Public record sessions in the retrial of the penalty phase of the Jodi Arias trial have been quiet since court adjourned for a holiday break between Dec 19 and Jan. 5. For most sentencing phases of high profile trials that would mean things get quiet so people can take a moment to relax and remember the more important things in life. Granted, most sentencing phases of capital or even death penalty trials rarely last longer than 40 billable hours, either, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. This sentencing phase for Jodi Arias however has been ongoing since September 2014, with defense costs alone almost toppling the $3 million dollar mark. But, Jodi Arias has proven time and again that speedy trials, or quiet holiday breaks aren’t the only areas where she veers far off the normal range. The Jodi Arias supporters have been loudly banging their pots over the holiday break, and the defense team has been busy preparing a motion as well. CBS 5 for Arizona reported on January 3 that the defense team of Jodi Arias has filed yet another motion on New Year’s Eve asking prosecutors to once again turn over more evidence related to the computer of Travis Alexander. The Porngate saga continues, a term coined by Kelly from Really Big Mean Dog School of Law who has been reporting almost daily on the Jodi Arias trial.
To many members of the public, and even more taxpaying citizens of Arizona that are footing the bill for Jodi Arias defense, this latest Porngate motion, is just another stall tactic in an already protracted trial process. It was 2008 when Jodi Arias brutally murdered her lover Travis Alexander. In 2013, a jury convicted her of first degree murder with aggravating factors that made her eligible for the death penalty.
All that is left to decide for Jodi Arias now is her sentence. But she is doing whatever she can to delay that. One almost can’t blame her, since life in prison or execution are the only sentencing options facing this jury.
Now, on the eve of 2015, the defense is saying they still want the prosecutor to hand over evidence regarding the computer of the victim of this convicted killer. For a sentencing phase! Is this stall tactic perhaps another attempt by the Jodi Arias team going to be another baseless one that proves nothing?
Mud slinging at both the murder victim and the prosecution in this case seems to be the favoured approach of the Jodi Arias defense when they lack evidence to support their allegations. We previously reported on Christmas Eve that just after trial broke for the holidays the State filed their own motion refuting Jodi’s claims of prosecutorial misconduct. In that motion Juan Martinez essentially said that, as far as the defense allegations are concerned, no evidence means no misconduct, Jodi doesn’t have anything to back up her story telling, again.
CBS 5 reports the newest motion to compel from the defense is asking the prosecution to hand over reports from the Mesa Police after they initially investigated the computer of the murder victim Travis Alexander. The computer of Travis Alexander has taken center stage in this sentencing phase as a key strategy to stall and delay from the Jodi Arias defense. They are doing everything they can to get this jury to hear that Travis Alexander watched porn.
This defense thinks that if the jury finds this out they will believe that Jodi Arias was abused and hopefully not vote on the death penalty for Jodi Arias. The defense also thinks that the prosecution is guilty of Brady violations when it comes to evidence handling of this alleged “computer evidence” according to ABC 15 Jan. 2. In this motion to compel, the Jodi Arias defense is alleging that the State has violated evidentiary laws when it comes to the computer of Travis Alexander, also known as Evidence # 390633.
Key portions of this motion can be viewed in the slideshow where the defense asks the court to compel the State to turn over evidence. The motion asserts the prosecution is committing Brady violations by not handing over this evidence. The motion opens with,
“…pursuant to Rule 15.1 Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 667 (1963), Skipper v. South Carolina, 476 U.S. 1 (1986) and the rights due her pursuant to the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, Article 2, Sections 4, 10, 15, 23, 24, and 30, of the Arizona Constitution, hereby moves that the prosecutor make available to the defendant any and all forensic reports generated by any member of the Mesa Police Department and/or anyone working on their behalf whose work is related to evidence item #390633 aka Mr. Alexander’s laptop computer.”
The motion addresses the defense’s “awkward moment” in court when the State accused the defense of tampering with the computer. Jodi Arias says in this motion,
“These accusations were made despite the fact that the Mesa Police Department’s own investigators, detectives Smith and Brown, per the testimony of Detective Smith, both concluded that the image of #390633 made on June 11, 2008 and/or that made in December of 2009, contained the same file logs related to pornography that Mr. Neumeister was accused of putting on the computer.”
The defendant then asks that the court compel the State to turn over those reports stating that according to Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 15.1, failure to do so is a Brady violation. The defense is also saying, not only should this evidence be turned over to us, but we believe that sanctions should be applied to those responsible for this grievance, and that Jodi should be freed from jail immediately.
“Given that the State has not yet complied with the automatic disclosure provisions found in Rule 15.1…..thus already violating the rights due Ms. Arias pursuant [ to all of the bozillion amendments we already cited] Ms. Arias would request that any Order to Compel these reports be supported by meaningful sanctions up to and including dismissal of all charges.”
The story of the porn files and the computer in question is much simpler than the defense wants the judge to believe. Once there wasn’t porn files on the computer of Travis Alexander and then there was and then there wasn’t. The prosecution doesn’t know how that happened and have testified in 2013 that there was no porn on the computer and they really don’t know why all of a sudden there is this issue.
The defense is saying, ‘You deleted evidence. No, we can’t prove that. But we think we should be believed on our word alone and we think this means the death penalty should be taken off the table, on our word.’ Now the defense wants Mesa Police to hand over reports that were done almost 7 years ago in their attempts to validate these claims.
But many can’t help but wonder what will suddenly happen to those reports if they wind up in the defense’s possession. Many people, including the State as this motion concedes, have openly speculated that Jodi has planted any evidence that makes State look bad and Jodi look good. Many trial watchers that have been following this trial believe that one possibility is that Jodi planted the alleged porn evidence during one of the times she was in the home of Travis Alexander before she stabbed him over 25 times, nearly decapitated him, and shot him in the head.
Another theory that has been openly speculated is that Jodi planted porn evidence and created the Porngate stall tactic of the century when she was representing herself this summer. In fact, whether she realizes it or not, Jodi Arias has even suggested as much on the very matter on her own Twitter page. Whoever is tweeting on behalf of Jodi Arias may be telling us what really happened to the computer of Travis Alexander during Porngate, as the following tweet from @JodiAnnArias is not being received the way it was intended.
“Has anyone realized TA’s pc porn and viruses and States misconduct and tampering wouldn’t have been discovered had #jodiarias not been pro per?”
Jodi is trying to suggest that had she not been “smart enough” to self-represent, it may never have been discovered that Evidence #390633 had been tampered with. But that’s not how her tweet is coming off to the public. Instead to many it is sounding like, “Has anybody realized that there would be no issue of tampering and misconduct if Jodi hadn’t self-represented herself so she could obtain evidence and possibly tamper with it?”
The public wouldn’t be the first to accuse Jodi of planting the Porngate drama. In fact it was Juan Martinez, prosecutor for the State of Arizona, that was the first to accuse the defense of committing those acts. The defense admits this in their very own motion to compel more evidence. It is coming across as a dog with a bone. Now the new defense motion to compel wants the judge to compel Mesa Police to hand over reports that everybody knows the defense likely already reviewed in 2008. It’s looking a lot like the, “Okay we know we don’t have any evidence so now let’s revisit yours and see what we can tear apart with that” technique.
All of this is happening courtesy of the good taxpaying people of Arizona over a matter that the jury hasn’t even heard anything about yet, if they ever will. All of these “prosecutorial misconduct” allegations have been occurring in hearing outside of the jury presence. Why? After months, and months, and months, and months, a good legal reason has not been found to show that this Porngate circus is relevant in regards to Jodi’s sentencing phase. Unfortunately for Arizona, without this costly matter in play, it is not inconceivable to believe that Jodi would have been sentenced by now and the Jodi Arias show would be over per the original court docket schedule.
When jury selection began in September 2014 jurors were asked to keep their commitment and calendars blocked to December 18, 2014. In one of the evidentiary hearings for Porngate Kirk Nurmi first chair for the defense openly admitted he never expected it to be finished by then. Does this mean Nurmi was planning all along to bill Arizona for delaying and inconveniencing this jury as long as he possibly could?
To many, it looks that way. Especially since these evidentiary hearings have been lacking just that, evidence, and consumed the better portion of November 2014. To what end?
As it stands now, to no end for Jodi Arias. As it stands now, the jury doesn’t know anything about Porngate. In other words, as it stands now, as far as this jury and this sentencing phase is concerned, Porngate doesn’t even exist.
To the end game then if this continues, Porngate remains completely irrelevant. Porngate then will be remembered as nothing more than just another series of tales from nobody special but another one of America’s killers who is trying to get away with a really horrific series of crimes, via a really horrific series of lies.
Will Jodi’s charges be dismissed under these alleged Brady violations? The judge will need to find that they are indeed Brady violations, which means that it is found this evidence is exculpatory. In other words the judge needs to find that if the 2013 jury heard this evidence, they would have found Jodi to be “not guilty” of first degree murder with aggravated cruelty.
With death on the line, this is either a desperate last minute attempt to save Jodi’s life, or just another eleventh hour delay tactic. Either way, succeeding with this motion is a seriously uphill battle for the defense. The aggravating factors that made Jodi eligible for the death penalty were cruelty.
This means that based on the forensic evidence one jury has already found her to be exceptionally cruel. Computer files or no computer files, that forensic evidence doesn’t change.
In the meantime, the public is reacting to all of these delay tactics. One trial watcher has written an open letter for the Jodi Arias jury to read once this is all said and done. The full letter can be read in the slideshow, and places an emphasis on the one person in this trial the defense rarely mentions unless they are slinging mud. That would be the victim, Travis Alexander. In this letter, @JodiBanArias writes,
“Dear Arias jurors, By the time you read this you will have sentenced convicted murderer Jodi Arias to Death or LWOP (Life Without Parole) or improperly passed it on to Judge Stephens to pass sentence. You will now be aware Arias violently murdered (overkill) her ex-boyfriend largely due to her built up rage as a result of rejections by her ex, with whom she was consumed with and stalked for months…
We hope you were fully aware of the shady defense team’s Defaming Tactics, along with the many lies, all made up over a 6 year time frame. Sadly the murder victim is unable to give his side of the story, the REAL one. Facts amount to Travis Alexander being stalked…..If you DIDN’T fall for the murderer’s many lies and false allegations and gave Jodi Arias the Death Penalty: CONGRATULATIONS. The Alexander family will have got the long awaited justice for their brother they so deserve. From: The World.”
Another member of the public that has been following the trial in the hopes of justice for the victim Travis Alexander has expressed his interpretation of the numerous motions to dismiss that continue to be filed by the defense. During all of these evidentiary hearings, that appeared to many to lack evidence, on the matter of the many Porngate motions a member of the public commented on the Facebook page titled, “The State vs Jodi Arias ~ Travis Alexander murder trial”. This is how a member of that group interprets the frequent Porngate motions filed by the defense.
“Your honor, the convict is guilty as crap, and all us dimwits on the defense team have [bleep] for brains and have royally screwed up. But we’re not gonna own that, so we’re throwing up boatloads of hooey in the air that we don’t have any actual evidence for and ask you to penalize the prosecution for our 24/7 misconduct operation.”
Court will adjourn for the retrial of the sentencing phase of the Jodi Arias trial tomorrow Jan. 5 in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona. Defense domestic violence expert Robert Geffner is expected to take the stand to continue testimony where he will try and paint Jodi Arias as an abuse victim. The defense will conclude their direct examination of Dr, Geffner after which prosecutor for the state will cross examine him in a strenuous attempt to discredit everything he says that Jodi alleges about abuse.
Watch the video here to see last year’s trial footage with Juan Martinez going head to head with Domestic violence expert Alyce Laviolette. Thing got so heated Alyce ordered a time out for Juan Martinez. Watch the footage to get a taste of Juan in action and get an idea of what to expect between Juan and Geffner this coming week.