Role reversal: How Arias may have turned the tables

NEED TO KNOW
  • For 15 minutes Tuesday, Jodi Arias acted as an attorney, visibly frustrating prosecutor Juan Martinez
  • Arias is accused of killing her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in Arizona; she says she killed him in self-defense
Role reversal: How Arias may have turned the tables

Could being a woman protect Jodi?

Could being a woman protect Jodi?

Re-enactment of Travis Alexander's death

This graphic animation shows a possible timeline of how and when Jodi Arias stabbed & shot Travis Alexander to death in his home.

For about 15 minutes Tuesday, Jodi Arias and prosecutor Juan Martinez sparred over his aggressive style of questioning.

Arias was able to turn the tables on Martinez, shifting the focus of the trial from whether Arias murdered her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander to Martinez’s courtroom behavior.

Read more: In Session's live blog of Tuesday's testimony

Arias blamed Martinez’s combative style of questioning for her apparent inability to answer his questions accurately.

“I think I’m more focused on your posture and your tone and your anger so it’s hard to process the question,” said Arias.

Read more: 142 evidence photos from the Arias trial

Multiple times, Arias said she was confused and didn’t know how to answer Martinez’s circular questions.

Martinez asked, “You think so, means you don't know, right?”

“I don't know,” replied Arias.

Martinez asked, “How is it that you’re not remembering what you’re saying?”

“Because you're making my brain scramble,” replied Arias.

Martinez asked, “So… it's the questions being posed by the prosecutor, right?”

“No, not the questions,” replied Arias.

At one point, Arias acted as her own attorney and objected to one of Martinez’s questions, saying it was a compound question and she couldn’t answer it. A compound question contains two questions and is otherwise known as a double-barreled question. It is a valid objection according to the rules of evidence.

A few minutes later, Arias complained that Martinez’s posture in the courtroom was distracting her.

Martinez asked, “You're telling us the truth from the witness stand, right?”

Arias immediately responded, “Absolutely.”

“You’re having trouble telling us the truth because of the way the questions are being posed, right?” said Martinez.

Arias calmly replied, “I have no problem telling the truth.”

Martinez then asked Arias to tell him what exactly the problem was with his questioning, “So, it’s something else, then, that the prosecutor is doing that’s bothering you, right?"

Arias responded that she didn’t know how to answer that question.

Martinez appeared frustrated and asked, “You’re the one that pointed the finger at the prosecutor, right? You indicated that the prosecutor’s posture was aggressive, right?”

Arias told Martinez, “I didn’t say aggressive.”

Martinez shot back, “There is something with the prosecutor’s posture that you have problems, right?”

Arias quietly responded, “I don't know… It creates a problem with me processing what you’re saying, because I’m focused more on your posture than the content of your question.”

Eventually, Martinez ended this back and forth with Arias by moving on to the issue of why she broke up with Alexander in June of 2007.

But that 15-minute sparring session could end up helping Arias. She may be trying to call as much attention as possible to Martinez’s feisty style to paint the prosecution as being unfair. If a juror agrees that the prosecutor is out of line and sympathizes with her, Arias may be able to avoid conviction.

 

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