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Bombshell: Jodi Arias beat her mother?

NEED TO KNOW
  • HLN is covering the Jodi Arias trial live gavel-to-gavel
  • Arias is accused of killing Travis Alexander, but she says she did it in self-defense
  • Watch 'HLN After Dark: The Jodi Arias Trial' at 10 p.m. on HLN
Bombshell: Jodi Arias beat her mother?

When court is done for the day, the conversation is only just beginning. Watch HLN’s newest hit show "HLN After Dark: The Jodi Arias Trial" nightly at 10 p.m. on HLN.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez dropped a bombshell in court Monday, claiming that Jodi Arias had a history of beating her mother. It is unclear where he got the information from since neither the defense team nor the prosecution have hinted at the incidents before. 

Forensic psychologist Richard Samuels is on the stand testifying about how he diagnosed Arias with post-traumatic stress disorder for allegedly killing her ex-boyfriend in self-defense. One symptom of PTSD Samuels said he observed in Arias was her bouts of irritability and anger.

Martinez pointed out Arias had bouts of anger before the alleged trauma of killing Alexander on June 4, 2008.

“When she was a teenager, isn’t it true that the defendant had such anger toward her mother Sandy, that she treated her like crap,” said Martinez.

“Yes,” said Samuels.

“And isn’t it true that they argued all the time, right?” asked Martinez.

“Yes,” said Samuels.

“And isn’t it true that during that time, the defendant hit Sandy for no reason?” asked Martinez.

“Yes,” said Samuels.

“And this was all before this June 4, 2008 incident?” asked Martinez.

“But it’s irrelevant for the diagnosis,” said Samuels.

“Am I asking you that?” asked Martinez.

Martinez also referenced another incident when Arias allegedly became physically violent with her mother.

“Isn’t it true that, at some point, one of the times that they were together, they were sitting down for dinner or something and isn’t it true that the defendant got mad and kicked Sandy for no reason?”

“I read that, yes,” said Samuels.

“For no reason, right?” asked Martinez.

“That’s what it says, yes,” said Samuels.

Arias testified earlier in the trial that her mother beat her when she was a child.

Sandy Arias has been attending her daughter’s trial almost everyday.

HLN is live-blogging the Jodi Arias trial. Read about Samuel's testimony from Thursday here , Day 1 of his testimony hereDay 2 hereDay 3 here and Day 4 hereRead below for minute-by-minute updates from Monday's proceedings (best read from the bottom):

7:30 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens has recessed court for the evening. Testimony will resume tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. ET.

7:29 p.m. ET: Here is a link to one of domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette's books being sold on Amazon.

7:27 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

7:26 p.m. ET: LaViolette said she has worked on child custody cases, homicides, kidnapping cases and stalking cases.

7:25 p.m. ET: Since 1984, LaViolette said she has only worked on about 60 criminal cases in a forensic capacity.

7:24 p.m. ET: The first criminal trial LaViolette testified in was in 1984.

7:22 p.m. ET: LaViolette is now talking about how she has written books about domestic violence.

7:20 p.m. ET: Willmott is now having LaViolette walk through all the professional awards she has received during her career.

7:19 p.m. ET:

7:16 p.m. ET: LaViolette has given speeches all over the world about a wide gambit of domestic violence issues.

7:14 p.m. ET: LaViolette said she gives speeches about anger management and why abused women go back to the men that abused them.

7:11 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking LaViolette about her volunteer work. She said she helps train people who work at battered women shelters in her free time.

7:09 p.m. ET: LaViolette says she now provides couple therapy, abuse victims and helps with custody issues as well.

7:08 p.m. ET: LaViolette said as she worked with abusive men, she learned they were in pain and many of them wanted to change and wanted their partners back. Occasionally, some of these men threatened her and scared her.

7:05 p.m. ET: In the 1970s, LaViolette said little was known about domestic violence.

7:02 p.m. ET: As LaViolette worked with battered women, she learned a lot the perpetrators of the violence were abused as children and needed help coping with trauma.

7:00 p.m. ET: LaViolette said at the battered women's shelter they discovered that a large amount of the women she worked with returned to men that abused them. The shelter created a program for the men so that women would go back to a safer place. At first, LaViolette did not want to help with the men's program, but she ultimately did help.

6:57 p.m. ET: Willmott asked LaViolette about how she has worked in a battered women's shelter. LaViolette said she helped the women in a variety of ways including running a 24-hour crisis hotline.

6:54 p.m. ET: LaViolette is talking about her education and professional experience as a psychologist. 

6:51 p.m. ET: The defense has called domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette to the stand.

LaViolette's testimony may support Arias' claim that she was in an abusive relationship. She may also have an explanation for what motivated Arias to lie about killing Alexander.

6:38 p.m. ET: Martinez has concluded his questions for Samuels. The psychologist is done testifying. Judge Stephens has recessed court for 5 minutes, and the next witness will take the stand when court resumes.

6:37 p.m. ET: Martinez is accusing Samuels of changing his story when it comes to knowing about the procedures for when inmates are suicidal in Arizona jails.

6:34 p.m. ET: Willmott has finished her follow-up questions for Samuels. Martinez is asking Samuels if he gained new information from an outside source during the course of the trial. Samuels said no, he has not gained any new information during the trial. Martinez wants to know how he found out Arias was suicidal.

6:32 p.m. ET:

Wilmott asked, "You were asked about giving patients books…is that something you do?"

"That’s just the way that I did my work. I had a carton of books that I felt were appropriate, especially in cases where individuals couldn’t afford to buy the book -- I would give it to them to help get them started in the self-help part of their therapy. Similarly when I did evaluations for people, because I could not serve as a therapist, I would sometimes give them a self-help book if I felt it would be useful for them," said Samuels.

6:31 p.m. ET:

6:30 p.m. ET:

6:29 p.m. ET: The attorneys are now at a sidebar.

6:28 p.m. ET:

Wilmott asked, "When someone creates an alternative reality, does that help them to not have to deal with what the reality is?"

"Correct. It insulates them from the feelings associated with the worst part of the trauma," said Samuels.

6:27 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking Samuels about how Arias told him how she felt after telling him she killed Alexander in self-defense. Samuels said Arias told him she felt like a huge weight had been lifted off her, and this is consistent with an alternative reality.

6:23 p.m. ET: Defense attorney Willmott is now asking Samuels follow-up questions.

6:22 p.m. ET: Juror question: Do you have access to media during this trial?

Samuels said he has avoided all media during the trial.

6:21 p.m. ET: Juror question: What is the difference between covering up and alternative reality?

“Covering up is a voluntary, creating an alibi for yourself. The alternative reality is a psychological process, known as a defense mechanism, and it occurs through subconscious forces. The individual who is afflicted by that oftentimes is not even aware of the depth of their cognitive distortion,” said Samuels.

6:20 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens is asking Samuels questions from the jury.

6:19 p.m. ET: Samuels is taking the stand, and testimony should resume shortly.

5:57 p.m. ET: Willmott has concluded her questions from Samuels. Judge Stephens has recessed court until 6:10 p.m. ET. The live blog will continue at that time.

5:54 p.m. ET: Samuels is explaining how Arias' answers on a PTSD where she lied did not affect her score or his diagnosis of PTSD.

5:51 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking Samuels about how Arias took tranquilizers for eight months after Alexander died, and how they affected her sleep.

5:50 p.m. ET: Willmott asked Samuels about Arias’ suicidal plans.

“She didn’t have a specific plan but she said it was part of her plan not to live long enough to go to trial,” said Samuels.

5:48 p.m. ET:

5:46 p.m. ET: Willmott is now asking Samuels about how Arias' behavior shortly after Alexander's death was a way of avoiding emotions and thoughts about killing Alexander. Samuels said it was like she was living in a fantasy land.

5:44 p.m. ET: Defense attorney Willmott is asking Samuels if during the phone sex conversation that was played in court earlier in the trial whether Alexander seemed unwilling to engage in that sexual behavior. Samuels said he seemed willing.

5:41 p.m. ET: Martinez has concluded his questions for Samuels. The attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge to review more jury questions.

“In your 35 years you have had training in how to keep reports and records straight, right?” asked Martinez.

“Yes,” said Samuels.

“You weren’t successful with the records and reports, were you? You weren’t accurate?” asked Martinez.

“A typographical error is not equivalent to be a neutral, empathic listener,” said Samuels.

“I’m not asking about that. I’m asking -- although you had training, you still failed in being accurate…” said Martinez.

“I admit, a mistake was made in typing,” said Samuels.

“Just like you’ve had your 35 years of training, you made a mistake. Just like you had your 35 years of being compassionate and empathic, isn’t it true that in this case, you lost your objectivity?” asked Martinez.

“Absolutely not… absolutely not,” said Samuels.

5:38 p.m. ET:

5:37 p.m. ET: Samuels said he has been accused of being compassionate, but it did not affect his judgment in Arias' case.

“Empathy factored into this evaluation as it would with any person I work with because we are trained to be empathic listeners. But we are also trained to remain completely objective in doing our work whether it’s psychotherapeutic or evaluative,” said Samuels.

5:35 p.m. ET: Martinez asked Samuels if his compassion for the defendant skewed his judgment in this case. Samuels said they are trained to be impartial and to not to over identify with clients.

5:34 p.m. ET: Martinez is now walking Samuels to the flight-or-fight instinct. He asked Samuels if animals would stick around an mess with a carcass. Samuels said sometimes they will stick around and eat the carcass. 

“In that hypothetical, once a winner is determined – let’s assume by death – they don’t stick around, do they?” asked Martinez.

“No,” said Samuels.

“They take off?” asked Martinez.

“Yes,” said Samuels.

5:33 p.m. ET:

5:31 p.m. ET: Martinez pointed out that in the online conversation Alexander complains Arias is taking advantage of him sexually. Samuels agreed with Martinez that Alexander did say that.

5:27 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

5:25 p.m. ET: Samuels is still reading the conversation between Alexander and Arias.

5:22 p.m. ET:

5:21 p.m. ET: Samuels is reading the whole conversation between Alexander and Arias to himself.

5:19 p.m. ET: Martinez just read part of an online chat Alexander sent Arias where he said he just felt like a sex toy with a heartbeat. Samuels is now reviewing the a copy of the conversation.

5:15 p.m. ET: Martinez was about to read an online chat between Arias and Alexander, but the defense objected. The attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.

5:12 p.m. ET: Samuels is explaining how trauma applies to both lawful and unlawful killings. Samuels said people react differing depending on whether the killing was lawful or not. The attorneys are now at a sidebar.

5:09 p.m. ET: Martinez is asking Samuels how Arias must have been thinking about the trauma of killing Alexander when was cleaning up the crime scene. The attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.

5:06 p.m. ET: Martinez asked Samuels if he was aware Arias called Alexander's phone shortly after killing him to create an alibi. Samuels said he was aware she did that, and it may have been part of her alternative reality.

5:03 p.m. ET: Samuels said it does require Arias to think about the trauma when she wrote in her journal about Alexander after his death.

“If she’s talking about him in glowing terms, and how wonderful he was, it’s a way of insulating her from the harsh reality that she did the killing. And so that method of dealing with his demise is very different from someone saying, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve done this horrible thing but I take full responsibility for that.’ It’s a different way of dealing with a similar situation,” said Samuels.

5:01 p.m. ET: Samuels said all of these behaviors would be consistent with PTSD if Arias created an alternative reality to avoid the fact she killed Alexander.

4:59 p.m. ET: Martinez is walking through other examples of Arias' behavior that show she wasn't trying to avoid thoughts and feelings about the trauma of killing Aleaxander. He said Arias wrote about her thoughts about Alexander in a journal after his death. He is also pointing out how Arias attended a memorial service for Alexander.

4:56 p.m. ET: Udy testified Arias told her the day after Alexander died, that Arias wanted her children to play with Alexander's children when they grow up. Martinez pointed out that this is not avoiding feelings about Alexander's death. Samuels disagreed.

4:54 p.m. ET: Martinez asked Samuels about how Arias spoke with her friend Leslie Udy. The defense objected, and the attorneys are at another sidebar.

4:52 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar.

4:50 p.m. ET:

4:49 p.m. ET: Martinez is pointing out that Arias sent flowers to Alexander's grandmother after his death, and how she gave TV interviews about Alexander's death. He says Arias choose to think about his death during these incidents.

“That’s not an effort to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations associated with the killing, is it?” asked Martinez.

“It’s an effort to distance herself from the reality of the fact that she did the killing,” said Samuels.

“And that effort requires thinking, doesn’t it?” asked Martinez.

“Yes,” said Samuels.

“Isn’t it true that she discussed thoughts, feelings and conversations associated with the trauma in the 48 Hours interview?”

“Yes,” said Samuels.

“So, again, that speaks against what’s in #1, doesn’t it?” asked Martinez.

“I’m sorry, I don’t see it that way,” said Samuels.

“Right, you wouldn’t see it that way because you have feelings for the defendant, right?” asked Martinez.

“I beg your pardon, sir,” said Samuels.

4:47 p.m. ET:

4:45 p.m. ET: Samuels said her story about two intruders killing Alexander was her attempt to avoid thoughts and feelings about the killing.

4:44 p.m. ET: Martinez is asking Samuels about how another PTSD symptom he observed in Arias was her avoidance of stimuli having to do with the trauma.

4:43 p.m. ET: Samuels is taking the witness stand, and the jury is being seated.

4:36 p.m. ET:

4:35 p.m. ET: The judge is back on the bench, and testimony should resume any minute.

3:02 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens has recessed court for lunch. The live blog will pick back up at 4:30 p.m. ET when testimony resumes.

2:59 p.m. ET: Martinez is asking Samuels about how another PTSD symptom he observed in Arias was her inability to remember an important aspect of the trauma. Samuels said his opinion is that the Arias suffered from dissociative amnesia caused by the trauma. Martinez pointed out there is no way to scientific or biological test to see if Arias in fact does suffer from amnesia. Samuels agreed, but there are other ways to know if she does in fact suffer from amnesia.

“There is no scientific test that can be conducted to determine whether or not a person actually had amnesia, right?” asked Martinez.

“Well there probably are but not within the realm of this type of evaluation,” said Samuels.

“Are you saying, for example, that somebody could hook up the defendant up to some sort of machine and that machine could tell us whether or not she actually experienced this loss?” asked Martinez.

“There might be a way of doing that with scanning and electrodes implanted in the brain, but as I said, it’s not something that we could use as a practical tool these days,” said Samuels.

2:57 p.m. ET: Martinez is writing down the symptoms of PTSD Samuels said he observed in Arias as he goes along.

 

2:54 p.m. ET: Martinez is asking Samuels about how another PTSD symptom he observed in Arias was her detachment from others. Samuels said Arias had difficulty of feeling attachments with other inmates. Martinez pointed out it was Arias first time being in jail, and that is a pretty common emotion when someone is in jail for the first time.

2:51 p.m. ET:

“She built up a defense mechanism to help her not deal with the emotional trauma with what really happened. She created an alternative universe that she responded to. So it’s not surprising that she could smile and laugh about this alternative universe because it didn’t actually exist. When talking about Mr. Alexander at a later time with me, she had blunted affect,” said Samuels.

“With regard to this alternative universe that you’re talking about, it’s nothing more that a lie, right?” asked Martinez.

“In your words, sir,” said Samuels.

2:48 p.m. ET: Samuels said he believes Arias constructed the story that two intruders killed Alexander as a defense mechanism, because she couldn't cope with reality emotionally.

2:45 p.m. ET: Now Martinez is asking Samuels about how another PTSD symptom he observed in Arias was her blunted affect or inability to feel or show emotions. Samuels said during interviews with Arias she did not have the emotions he expected her to have when she talked about killing Alexander.

2:44 p.m. ET:

“At no time when she was in the jail, was there any indication that she was on suicide watch, right?” asked Martinez.

“No, she never had a plan,” said Samuels.

“In other words, it wasn’t there. You didn’t find anything like that, right?” asked Martinez.

“No,” said Samuels.

“So the only thing you really have to point that out to us, is her word, right?” asked Martinez.

“Yes,” said Samuels.

2:43 p.m. ET:

“Her plan was to eventually kill herself,” said Samuels.

“Sir, that’s not a new thing for her, is it? It’s something that she thought of before, right?”

“She may have thought of it before but this became an overwhelming thought and plan for her. She never felt that she would be going to trial. She figured somehow she would be taking her life,” said Samuels.

2:41 p.m. ET: Samuels said Arias suicidal thoughts was a symptom of PTSD. Martinez said that she had suicidal thoughts before the trauma of killing Arias.

Samuels said it became a predominate thought after the trauma.

2:38 p.m. ET: Martinez played a recording of an interview he conducted with Samuels. On the recording, Samuels said Arias had trouble to sleeping, which could be a characteristic of hyper vigilance which is a symptom of PTSD. Samuels said that was not the only characteristic of hyper vigilance he observed in Arias. Arias told Samuels the noises in the jail seemed louder than they should be, and lights seemed brighter then they should be.

2:32 p.m. ET:

2:30 p.m. ET: The attorneys are still at a sidebar.

2:21 p.m ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

2:18 p.m ET: Now Martinez is asking Samuels about how another PTSD symptom he observed in Arias was her inability to concentrate. Samuels said Arias had trouble reading as an example of this behavio, but Martinez pointed out that Arias testified she read the Book of Mormon cover to cover.

2:17 p.m. ET:

“When she was a teenager, isn’t it true that the defendant had such anger towards her mother Sandy, that she treated her like crap,” said Martinez.

“Yes,” said Samuels.

“And isn’t it true that they argued all the time, right?” asked Martinez.

“Yes,” said Samuels.

“And isn’t it true that during that time, the defendant hit Sandy for no reason?” asked Martinez.

“Yes,” said Samuels.

“And this was all before this June 4, 2008 incident?” asked Martinez.

“But it’s irrelevant for the diagnosis,” said Samuels.

“Am I asking you that?” asked Martinez.

2:15 p.m. ET:

“Isn’t it true that, at some point, one of the times that they were together, they were sitting down for dinner or something and isn’t it true that the defendant got mad and kicked Sandy for no reason?”

“I read that, yes,” said Samuels.

“For no reason, right?” asked Martinez.

“That’s what it says, yes,” said Samuels.

2:13 p.m. ET: Martinez is asking Samuels why he disregarded a incident where she got violent with her mother, and an incident just months before the murder when he diagnosed Arias as suffering form irritability and anger. Samuels said some of the behavior may have been present before the truama, but in his clinical judgment Arias did suffer from irritability and anger and he stands behind it.

"According to the report of Ms. Arias, her anger towards her mother became more focused and more intense as a result of her incarceration. Now we don’t know for sure if she was more angry because she was incarcerated or whether this was a reaction to the trauma that she suffered,” said Samuels.

2:09 p.m. ET: Martinez said Arias was always mean to her mother and no one knows why. Arias and her mother allegedly got into a fight when she moved from Mesa, Arizona to Yreka, California.

“Isn’t it true that the defendant and Sandy (Arias' mother) never got along, right?” asked Martinez.

“Correct,” said Samuels.

“And Jodi, or the defendant, was always mean to Sandy and no one knows why, right?” asked Martinez.

“Correct,” said Samuels.

2:06 p.m. ET: Martinez said Arias hit her mother "no reason" when she was a teenager. He also said Arias argued with her mother all the time when she was teenager. Samuels said it wasn't relevant to the diagnosis. The defense objected to Martinez's questioning, and now the attorneys are at a sidebar.

2:03 p.m. ET:

2:01 p.m. ET:

1:59 p.m. ET: Martinez showed Samuels some more documents to review, and now the attorneys are at another sidebar.

1:57 p.m. ET: Both Arias and her attorney Jennifer Willmott are wearing white today.

1:55 p.m. ET: The attorneys are still at a sidebar with the judge.

1:49 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

1:48 p.m. ET: Martinez is walking Samuels through all the PTSD symptoms he says he observed in Arias. He is trying to show Arias displayed some of these behaviors before she killed Alexander. Samuels has testified Arias suffered from outbursts of anger which is a symptom of PTSD, but Martinez pointed out she has had outbursts with her mother before the alledged trauma of killing Alexander.

1:45 p.m ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

1:43 p.m. ET: Martinez is now walking Samuels through symptoms he observed Arias was suffering from that led him to diagnosis her with PTSD.

1:38 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

1:37 p.m. ET: Martinez is now asking Samuels if he rescored the other PTSD test he gave Arias called the MCMI.

1:35 p.m. ET: Martinez asked Samuels if he rescored the test, because he was "sloppy." Samuels said no he was not sloppy, he just made a mistake.

1:33 p.m. ET:

“And you decided, on a whim or for whatever reason, that you wanted to rescore it, which is what we’re talking about?” asked Martinez.

“It was not on a whim, sir,” said Samuels.

“Well you decided to rescore it even though you already had a result,” said Martinez.

“For my own purposes, yes. And I’m entitled to do that, by the way,” said Samuels.

“No one’s asking you whether you’re entitled to do it or not,” said Martinez.

1:31 p.m. ET: Martinez asked Samuels if he decided to rescore the test, because he doubted himself. Samuels said no he didn't doubt himself, and he had downtown and he just decided to rescore it, which he is entitled to do.

“What is the necessity of rescoring this since you already had an original score – did you doubt yourself?” asked Martinez.

“No, sir. I decided that I wanted to recalculate it, that’s all. I have the option to do that, should I want to do that. I could score 10 times if I wanted to,” said Samuels.

1:29 p.m. ET: When Samuels rescored the PTSD test, Arias got a higher score. Samuels said he was entitled to rescore the test.

1:26 p.m. ET: Martinez doesn't understand why Samuels didn't have all of his materials he needed to score the test correctly the first time. Samuels maintains he didn't have everything he needed.

1:25 p.m. ET:  Arias is wearing a white sweater in court this morning.

1:23 p.m. ET: Prosecutor Martinez is asking Samuels about how he re-scored Arias PTSD test results. Samuels said he decided to rescore it to be accurate, because he did not have all his materials the first time he scored the test.

1:18 p.m. ET: Judge Sherry Stephens is on the bench, and Samuels is taking the stand.

1:15 p.m. ET: Testimony should begin any minute now.

The jury in the Jodi Arias trial has been listening to testimony since the trial started on Jan. 2, 2013, and fatigue may start to be a factor in the case.

If the jury is becoming tired and disinterested in testimony, it could mean they have already made up their minds about whether Arias is guilty or innocent. At different times during the trial, jurors have been spotted yawning during critical moments of Arias' testimony.

This could be bad for the defense, because they are still expected to call one more witness after defense psychologist Richard Samuels is done testifying.

The trial has lasted for nearly three months, and Arias spent 18 grueling days on the witness stand testifying about everything from her childhood and past relationships to her kinky sex life with ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. Arias testified that Alexander's alleged sexual and physical abuse culminated in a violent altercation in June 2008, forcing her to kill him in self-defense.

Defense witness Samuels will take the stand again Monday to answer more tough questions from prosecutor Juan Martinez. The forensic psychologist has been testifying since March 1, saying the reason Arias doesn't remember all the details of what took place before and after the brutal slaying of Alexander is that she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

Monday could be Samuels' last day on the stand. HLN producers in the courtroom saw the jurors submitting even more questions to the judge, so it's possible Samuels may have to answer more questions from the jurors.

Domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette is expected to be called to the stand after Samuels.

LaViolette's testimony may support Arias' claim that she was in an abusive relationship. She may also have an explanation for what motivated Arias to lie about killing Alexander.

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