It was another strong week for the prosecution in the retrial of the penalty phase of the State of Arizona versus Jodi Arias, who is on trial for the brutal murder of Travis Alexander. The week started off with testimony from a man of God, a Bishop that personally knew the murder victim and many of his friends. As the week went on, we saw testimony from another star witness for the State, psychologist Dr. DeMarte. With this testimony most court watchers felt the State sealed the fate of Jodi Arias when it comes to securing the death penalty in this testimony phase. Dr. DeMarte testified to many things that really showed the jury the truth about Jodi Arias according to Arizona Family Feb. 6.
Fox 10 out of Arizona reported on the testimony of Dr. DeMarte this week. On Wednesday Dr. DeMarte testified to the extent of the psychological profile of Jodi Arias. Since this case began, many court watchers have wondered why Jodi Arias didn’t plead the insanity defense. A key reason for this is because, she denied any culpability in this murder until very close to her trial that began in 2012.
Another key reason for this is, Jodi has never wanted to be considered insane in any capacity, to her that would be seen as a weakness. Until this week we have heard a lot of moaning from the Jodi Arias defense team that this woman committed this murder as a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. She claims she “got PTSD” as a result of abuse at the hands of Travis Alexander. The defense has yet to show any proof that she was abused.
A lot of testimony prior to Dr. DeMarte’s testimony centered around the courts trying to pinpoint when Jodi allegedly “got PTSD.” For a PTSD diagnosis to be valid, a traumatic event must trigger the disorder. Jodi claims that was abuse by her lover and murder victim Travis Alexander. Dr. DeMarte said, no she doesn’t even have that disorder. Dr. DeMarte also revealed many sides of Jodi Arias that made her look like a stalker, a thief, a liar, and basically a bad person all around.
Dr. DeMarte also highlighted that Jodi was a jealous person and used the word “manipulative” frequently. The defense did everything they could to impeach this testimony, but the jury didn’t seem too interested in that. We learned this week there is a long list of people close to Arias that don’t even like her, including her own cousin. This explains why only paid experts are willing to get on the stand on Jodi’s behalf. Even her own parents are not interested in speaking for their daughter in the hopes that it might save her life.
Jodi Arias is on trial for the brutal slaying of Travis Alexander. This occurred in his Mesa, Arizona, home on or around June 4, 2008. Jodi stabbed him over 25 times, nearly decapitated him, and then shot him in the head. She then told many people, including the lead investigator in this case, Detective Flores with Mesa Police, that two people dressed like Ninjas killed Travis and tried to kill her.
Nobody bought that story though there are still people on the planet trying to prove it. Even Jodi Arias no longer believes that story, and yet there are still people on the planet trying to prove those lies. Jodi Arias has even confessed to this murder, she has been convicted for this murder, and yet there are still people on the planet that are trying to prove otherwise.
Now that her fate with the conviction has been sealed however, Jodi awaits sentencing. The jury that is seated in this retrial of the sentencing phase have only one very big decision before them. They literally hold Jodi’s life in their hands as they will deliberate on whether she deserves life in prison, or the death penalty.
Jodi Arias has been found eligible for the death penalty by being found guilty with the aggravating factor of exceptional cruelty. Until this week, the defense has worked vigorously to show that she had no choice but to kill Travis so mercilessly. Dr. DeMarte on the other hand undid almost all of those claims by testifying to things that made Jodi look like one of the worst kinds of human beings ever.
As Fox 10 reports, the key purpose for the State putting Dr. DeMarte on the stand with this testimony was to show the jury that Jodi does in fact deserve to be executed for her crimes. Wednesday was spent with Dr. DeMarte tearing down the image the defense has worked to construct. By the end of the week the jury saw truths about Jodi Arias that will be hard to shake from their minds when it comes time to go into deliberations.
Fox 10 says that Dr. DeMarte painted Jodi as “an insanely jealous stalker who had borderline personality disorder, fixated on Travis, and couldn’t let go.” Fox 10 also says that Jodi spied on him, confronted other women that he was dating after he rejected her, and was prone to “manic episodes.” Dr. DeMarte was adamant this was not PTSD as a result of abuse from Travis Alexander. She said there is no way this is possible “because there was no abuse.”
Instead, Dr. DeMarte said the only person Jodi has to blame for her problems, is herself. Thursday saw more of the same according to CBS 5. On Thursday Dr. DeMarte was cross-examined by the defense. The defense strategy at this point after all of the damage to the defense Dr. DeMarte’s testimony had inflicted prior was to paint Jodi as a mental case.
Although this is not a difficult task for anyone to conceptualize, when it comes to choosing life or death for Jodi Arias, this could be a key point. As Jen Wood from Trial Diaries told Arizona Family,
“It’s good for the defense because maybe they can get one person on the jury that thinks ‘I don’t know if I can give somebody with mental illness the death penalty.’ So that puts something in the jurors minds to think about.”
Will the jurors hold any weight to this? We do know there is one psychologist on the jury panel for this death penalty case. How much that individual is buying with any of this testimony remains to be seen, but will be very enlightening indeed.
Wednesday brought some key developments for the State as Dr. DeMarte refuted quite a bit and really brought it home for many court watchers. After her testimony Wednesday and Thursday State side supporters were using words like “proud”. She offered a balanced approach in testimony that went over well with the court of public opinion, and likely the jury as well.
One of the first things addressed with the Dr. DeMarte on Wednesday was the issue of Jodi’s parents taking drugs while her mom was pregnant with Jodi. Jodi has testified that this happened. Dr. DeMarte said she asked Jodi specifically about that, and Jodi said, it didn’t happen. Jen Wood from Trial Diaries tweeted,
“#JodiArias never said she saw her father use cocaine in any records to any psychologists.”
Tammy Rose @News20Chopper also tweeted that Jodi was asked by Dr. DeMarte if her mom used drugs during the pregnancy, and Jodi said no. It sounds like the first and only time that it has come to light that Jodi’s mom did drugs while pregnant with her was when Jodi said those words herself under oath when she testified in this retrial in late October.
Dr. DeMarte did a lot to undo Jodi’s testimony on Wednesday.
This is obviously good for the State as many have wondered why the State has not moved to strike the Jodi Arias testimony that caused so much controversy late last year. Prosecutor Juan Martinez may have made that decision because he knew Dr. DeMarte would metaphorically ‘strike’ Jodi’s testimony by offering very credible testimony herself that refutes Jodi’s claims. And she did.
Dr. DeMarte basically said, she wasn’t abused, she wasn’t a drug baby, and she is a known liar, stalker, and manipulative person. Dr. DeMarte said not only was Jodi not abused by Travis, but she wasn’t by her parents either. Dr. DeMarte also contradicted the “Wooden Spoon Made Me Do It” theory by reading notes from Jodi herself that she was not abused by her parents either.
On Wednesday Dr. DeMarte also read notes from Jodi’s friends agreeing with her. Carolyn Sung from CNN @CarolynSung CNN tweeted about one of those notes from a woman named Aimee Lantz. Those notes read about a Jodi that was “always spoiled” and also that,
“Aimee knows of no physical abuse or sexual abuse to Jodi Arias or siblings.”
There was a lot of note taking by the jurors in this testimony. This is critical information. When the defense was cross-examining Dr. DeMarte later in the week, there wasn’t note taking. Why do you think that is?
People write down things that they think are important. People don’t write down things that they think aren’t important. If that is the case with these jurors, they clearly weren’t buying a whole lot of the defense’s claims late in the week of trial.
The secretive nature of Jodi Arias then came to light. Prosecutor Juan Martinez asked Dr. DeMarte to give her thoughts on the secretive side of Jodi Arias. A note marked Exhibit 891, according to CNN, from Jodi’s sister Julie Arias was read that focused on this secrecy. Jen from Trial Diaries tweeted the note read,
“#JodiArias was very secretive I knew very little about her life and relationships.”
Dr. DeMarte then said she diagnosed Jodi Arias with Borderline Personality Disorder. Tweeters inside the courtroom reported that DeMarte discussed Jodi’s fears of abandonment, and fears of being alone. Dr. DeMarte testified that Jodi engaged in different sets of behaviors that would create a push and pull energy with Jodi in her relationships.
Text messages came into play between the murder victim and a woman named Michelle Laury according to Michael Kiefer from the Arizona Republic. These texts relate to the stalking behavior we know occurred by Jodi on Travis Alexander. Tammy Rose @News20Chopper tweeted on those texts,
“Michelle Lowry asks Travis if #JodiArias slashed his tires. He says he doesn’t know but he’s caught her spying on him.”
The issue of Jodi’s spying and showing up at Travis’s home uninvited was also discussed at length. Mike Watkiss for 3TV tweeted then that,
“DeMarte challenging defense psychologists’ diagnosis of #jodiarias point by point.”
The issue of a missing diamond ring also came into play during this week’s testimony. This was a ring owned by Travis Alexander, and reportedly stolen by Jodi Arias. Text messages between Jodi and Travis showed a conversation about this ring. Travis asks Jodi if she took it, she basically said, yeah, don’t be mad, k? Tammy Rose tweeted the text exchange,
“TA: Do you have any idea what happened to the ring in the drawer?
JA: What diamond ring? Oh yeah, I have it.”
According to Monica Lindstrom, defense lawyer Kirk Nurmi was objecting “incredulously” doing everything he can to keep this out. These incredulous objections were overruled. Tweeters reported that Jodi told Travis she could explain the whole thieving thing and asked him not to be mad. Carolyn Sung for CNN reported Travis said he wasn’t, that it was “cool.”
Keep in mind by this point in their very short relationship, as Dr. DeMarte testified, that Travis Alexander had already experienced uninvited visits, slashed tires, and a lot of Ms. Stalker Crazy from Jodi Arias. By the time he finds out she’s stolen a diamond ring from him, his saying “It’s cool” is probably self-preservation, also colloquially known as the “speak softly around the crazy person” approach.
Trial Diaries has the full text of the exchange between Travis and a friend. In this text Travis talks with a friend about Jodi spying on him.
“TA- Michelle was playing spy for Jodi while he was courting Mimi. TA doesn’t know who this is
Michelle says well it’s not me
TA says I know it’s not you but maybe she sent Lisa that mean email and they don’t want to deal with me
TA- Jodi told me about it today since she’s moving
Michelle- If Jodi is lying all this time how can you trust her
TA- I considered that but why would she tell me that at all.”
The rest of that exchange can be found at Trial Diaries where Travis goes on to discuss his exact suspicions about who slashed his tires. The afternoon portion of Wednesday continued with more evidence of Jodi’s stalking behavior. One incident was recounted by a friend of Travis Alexander, Sky Hughes, the wife of Travis’s best friend Chris Hughes. Dr. DeMarte testified about how Sky caught Jodi Arias listening outside their bathroom door. This is one of the more famous of all of the creepy moments that make up the Jodi Arias and Travis timeline, and a moment that most court watchers are very familiar with.
Michael Kiefer with Arizona Republic also tweeted about Jodi’s changing personality. Here Dr. DeMarte testified about the chameleon that is Jodi Arias. Kiefer tweeted,
“DeMarte says that #jodiarias friends called her a chameleon. And Arias would change personality depending on who she was with.”
Testimony later in Wednesday showed a murder victim growing in fear over his crazy stalker. Text messages between Travis Alexander and his friends emphasized this fear. Jen from Trial Diaries tweeted those email messages between Reagan and Travis talked about how Travis knew that Jodi was hacking his emails and texts, and how Travis was afraid Jodi would kill someone, but it was not him that he was worried about. In that email Reagan asked Travis if he was worried he was still being stalked, he said yes. According to Trial Diaries he also said,
“To this day she will cry louder and more intense than anything you can imagine over me.”
Travis also warned Reagan that, since Jodi was stalking him and reading his emails, Reagan may be her next target. They even reportedly made a joke in the email that maybe now Reagan too would have their tires slashed because of this email exchange, and the two say “hi Jodi!” to her in the exchange, knowing that by stalking Travis she will see those notes. Jen Wood tweeted,
“TA: Yeah you will prob get a threatening email from some anonymous person & it will be here. There’s a good chance this will happen.
Regan: Thanks for the warning.
TA: My thing kept signing off and she got my password and kept logging me off over and over. She is crafty, she’s scary, haven’t I told you about her.”
Wednesday ended with Dr. DeMarte once again refuting previous witness Dr. Geffner’s claims that Jodi has PTSD. She instead believes that Jodi has Borderline Personality Disorder. This ended direct examination by Juan Martinez, and court for the day.
Thursday’s session in Maricopa County Superior Courts in Phoenix, Arizona, would have Dr. DeMarte back on the stand. Here she was cross-examined by the defense. The defense worked very hard to get some testimony into evidence that might lead at least one juror to save Jodi’s life.
Nurmi didn’t surprise anybody by first going into attack mode on Dr. DeMarte credentials. It was the same strategy he used during the guilt phase in 2013. Because Dr. DeMarte hasn’t been practicing for 70 thousand years, Nurmi seems to think that makes her unqualified. Again we saw some rather condescending questions from the defense.
According to Michael Keifer, Nurmi said “Good Morning” to Dr. DeMarte and she didn’t answer. When she didn’t answer he said, “I’m sorry I didn’t hear you.” After this Nurmi established that Dr. DeMarte is very educated, with both a Master’s and a Ph.D. degree.
Nurmi then thought discussing the billable hours of Dr. DeMarte was appropriate. This from a defense team that has billed the state of Arizona over $3 million dollars, and counting. Dr. DeMarte held her own. She has billed over 50 hours on this case but less than 100.
Nurmi then tried to discuss the nature of violent relationships with Dr. DeMarte. He tried to get her to say that violent relationships have a pattern. She did not agree to this. Jen Wood from Trial Diaries noted the jury involvement at this point,
“Some jurors shake their head in agreement with DeMarte.”
Could this be a sign that some jurors have experienced violent relationships in their lives? Or, that they know about them from a theoretical and psychological standpoint? If so, Jodi Arias may be in a lot of trouble. She likely is, when jurors are agreeing with the State’s expert witnesses, it doesn’t look good.
Sparring between this witness and the defense then ensued according to all tweeters inside the courtroom. Kirk Nurmi was upset about whether or not Dr. DeMarte had diagnosed Jodi with adjustment disorder. She said she had, he said she did not, she basically responded, “Read the whole report.”
It seems almost a trivial point to spend court time over when your client is fighting for their life. It was also viewed as “argumentative” according to tweeters inside the court. It turned into a “He said She Said” according to Tammy Rose with News Chopper 20. Steve Krafft with Fox 10 tweeted,
“#JodiArias defense attorney Kirk Nurmi dripping with sarcasm on cross-X. Not sure this is a good strategy w/jury.”
This went on for a while. Tweeters then reported that Nurmi also felt sad for Jodi Arias and that she lived a life where she didn’t feel “validated.” Poor thing. Dr. DeMarte agreed she did not feel validated in life. But what is the message that Nurmi is making here?
Is he trying to tell the jury that anyone that does’t feel validated in life should get off for slaughtering someone? It’s a slippery slope, and already, Nurmi wasn’t winning any points with this jury. Abandonment was also something that Nurmi wanted to get into testimony, and that too apparently backfired on him. Trial Diaries tweeted,
“DeMarte is explaining abandonment and she does this just beautifully for the jury…she’s that good.”
As the Thursday afternoon session of court dragged on, Nurmi and Dr. DeMarte examined psychological tests and the psychological makeup of Jodi Arias. As you an imagine, overanalyzing the psychiatric makeup of a pathological liar is not a short, or entertaining task. It got tedious. @KillersLie tweeted,
“If anyone feels like preparing a full turkey dinner, or remodeling their house, you probably have time and won’t miss anything.”
Tweeters inside the courtroom also told us that Dr. DeMarte’s analysis of Jodi Arias conclusively comes to a Borderline Personality Disorder diagnosis. This is a difficult personality, you don’t need to know Jodi Arias to know that. As one of our reader’s shared in comments recently, a common joke about the Borderline Personality in the psychiatric circuit is,
“Q: How do you treat a Borderline?
A: Refer them.”
Judging by how Dr. DeMarte described her experiences with Jodi Arias, that sounds like exactly what she wanted to do. As things got testy between her and Nurmi, she may have even considered referring him. Dr. DeMarte however very effectively showed that Jodi’s borderline personality was a very big part of the many breakups, and intense breakups, the killer experienced in her relationships throughout her life.
Nurmi tried to discredit this according to Jen at Trial Diaries. He asked Dr. DeMarte if her only being licensed for 9 months at the time of testing may have had an effect on the test results. This is a really ridiculous question when you think about it.
Whether Dr. DeMarte had 30 years or 9 months experience does not impact the answers the killer put on the test. The only thing that would impact those answers are the killer, and whether or not she lied. The length and extent of DeMarte’s experience have no impact on that. This is another slippery slope for Nurmi, who seems to have forgotten that there is a psychologist on the jury who would also know that.
This is also not just a slippery slope, but a sign that the defense has nothing left to attack as far as this witness is concerned. Nurmi tried this tactic for a long time, to which Juan Martinez objected and it ultimately led to one of the 20 reported sidebars that date. Juan argued that Nurmi was testifying for DeMarte. This was noted by court room tweeters as well. Tammy Rose @News20Chopper tweeted,
“I can’t count the amount of times DeMarte has asked Nurmi, ‘What’s your question?’”
Tweeters also reported that Nurmi got nasty with Dr. DeMarte. Nurmi was reportedly laughing at Dr. DeMarte and even insulted her by asking her if she was using her high school experience as experience that qualified her to diagnose in this case. These strategies haven’t gone over well in the court of public opinion.
But again, it doesn’t matter what the public believes at this point, it only matters what the jury believes. The jury does not know that openly mocking experts and professionals, and laughing at them publicly is a favored tactic of the defense. We’ve seen it in Jodi Arias supporters online, we’ve even seen it from Jodi’s own mitigation specialist Maria de la Rosa.
What happens online stays online however as far as this jury is concerned until the verdict is read. Did Nurmi’s open mocking go over well with the jury? We are told the jury wasn’t taking any notes during this period, which isn’t a good sign for Nurmi.
Nurmi and DeMarte then went into detail over the relationship between Jodi and Travis, again. Nurmi wanted to address some of the testimony from previous expert witnesses in the field of psychology. He tried to compare Dr. DeMarte’s experiences with Jodi with Dr. Geffner and Dr. Fonseca’s experiences.
Courtroom tweeters also reported that Nurmi accused Travis of taking advantage of Jodi’s mental illness of Borderline Personality to abuse her and have his way with her. Dr. DeMarte stood her ground and didn’t give in on these key points. The jury was still not taking notes at this point according to Jen Wood. Court closed for the day as Nurmi made the point with Dr. DeMarte that although Travis was afraid of Jodi’s spying and stalking, he was still having sex with her.
Dr. DeMarte agreed, because this is an indisputable fact. It does not however negate the fact that Travis was afraid of Jodi Arias. This was not exactly a winning day for the defense, as it was very clear by the day’s end that Nurmi was grasping at every straw he could to show Travis as an abuser. The court of public opinion began baking turkeys, remodeling their homes, and falling asleep during Nurmi’s desperate attempts to save Jodi’s life. Seemed everyone was falling asleep. Jen Wood tweeted,
“DeMarte looks like she’s in a food coma and Maria is reporting to Jodi her Twitter findings. #jodiarias #3TVarias”
Did the jury feel the same? You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know when the first chair for the defense is laughing at an experts high school years, things are on a downhill spiral, fast. “That’s all you got?” was the sentiment of the court of public opinion.
With a dead pan jury, not taking any notes, not finding anything noteworthy to put down in this discussion, it appears they too may have been dreaming of baking turkeys, remodeling their homes, and falling asleep. The defense doesn’t have that option. Or do they?
It seems by recent behavior in the Twittersphere, even the defense isn’t all that interested in what happens while court is in session at all. Mitigation specialist Maria de la Rosa left court the other day to take a phone call. Yes, she left her client whose life is on the line, to go and talk to someone else. Clearly even Maria had more important things to do than listen to “blah blah blahing” about credentials.
And when she’s not on the phone, it’s a good thing she has Twitter and notepads to keep her occupied while court is in session. There is a rumour going around that mitigation specialist, who works for Maricopa County and bills the State of Arizona, likes to tweet when court is in session. She wouldn’t be foolish enough to do that under her own name would she? In fact, it appears that she would.
At least she did while court was in session on January 22 according to @JuansTie. On that day, while testimony that could determine the life or death of her client was being given, @faithwillsave4 the confirmed Twitter handle for Maria de la Rosa tweeted,
“Why don’t you give me the zip code of the state of denial you’re living in, and I’ll send you a post card.”
This is the same Maricopa County employee who calls people retards online, whenever it strikes her fancy. And the people that have a problem with that? Are jealous haters if you ask Maria de la Rosa @faithwillsave4, and she doesn’t care what anybody thinks.
That’s what she said in her most recent tweet last night. A reader sent some of her tweets from last night into us. In addition to calling a reporter ignorant, @JuansTie tells us that Maria @faithwillsave4 tweeted,
“Oh I believe that some hateful people believe that I take into account what they think, well sorry to disappoint you.”
The court of public opinions response to that is, “Yes. Yes we are all jealous Maria that you get to tweet and draw circles and pretend to look busy while you are at work.” It is clear that she doesn’t care what anybody thinks, which is her prerogative.
But what people that are watching this play out are thinking is, shouldn’t she be caring what Maricopa County thinks? And the people that are footing the $3 million dollar defense bill?
A lot of people think that she should. Particularly readers who are paying taxes in Arizona so that mitigation specialists can waltz out and take phone calls in between tweets while court is in session. In her off time she tweets about a Lexus and spa days, and other jealousy inspiring acts as we have previously reported.
People that aren’t footing a $3 million dollar defense bill have a really big problem with that. Some of the people that are footing that bill, are sitting in the jury box. A killer’s life is on the line and the person who is supposed to be helping her come up with reasons for them to keep her alive is going to the spa, buying a Lexus, taking phone calls and tweeting about jealous haters.
Not many in the court of opinion watching this trial have any desire to be Maria de la Rosa right now. Some of the public opinion via tweet can be seen in the slideshow. Many believe that Maria de la Rosa, and the rests of the defense team, may want to wake up and smell the death penalty that lies ahead. Because it didn’t go well for them this week, not by any stretch.
We will see what happens in the next chapter when court resumes in Maricopa County Superior Courts Monday morning. Next week the State will close their rebuttal phase, and the defense will begin theirs. We understand the gaffable Dr. Geffner and sex freak expert Dr. Fonseca are going to make another appearance for the defense. Watch the video here of Dr. Janeen DeMarte testimony during the guilt phase last year on Jodi’s personality disorder and her intense bouts of anger.
Will next week’s rebuttal be enough to wake up this jury and save Jodi from the death penalty? Or is it game over for Jodi Arias as many are starting to believe?