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Jodi Arias was forced to answer over 200 tough questions from the jury this week as she stands trial in Phoenix for the 2008 killing of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. Arias claims she stabbed her ex-boyfriend multiple times, shot him in the face, and slit his throat from ear to ear in self-defense.
_ Note: _ We want to warn you that the testimony detailed in this article is extremely graphic.
Defense attempts to restore Arias’ credibility
Back on the witness stand Monday, Arias’ defense team attempted to restore her credibility as a witness on redirect.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez suggested Arias lied when she testified Alexander broke her finger during an alleged assault in January 2008. On the first day of cross-examination last week, Martinez displayed a photograph taken in May 2008 of Arias and her sister, noting Arias’ finger did not appear to be injured. Martinez went on to suggest Arias broke her finger on June 4, 2008, the day of the killing.
In front of the jury, defense attorney Kirk Nurmi had Arias duplicate the pose in the May 2008 photograph to demonstrate for the jury that the injury would not be visible with her hand in that position.
Also on redirect, Arias explained why she had not written in her journal about the alleged incidents of violence, or the time Arias claims she walked in on Alexander pleasuring himself to pictures of young children.
Arias explained that she followed the Law of Attraction, which encouraged writing only about positive things, and that writing about negative events, such as the ones Arias claimed she experienced with Travis, would only make them more significant.
The defense also sought to counter the prosecutor’s suggestion that Arias was as equally sexually aggressive as Alexander, by emphasizing that Arias’ sexual desires were rooted in pleasing Alexander.
Arias testified that she was a willing partner because she was motivated to make Alexander happy. She also said that anal sex was not a common practice in her previous relationships, noting that it was painful the first time she and Alexander engaged in the act on the day of her baptism into the Mormon faith.
Arias also reiterated her love for Alexander, but she denied her love was the kind of obsession that would cause her to kill him in a jealous rage as the state alleges.
“When I discovered the things he [Travis] was doing, the love didn’t go away just because the trust did. I kind of realized that wasn’t going to change…I still loved him, but pulled back from the idea of having a future with him,” Arias said.
Defense attempts to make another comeback
Tuesday, Arias detailed for the jury the events that lead up to the killing on June 4, 2008.
Arias testified that after she dropped Alexander’s camera in the bathroom, he body slammed her on the floor, and she then ran down the hallway into the closet where she grabbed his gun.
On cross-examination, Arias had agreed that she was the one who shot, stabbed and slit Alexander’s throat, but she told the jury she had no memory of the events following the shooting.
“There’s part of me that doesn’t ever want to remember it. I feel like I’m the person that deserves to sit with those memories that I don’t have right now because they were my actions, my responsibility,” Arias told the jury.
Arias also testified she felt she had no choice but to defend herself.
“It’s almost the angriest I’ve ever seen him. I didn’t want him to be on top of me again. I didn’t want him to bring me to the edge again,” Arias testified.
Nurmi also attempted to counter the State’s belief that the killing was premeditated.
Arias testified that she did not need to steal her grandfather’s gun because there were unregistered guns available to her if she indeed intended to arm herself for the purpose of killing Alexander.
She also testified that she went 90 miles south to rent a car for her road trip prior to the killing for economic and geographical reasons, not because of premeditation. The rental car agency there gave her the best quote, and the gas purchases and gas cans were so she would “not run out of gas in the middle of nowhere,” Arias said.
The defense also tried to reinforce the notion that Alexander was the sexual deviant, not Arias.
Arias testified that at times, sex with Alexander was an alternative to violence, claiming that she would engage in sex to control Alexander’s rage and alleviate his stress.
At the end of Tuesday, Nurmi finished his re-direct examination of Arias.
The jurors’ turn to ask the questions
On Wednesday and Thursday, Arias was faced with over 200 questions from the jury. The questions ranged from the events that transpired during the killing and Arias’ cover-up to her relationship with Alexander and the many lies she told to cover her tracks. Below, we’ve complied some of the most critical questions Arias was forced to answer on the witness stand.
Jury question: Why did you continue to sleep with Travis after the child porn issues?
Arias’ answer: That was not a side of Travis that he wanted to even exist, and of course, I didn’t want it to exist. I was under the impression that when he was able to sleep with a woman, he felt more normal as a man. Also, I had seen prior to this incident, good qualities in him and attractive qualities, and I believed this part of him was a negative part, that he didn’t want to foster and was fighting and ultimately eradicate.
Jury question: Why did you confront Travis after seeing him with another woman through his backyard window if it was not due to jealously?
Arias’ answer: I felt he was making an effort. We had just had sex consensually and he said ‘I love you.’ I felt we were getting back together. When I saw that, it seemed it was in contrast to the last month. My intention to go there was to know where I stood. I just wanted to know.
Jury question: When did you find out that Travis had a gun?
Arias’ answer: I found out in the fall of 2007 when I was cleaning his shelves. I had different projects, and it was around the fall. I don’t remember if it was October or November, but it was around that time.
Jury question: Why did you place Travis’ body back in the shower?
Arias’ answer: I could only speculate because I don’t remember.
Jury question: Why did you send Travis’ grandmother flowers?
Arias’ answer: In retrospect, it probably wasn’t a good idea, but I felt it would be more insensitive to do nothing at all.
Jury question: Did you try and clean up the scene after you left on June 4, 2008?
Arias’ answer: Based on evidence, I believe I did maybe make some kind of attempt, but I don’t recall doing that.
Jury question: If you shot Travis first how did the casing land in blood?
Arias’ answer: I don’t believe it landed on blood. I do know that we struggled so something could have happened subsequent to that, but to my knowledge there was no blood in the bathroom before the gunshot went off.
Jury question: Why didn’t you call 911?
Arias’ answer: I was very scared of what would happen to me. I was scared at that point of what was going to happen. I felt I had done something wrong and I don’t have really an adequate explanation for my state of mind following that, but I knew something bad had happened and I was scared.
Jury question: Why is it that you have no memory of stabbing Travis?
Arias’ answer: I can’t really explain why my mind did what it did, maybe because it’s too horrible. I don’t know why I blacked out or have memory gaps.
Jury question: What is your understanding of the word ‘skank?’
Arias’ answer: I don’t know the official definition, but a very negative, derogative term against women.
Jury question: Do you feel the guys in your life cheated on you because you were controlling?
Arias’ answer: I felt it was just the opposite. I feel that they cheated on me because I was too tolerant. I was very trusting, implicitly trusting and very naïve. And I have them the freedom to be and do what they wanted, when they wanted and I think they took advantage of that.
Jury question: Were you mad at Travis while you were stabbing him?
Arias’ answer: I don’t remember being angry that day. I remember being terrified.
Jury question: How do you determine when you will tell the truth and when you will not tell the truth?
Arias’ answer: Anything related back to my involvement in Travis’ death or de-edifying him in any way, I covered up, I attempted to cover up. The lies that I told after all of this happened were directly related to those two main things.
Jury question: Did you ever seek medical help for your mental condition?
Arias’ answer: I’m not sure what mental condition that refers to.
Jury question: Have you ever taken medication for your memory issue?
Arias’ answer: No.
Jury question: Why were you afraid of the consequences if you killed Travis in self-defense?
Arias’ answer: I believed that it’s not okay in any circumstance to take someone’s life, even if you’re defending your own life. That’s how I believed it. So I never really stopped to consider how society would view it. If someone was defending themselves, I just felt like I had done something wrong. And I was afraid of what the consequences would be.
Jury question: If you were scared of what Travis was capable of doing, why would you let him tie you up?
Arias’ answer: When that occurred, he was in a very good mood, and he wasn’t displaying any signs of agitation. That was the Travis that I liked and was not afraid of. The moment he began to get angry.
Jury question: Do you recall the injuries on Travis’ body at any point on June 4 without the aid of photographs?
Arias’ answer: No. I didn’t even realize that I shot him.
Jury question: How do you explain the blood on your hands and clothes and the bloody palm print on the wall?
Arias’ answer: Well, I do know that we struggled that day. It would have been because of how we fought. I don’t know how things ended up where they ended up. I just that we were fighting physically.
Jury question: Did you enjoy having sex with Travis?
Arias’ answer: For the most part, yes, I did, very much.
Jury question: Would you decide to tell the truth if you never got arrested?
Arias’ answer: I honestly don’t know the answer to that question.
Jury question: How can you say that you don’t have memory issues when you can’t remember how you stabbed him so many times and slashed his throat?
Arias’ answer: Well, I think that I have a good memory, and June 4th is an anomaly for me. It’s like I said yesterday, it’s in a class of its own. I can’t explain why, what kind of state of mind I was in. Most of the day was an entire blank. And little pieces have come back, but, not very many. So I can’t explain that day alone. But if you were, to put that day over here, all the other days in my life, I don’t think I have memory issues that are any different from another average person.
Jury question: After all the lies you have told, why should we believe you now?
Arias’ answer: Lying isn’t typically something I just do. I’m not going to say that I’ve never told a lie in my life before this incident, but the lies that I’ve told in this case are, can’t be tied directly back to either protecting Travis’ reputation or my involvement in his head in any way. Because I was very ashamed of his death and also, I wanted to identify Travis in a good way. I didn’t want to de-edify him or say hateful things now that he passed away and I didn’t want it to be construed as motive. For example, if he was violent with me.
Jury question: Would you agree that you came away from the June 4 incident rather unscathed while Travis suffered a gunshot and multiple stab wounds?
Arias’ answer: As far as making a comparison of physical injuries, him versus mine, yes, I would have to say that’s a relatively accurate assessment.
Next Wednesday, Jodi Arias will return to the witness stand for her 18th day of testimony as prosecutor Juan Martinez will continue to question her about her answers to the jurors’ questions. Don’t miss a minute of the courtroom testimony with live coverage of the Jodi Arias trial on HLN.