Fact-based reporting by
Rob Roman & Amanda Chen
After finishing with Dr, Geffner as the final mitigation witness, the penalty re-trial transitioned to the rebuttal portion. Here the prosecution tries to refute certain facs or ideas that were presented by the defense in mitigation. The prosecution called Abe Abdelhadi, a former co-worker and date of Jodi Arias.
Next they called Deanna Reid, a long term girlfriend of Travis Alexander. After that came Bishop Vernon Parker of Riverside, California. The Bishop was the higher up in the LDS church for Deanna, Travis, Witness #1, and others. Finally, the defense called on Dr. Janeen DeMarte to refute certain ideas and views of both Dr. Geffner and Dr. Fonseca.
This update comes from cobbling together various court room tweets, mostly Michael Kiefer and Jen Wood. Most everything here is what was tweeted about what was said and what happened in the courtroom. This is not my opinion. There area a few sentences that are my opinion, and I let you know when it’s me talking.
We’re going with a deep sea theme this time, as we feel this penalty phase retrial has drifted way out to sea. You never know what you will come across out in the deep: A beautiful sunset, a gentle, cool breeze, or a sighting of a magnificent whale. You may also meet up with a sudden storm, gigantic rolling waves, a capsized ship, and a pack of sharks or deadly octopi.
The defense team, having just been told at the last minute that Abe Abdelhadi would be taking the stand, asked for permission to interview him, and the Judge allowed it. Kirk Nurmi fought to have Abe precluded as a witness due to not having been given any notice by the prosecution that he would be testifying.
Nurmi tells the Judge that Mesa Police Detective Smith was also going to be put on the stand with no prior notice from the prosecution. Judge Sherry Stephens suggests that Kirk Nurmi should interview Smith after the days of trial testimony commences. Nurmi says he needs time to consult with his experts first.
Funny that ambushing the defense is a tactic in a search for the truth. – Michael Kiefer
Prior to starting the trial with Abe Abdelhadi, Judge Stephens wants to know what the relevance is of Jodi Arias asking Abe to lie to Travis? Martinez replies that Arias’ credibility is always an issue. Martinez describes how Abdelhadi and Arias made out at a California mall garage and Arias made a joke about there being magic in her panties.
Abe takes the stand, with Prosecutor Juan Martinez on direct examination.
The main thing is after Christmas 2006, Abe and Jodi got together in Pasadena for dinner. Abe had drinks but Jodi didn’t drink, JA told Abe she “dabbled in Mormonism and later they made out in a parking garage. Abe claims he got his hand in her panties, which was kept from the jury. Apparently, in a joke alluding to Mormon magic underwear, JA said there was magic in her underwear.
This is my commentary – Notice how if you look at the interviews of Abe, he didn’t get his hand in her panties. Jodi Arias made a joke not about panties, but about mgic Mormon underwear. The joke has no meaning if she used the word “panties”.
The whole point of this is it puts Arias as the sexual aggressor and the one who’s chasing men, that any man would do, that she would change her LDS interest for a different guy, that she was not following the laws of chastity or the tenets of the church, that she denied her faith, that she wasn’t faithful to one man. Now we see why the prosecution wanted to put Abe on the stand. They are using a brief event to tear down a lot of the way the defense sees and wants to portray Jodi Arias.
Jodi called a few days later and told Abe they shouldn’t be seeing each other any longer. Abe then gave advice to Jodi about Travis. Arias told Alexander about the date and he was upset. Arias told Travis she would send him a letter to tell Abe they couldn’t see each other anymore. She showed Travis the letter. Also Abe said the letter Arias supposedly sent to Abe was never received by him.
Judge Sherry Stephens gave Abe a long list of things that Abe cannot talk about.
Second chair Defense Attorney Jennifer Willmott, on cross examination goes into all Abe’s interviews on TV and in the mainstream media. Arias told Abe she was dating Travis on the DL (down-low), but it was going to become official soon.
Willmott states that many of calls from Arias to Abe were for business advice. Abe was part of the same team as Jodi Arias, which was Team Freedom? Gus Searcy and Abe Abdelhadi were on Jodi Arias’ “Up-line”. Travis was an Executive Director from Team Renu?, and Chris Hughes was his “Up=line”.
JM on redirect shows the e-mail to Abe from Jodi Arias had no address, implying that the letter was never sent. This further implies that the whole episode with Abe Abdelhadi was a manipulation by Jodi Arias to get Travis to commit to and/or stay with Travis.
So, was Travis being jealous and controlling, or was Jodi Arias using Abe to get Travis to commit? That’s the issue here.
It was very short questioning and Abe was quickly off the stand.
Former Travis Alexander girlfriend, Deanna Reid, takes the stand for the prosecution.
She relates that from June 2000 to November 2001, she was on an LDS mission in Costa Rica. They had dated for just a couple of months before Reid left on her mission. During the mission, you are only allowed to stay in touch with people by writing letters. Mission workers can call their parents maybe once or twice.
Towards the end of her mission, in the summer of 2001, Travis wrote Deanna a letter saying he wanted to see other people. At that time, Travis was living at the Bishop’s home in Riverside California. Travis had set his eye on the illustrious Linda Ballard. When Deanna returned, Travis was no longer living at the Bishop’s house.
By that time, Linda had dumped Travis and moved away. Travis and Deanna eventually started talking again in November, 2001 and by February 2002, they were dating again.
Reid says she knows witness #1, but she never met him and his story involving her and Travis never happened.
Jennifer Willmott starts cross-examination. Willmott tells her “You have been misleading and the only person who has been misleading is you”. Deanna Reid denies being misleading, answers questions not asked. “Miss Reid, did I ask you a question?” She’s giving the prosecution’s side a taste of Juan Martinez’ medicine. Deanna Reid is admonished by the judge to answer only questions that are asked of her.
Willmott says she has the transcript and a recording where Deanna Reid is being misleading. Reid wants to hear the recording, rather than relying on the Defenses’ transcript and is trying to stall.
Reid started having sex with Alexander in 2003. There’s some talk about “temple recommends”. This is the permission slip or hall pass that allows the faithful to go to the temple, which is separate from the meeting houses. Willmott brings up that Deanna, when asked by the original Arias defense attorney, Victoria Washington, if she knew of anyone else Travis was having sex with besides Jodi. Deanna had told her “No, no one”. Deanna told Victoria Washington that she had no knowledge of Travis having sex with anyone else. Deanna explains that “she wasn’t asking about me”. Deanna states that she did explain her sexual relationship with Travis, and she testified to that in the original trial.
There were arguments over marriage in 2005 when she realized that Travis was not going to ask her to marry him, but nothing physical.
I would have answered the same way, as it seemed that Victoria Washington was asking about the time frame that Travis was involved with Jodi Arias. We are getting into a what the meaning of IS is type argument, the way I see it.
But Deanna did testify that there was no real thoughts or talk about marriage until 2005. Is this true. Take a look at the clip:
The sky clears and it’s smooth sailing.
Juan Martinez gets up on re-direct.
Deanna confessed having pre-marital sex with TA to her Bishop in Phoenix and she lost her temple recommend. Deanna claims that both she and Travis lost their temple recommends for about a year. She claims she was answering the exact questions asked and they were not about her. Deanna claimed in deposition with Victoria Washington that she never had an interview about a temple recommend. Deanna explained it was a confession, not an interview.
That to me is a bit misleading.
Juan made sure once again to have Deanna put in that little dig about Deanna getting custody of Travis’ dog Napoleon after his death. “Who has Travis’ dog now?” I have Travis’ dog now”. And Deanna is off the stand.
One thing that wasn’t made clear: Travis was his own customer of Pre-Paid Legal services. As such, one of his benefits was a will-writing which I believe was done prior to his meeting Arias. So, Travis left Naps to Deanna in his will, and that’s how Napoleon came to be living with Deanna today.
The other thing is that I strongly suspect that Deanna forced Travis to go to his Bishop in Mesa and confess, as I doubt he would have done this on his own. This means that another violation in the future would bring a more serious punishment. Certainly what happened between Travis and Jodi Arias would have gotten him a temporary excommunication, which Travis definitely did not want to happen. His business and his personal social life would be badly affected.
Next up is Vernon Parker, the Mormon Bishop from Riverside, CA. He claimed that Travis moved out sometime in 2001, and a guy named Jake (the snake) moved in. Bishop Parker and his family claim they never saw Travis use the computer in the Bishop’s living room. Parker knew witness #1 in 1999. Witness #1 had an online relationship with a woman over the internet. That woman lived at Vernon Parker’s home.
Witness #1 visited the woman at Bishop Parker’s home and he used the computer. Travis was not living there at the time. Parker states again he never saw TA use the computer. Witness #1 told the Bishop there were pop-ups of scantily clad women on the computer. The Bishop took the computer to a shop to remove any unwanted malware and viruses. No child porn was found, according to Bishop Parker. The Bishop recalls blaming Jake the snake for being the porn-hound who messed up the computer
The Bishop also doesn’t believe the computer crashed as witness #1 said. He just thought it was acting funny. Witness #1 was good with computers. Witness #1 claimed he didn’t go to the Bishop about the child porn he claims he saw on the computer, because he was just about to get married and he didn’t want complications. Bishop Parker said that witness #1 could have come directly to him and there would be no punishment if witness #1 reported that he found child porn.
There are varying winds deep at sea. The sailboat is cruising gracefully. The sails require adjustment as the winds change this way and that.
Kirk Numi is cross-examining Bishop Vernon Parker the next week on a Monday. Your duty is to safeguard the integrity of the church. Discipline is mandatory when a parishioner is known to be a predator. The Bishop agrees. Why did you bring your own attorney?
Parker brought his own attorney with him. He said the LDS church recommended he do that and they supplied the attorney when they found out he would be called as a witness in the Jodi Arias case. Parker’s attorney is sitting with the prosecution team and he participates in the sidebars.
Vernon Parker knew Travis since 1999. He lived with the Bishop after returning from his mission in Colorado in June to Aug, 2000. Kirk Nurmi lists all the sex acts that are transgressions. The Bishop agrees. Kissing is OK, though. One gets the feeling that Kirk Nurmi very much enjoys embarrassing the Bishop and young Mormon ladies with graphic sexual talk.
“Can a sinner baptize people? Can they have anal intercourse and then baptize?” – Nurmi asks the Bishop. “Was it 6 to 9 months or just 2 months that Travis lived there? You told us both.” – Nurmi asks. In a deposition, the Bishop said everyone in the house used the computer. “Everyone that wanted to”, he replies.
If Jake (the snake) Thompson was married in 1999 and Bishop Parker was a witness, how could he be a single man living at the Bishop’s home in 2000?
Parker says Jake confided in him, Nurmi asks him if he is waving his priest- penitent privilege. Parker says it was not a confession. The Bishop agrees that Travis came to talk to him about marrying two women, first Deanna Reid, and then Linda Ballard. Linda Ballard is the one Travis dumped Deanna for in the summer of 2001.
This is significant because it shows that there was some thinking about marriage prior to Deanna’s mission, even after dating only a few months. Deanna testified there were no serious thoughts or conversation about marriage until 2005. Hmmmm.
Nurmi seems to be in his element – Which is more of a transgression, anal sex or oral sex or vaginal sex? They are all forbidden, for unmarried couples. The Bishop is close to Deanna and her family and he only found out during the original trial that she had a sexual transgression with Travis.
What about tying a woman to a tree to sodomize her, bragging about masturbation, and the 12 year-old and the orgasm? Travis could have been expelled for his behavior, the Bishop admits.
Nurmi is done, Martinez gets up for re-direct.
Secret witness #1’s bride moved in after Travis Alexander moved out. Juan points out that Jodi Arias is just as guilty as Travis in everything they did.
Now, there’s an argument between the prosecution and the defense. The defense claims the Prosecution failed to disclose their expert Psychologist, Dr. DeMarte’s report in a timely manner. Juan claims it was just a few pages of notes. Martinez claims he was not aware that Dr. DeMarte had notes until just last Friday.
Willmott claims interviews were conducted in December and the State never advised the defense that the notes existed. “There is no reason not to disclose it other than the state not wanting to disclose it”, she said. The defense also wants to preclude Perry Smith as a witness for the exact same reason.
Judge Stephens says the defense can interview Dr. Janeen DeMarte before their cross-examination. The motion to preclude Mesa Police Detective Perry Smith’s testimony will be addressed at a later date. The State has also failed to disclose notes from Smith.
Always trying to be fair and square, while never addressing the root of the problems, is Judge “Timid Timmy” Sherry Stephen’s modus operandi.
This is the darling of prosecution supporters, they literally swoon over their Dr. Dee.
She had been a Licensed Psychologist since 2010. Her experience comes mostly from pre-Ph.D internships. She met with Jodi Arias 4 times for a total of 17 hours. Dr. D. gave Jodi a brief reading test. An intellect test revealed high intelligence. DeMarte refers to her untimely disclosed notes, and there’s an objection by Nurmi – overruled.
During her PTSD screening, a PDS test question shows Arias said she was non-sexually attacked by a stranger. Dr. DeMArte states that Arias lied, thus invalidating the entire test. Now DD is claiming that Arias also has adjustment disorder due to being in jail. She has an inability to cope with life changes.
Dr. D. also discounts Geffner’s DAPS tests because Geffner suggested to Jodi what the trauma was for each test. Juan Martinez asks if Dr. D, talked to the defendant about an alleged choking incident?
Geffner has to make clear what the time frame for each test is, otherwise, the validity could be questioned.
Gail force winds come howling from the North. The waves are high and foamy. The sailboat lurches suddenly, creaking and cracking.
DeMArte relates that Arias said the choking incident was after a fight about sexual partners because Jodi was afraid of contacting an STD. Nurmi objects that the Dr. is fantasizing and that Dr. D. doesn’t have the expertise to make these statements. Dr. D. cautions Martinez not to show the actual test questions, the same thing Dr. Geffner warned about. Martinez shows that Jodi Arias stated on a test that she was never forced to have sex
But Arias claimed she was forced to have sex in a test done by Alyce LaViolette. Nurmi objects to “irrelevant and prejudicial evidence”. Judge Stephens sends the Jury out. DeMarte goes to talk with Juan. Nurmi wants DeMarte out.
The Judge reads case law supplied by Nurmi. She reads a paragraph that says irrelevant and prejudicial evidence should be precluded in the rebuttal of a mitigation phase. DeMarte comes back in the courtroom and Judge Stephens asks her to leave again. Martinez says that it is not unduly prejudicial given the amount of time that Dr. Fonseca and Dr. Geffner spent saying Jodi Arias was passive. Stephens overrules the objection. Nurmi says DeMarte is relying on name-calling. Martinez repeats a quote that Jodi was “snide and a total bitch at family reunions.”
Nurmi repeats the clause warning about relentless assault on the defendant’s character during mitigation rebuttal. Her grandparents also said that Jodi Arias corrected everyone else’s grammar. DeMarte reads the grandparents’ remarks that Arias was always mean to her mother. Nurmi asks for a sidebar as Martinez looks for more remarks made by Jodi’s grandparents. The snide and total bitch remarks from a relative are allowed in. DeMarte reads them to the jury. Dr. D. wants to talk about Jodi’s behavior at the Purple Plum restaurant, Nurmi wants to approach.
DeMArte charges that those examples of her behavior at the Purple Plum would be classified as aggressive and overbearing. Dr. D. starts talking about Jodi, on her way home from Travis Alexander’s memorial service, giving her phone number to a guy on the plane. Another remark says Arias once pretended to know nothing about Yreka and asked a guy to show her around.
DeMarte reads notes from an interview with a co-worker from the Purple Plum. Jodi Arias, as a waitress, went straight to the men and ignored the women. Martinez says Fonseca and Geffner said Arias lacked self-esteem. “Do the remarks refute that evaluation?” – he asks DeMarte – “Yes”. Dr. D. says she’s surprised that having written so much in her journals, that Jodi Arias never mentions Domestic Violence – physical abuse.
Her remarks about wanting to have sex like a dirty little schoolgirl show Arias as the dominant person and also her assertiveness and high self-esteem. DeMarte reads a message from Arias offering a “bj” and asking for a “facial” in return. DeMarte explains that she was asserting her wants and needs. On top of that, Arias said she “was a goddess, smelled like a goddess, looked like a goddess. She was all over the men” DeMarte reads another remark from the Purple Plum friends about Arias being all over the young men.
DeMarte and Martinez are discussing inconsistencies in Arias’ statements to the Psychologists.
It’s apparent to me that this was all fed to her by Juan Martinez. Dr. DeMarte is acting as a conduit for the prosecution, even as Dr. Geffner acted as a conduit for the defense.
Now we are at the interactions between Jodi and Travis and Lisa Andrews. From DeMarte’s interview with Lisa Andrews, Andrews said Jodi Arias once snuck into Alexander’s house while she was there. Andrews told DeMarte that Alexander never abused her physically. Lisa Andrews also talked at the interview with Dr. D. about her discomfort at being touched in public and how Travis criticized her for wanting to become a teacher.
Deanna Reid also wanted to be a teacher, and she’s a teacher today.
This is how I know this is all coming from Juan Martinez – he’s including things he anticipates the defense will bring up in order to defuse these items. This isn’t coming from Dr. DeMarte. The other thing is that Jodi Arias did not “sneak in” to Travis’ house when Lisa was there with Travis. She walked in, as she usually did, she saw Lisa was there, and she turned around and walked out.
Now Dr. D. relates that Arias confided to Sky Hughes that she didn’t like how Alexander only called late at night. DeMarte interviewed Sky Hughes. Martinez asks what did she say? Nurmi objects. Sidebar. The question was about Jodi Arias getting upset about a supposed joke by Alexander calling her a skank. She complained to Sky Hughes. Sky Hughes is sitting in the gallery today. Nurmi cut it off with an objection. Sidebar.
Stephens just asked Martinez if he intended to call Detective Smith. Nurmi: “I believe the non-report is convenient for the state.” Nurmi starts discussing what he characterizes as ongoing misconduct in withholding information. He thinks the state doesn’t want to show him the Mesa PD report.
Juan Martinez says that Mesa Detective Smith has not started his written report on forensic analysis. Willmott says there’s no point for Smith to submit a written report after he testifies. Martinez says the law does not require one. Stephens agrees. Judge Stephens grants the Arias defense team another interview with Smith. Martinez details how Smith will refute the testimony by Neumeister and “John Smith.” Stephens then cuts off Nurmi to discuss it the next day.
Jodi Arias, the lawyers and the Judge need to meet with a juror in chambers.
Dr. DeMarte is back on the stand. Martinez asks if she believes there was physical domestic violence between Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander. DeMarte says she does not think there was domestic violence because the accounts are inconsistent. For example, Arias told DeMarte that the abuse was over Alexander borrowing money but told the female psychologist it was about losing a job. DeMarte says she sees no patterns of abuse, though occasionally Travis may “cross the line.” Juan- What is crossing the line?
DeMarte- Name calling, threatening to harm.
Why can’t it be both losing a job and needing to lend money?
Martinez asks DeMarte about whether Jodi Arias mentioned drug abuse by her parents, and physical abuse as a child. DeMarte is Dr. No to all of it. – Michael Kiefer
Alexander was upset because Arias was “intrusive and crossing boundaries” and had lied to him, DeMarte says.
DeMarte explains her diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder for Jodi Arias. DeMarte: Borderlines have general instability in their life, their identity, their behavior
Martinez asks DeMarte if Alexander was officially dating anyone while he was texting 12 women at once. She says he was not. Martinez: Is it manipulative to be corresponding with 12 women at once? DeMarte says no.
Dr. D. reads from an interview with Jodi Arias’ sister Julie, who says she was very secretive…and that she knew very little about her personal life.
Martinez says Geffner placed significance on Alexander not telling the Bishop about sex. Nurmi objects that he misstates testimony. Sidebar. Martinez: Is there a psychological significance to keeping a sexual relationship secret? DeMarte: No, it’s normal.
But there is a psychological significance to keeping all other aspects of the relationship secret.
Jodi called at inappropriate times, asked advice, and Jodi would just always let herself in the house, according to a former Alexander roommate, Zachary Billings, who Dr. D. interviewed. Zach knew they had issues and argued about Jodi showing up in his house and had arguments about her moving back to Mesa.
Of course, Zach is not available to be cross-examined, because Zach also said that Jodi was over there all the time and there were never any other problems between them that he knew of. But we don’t get to see that testimony.
DeMarte repeats the story of Travis Alexander being home with Lisa Andrews when he notices a light go out. When he checks, it’s Jodi Arias. DeMarte calls it continuous pursuit. DeMarte concludes that it comes out of Arias’ fear of abandonment. A text from Alexander says he doesn’t know if Jodi Arias slashed his tires but she watched him make out twice. Martinez shows DeMarte a text between Alexander and Michelle Laury talking about Arias spying on Alexander. DeMarte says Jodi Arias “got caught,” Nurmi jumps up and asks for another sidebar.
There was nothing I ever saw suggesting that there was more than one peeping incident. Also, the story of Lisa and Travis and Jodi and the light was not the story I heard. The story was that Travis and Lisa were at her home when an alarm zone went off. When they checked it, No One was there.
DeMArte reads a text between Alexander and Arias referencing a stolen diamond ring. Nurmi objects. Stephens says to disregard the remark. DeMarte says Jodi took it without his consent. Nurmi objects loudly. Sidebar. Martinez: has DeMarte read the text from Alexander asking where the ring is? Arias replies that she has it, don’t worry. Travis says he’s not mad about it.
Nurmi stands and says “She made a false assertion against my client.” Stephens again tells the jury to disregard.
We have never heard from the defense concerning the ring. Was it found among Arias’ possessions when she was arrested or not? Why was it never entered into evidence? If it was too prejudicial to enter into evidence, then why is DeMArte allowed to talk about it at both trials?
Monica Lindstrom @monicalindstrom · Feb 4
JM is able to get evid in about things #JodiArias did in the relationship by having DD testify re JAs condition and the actions r symptoms
BINGO! Monica gets it. Dr. DeMarte is being used to get in Martinez’ evidence.
More intrusive behavior with Matt McCartney: He moved to Crater Lake to get away from Jodi Arias, DeMarte says. A transcript of Arias ex-boyfriend Matt McCartney: Matt moved because he needed space from Jodi Arias. Nurmi reads the next document, then asks to approach. DeMarte is reading a document that indicates that Arias was clinging and needy with ex-boyfriend Daryl Brewer. He was pulling away.
DeMarte is listing “unwanted behaviors” on the part of Arias towards Travis Alexander. DeMarte says Jodi Arias would wait outside a bedroom door while Alexander was inside talking on the phone and would follow him around the house. Travis said he didn’t want to see Jodi anymore and Jodi was very upset by this.
Where is this information coming from? We haven’t seen any of this before.
DeMarte says these are more examples of intrusive behaviors. Travis told Regan Housley that he dated Jodi for a few months. Jodi hacked into his facebook, emails, and was in his home uninvited. Regan asks Travis if Arias is still stalking him. Travis says, “Yes.” He said she cried louder & more intense over him than anything. TA says he’s afraid JA will kill herself.
Travis tells Regan that #JodiArias hacked into his IM’s. Juan puts up the Valentines Day letter from Jodi telling TA her anger is very destructive. Borderlines can keep emotions inside and then explode violently, DeMarte says. DeMarte gave Arias a test to evaluate personality traits.
Here we go with the windows and doors letter. Wasn’t that a confession that Arias got violent once as a teen? Now it’s back again being used to suggest that Jodi Arias was a violent person as an adult. Zero evidence of that. Now, it’s even being presented as a possible threat towards Travis!
DeMarte says the “likes” on Jodi Arias’ My Space page were identical to those on Alexander’s. DeMarte says that Jodi Arias’ friends called her a chameleon, and Arias would change personality depending who she was with. DeMarte: borderlines tend to have very fast attachments to other people. They idealize them — but can turn and devalue them just as quickly.
Who are the friends that said that? Be specific. Travis started writing journals and taking an interest in photography. Was he a chameleon too?
Juan is bringing up a transcript of Jodi’s testimony from 2/14 regarding suicide
Arias said she bought Advil to thin out her blood in jail and was going to slit her wrists with a razor. Arias said in testimony being read by DeMarte, that she covered herself with blankets to keep the blood from dripping onto her cellmate in the bunk below. She nicked herself with a razor blade and it stung.
But Arias said she didn’t admit her suicide plans because “they would have thrown me in a padded cell.” DeMarte reads Arias’ testimony when she said she made the “no jury will convict me” remark because she had planned to commit suicide in 2008.
Martinez is done. Stephens calls on defense to start cross. Nurmi asks to approach.
The sailboat is climbing the waves, then getting tossed down in the troughs. Things are falling off the edges of the boat, and the sharks are circling.
Kirk Nurmi begins his cross of Dr. DeMarte by saying “Good morning,” and when she doesn’t answer, he says, “I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.” DeMarte grudgingly says good morning. Then Nurmi asks her to produce her resume, which he is going through now.
DeMarte is in private practice for therapy and evaluations services. Travis Alexander’s friend Chris Hughes is in the gallery. DeMarte says that Arias does not meet the criteria for PTSD because she had no trauma and no flashbacks or intrusive thoughts.
Nurmi says violent relationships would have a pattern. “Not necessarily,” DeMarte answers. The back and forth is very curt. – Michael Kiefer
DeMarte charges $300 an hour. “You work part-time as a sort of Dr. Death,” Nurmi says to DeMarte. He asks how many hours she worked on this case, she answers, “several.” Nurmi asks about two other death penalty cases DeMarte worked on. She says no. When he presses she says she testified on them. Then she says 3 altogether.
Nurmi is telling DeMarte she did not diagnose Jodi Arias as having adjustment disorder. He asks her to look at the last page of her report. DeMarte says she prefers “psychological disorder” to “mental illness.” Nurmi says, “You understand, I don’t care about your preferences…” – Michael Kiefer
Personality disorders are enduring and begin early in life, DeMarte says. Nurmi has DeMarte describing & defining “physical” & “emotional abuse”. Nurmi lingers over definitions of Borderline Personality Disorder in his questions for DeMarte. DeMarte says it usually needs a trigger. Nurmi asks to take the morning break.
Nurmi asks DeMarte to explain a researcher’s theory on the origin of borderline personality– born with certain sensitivities and to unable to control emotions.
DeMarte agrees with Nurmi that borderline personality is a serious mental illness.
Nurmi is as aggressive today as Juan Martinez usually is during cross examination. Nurmi and DeMarte quibble over whether her writing that “showing symptoms of adjustment disorder” is a diagnosis? Nurmi asks DeMarte about Arias’ relationship with Darryl Brewer, re: idealization.
DeMarte starts talking about Jodi Arias changing her hair and getting a boob job possibly as a way to change identity to please the people around her. DeMarte: “They have a dire fear they will be abandoned and so they glom on.”
Or not: Maybe it was always something she wanted to do, to get a boob job. Lots of women get that surgery and lots of women color their hair. It’s ridiculous to opine that she took these actions due to a mental illness
DeMarte and Nurmi use the phrase “invalidating environment.” DeMarte says that BPD could develop in those who are genetically predisposed if the person’s feelings are continuously invalidated. DeMarte brings up “Evocative gene environment coordination” = you pick up the cute, happy baby, not the ugly whiny one. And when parents don’t understand why the child is upset and say “stop it,” it perpetuates the environment.
That sounds right on the mark.
Jodi told DeMarte she was sexually attacked by a family member when she was 5 or 6 years old. Nurmi asks DeMarte for examples of an invalidating environment in Arias’ background. DeMarte says Arias and her parents did not agree.
DeMarte says Jodi breaking up with Darryl and going with Travis right away is Borderline Personality given her pattern. Nurmi: Jodi Arias immersed herself with Alexander in PPL and the LDS and as a sexual outlet to please him. “She is becoming what TA wants her to be.” Nurmi argues that Jodi Arias remained cordial with many of her ex-boyfriends.
To DeMarte: “I understand you’re not aware of much, but…” – Michael Kiefer.
Yesterday DeMarte said that Brewer wanted distance from Jodi Arias. “Brewer told me that she left him after she joined the LDS.” During an interview with Brewer near the end of the first trial, it was clear he didn’t know Arias was already with Alexander when she left him. Nurmi asks DeMarte if it’s true that Arias broke up with Daryl Brewer. She couldn’t recall.
DD is a cool cucumber. Perfect witness, so to speak. Calm, even toned, not combative. – Jen Wood
The mast is cracking from the force of the wind, the sharks are bumping into the hull. The captain starts calling ship to shore for help.
Nurmi- Can someone with Borderline Personality Disorder also have PTSD? DeMarte- Yes it can happen. Now Nurmi starts to question her assertion that Arias does not suffer from PTSD. Nurmi asks DeMarte how to interpret Jodi Arias talking about “facials.” What is the intent? She says she takes it at face value. With all the talk about taking things at face value, Nurmi says, that would mean Alexander knows about a 12-yr-old girl’s orgasms, etc.
Nurmi: “How far does this go back (work experience)? Do you count your experience in high school?” Nurmi repeats: Is it proper to say her work as a student counts as experience in evaluation? She says the license is a test after gaining experience. Nurmi now starts asking about her research in domestic violence since she became licensed. She has none. Nurmi asks if her work as a student counts. DeMarte wants to argue an interpretation.
Nurmi, in an impatient voice: “Doctor, do you understand you are here to answer my questions?”
Nurmi just called DeMarte “you, a psychologist of one year’s experience” when she started an answer. Nurmi is reminding DeMarte that she has not published or presented at conferences for years, in contrast to the long career of Psychologist #1.
Nurmi just asked if she was evaluating Travis Alexander as well. Nurmi says Alexander was exposed to DV as child which would have an effect on the relationship. Nurrmi: Why was he still having sex with her? DeMarte I think he enjoyed having sex with her.
Now DeMarte says that shows Alexander’s ambivalence for Arias. “I think those two experiences co-existed.” Nurmi: What about Alexander telling women that Jodi Arias is stalking him and he wants her gone, then calls her for phone sex and invites her for real sex. Nurmi says that Alexander calling, texting, having phone sex, real sex with Arias is not consistent with not wanting her in his life. DeMarte repeats that Alexander liked the sex with Jodi, but not the intrusive behavior. DeMarte: “I think he liked other aspects of her. Sex, yes, and other aspects of her.” She thinks Alexander loved Jodi earlier.
Nurmi asks if DeMarte ever testified that a woman DID have battered woman syndrome. The answer is never. DeMarte says she never used the DAPS test. Nurmi: How can you say a Psychologist with 30 yrs experience did it wrong? “He absolutely did it wrong”, she replies.
Nurmi asks DeMarte if Geffner’s 30 years experience in domestic violence amounts to anything. DeMarte did not review full testimony of the other Alexander girlfriends who took the stand. DeMarte claims not to know details of Alexander’s sexual relations with other women or whether he actually had sex with them.
Nurmi is now going through Alexander’s correspondence with Jodi Arias and others. Right now, they discuss the assertion that he was a 30-year-old virgin.
The winds calm down and the waves have receeded, the sailboat has passed by the sharks. The sun peaks out momentarily.
Flores, Martinez and the Alexander sisters come out of chambers first. Then Nurmi, Willmott and Maria De la Rosa. No Judge, no Jodi.
Stephens takes the bench. Nurmi gives her a case law cite.
Stephens leaves the bench. We are sitting in the courtroom wondering if we will see anything else today. DeMarte finishes off a can of soda as she crosses the courtroom, drops it in the wastebasket and pushes through the door. – Michael Kiefer
Stephens says no trial tomorrow. She is now going to call jurors in one at a time for questioning. Judge Stephens calls the lawyers to the bench. Will there be another witness today?
Nurmi gets DeMarte to acknowledge Jodi Arias had no prior criminal record. Nurmi got DeMarte to say Arias would have had borderline personality disorder at the time she met Travis Alexander. That’s it for cross examination
Martinez gets up and gets DeMarte to repeat that mental illness and psychological disorder mean pretty much the same thing. DeMarte: Borderline personality disorder is not a “mental illness” but a “disorder.” Will jurors care about this distinction? – Michael Kiefer.
Makes me wonder what kind of disorder Dr. DeMarte. has to go into the highest ranks of a profession that is all about helping and protecting the mentally ill. I have to say that as a fellow professional in the field, she has my contempt as well as the contempt of a great many. I think she’s very bright and a great witness, so I hope she had a come-to-Jesus type moment about what she is doing in her work for the State.
The jury is asking multiple questions about DeMarte’s experience. Jury question asks DeMarte about her experience treating domestic violence and sexual abuse. She goes back to her training.
Questions for DeMarte.
Question: How does she know Geffner made mistakes on tests? She said it is obvious but she doesn’t answer the question.
Question: If Arias and Alexander traded passwords willingly, how is it intrusive? DeMarte says when it became unwanted.
Question: Did Alexander’s various women know about Jodi Arias? DeMarte thinks they did not know the extent of it sexually.
Martinez follows up. DeMarte says Arias answered differently in two versions of the same test.
I don’t think so. They were two tests from two different perspectives, so of course some answers will tend to be different.
Martinez has DeMarte look at a Jodi Arias journal entry written a month after the murder. Nurmi asks to approach. The journal entry: “people are dropping my name as possibly having something to do with Travis’ death.” Payback for immorality? she asks.
Jodi Arias journal entry: “There is nothing he could have possibly done to deserve what happened to him.” Can DeMarte take that at face value? But oddly, doesn’t this time – Michael Kiefer
Doesn’t Jodi Arias’ journal entry make her seem more unhinged and less of a candidate for the death penalty? – Michael Kiefer
Now Juan Martinez is showing an email from Arias to Travis Alexander — after she killed him. DeMarte reads the bogus e-mail Arias wrote to Alexander after she killed him, describing her next visit as if she had not been there recently.
Martinez: Jodi Arias showed up unannounced, peeked in his windows. DeMarte: yes.
Martinez: Isn’t it true that Jodi Arias was under Alexander’s Christmas tree? Yes. He starts the next question, but Nurmi asks for a sidebar
In this text Travis is talking to Julie about finding him a wife and saying that Sarah is too young. Juan points out no sexual texting was going on and Julie was on the chart Geff had for sexting.
But it wasn’t a chart just for sexting.
Martinez: If any prison inmate had trouble adjusting, would that mean they all suffer mental illness? DeMarte says yes. Martinez: Did Jodi Arias have a strong attachment to men? Nurmi asks for a sidebar.
Martinez shows a sentence saying that #jodiarias was sometimes snide. Martinez says it’s from DeMarte’s report about adjustment disorder. Martinez asks how many times DeMarte used the phrase “mental illness” in her report. She thinks 2-3 times. She counts 3.
Page 27 in DeMarte’s report says: Arias has BPD and anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorder.
What the defense missed: Dr. DeMarte added on depression and anxiety plus the adjustment disorder, because her initial diagnosis of BPD only, did not account for all the peaks and valleys from the raw data in Arias’ test results.
Nurmi asks to approach. Jodi Arias says her mom and other family members have a history of depression and no one has been treated for their mental illness. Martinez asks DeMarte if “jerk” is a psychological term. – not sure what that was about.
Martinez “Does borderline personality disorder mean the defendant doesn’t know right from wrong?” DeMarte: “She knows right from wrong.”
Martinez leads with a question to DeMarte about what her ethical obligations are re tests. DeMarte: “My ethical obligation is that the tests don’t get replicated.”
It’s a brilliant deep red sunset. The clouds are light in the sky.
The jury is sent out
The lawyers are at the bench. Will the Judge make an announcement?
Stephens did not say how long the recess would be. Martinez is with the family in the victim room. The defense team is in conference.
The jury files in.
Stephens: “We are at recess.
The jury files out, again.
The sun has set. The stars are many and bright in the sky. The sharks are back in force.
Nurmi starts the new day by asking Dr. DeMArte the meaning of sexual addiction.
And Nurmi just repeated the line of DeMarte keeping her “job as a part-time Dr. Death.” Martinez asks for a sidebar. Nurmi asks why she doesn’t consider Alexander’s remarks about 12-year-old girls as objective data that he liked children. “Are you having trouble understanding my questions this morning, doctor?” Nurmi is channeling Martinez this morning. – Michael Kiefer.
Now Nurmi accuses DeMarte of relying on Jodi Arias’ self-reports when they are favorable to the state and otherwise discounting them as lies.
DeMarte just said that Jodi Arias not writing in her journal about the TA masturbation incident implies it didn’t happen. Nurmi now asks DeMarte what journals she reads to stay abreast of theory on domestic violence. DeMarte denies saying that Arias journaled on everything but not on domestic violence. Nurmi asks if she took a course in journaling.
Nurmi to DeMarte: “I know you want to tell me how much Ms. Arias lies. That wasn’t my question.” DeMarte asks to see an exhibit Nurmi is asking about and Nurmi responds “so when you don’t want to answer a question you need an exhibit….”
Nurmi now badgering DeMarte when she doesn’t understand his questions.
The best exchange ever, DeMarte, “What’s your question?” Nurmi, “Fine, you don’t understand, we’ll move on.” – Michal Kiefer
Nurmi to DeMarte: “When did you become this guru of psychological certitude…?”
Martinez asks for a sidebar.
Nurmi produces the rules and asks how she can show the test questions to Martinez. DeMarte does not answer. Martinez objects vigorously. DeMarte asks what rule?
The boat, too stressed from earlier, is starting to come undone. Water is leaking in, and the sharks are stirring about.
DeMarte reads her notes of a meeting with Juan Martinez and Nurmi asks if there is an exception to rules that allows her to show him the test questions. DeMarte does not answer. Martinez objects vigorously.
She says she can show Martinez the questions and she believes it’s at her discretion. Nurmi and DeMarte quibble over whether she showed Martinez the questions or just explained their content to him and what the difference is. Nurmi: “You shared copyrighted material and violated your professional ethics, right?” DeMarte: “That’s not right.”
Nurmi to DeMarte: “Do you believe your obligation to Mr. Martinez surpasses your obligation as a psychologist?” DeMArte: “It’s my responsibility as a psychologist to explain it to him.”
Nurmi says, “OK, Dr., we’ll have it your way.” Martinez objects, Judge Stephens tells the jury to disregard the remark.
Bob Geffner wrote a letter to DeMarte to “teach” her not to expose questions on copyrighted diagnostic tests. Nurmi says she has a history.
And that ends the rebuttal phase. Surrebuttal is ongoing, and who knows if there’s finally light the end of tunnel in this over-extended trial.
The sailboat shudders its way through the cold, starry night.
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