop”. Travis is shot by one of two intruders. He is on his hands and knees and screaming. Jodi charges the female intruder and knocks her over. She grabs Travis and tries to escort him out of the bathroom. Travis says he can’t make it and he can’t feel his legs.

The female intruder says we didn’t come here to kill Jodi Arias and the male threatens her family if she tells. The male and female intruder have an argument. The male intruder then changes his mind and points the gun at Jodi’s temple and fires, but the gun doesn’t go off. She brushes by the two intruders and out of the bathroom leaving Travis behind. She peels out of the driveway.

Jodi Arias even supplies details such as she backed out of the driveway keeping an eye on the front door, backing up without even looking at what was in the street. She even supplies witnesses, two blonde girls, a 9 year-old and a 14 year-old, who saw her as she cruised out of Travis’ neighborhood.

Then she talks about Travis’ kindness and generosity and how much she misses him. She makes the remark that some souvenirs Travis had in his home from their trips together, which are probably in their possession now, were bought by her. She writes again about how they both planned to conquer the 1,000 Places To See Before You Die. She gives more references to God’s will and adds some scripture, and explains why she smiled for her mug shot. She writes about how God is just and fair, how they will find and punish whoever did this someday, and about how Travis is close by and living in Heaven.

She goes on to say that Travis had retaliated against her physically on two occasions, but that he did nothing to deserve his horrific murder. She says she wasn’t jealous at all about not being asked to go to Cancun with Travis. She says she harbors no hostility towards Travis and knowing him was one of the great blessings of her life. She’s forgiven Travis for being unfaithful to her, and his family is in her thoughts and prayers.

jodi lg btThen she lets the family of the victim know that she will not spend a single day in prison for a heinous crime in which she had no part.

She mentions physical abuse in this letter, written just 7 weeks after the killing which goes against both the Law of Attraction and her stated goal of not edifying Travis in a negative way.

On the other hand, her claims of physical abuse are very consistent.

To get the full effect of the letter, you really need to imagine your son, grandson, or brother was just found in his bathroom in the state Travis Alexander was found in, then imagine you were told by the Mesa Police they were 100% sure that Jodi Arias did this. You are then told she has been indicted, charged, and arrested for your relative’s murder, then you receive this letter about 7 weeks after the body is found.

Read it several times. There are really only two conclusions a reasonable person could come to:

  • Jodi Arias is selfish, cruel and inhuman, with absolutely no concept of other people’s feelings or pain.

Or

  • Jodi Arias is severely and seriously mentally ill.

Any way you look at this letter, even in the light most favorable to the defendant, there can only be these two possibilities. These people just lost their family member, and she is talking about souvenirs from trips, about Travis’ cruelty and abuse, about herself mostly, and about Travis’ anger and rage. There is just no way any reasonable person could be that callous and insensitive to write the things she writes to a family that just lost their loved one in a brutal killing. There’s just no way she could have not really meant it that way. There is no possible interpretation of this letter that’s favorable to Jodi Arias.

Others would offer a third possibility

  • Jodi was justified in committing this crime or did not commit the crime at all.

barwood

barwood 4

Now try to clear your mind of everything, and put yourself in the shoes of someone who was there and did commit the killing, but completely blacked out, and only remembers small bits and pieces, but she knows she was attacked and she was defending herself. Now read the letter again. Does it make more sense now?

dryson 1

Now put yourself in the shoes of a very confused person who does not remember what really happened, but she knows she did not commit the killing. Now read the letter from this perspective. Does the letter make any more sense now?

“Dryson Bennington” believes that Travis’ roommate, Enrique Cortez, witnessed Travis having that conference call he was scheduled to have on June 4, 2008 at around 6:30 PM. The obvious problem with this is that his fellow PPL’ers stated Travis missed that conference call. No one has come forward to say they were on a conference call with Travis at around 6:30 PM on June 4, 2008.

I agree that the two roommates, Zach and Enrique, could not remember exactly when they saw Travis last, when they did their laundry last, and why they didn’t think it strange that Travis’ CTR ring (‘Choose the Right’), keys and wallet sat on the kitchen counter for 5 days when they thought he was in Cancun. It’s a little strange, but they were cleared in this matter, and it doesn’t seem like a promising lead to me. Dryson Bennington, a fellow Jodi-supporter, blocked me on Facebook shortly after this, when I was questioning his statements.

Jen from The Trial Diaries, a prosecution supporter, blocked me on Twitter, for whatever reason. I questioned something she said. I guess if someone disagrees with you, just block them and you never have to justify your statements or question your own ideas and assumptions. 🙂

But please be objective. Setting aside all other evidence, from which perspective does the letter make the most sense?

  • She planned it, she did it, and she knows she did it.
  • She did it, but she was attacked first and she defended herself, but remembers little.
  • She remembers little, she was there but she did not have any part in it.

This letter does serious damage to a case for Life for Jodi Arias. Presumably it will be in the jury room for the jury to read. Juan Martinez will be sure to see that they all read it. Many people think this letter is subtly, stealthily and deliberately heartless and cruel. Others believe it’s totally blatant and not really hidden at all. Few people see how this could just be an effort to ingratiate herself with the Alexander family and try to rationalize and divert blame and responsibility for the murder onto someone else. Fewer people still, believe that this letter can be explained and rationalized if the person committed the killing, but blacked out and doesn”t remember most of what happened, or was not involved at all.

I see it as more evidence that Jodi Arias has a severe and serious mental illness. I don’t see this as wholly deliberate, but beyond her ability to control it, or to fully realize the magnitude of what she is doing and what she has done.

When you couple this letter together with the affidavit of witness #1, the defense has taken a very serious blow this week. Some trial watchers have reported that this week changed their minds from wanting Life for Arias to wanting Death for her. Many trial watchers have reported that they feel that a sentence of Death is now far more likely than a Life sentence just on account of the events of last week.

judge sherryJuan Martinez has many, many more missiles and bombs in his arsenal to rain down on Jodi Arias, some of these may even be nuclear. The defense cannot afford to stumble again like they did last week. They need to find a way to counter these severe blows and others like them that surely will follow.

jodi arias sleeveless 2 ltThis thing with Marc McGee has been a disaster so far, and they need to fix it. It just makes a person wonder who will be the next star witness? Were these mitigation witnesses selected by the defense team or were these witnesses Jodi Arias insisted on including regardless of the defense team’s advice? Are Marc McGee and other possible witnesses the product of Jodi Arias listening to and believing in Simon Johannson, Benjamin Ernst and others from the crew at Jodi Arias Is Innocent.com?

Entering that letter into evidence was no fault of the defense, but the letter contradicts other statements Jodi Arias made. The Affidavit evidence needs to be as unassailable as possible. It does no good to enter into evidence things that will do far more harm than good for your case.

Whoever is behind this is steering her down the road to the execution chamber. I’m saying this as a Jodi Arias supporter: As of last week, the worm has turned and a unanimous sentence for Death has become a real and glaring possibility.

Do You Concur?

dod do you concur

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Horn, Corn, and a Truckload of Porn

Horn, Corn, and a Truck Load of Porn: Update on the Arias Penalty Retrial (Dec. 20)

Fact-based reporting

by Rob Roman

713149_LA

Bringing you up to date on the epic battle … the interminable saga … the perpetually stalling Arias penalty retrial. If you’re anything like me, you have been sidetracked, distracted, busy, bored or befuddled by what’s going on in the Jodi Arias penalty phase re-trial, but you want to know what’s gone down and what’s likely to happen next. There’s been plenty of talk about this being a nightmare, a perpetual trial, and an interminable saga. So far, the trial is actually right on schedule and, as we predicted, it would last 3 months AND we said it would go into 2015.

The penalty phase retrial has gone 25 days so far, that’s 9 days for the prosecution and 16 days for the defense … so far. The retrial began on October 21st, and there’s no end in sight, as there are multiple issues to deal with and the defense has 14 potential witnesses.

7f43c28c4fa3f310310f6a706700afa2

Prosecutor Juan Martinez, ever the sit-in-the–front-row teacher’s favorite student, presented his case for why Jodi Arias should be executed with cold efficiency in just 9 days, schnip – schnap. First up was Mesa Detective Michael Melendez, the guy with the New Yawk accent who discovered the deleted photos in Travis Alexander’s camera (a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H9).

All the recovered photos were shown, and Detective Melendez explained how Jodi Arias needed to use 5 steps to delete each photo. The implication there being that Arias was not in an altered state of mind and was not in a fog with her memory seriously impaired. She calmly and coolly took hundreds of steps to delete all the photos. What was not explained is that just 5 steps can delete ALL the photos taken that day, according to the instruction manual, something an experienced photographer like Arias could do in her sleep.

Sony_H9_3qsony-cyber-shot-dsc-h9_2

“Deleting images

(Index) button
(Playback) button
MENU button
1 Press (Playback) button.
2 Press MENU while display in single-image mode or in index mode.
3 Select [Delete] with v on the control button.
4 Select the desired deletion method with b/B from among [This Image],
[Multiple Images] and [All In This Folder], then press z.
See page 45-46
michael
Melendez, not to be confused with Mendes, you racist you, showed the jury the naked and racy photos of Arias and Alexander, the shower photos, the foot photo with a bloody Alexander, and the mystery final photo.

Next up was Detective Esteban “Steve” Flores, who inexplicably is no longer doing active investigations, but has now become a “Media Relations Officer for the Mesa Police Department”. Detective Flores was the main conduit of all the testimony related to the day Travis’ body was found, the crime scene descriptions, and the investigation of the crime up to and including the interrogation of Jodi Arias. The bloody and gruesome crime scene photos were shown to the jury.

Dr. Horn a.k.a. "super-crepy Rob Lowe"

Dr. Kevin Horn a.k.a. "Super Creepy Rob Lowe"
Dr. Kevin Horn a.k.a. “Super Creepy Rob Lowe”

Dr. Kevin Horn was the next witness up. Horn went over the autopsy findings, describing all the wounds, with many autopsy photos being shown. Dr. Horn again stated his opinion that the gunshot was last and probably post-mortem, in direct contradiction to Arias’ explanation of events. At one point on re-direct, prosecutor Juan Martinez suddenly approached Horn and feigned stabbing him with his pen, stating “that didn’t take long, did it?”. Apparently he wanted to demonstrate that all the stabbings could have happened in seconds. We agree.

After that was Nathan Mendes – the Former Detective, from the Siskiyou County California Sheriff’s Office, who set up surveillance on Arias in Yreka and arrested her, and he was present when the famous mug shot was taken. Detective Mendes testified that Arias asked him how her hair looked before being photographed.

2327119210_48_0118_MUGSHOT_640x360_2327119190 (1)

You will recall that Arias asked if she could take her make-up with her when she was arrested in Yreka at her Grandparent’s home where she was living. She could not. Also she had a rental car packed for travel with 2 knives in her luggage and a 9 mm gun taped to the bottom of the seat that was not found until much later. Mendes also testified that he found receipts in the home from the California to Arizona to Utah trip. None of the receipts were from Arizona and none were from June 4th.

On cross exam, the Defense attacked both Doctor Horn and ex-Detective Flores about the change in the order of injuries as Flores was claiming the gunshot was first early on to numerous media outlets and in pre-trial hearings. Flores also stated that it was Dr. Horn who provided that information to him, but Dr. Horn denied any knowledge of having told that to Detective Flores. Nurmi also suggested it was possible that this murder was not especially cruel, the factor that opened the door to the death penalty in the first place.

22frie11

The State then called Kevin Friedman, a former Yreka police officer who investigated the theft of the gun and other items taken from Arias’ grandparent’s home on May 28th, just 7 days before the killing. Walmart loss prevention specialist Amanda Webb then made her way back on the stand to testify that Arias had purchased a 5 galllon blue kerosene gas can, but there were no records found that one had been returned, as Arias claimed.

A notable feature of the cross examinations by defense lead Kirk Nurmi, besides all the weight he’s lost and his now full head of hair, is that he has been said to be imitiating Juan Martinez. Nurmi was reported to have slammed down a binder of Walmart records during the cross of Webb, and to have asked Detective Flores if he had any memory problems. We have previously reported that this is not imitation, that sincerest form of flattery, but this is tactics. This is Nurmi using different tactics because the penalty trial is a different situation, calling for a different approach.

arias_1028_a

There were 5 days of Flores on the stand altogether, going over the now famous interrogation tapes and the sex tape was played in its entirety. Topping off the prosecution case were the allocutions of Travis’ younger brother Steven Alexander, and his younger sister, Tanisha Sorenson. These were heartfelt pleas to the jury and first-person memorials about the life of Travis Alexander.

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“Steven Alexander described nightmares, ulcers and constant trauma from losing his brother, including locking the doors when he showers. Tanisha Sorenson called it a “living hell.”

“When I lay down at night, all I can think about is my brother’s murder,” Steven Alexander said as other family members could be heard crying in the gallery.”

http://ktar.com/22/1778950/Travis-Alexanders-siblings-give-emotional-statements-at-Jodi-Arias-penalty-retrial

The trial ended on the 18th of December and this was the date scheduled to have been the very end of the trial. The trial is now on hold for the Holidays until January 5th. The trial began to get messy even before the defense took the helm, and it has only gotten messier.

Mess number one – The jury

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After the prosecution’s concise presentation, things got messy quick.  Messy, messy, messy. First of all, one juror was dismissed on the opening day of the trial for a family emergency. A second juror was dismissed on the 2nd day of trial after she sought out legal reporter Beth Karas and asked her if she was Nancy Grace. Actually, the Judge should have left her in if she couldn’t tell the difference between Beth and Nancy.

“The first was let go Tuesday because of family problems. The second was dismissed Wednesday after she asked a freelance TV journalist if she was CNN superstar Nancy Grace, who has been a vocal crusader against Arias.”

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/mesa/2014/10/01/prospective-jurors-vent-arias/16570903/

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A third juror was dismissed the day after Thanksgiving, as she was stopped for DUI, then it was discovered that there was a warrant on her for passing bad checks. This leaves only 3 alternate jurors to go before the threat of a mistrial if they end up with under the statutory number of 12. Yes, the lady with the multi-colored hair and a few other jurors from the guilt phase volunteered to comeback and serve (just kidding) – although she and others have been spotted in the courtroom.

Mess number two – The family Flores and the Mitigation Specialist

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Media Representative Flores’ wife and daughter have been significantly involved in the Justice 4 Travis campaign. Daughter Angela is on Youtube singing a memorial song for Travis (She has a very nice voice, too) and Mrs. Corinna Flores is said to have been on Twitter under the handle “I’m boss that way” tweeting about the case and reportedly leaking confidential information from closed meetings in the Judges’ chambers. This had been disputed. None of these things would be seen as unseemly if the trial were concluded, but as we know, the trial has not nearly concluded.

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“I’m Boss that way”

Mitigation Specialist Maria De La Rosa, whom I like and have communicated with, is reported to also have gotten too personally involved in the case. She has been tweeting about the case under the Twitter handle of “Cougarluscious”, and has been getting involved with Arias supporters. This is a little harder to discern on the basis of wrongdoing, because part of her job as mitigation specialist IS to ferret out any and all evidence in support of sparing Ms. Arias’ life and this would seemingly include communicating with supporters.

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“CougarLuscious”

Ms. De La Rosa was also stopped at the Estrella jail, and an envelope full of legal documents Arias gave her was searched, revealing an Arias art drawing, now identified as “The Pinwheel”. Stupidly, the County Sheriff’s office, or MSCO, tried to ban Maria from the jail, which would have certainly caused an appeal issue – not allowing the mitigation specialist access to the defendant / convict. They soon thought better of that, though. This lead to our speculation that the County wants to fire Ms. De La Rosa, but must wait until the end of the trial in order to not cause an appeal issue – leaving the Defendant / convict without a mitigation specialist would be in violation of Arizona statutes for a capital trial.

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The famous Pinwheel. Maria De La Rosa got searched, Jodi Arias got a write-up

Mess number three – Sheriff Joe and the false Arias motion

You may remember that between the guilt phase and the penalty retrial, a motion was made by Jodi Arias asking for a restraining order to be placed on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and crime entertainer Nancy Grace. The idea was that Sheriff Joe was supplying Grace with information about Arias’ leaking breast implant and her hepatitis C condition.

This information and the motion were found to be hoaxes filed by a convict from New Jersey. The trouble was that Sheriff Joe had a press conference where he slammed Arias for her motion, even though it was easy to see that the signature was obviously not hers and the motion was made with materials that Arias obviously had no access to. The defense brought up the fact that anything said about Arias, no matter how pernicious, will be believed because the public is so poisoned against her by the media and this does not allow for a fair trial.

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Mess number four – the unsequestered jury

Famous trial lawyer, appellate attorney and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has already sounded the alarm about how it is just about impossible for a very high profile defendant to get a fair trial with an unsequestered jury. This is because the atmosphere is just permeated with strong feelings one way or the other.  Juan Martinez’ boss, District Attorney Thomas Horne, is already on record worrying that the unsequestered jury will be an appeal issue. Nevertheless, Arizona Judge Sherry Stephens did not sequester the jury because ‘we have always not sequestered the jury in the past in Arizona’. Well, Arizona bars were always equipped with spittoons, too. Why aren’t they now? Did times change?

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Mess number five – The secret witness

The defense, after taking the reigns, stated that they had 3 witnesses who would refuse to testify unless the courtroom was closed to the media and the public. Judge Stephens heard the motion and affirmed it. The court was cleared and the secret witness testified. Rumors abounded that the secret witness was Jodi Arias herself. The media balked and appealed the decision to the Arizona Court of Appeals. It’s insane that the Judge would affirm a motion to have a witness who had never been shy of the media, both before, during, and after the trial to suddenly now be requesting to have the public and media cleared for her testimony. Why on earth would Judge Stephens allow such a motion?

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Even so, no one on the prosecution supporter side would give the Judge credit for possibly having some compelling reason for her ruling. Was it because Jodi Arias mentioned the other secret witnesses in her testimony? Wasn’t there some kind of accommodation the court could make without altogether clearing the courtroom? Prosecution supporters also do not want to blame the reason for this special  request on the people who harassed, intimidated, and attacked Arias’ witnesses during the guilt phase. These are the people threatening our system.

The Arizona Court of Appeals agreed with the media that the public has a 1st Amendment right to know what is going on, especially in a capital trial. The Court stayed the Judge’s ruling, and the defense will appeal that ruling, probably on January 5th. Will the other three witnesses, reportedly a long term boyfriend of Arias – Darryl Brewer, A co-worker of Arias’ – unknown, and a former friend of Travis Alexander’s – possibly New Zealander Marc McGee, formerly of Riverside, California, still expect to testify in secret?

Will they refuse to testify? Also under contention is the media’s request to have the transcripts of Arias’ testimony released. Will that be granted, even though the transcripts of all the other witnesses have not been released? Also, was the secret witness actually Jodi Arias? Most people close to the case are saying so. Maybe this matter was confused, because the Judge will refer to the defense as “Arias” in motions. But, people seem to be sure it was Jodi Arias herself who testified in secret.

Mess number six – The Porn

The defense vowed to fight the stay, but continued the trial by calling up Bryan Neumeister, the private computer, audio and video expert who often testifies for the prosecution. You may remember Neumeister as the guy in the guilt phase who testified that he enlarged the reflection in Travis’ left iris from the “Calvin Klein” shower photo and found it was Jodi Arias, with no weapon. Martinez seems to have a distaste for “science-types”.

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Neumeister resisted Juan Martinez’ combativeness, and he stated several times that he couldn’t understand the prosecutors’ questions because Juan had a very limited knowledge about computers. He also accused the prosecutor of lying. But the big thing is that Neumeister made a startling discovery. He said that when he checked the “clone” copy of Travis’ hard drive, he found thousands upon thousands of deleted porn files, supposedly including searches based on the word ”teens” and “tweens”. “Tween” is a word for children on the cusp of being teenagers. They aren’t quite teens, but they are no longer children in the strictest sense. They’re in be-tween. This is exactly the definition of a 12 year-old.

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Neumeister also intimated that child porn was among the deleted files. This was a bombshell in the case, because Detective Melendez testified in the guilt phase that not one shred of porn was found on Travis Alexander’s computer. Juan Martinez, as he has done in other cases, immediately began blaming Neumseister for somehow contaminating the hard drive copy with porn. Alternatively, he blamed 2 former Arias defense attorneys for turning on the original computer and thereby allowing built-in antivirus programs to eliminate all the porn on the computer.

This could not be possible, because the defense attorneys were always under the watchful eye of the police when they inspected the original computer. Detective Flores was in charge of the computer. It was also reported that an anti-virus program found on Alexander’s hard drive was a program that did not exist in 2008. The implication was that the Mesa Police had tried to remove all traces of porn found on Travis’ computer. Many prosecution supporters responded by saying ‘So what, that’s normal all guys have porn on their computer’.

That’s not the point. The point is that IF someone from the police removed the porn from Alexander’s computer, what else did they remove? What other evidence, possibly exculpatory, could they have hidden? Since former Detective Flores was close to the evidence, it was suggested that Flores was the one who removed the porn. In any case, this is another issue for appeal, and it’s a serious one.

Is this a Beta cassette of Porn?
Is this a Beta cassette of Porn?

Martinez, by blaming the former defense counsel and Neumeister, was conceding that there was in fact porn on the computer, and that it was somehow ‘disappeared’.

That there was porn on Travis’ computer should surprise no one, given his references to porn and his sexual vocabulary in the sex tape, etc. which could only have come from a person exposed to porn. This issue, like many others in this case, is still awaiting further clarification and resolution, because most of the conversation about this matter was held in chambers and is not yet available to the public.

Mess number seven – Court reporters and Legal Experts

Yihun Jeong fron The Arizona Republic
Yihyun Jeong fron The Arizona Republic

As a substitute fro HLN broadcasting the trial live and endlessly giving slanted, biased, jesting and mean-spirited views, we now have reports, blogs, “spree-casts”, and Tweets from reporters and Legal commentators inside the courtroom.  Some of them, like Beth Karas, Michael Kiefer / Yihyun Jeong, and Monica Lindstrom, are reporters and/or legal experts with ethics, integrity, and a sense of objectivity. They realize this is a capital case, a serious affair where a defendant / convict may have her life taken by the State. Others, like Jeff Gold, Jen from the Trial Diaries, and Wild about Trial (a division of HLN), are playing to popularity and the lowest common denominator with little thought about ethics or fairness.

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We do note that Jeff Gold stated that this case should not have been a Death Penalty case. He must have taken some heat among his listeners for that.

“The first jury hung (no not that kind of hanging although I know many of you wish so.) Many states end it there. But AZ allows a second bite of the apple.
Moreover, the DP is usually reserved for murdering kids, cops, multiple persons, a particularly heinous murder (chop body up and eat it) or murderers with long records. This is just not a clear case for DP. “

Jeffrey Evan Gold – Court Chatter TV Legal Analyst

http://www.courtchatter.com/2014/09/jeff-gold-weighs-in-on-jodi-arias-on.html

Since then, we’ve heard only a few astute legal observations and almost nothing in any way positive said about the Defense or Arias. Often, his Tweets are rude comments, super-biased comments, comments with sexual innuendos, dumb jokes or self-promoting comments.

Gold often tweeted about “Hodi-Jodi”, with zero evidence that Arias was in any way a “Ho”. He knows his audience is 95% pro-prosecution and constantly plays to that audience with tweets about ‘how dare the defense put up a defense when their client is a sadistic, manipulative, maniacal murderer’? He also enjoys making a big joke out of the whole trial. Wild about Trial seems to be full of high school or college interns, a giggly gaggle constantly spewing corny jokes, many of them laced with 5th grade bathroom humor.

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Wild about Trial talking heads
Wild about Trial talking heads

Jen, from The Trial Diaries who reportedly had or is having an affair with the prosecutor, Juan Martinez, has acted basically as a cheerleader and sounding board for prosecution supporters. Jen couldn’t be counted on to give even a sliver of objective news about the defense or Arias. Nancy Grace and former HLN talking head Vinnie Politan also tried to get in on the act inviting brownie points from trial fanatics for throwing stones at Arias and her defense.

With this bunch of block-heads, it’s really hard to get an objective picture of what exactly is going on in that courtroom. Thankfully, a few of them do have integrity.

Mess number eight – The Death Penalty on the table.

Even some prosecution supporters are wondering if it would not be better if the State goes over Judge Stephens and Juan Martinez’ head and takes the Death Penalty off the table. This would effectively end the Arias trial, and the Judge would only decide on Life in prison with no chance of parole, or twenty five years to life in prison with an almost non-existent infinitesimal chance of parole.

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Along with a number of other motions to remove the death penalty awaiting a decision by the Judge, Nurmi and Willmott earlier filed their most epic motion yet, a 59 page motion to dismiss the death penalty. In it, they review all their charges of misconduct against the prosecution from the entire history of the case, in addition to new allegations from the post guilt trial and the penalty re-trial.

The motion to dismss the charges and the case also includes an alternate plea in the alternative, to remove the death penalty from the table. Here, court reporter and legal expert Monica Lindstrom explains why the death penalty realistically could be taken off the table possibly due to being under pressure from higher-ups and the people of Arizona:

http://ktar.com/305/1787926/Legally-Speaking-Dismissing-death-for-Jodi-Arias-could-be-a-reality

Non-secret Defense Witnesses

In place of Alyce LaViolette and Dr. Richard Samuels, Forensic Psychologist Dr. L.C. Miccio-Fonseca, and Psychologist Dr. Robert Geffner were called to the stand by the defense to interpret the relationship between Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias and Jodi Arias’ state of mind prior to, during, and after the killing. The defense stated earlier that there was good reason to believe that Alexander was shot by Arias in the shower, as it agrees with the evidence, whereas the prosecution’s assertion that he was stabbed first and then shot does not. Nurmi possibly said this because he was not allowed to bring up Arias’ claim of self-defense, since the jury rejected that theory in the guilt phase.

Dr. Fonseca examined the sexual relationship between Alexander and Arias and the dynamics of that relationship, coming up with the same basic conclusions as Alyce LaViolette. She even stated she believes Alexander did watch child porn. On cross examination, Juan Martinez tried to discredit Dr, Fonseca and her testimony.

Dr. Geffner, who was pilloried by trial watchers in the guilt phase, for having a coughing fit, burping loudly, and spilling a large container of water, was next on the stand. His job was to interpret psychological tests and diagnoses of Arias, and to explain other aspects such as Arias’ temperament, propensities toward violence or lack thereof, and her state of mind. Juan Martinez had begun his cross of Doctor Geffner, when the trial ended for the year.

More details of what was in the text and e-mail exchanges between Arias and Alexander were revealed. One interesting detail is that Jodi Arias claimed to own a stun gun in early 2008, and she apparently offered it to Alexander as protection from the person who was slashing his tires.

Reportedly, there were no spills, no mess.

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Nothing much can or will be done about the Corn going on regularly in this trial. The so-called legal reporters will continue their pandering and catering to the prosecution supporters, and acting like the entire trial is one big joke and an opportunity to try their hands at low-brow comedy and over-dramatic tweeting.

Maybe something can be done about Horn, in that he continues to be adamant that once Alexander was shot in the face, he would not be able to move or defend himself. This seems to be more and more unlikely and more and more contradictory to the evidence.

But something really needs to be done about the Porn, because police and/or prosecutors removing, hiding, or disappearing any evidence should never be tolerated by a court of law. Some remedy for this seeming violation should be offered. Appeal issues are piling up, leading me to make a remark on social media that this case has become a literal Chia Pet of ever-sprouting possible appeal issues. This holds true no matter what you believe about the verdict in the guilt phase of the trial.

More than this, the new claims of removing evidence seem to give even more credence to earlier claims about the 1st degree felony murder charge and the possible switcheroo of the order of injuries by former Detective Flores and Dr. Kevin Horn.

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This may have also included prosecutor Juan Martinez, who is well known for his win-at-all-cost attitude, which then would become collusion or conspiracy. This would be very difficult to prove, but especially if Arias is sentenced to death, all these little allegations could possibly add up to one big and powerful allegation which could change the course of this seemingly never-ending case.

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