Jodi Arias: Hell Hath No Fury

Just how crucial were experts for Arias defense?


Jodi-Arias-April-24-2013-PhotoAP-The-Arizona-Republic-Mark-Henle-PoolPHOENIX (AP) – As Jodi Arias’ trial wraps up this week after four months of testimony, her fate rests in part on the testimony of expert witnesses who have offered up one clinical diagnosis after another for the small-town waitress and aspiring photographer from California to explain why she killed her lover five years ago.

Post-traumatic stress, amnesia, battered woman’s syndrome and borderline personality disorder are among the conditions that various experts have offered to describe Arias, who is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing and shooting death of Travis Alexander, 30, in his suburban Phoenix home in June 2008.

The jury must also come to grips with the defendant’s ever-changing version of events. After initially denying involvement and later blaming masked intruders, she now claims she killed him in self-defense but doesn’t recall details about the slaying.

Testimony began Wednesday with defense expert Robert Geffner, a psychologist and founding president of the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Institute in San Diego. His testimony aimed to counter a prosecution witness’s contention that Arias suffers from borderline personality disorder.

The jury could get the case by the end of the week after closing arguments Thursday and Friday.

Arias faces a possible death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder.

Testimony began in early January and quickly captured headlines with lurid tales of sex, lies, religion and a salacious relationship that ended in a bloodbath. The case spawned a virtual cottage industry for talk shows, legal experts and even Arias, who used her notoriety to sell her jail artwork, as it unfolded like a real-life soap opera for thousands of trial enthusiasts who followed every twist.

Clinical psychologist Janeen DeMarte, a state expert witness, testified previously that Arias showed signs of immaturity and an “unstable sense of identity.” People who suffer from borderline personality disorder “have a terrified feeling of being abandoned by others,” she said.

DeMarte also discounted defense experts’ testimony during which they told jurors that Arias suffered from battered woman’s syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and amnesia, which explains why she can’t recall details from the day of the killing. DeMarte said she found no evidence to support the defense experts’ diagnoses.

Geffner testified that DeMarte’s conclusions were flawed and inaccurate.

He later worked to discount previous testimony from a prosecution witness, Dr. Kevin Horn, a Maricopa County medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Alexander. Horn had told jurors that the gunshot wound to Alexander’s head would have rendered him unconscious and unable to defend himself.

Alexander suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, was shot in the forehead and had his throat slit. Arias said that Alexander attacked her on the day of his death. She said she ran into his closet to retrieve a gun, and then shot him. She testified that he kept coming after her, and despite claiming to have no recollection of what happened next, Arias acknowledged that she must have then stabbed him repeatedly.

Based on the defensive wounds on Alexander’s hands, Horn said Arias’ version of events would be impossible, given Alexander would have already been dead or dying before she stabbed him.

On Wednesday, Geffner, who has also studied neuropsychology, said the gunshot wound “would disorient the person” but not render them unconscious.

As testimony dragged late into the evening, prosecutor Juan Martinez recalled Horn to the witness stand.

The medical examiner stood by his previous testimony, explaining Alexander “would have collapsed to the ground and been unresponsive” within a few seconds of being shot.

Later Wednesday evening, forensic neuropsychologist Jill Hayes was called to testify as a prosecution witness to bolster DeMarte’s findings and discount Geffner’s testimony.

Judge Sherry Stephens told jurors trial would continue Wednesday, even late into the night, until all the witnesses had testified so the prosecution could begin closing arguments Thursday.

Wednesday’s testimony devolved into a battle of the experts, with each witness called to discount the testimony of previous witnesses.

Phoenix criminal defense lawyer Julio Laboy said the expert testimony from both sides will be key during deliberations as jurors look for anything that may help explain Arias’ behavior and lies in the days, months and years after Alexander’s death.

“You have to have these third parties to help mitigate her inability to stay on track with her stories,” Laboy said.

“What you have here now is the proverbial battle of the witnesses, and you may get a good grouping of the jury siding with the state’s expert witness, but you also might get a couple that don’t,” Laboy said, adding that he doesn’t think Arias has any shot at acquittal.

“The victory for the defense here will be saving her life,” he said.

BRIAN SKOLOFF

Follow Brian Skoloff at
http://twitter.com/bskoloff

Source: AP

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
>

Share this post!
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email Pinterest

Comments

tab  
theresa cinaglia says:

I think Nurmi should be in a different profession all together. Like the SEX IND. he seems to get of on the nude photo’ of her.Can’t wait to see the look on her face when she finds out she will be taking a COMFORT RIDE TO HELL

   
Whovian says:

Did JW purposefully ignore the typo in the ME report? I thought she would have caught that. I guess she is more concerned about Jodi’s PTSD rather than the actual murder evidence of Travis.

   
Rocky says:

Stabby’s trial is about to end .. No matter what the outcome is…. Stabby will be in prison for a very long time,,with or without the DP ,, Stabby will pay and pay.

   
Molly says:

I think Jodi thinks her case will have the outcome of Casey Anthony’s. I am keeping the faith that justice will prevail for Travis Alexander. It is plain to see Jodi planned and executed the cold blooded murder of Travis. Is is very apparent that during the last moments of his life he experience pure terror, fear and pain, a true nightmare experienced. The jury, I hope will see her for what she is vote for first degree murder and what her punishment is will be their decision to make.

   
safehaven2013 says:

It isn’t just the fact she changed her story AFTER she took these tests. It’s also HOW significantly she changed it. A lion and a bear are similar, her stories weren’t. Story
1-She said she wasn’t there, thus she wasn’t attacked.
2. Then she changed it to 2 ninjas, with extreme details of the height, weight, sex, weapons and outfits and actions of each, attacked her AND Travis.
3. Then, she changed it to, 1 person, Travis, attacked her so she murdered him. DRASTIC changes.
The defense is trying to MINIMIZE again by using a false analogy Jodi never even used! So sick of them minimizing her actions. Willmott did the SAME thing when questioning DeMarte. She challenged her by asking why is it a huge leap for Jodi to have assumed when she “snapped out of her fog” in the desert and saw blood on her hands, that she had “done something bad” Jodi never said she “did something bad”. She said she assumed she had “murdered Travis”. LOVE that DeMarte called her on that and corrected her. BIG DIFFERENCE between “doing something bad” and “committing murder”. I loathe her and her pitiful lawyers. Justice for Travis!

   
safehaven2013 says:

Dear Ms. Willmott: Arias did not lie about what attacked her, a lion and not a bear. Those are very similar. 2 ninjas, in black clothing from head to toe, one with a knife and one with a gun, one a male and one a female, and the other extreme details she gave in that scenario, is WAYYYYYY different than the scenario she wasn’t there, and WAYYYYYYYY different than I did it alone but Travis made me.

   
Patricia Nelson says:

THEY ARE COVERING ARE EVERYING THIS GIRL IS PUR EVIL LOOK AT DEATH PHHOTOS

   
safehaven2013 says:

Isn’t this case supposed to be about PREMEDITATION? PTSD and/or BPD doesn’t exclude the premeditation does it?
I would think the BPD MIGHT actually be able to HELP the “defense” (that’s too big of a word for them) launch an appeal stating “insanity” later. So why they are objecting this hard to it is beyond me. ??
Clearly she is guilty. I am just asking for legality sake. That is the LAST thing anyone needs is an appeal!
Poor Travis’s family and friends. I couldn’t handle this BS 1 day, let alone 5 months! I think they need to sue for paid trauma therapy. Can his family still sue for “wrongful death” or has the statute of limitations ran out?

   
Patricia Nelson says:

Get this girl ON DEATH ROW

   
Patricia Nelson says:

It is now 9 at night you wil get this murder one . YOU WILL WIN.

   
Patricia Nelson says:

STILL WATCHING PUT DEATH PHOTOS

   
Debbie says:

I thought the last witness was excellent. Very professional and not the least bit intimidated. She knew her stuff. Good job JM

   
Patricia Nelson says:

I am watching this PLEASE OUR PRAYER.
FOR TRAVIS.

   
Patricia Nelson says:

http://WWW.WILD ABOUT TRIAL

   
Patricia Nelson says:

MY GUY CAMING OUT SWINGING LOVE YOU MR. MARTENEZ, DEATH

   
Deb says:

Can anyone tell me why I cannot watch the trial live? Does anyone know an alternative website to watch the trial live?

   
Sam andre says:

Jodi arias should be imprisonned 5 Years only. Doesn’t deserve the death penalty, I still believe Travis drives her crazy

   
Debbie says:

you have got to be kidding!! You think anyone’s life is just worth five years. She manipulated that poor guy. She knew more than boy had ever heard and she used it to keep him on the string. So sad, she is devious.

   
Sandra Sandiford says:

I am watching the trial at the time and I see that Jodi is trying to look retarded at times to fool the jury. she is such an actress. Who is she fooling? Answer the Judge! I am convinced that the judge is favoring Jodi’s side,

   
Patricia Nelson says:

I am watching the trial now with this “expert” this is such bs, does Mr. Martinez get to grill him?

   
Sandra Sandiford says:

Sandra Sandiford says: I just have one thing to say in reference to this crazy case concerning Jodi Aris, her Attorneys and all these wacky Pychologist experts coming to the defence of Jodi. It’s a shame the way the true victim Travis Alexander is being over looked, and not sincerily being considered. Jodi was a stalker, and was obsessed with Travis. I am convinced she is Borderline Personality Disorder b/c she has all the personality traits that our stalker has. My family and I have been victims of this kind of sickness and it’s very scary, you have to get away from these people b/c they will make your life miserable, and they do stalk you b/c they become obbessed and fixed on people they learn to love, and admire. Successfully Jodi Arias have managed to turn truth into lies with the help of her attorneys. and it seems like the Judge is going along with it.
Don’t this Judge see that Jodi is on trial for her life and is a very intelligent being and she is doing all she can to make herself look like she’s the victim in this case while everyone with any sense knows she is a premediated murderer. My thing is if this new expert for the defence has just reasonly given her a test. Would ‘nt he think of the fact that with all Jodi has learned on this trial about these kind of tests she would now know extactly what to anwser to make her look like she’s been abused, and has PTS. I hate the way the system can be so easilly maniputated. they twist and turn the truth so far in and out that it gets lost in the sauce. and the true criminal gets away! Sad to see there is really no Justice here.

Reply

   
Patti Nowak says:

I don’t understand why the judge doesn’t have control of her room and it is very irritating when you see so many different opinions from different doctors. Who’s right and who’s wrong is my question? in my own opinion, this trial has been way too long and dragged on and on which has made people in general tired of watching and listening! My suggestion would be to get a different judge that has some rules to follow and not allow the attorneys to take over.

   
Deb says:

Who’s to say that Jodi didn’t send the emails and texts to herself she got into his accounts she is lying about everything she says about Travis. Even the death penalty is too good for her But God have mercy on her soul

   
myredpony says:

@ Deb says: “Who’s to say that Jodi didn’t send the emails and texts to herself she got into his accounts she is lying about everything she says about Travis. Even the death penalty is too good for her But God have mercy on her soul”

I’ve been thinking the same thing for quite some time now, especially the email allegedly sent by the Hughes to Arias, advising her to move on, that Travis had been abusive to other women. I believe the Hughes sent AN email, but not the one that was partially read in court. When Chris Hughes was being questioned by Nurmi, Chris repeatedly asked “where’s the rest of it?” I believe that Arias manually changed the time on her computer, manipulated the email to suit her ‘defense,’ and sent it back to herself. We already know that Sky and Christ Hughes were talking to Travis in their home about how careful he should be around Arias, and when Sky had a feeling that they were not alone, opened a door to find Arias eavesdropping, not once, but twice. We already know that Arias tried to have letters that Travis sent to her where he allegedly said that he was a pedophile entered into evidence, and the letters were proven as fraudulent by the prosecution. Even the National Enquirer wouldn’t print the letters when Arias’ mother asked them to. She had hacked into his email, Facebook, and stolen his journal. There’s no doubt in my mind that she will continue to execute Travis for as long as she is alive. I feel so badly for Travis’ family to have to sit in court day after day and listen not only to her lies about Travis being a ‘sexual deviant,’ but to also listen to defense ‘experts’ say that Arias was a battered woman and had PTSD. She is evil personified. You’re right, the death penalty is far too good for her. I’d much prefer to see her sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and kept in segregation for her own ‘protection.’ It would be fitting that she have no contact with anyone else for as long as it takes her to die behind bars. It would be fitting for her to watch herself grow old and wrinkled, and turn into someone that no one would ever find remotely attractive again. I don’t believe that God will have mercy on her soul because I don’t believe she has a soul. She already used God to try and defend her actions, and I don’t think He takes to kindly to that. She told Detective Flores that she believes in the 10 commandments, especially ‘Thou Shalt Not Murder,’ but she seems to have missed the part about using God’s name in vain and taking an oath in His name to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. She is spawn of Satan. I can’t wait for the jury’s verdict. They have far too much evidence to find her guilty of anything other than first degree murder. Her day of reckoning is coming, finally, and it’s taken far too long to get there. There are hundreds of thousands of people praying for Justice for Travis, and I’m proud to say I’m one of them. Whether the jury gives her the death penalty or LWOP, she will still ultimately have to answer to God Himself. I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes when that day arrives.

   
Sandra Sandiford says:

I just have one thing to say in reference to this crazy case concerning Jodi Aris, her Attorneys and all these wacky Pychologist experts coming to the defence of Jodi. It’s a shame the way the true victim Travis Alexander is being over looked, and not sincerily being considered. Jodi was a stalker, and was obsessed with Travis. I am convinced she is Borderline Personality Disorder b/c she has all the personality traits that our stalker has. My family and I have been victims of this kind of sickness and it’s very scary, you have to get away from these people b/c they will make your life miserable, and they do stalk you b/c they become obbessed with fixed on people they learn to love, and admire. Successfully Jodi Arias have managed to turn truth into lies with the help of her attorneys. and it seems like the Judge is going along with it.
Don’t this Judge see that Jodi is on trial for her life and is a very intelligent being and she is doing all she can to make herself look like she’s the victim in this case while everyone with any sense knows she is a premediated murderer. My thing is if this new expert for the defence has just reasonly given her a test. Would ‘nt he think of the fact that with all Jodi has learned on this trial about these kind of tests she would now know extactly what to anwser to make her look like she’s been abused, and has PTS. I hate the way the system can be so easilly maniputated. they twist and turn the truth so far in and out that it gets lost in the sauce. and the true criminal gets away! Sad to see there is really no Justice here.

   
Patricia Nelson says:

This was such a waste of time, my diagnosis PURE EVIL no expert needed.

   
Patti Nowak says:

Exactly! One word tells it all.

   

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *