The Damsel, the Vicar, and Dr. D (retrial update)

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.

sea 1We’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.

sea 2The waves are climbing and a single flash of lightning threatens.

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. dr d abeAbe 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. dr d damselDuring 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.

sea 10Fins are circling the boat. Are they dolphin fins, or are they sharks?

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.

dr d  deanna 2Reid 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:

VIDEO

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.

deanna reid hln 2One 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.

dr d vicarNext 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. dr d vernon parkerBishop 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. dr d vernon 2The 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.

sea 16The waves are rising and the sky becomes ominously cloudy. The boat rises and falls suddenly.

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.

dr d dr d 5Dr. DeMarte is now on the stand on direct

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. dr d ddNurmi 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.

sea 14The waters are churning, the boat is floundering.

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. dr d dr d 3The 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.

dr d damsel vicarMartinez shows a note from Dr. Samuels quoting Jodi Arias as saying her parents never physically or sexually abused her.

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. dr d jodi 2The 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.

sailing-ship in time of stormThe clouds break open and the thunder booms above.

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.

Dr D Dr DHere 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.

seaa 9

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.” dr d nurmiNurmi 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. dr d nurmi jennDeMarte 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.” dr d jodi 4During 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.

sea 4Nurmi- 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. sea 6DeMarte 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.

sea 7The sky is brighter now, the wind is mild and from only one direction, the sailboat is cruising smoothly now. Sunset is at hand.

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. dr d juan 1Martinez: 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. sea 11Nurmi 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.”dr d jodi

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.

sea 17

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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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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Your witness
“Your witness”

 

 

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.

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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?

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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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