Did Travis Alexander abuse other women?

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  • 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
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Did Travis Alexander abuse other women?

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.

Domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette's testimony rocked the courtroom Thursday when she claimed that two of Travis Alexander's longtime friends told Jodi Arias not to date Alexander, because he had a past of being abusive to women.

“They have basically advised Ms. Arias to move on from the relationship… that Mr. Alexander has been abusive to women…” said LaViolette.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez tried every way he could to object to the testimony, but Judge Sherry Stephens allowed the jury to hear it.

“And so, in this e-mail, is there information about whether or not Mr. Alexander’s closest friends thought he had issues with women?” asked defense attorney Jennifer Willmott.

“Yes, there is,” said LaViolette.

“And what type of behaviors were the issues that Mr. Alexander seemed to have, based on what his friends thought?” asked Willmott.

Martinez objected to Willmott's question based on hearsay.

Watch: Has Arias accepted her fate?

LaViolette's testimony supported Arias’ claim that she was a victim of domestic violence. LaViolette may be the defense’s last hope to convince the jury Arias did not intend to kill Alexander.

HLN is live-blogging the Jodi Arias trial. Read about LaViolette's testimony Tuesday here, and her first moments on the witness stand here. Read below for minute-by-minute updates from the trial. (Best read from the bottom up):

3:05 p.m. ET: The judge has recessed court until Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. ET.

3:03 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

3:02 p.m. ET:

2:59 p.m. ET: Sky Hughes wrote in an email that she would not allow Alexander to date her sister.

“They (Chris and Sky Hughes) thought he needed counseling, they also indicated that they thought he was greatly affected by his childhood and he was afraid to look at it because he was afraid it would make him look weak,” said LaViolette.

“There was reference to a particular woman and his manipulation of that woman. There was information about Mr. Alexander calling Ms. Arias a skank and then acting like it was a joke. There was information about the way he ignored her in public places and would not allow her to put pictures of them up in places where other people could see them. Just basic ways he treated her, or they felt he mistreated her… that they indicated were abusive, that he called rough around the edges and they called abusive,” said LaViolette.

2:50 p.m. ET: LaViolette said Sky and Chris Hughes advised Arias to move on from her relationship with Alexander, because Alexander had been previously abusive with women. Martinez is objecting to the testimony anyway he can. The attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.

“They have basically advised Ms. Arias to move on from the relationship… that Mr. Alexander has been abusive to women…” said LaViolette.

“The question with regard to whether or not the Hughes thought Mr. Alexander had previously been abusive with women, is that important to you?” asked Willmott.

“Yes, it is,” said LaViolette.

“Does that help you to formulate an opinion ultimately about the type of relationship this ended up to be?” asked Willmott.

“Yes it does,” said LaViolette.

“And so, in this e-mail, is there information about whether or not Mr. Alexander’s closest friends thought he had issues with women?” asked Willmott.

“Yes, there is,” said LaViolette.

“And what type of behaviors were the issues that Mr. Alexander seemed to have, based on what his friends thought?” asked Willmott.

Martinez objected to Willmott's question based on hearsay.

2:44 p.m. ET: LaViolette just began to discuss the email conversation between Alexander and his long time friends Chris and Sky Hughes, and now the attorneys are back at another sidebar with the judge.

2:40 p.m. ET:

2:37 p.m. ET: The attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.

2:36 p.m. ET: LaViolette is now discussing an email conversation between Alexander and his longtime friends Chris and Sky Hughes.

2:33 p.m. ET: At the beginning of their relationship, Arias sent Alexander an email for clarification about their relationship status. Arias wanted to know if they were exclusive. LaViolette indicated this email may have been a sign of how Alexander was beginning to show jealous behavior.

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

2:26 p.m. ET: LaViolette said there were signs of jealousy at the beginning of Arias and Alexander's relationship. The attorneys are now at another sidebar.

2:24 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

2:22 p.m. ET: “The conflict is, there is sex and she’s now part of that. She’s in a sexual relationship, she’s not supposed to be sexual in the same way but she’s got a spiritual mentor who’s telling her that the sex isn’t so bad and they can do this and so she’s now implicated, she’s now part of it,” said LaViolette.

2:20 p.m. ET: LaViolette is back on the stand. She is explaining how Arias and Alexander engaged in anal sex after her baptism. Alexander told her the Mormon Church only prohibits vaginal sex before marriage so they could engage in anal sex.

2:08 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens has recessed court for five minutes.

2:06 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking LaViolette to explain how important it was to Arias to be baptized into the Mormon church. Arias told her that not only was it important to her to be baptized, but it was also very special to her that Alexander baptized her personally.

“Ms. Arias’ baptism was very important to her. It was spiritually significant to her and it was very significant that Mr. Alexander was doing the baptism as well because she asked him to do it because they were sharing a spiritual experience that has great importance in the Mormon faith and because it demonstrates a connection between the two people,” said LaViolette.

Arias called him a “spiritual guide” according to LaViolette because he allowed her to understand and become more active in the Mormon faith.

2:02 p.m. ET: LaViolette said one time Alexander slapped Arias on her butt in a possessive way in front of some truckers.

2:01 p.m. ET:

1:59 p.m. ET: LaViolette said that within two weeks of meeting Alexander, Arias engaged in oral sex with him, and he had also challenged her to read the Book of Mormon.

1:58 p.m. ET: The morning after having their first sexual experience together Arias and Alexander went to church.

1:57 p.m. ET: LaViolette said Arias was vulnerable when she met Alexander, because she had just gotten out of a long-term relationship.

“I think one of the things that happens is for many young women it is very difficult to say no, especially if they’re attracted to someone… when they feel pressured, they’re not sure how to stand up for themselves. This certainly isn’t every woman. I’m not trying to say that at all. But when you’re a more vulnerable woman, when you’re not an assertive woman and maybe when your boundaries aren’t good, you’re much more likely,” said LaViolette.

1:55 p.m. ET: At Alexander's friend's house, Arias had her first sexual experience with Alexander. Alexander performed oral sex on her, and she said it was "too fast too soon."

1:53 p.m. ET: Now LaViolette is about how Arias met Alexander at one of his friend's house about a week and a half after meeting him at the conference.

1:52 p.m. ET: Arias told LaViolette that she was looking for a man to start a family with around the time she met Alexander.  LaViolette said at the beginning Arias and Alexander's relationship was not abusive.

1:48 p.m. ET: LaViolette is now describing how Alexander and Arias met at a conference.

“He pursued her and it was pretty exciting and I believe that’s when he told her he was Mormon and she was very impressed with the family values of the Mormon faith… she was very disappointed that she wasn’t married and didn’t have children,” said LaViolette.

“What’s important to me is there’s such a power differential between the two of them. When someone has power, when someone is a high roller, when someone is prestigious in their faith, when someone courts you and woos you and pulls you into a situation, there’s a power difference,” said LaViolette.

1:46 p.m. ET: Arias' grandparents said they believe Arias had issues with her mother, because she did not protect her from her father.

1:44 p.m. ET: LaViolette said Arias' mother taught Arias to stay in a relationship even if it wasn't what you wanted. "Through thick and thin," said LaViolette.

Arias said, "‘I think I must have learned about giving up the things I want for somebody I love,’” said LaViolette.

1:42 p.m. ET: Arias's father allegedly said sexually inappropriate comments to his daughter about her breats and butt according to LaViolette.

“He would talk about Jodi’s body, about her boobs being too small, her friend had a smaller booty than she did – sexually inappropriate comments to your daughter. That’s the way I would see it,” said LaViolette.

1:40 p.m. ET: LaViolette said read interviews that were conducted with Arias' family members. She said she learned there was some physical discipline and some of it was over the line. She said Arias' parents gave her welts. Arias' father was manipulative and controlling.

“I learned that in Jodi’s family there’s a certain amount of physical discipline. Some, which I would consider went over the line and some that didn’t… when you leave welts on a child, and that was information that I was given, that they were hit with spoons… between Jodi’s mother and father, Jodi’s father was controlling and manipulative and made derogatory statements if her mother gained weight… he was jealous and didn’t want [Jodi’s mother] to spend time with family members, particularly her sisters,” said LaViolette.

1:38 p.m. ET: Willmott asked LaViolette what she knows about the Arias childhood, and Martinez objected. The attorneys are now at a sidebar.

1:36 p.m. ET: LaViolette said she has given reading materials in her other cases, because jail is boring and it is not breaking a ethical rule to give clients reading materials.

1:34 p.m. ET: Willmott asked LaViolette whether her judgement was clouded in anyway as she worked on Arias. LaViolette said she spends a lot time investigating the cases she works on, because she doesn't want to testify about something she doesn't believe.

LaViolette said she gave Arias four books to her during the evaluation process. The attorneys are now at a sidebar.

1:30 p.m. ET:

1:28 p.m. ET: LaViolette is now going all the evidence she reviewed in the Arias case. She said she spent about 44 hours speaking with Arias.

1:23 p.m. ET: LaViolette said she has obeserved that people in the public can judge a victim of domestic violence more harshly than the perpetrator.

Survivors feel judged. Survivors have spoken about not being able to tell people and then when they finally tell somebody, that people wondered what they had done to provoke it. Or why they had stayed for as log as they did. Or if there’s children involved – the impact on their children,” said LaViolette.

1:18 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge. Arias is listening closely to LaViolette's testimony.

1:16 p.m. ET: Defense attorney Willmott is asking LaViolette to explain how Hollywood inaccurately portrays domestic violence on the big screen. LaViolette said the problem with Hollywood is that the depict people in absolutes such as people are all good or all evil.

1:13 p.m. ET: LaViolette is explaining how she uses her continuum of domestic violence when she is counseling victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. Usually the people LaViolette counsels don't fall perfectly in the classifications of her continuum.

1:11 p.m. ET: The judge did not make a ruling on the defense motion for prosecutorial misconduct. LaViolette is taking the witness stand, and jury is being seated.

1:09 p.m. ET: Casarez has stepped down, and the attorneys are now at a sidebar.

1:07 p.m. ET: Casarez said she did not witness a juror observe Martinez take a picture with a fan, but Casarez did explain that on air she said it could be a problem if a juror saw Martinez taking a picture with a fan.

My concern would be if a juror would see that. That would be my concern,” said Casarez.

“You’re telling us that you didn’t observe any jurors seeing that?” asked Nurmi.

“No, but I have seen at least one juror outside,” said Casarez.

1:02 p.m. ET: Casarez is now testifying about what she witnessed outside the courthouse.

1:00 p.m. ET: Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi accused Juan Martinez of prosecutorial misconduct for taking pictures with his fans outside the courthouse. Nurmi wants HLN Jean Casarez to testify about how some of the jurors witnessed Martinez taking pictures with fans. Martinez argued it was not prosecutorial misconduct, because it did not happen in the courtroom.

12:50 p.m. ET: The judge is on the bench, and testimony should begin shortly. 

Speculation is running rampant after the Jodi Arias trial was canceled Wednesday. Although no official reason was given, sources tell HLN the delay was because Arias had a migraine headache.

“I’m told that Arias felt like she was going to throw up by the time she got to the continuation of her trial,” HLN’s Alexis Weed, who has been covering the trial from within the courtroom, told Nancy Grace. “And so, we were all just sent home.”

Read more: Is Arias a sociopath?

Questions have arisen as to whether Arias is getting adequate nutrition in jail. A representative with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office tells HLN that inmates are not to go more than 14 hours without being given food. They are given two meals a day, for a total of 2,600 calories -- but Judge Sherry Stephens has mandated that Arias get three meals a day.

Read moreFlustered & floundering: The day Arias cracked

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