Defense takes closer look at shower pic

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
Jodi Arias trial witnessnes Bryan Neumeister.
Travis Alexander shower picture
travis-eye-close-up

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.

What do you see in Travis Alexander’s eye? Is it an image of Jodi Arias with both hands on her camera – no knife – as the defense claims? Prosecutor Juan Martinez says he just sees a dog: "I saw some ears and then I saw a snout."

The image, captured in the shower just moments before Alexander was stabbed and shot to death, was at the heart of a hearing Monday morning. The defense team wants their image enhancement expert to present it to jurors and tell them what he sees – Arias without a knife.

But Martinez says if you asked 10 different people what they see that you’d get 10 different answers.

The defense also asked for another mistrial in the case. Defense attorney Kurt Nurmi brought up again the fact that Martinez had been spotted one day signing autographs outside of the courthouse. This time he asked In Session / HLN's Grace Wong, who has been covering the trial from Maricopa County Superior Court, to the stand. She testified that no jurors were present at the time Martinez was signing autographs.

Nurmi also accused Martinez of intimidating defense witnesses. The judge said that while there’s a fine line between “zealous advocacy” and professional misconduct, she didn’t feel that the prosecutor had crossed that line. Especially since no jurors had witnessed any of the incidents.

Martinez also asked the judge to prohibit Arias from tweeting behind bars. A friend told HLN’s Nancy Grace that she’s the one managing the account on behalf of Arias, who is sending her the messages. The judge said she needed more evidence before she could do anything about it.

HLN is live-blogging the Jodi Arias trial. Read about LaViolette's testimony from Friday here. Read below for minute-by-minute updates from the trial. (Best read from the bottom up):

6:15 p.m. ET: The judge thanks everyone for their patience. She says the defense and prosecution have reached the following stipulation or agreement:

"Ms. Arias was not holding a knife or gun in her hands when exhibit 159 was taken… That photograph was taken on June 4, 2008 at 5:29:20." She's referring to the photo of Alexander in the shower.

Court has been recessed for the day. Testimony will resume Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. ET.

6:11 p.m. ET: Our producer inside the courtroom says Neumeister appears to be ready to testify. The close-up of Alexander's face appears on all of the courtroom projection screens.

6:09 p.m. ET: The courtroom is now open.

5:57 p.m. ET: From our producer who is inside the courtroom: "The courtroom doors remain closed to public and media. Defense witness Bryan Neumeister was summoned to the courtroom briefly and has emerged again. No word on when court will resume."

5:33 p.m. ET: The Arias attorneys are still meeting with the judge. The courtroom has been sealed and is closed to the public and to cameras.

4:48 p.m. ET: Still waiting to hear the judge's decision on whether the defense's image enhancement expert, Bryan Neumeister, will testify.

3:00 p.m. ET: The judge has recessed court until 4:15 p.m. ET. The live blog will pick back up then.

2:59 p.m. ET: The judge says she will make a decision on Neumeister's image enhancement testimony later in the afternoon. The defense is at a sidebar alone with the judge.

2:58 p.m. ET: Martinez says he doesn't want to be accused of intimidating Arias by investigating her Twitter account. The judge says she won't take any action about Arias tweeting from jail until there is more evidence.

2:57 p.m. ET: Nurmi says Arias has freedom of speech rights regarding her Twitter account.

2:56 p.m. ET: The judge says there's a "fine line" between zealous advocacy and professional misconduct. She says none of the events were seen by the jury.

"The prosecutor was not in any way outside the bounds of proper behavior during the in-chambers, sealed discussion with Ms. LaViolette. I find there was a legitimate basis for the questions being asked during that hearing," said the judge.

She says there are no grounds for a mistrial.

2:53 p.m. ET: Nurmi says the trial is being tried outside of the courtroom in front of everyone. He says it's a "fantasyland" where the jury isn't hearing about the trial outside of court, so everything Martinez does is important to the case.

2:50 p.m. ET: Martinez asks the judge to make Arias stop tweeting about the trial. He accuses her of violating the court's order by discussing her testimony. He also says he has been constantly attacked and that she has even tweeted about his height.

2:49 p.m. ET: Arias is sketching while the attorneys make their arguments.

2:47 p.m. ET: "Nothing could be further from the truth," said Martinez. "Clearly there was no prosecutorial misconduct." Martinez says if LaViolette was upset then she should have been because of what was uncovered at that sealed hearing. "You know what I'm talking about," he told the judge.

2:44 p.m. ET: Nurmi calls the interview an "unscripted sideshow." He says Martinez was learning forward, yelling at Samuels, bullying him and not letting him answer questions. He says this pattern of intimidation can affect the witness' testimony.

2:41 p.m. ET:

2:39 p.m. ET: The judge has asked the attorneys to approach the bench before she hears their arguments on the matter.

2:36 p.m. ET: Martinez and Samuels start to argue and talk over one another on the taped interview.

Samuels: "It's not difficult. We live in the 21st century. We have these methods available to us, and I believe strongly when teaching students or teaching a jury that it is better to have multi-level exposure."

Martinez: "But you could do it. Couldn't you? You could just get up there and say..."

Samuels: "Even a blind person can run the bases too in the conditions."

Martinez: "We don't care about blind people, do we?"

Samuels: "I do care about blind people."

Martinez: "You care about blind people? As it applies to Jodi Arias?"

Samuels: "I care about blind people period."

Martinez: "What does a blind person have to do with Jodi Arias? Tell me about that."

Samuels: "Are you serious?"

Martinez: "Yeah, did I bring it up or did you bring it up? Who brought it up, me or you?"

Samuels: "I'm talking about..."

Martinez: "Who brought it up, me or you? You're here to answer my questions. You said, you said, you said, even a blind person can run the bases right?"

Nrumi: "I'm glad this is on tape."

Martinez: "So that has nothing to do with this. I want us to get back to this case."

Samuels: "Get back to it."

2:31 p.m. ET: Martinez asked Samuels in the taped interview how dissociative amnesia relates to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Samuels says many people don't remember the details of the trauma.

2:29 p.m. ET: Arias is wearing a long-sleeved black shirt today.

2:25 p.m. ET: This interview is from March 2013. Martinez asked Samuels why he went back to visit Arias after he had finished his assessment of her. Samuels says she was feeling depressed and down.

2:21 p.m. ET: Nurmi says he can't discuss the intimidation incident between Martinez and LaViolette because it happened in judge's chambers and is sealed. He has asked Neumeister to help him play an interview between Martinez and Samuels.

2:17 p.m. ET: The judge says this isolated incident of Martinez signing autographs wasn't seen by the jury so it couldn't affect their verdict. She denies the motion for a mistrial.

2:15 p.m. ET: Martinez says the autograph signing incident was isolated. He says he's not connected to the support for him in the media and on social media. He says no jurors have been affected. He calls the motion a waste of the court's time.

"And that is an ethical issue," said Martinez. "Basically what they're doing is wasting everybody's time... except maybe the defense council. Perhaps they can add a few more pennies to the kettle that they have."

"I'm sorry that our interest in fulfilling our duties as council... interfere with his desires for stardom," said Nurmi. He asks for a mistrial.

2:12 p.m. ET: Nurmi says Martinez is accused of prosecutorial misconduct because he has harassed and intimidated witnesses. Nurmi says he has audio evidence of Martinez attempting to intimidate defense psychologist Richard Samuels as he did domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette "in chambers." Nurmi is also discussing how Martinez singed autographs outside of the courthouse.

"He's standing out there having a fan club meeting," said Nurmi. He says this behavior is "igniting a mistrial." It also adds to the intimdation of witnesses because the see him as "the great one."

2:07 p.m. ET: The judge says she's not ready to rule on this issue yet.

2:06 p.m. ET: Nurmi says the photo shows Arias was holding the camera in the way she said she was. Both of her hands were on the camera and she was a few feet away, proving her testimony was truthful.

"No knife in her hands. No, no, just a camera," said Nurmi.

2:04 p.m. ET: Nurmi says they either have to show jurors all of the photographs or bring them to Neumeister's lab.

2:01 p.m. ET: "This is science. Mr. Martinez takes a limited view of science," said Nurmi.

1:59 p.m. ET: "There is nothing scientific about this," said Martinez.

1:57 p.m. ET: Martinez says the defense is asking people to look at a dog -- "I saw some ears and then I saw a snout" -- and say it's a person standing there. He calls the evidence "fantastical." He says there's no way to test what the expert sees and that ten people would come up with ten different answers as to what they see. He said there are no statistics regarding the rate of error.

1:54 p.m. ET: Neumeister says the lines show the jury what he can see in his lab.

"Can you identify who's in the picture? No," said Neumeister.

Nurmi has concluded his redirect examination.

1:51 p.m. ET: Nurmi has started his redirect examination. Neumeister says the resolution in his lab is twice what you see in the courtroom.

1:50 p.m. ET: "It would be up to the jury to decide what they see, not you, right?" asked Martinez.

"That is correct," said Neumesiter.

Martinez has concluded his cross-examination.

1:49 p.m. ET: Martinez is asking Neumeister about the lines he drew on Alexander's eye.

"Do you see better than anyone else that has 20/20 vision?" asked Martinez.

"No," said Neumesiter.

Martinez says other people could disagree with him about the markings he put on the eye. Neumeister says that could happen but they're not using the equipment that he has at the lab.

1:45 p.m. ET: Neumeister says he has enhanced surveillance video before in cases. He says he works with audio, video and pictures.

1:43 p.m. ET: Martinez is grilling Neumeister about other cases in which he has testified about audio enhancement.

1:41 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar.

1:39 p.m. ET: Neumeister says he also worked on audio enhancement in this case. Martinez asked him if he ever testified in this area before and if he's only testifying in this case so he can be certified in the area.

1:38 p.m. ET: Martinez has started his cross-examination.

1:36 p.m. ET: You can see an outline of somebody taking a picture in Alexander's eye, according to Neumesiter. He says he tried to enhance the photo even further for his own gratification but knew it wouldn't be admissible in court.

1:32 p.m. ET: Neumeister has put up a higher resolution photo showing Alexander's eye. He says the monitor resolution in the courtroom isn't as great as it is in his lab. He was looking to make sure there weren't any "dead pixels" in the photo -- spots created by the camera itself.

1:29 p.m. ET: The photo was taken at about chest-height, according to Neumeister. You can't tell exactly who took the image by looking at the reflection in Alexander's eye.

1:26 p.m. ET: Neumeister has put up a zoomed in image of Alexander's left eye.

1:22 p.m. ET: Arias was within a few feet when she took this photo, according to Neumeister. The lens Arias used was really wide and Alexander's face was really close, meaning she must have been pretty close to him.

1:21 p.m. ET: Neumeister says the camera was low when the photo was taken. Because the flash went off, Neumesiter says the shower wall acted to bounce the light around, hitting the person who was taking the photo.

1:19 p.m. ET: Neumeister copied down the information that the camera captured when it took this photo including shutter speed, date, and other technical information.

1:16 p.m. ET: Nurmi is asking Neumeister about looking at the reflections in someone's eyes. Neumesiter says you have to take the shape of the cornea and lens into account. Neumeister wasn't able to map the shape of Alexander's eye in this case.

1:12 p.m. ET: Four technicians have worked on the photo including one who worked in the Saddam Hussein trial.

When working on a photo, Neumeister says, "We have to make sure we don’t push the human face too far… you can cause artifacts and shadows that aren’t there."

1:09 p.m. ET: Neumeister says he's working on several cases. He doesn't normally testify.

"I don't try to stipulate what's in the photos or make any interpretations of them. I just present them," said Neumeister.

1:06 p.m. ET: The judge has moved Arias and her attorney out of the jury box, putting some distance between the defendant and Alexander's family members.

1:01 p.m. ET: The judge has recessed the court for a few minutes while they make some adjustments.

12:59 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar.

12:58 p.m. ET: This hearing is to determine Neumeister's admissibility as an expert witness in the area of video or image enhancement. The witness is expected to testify about this close up of Alexander just before his death.

12:55 p.m. ET: Neumeister says he has been working in the area of video and photo enhancement and enlargement since the 1980s.

12:53 p.m. ET: Arias and Alexander's family have moved into the jury box so they can see an exhibit being set up by defense witness Bryan Neumeister.

12:50 p.m. ET: "Do you know how long this show went on?" asked Nurmi.

"A few minutes," said Wong. She said she didn't see any jurors in the area to witness it.

Martinez says he has no questions for Wong.

12:49 p.m. ET: Wong says she has reviewed exhibit #2, which is a news story by a local affiliate that shows prosecutor Juan Martinez being treated like a celebrity. She says she saw him taking photos with members of the public and signing autographs, more than what was shown in the affiliate story.

12:48 p.m. ET: Wong says she remembers many of the jurors by face. She knows several of their numbers including 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 18 and 17. She says she's usually blocked from seeing Juror 10.

12:46 p.m. ET: Wong is being questioned by defense attorney Kurt Nurmi. Wong says she has been covering the trial nearly every day since jury selection. She has been in the gallery most days.

12:44 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar.

12:43 p.m. ET: The judge has asked In Session Senior Field Producer Grace Wong to come to the witness stand.

12:39 p.m. ET: The judge is back on the bench. The jury is not present and the attorneys have approached for a sidebar.

Jodi Arias’ defense team has been presenting its case for almost 40 days now. Could they finally be nearing the end?

One of their star witnesses -- domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette -- seemed to wrap her testimony Friday. But the judge then asked her to return on Tuesday to testify on an unknown matter.

Before she left the stand, LaViolette answered more than 100 questions from jurors. They focused on Arias’ truthfulness -- could she have been lying about the abuse ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander is claimed to have heaped upon her? Did LaViolette have any proof of the abuse beyond Arias’ word? The jury also wanted to know if Arias could have been the abuser in the relationship.

A second juror was dismissed from the case on Friday. This time it was Juror 11, due to illness. Juror 5 got the boot earlier after the defense charged that she was “not fair and impartial” when she made some undisclosed statements related to the trial. The jury is now down to 10 men and six women.

The judge is expected to decide whether a new defense expert in the area of video or image enhancement can testify in the trial. Byran Neumeister is expected to testify about a close up of Alexander in the shower just before his death.

Jurors have been asked to return later in the afternoon, but have been told to keep their cell phones on just in case they need to come in earlier.

The defense may call one more witness before resting. Then prosecutor Juan Martinez will begin his rebuttal case.

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