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Live blog: Experts in Arias trial in psychological war?

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
Live blog: Experts in Arias trial in psychological war?

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.

Experts in the Jodi Arias trial are battling over different diagnoses for the defendant.

Earlier in the trial, psychologist Richard Samuels testified on behalf of the defense that Arias can't remember details of killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander because she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette also testified for the defense that Alexander's alleged abuse of Arias culminated in a fight forcing her to kill him in self-defense. LaViolette also said Arias displays symptoms consistent with those of a battered woman.

This week, prosecution witness and psychologist Janeen DeMarte has tried to dismantle the defense argument that Arias was an abused woman who had no other option than to kill in self-defense. DeMarte has called the defense experts biased and flat-out wrong. She has also supplied her own diagnosis for Arias: "borderline personality disorder."

She compared a person suffering from this type of disorder to an immature teenager with identity issues.

HLN is live-blogging the Jodi Arias trial. Read about DeMarte's testimony from Wednesday here, her first day on the stand here and Monday's proceedings here. Read below for minute-by-minute updates from the trial (Best read from the bottom up):

7:13 p.m. ET: Willmott has wrapped her follow-up questions, and the jury doesn't have any more questions for DeMarte. Judge Stephens has recessed court until next Tuesday.

7:12 p.m. ET: Our producer in the courtroom says DeMarte answered 19 questions from the jury, and there were three related to her experience.

7:10 p.m. ET:

7:08 p.m. ET: Willmott asked DeMarte if Arias scored high on anxiety and depression on both TSI tests she gave to Arias. DeMarte said Arias did score in those categories in both times the test was administered.

7:05 p.m. ET: Martinez is now asking DeMarte follow-up questions. He asked her how many forensic evaluations she has conducted. DeMarte said she has conducted nearly 75 evaluations. That was the only follow-up question Martinez had, and now Willmott is asking follow-up questions.

7:03 p.m. ET: DeMarte said psychologist Richard Samuels should not have filled out Arias' PDS answer sheet.

7:01 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar right now.

7:00 p.m. ET: One juror asked: Do you know whose handwriting is on the PDS answer sheet? Martinez is trying to find the answer sheet now.

6:59 p.m. ET: One juror asked: Do you consider Arias shooting, stabbing and slitting Alexander's throat a traumatic event? DeMarte said it all depends on the person's reaction to the event. If the person was horrified then yes, it could be traumatic, according to DeMarte.

6:57 p.m. ET: One juror asked: Do you think trying to delete photos and washing the camera as an attempt to destroy evidence?

DeMarte said yes. She believes it gives the impression Arias was trying to destroy evidence.

6:54 p.m. ET: DeMarte said moments of invalidation throughout someone's life can cause a borderline personality disorder. She gave this example of a moment of invalidation: When a child skins a knee and the parents tells the child to stop crying, because they aren't hurt.

6:50 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens is asking DeMarte questions from the jurors. A juror asked: If you would throw out a PDS test if the test taker lied and said a bear attacked them instead of a tiger a tiger really attacked them? DeMarte said yes, she would through out the results, because it was a different event.

6:45 p.m. ET: Our producer in the courtroom says the attorneys and judge are reviewing the jury's questions.

6:33 p.m. ET: DeMarte said there was no pattern of abuse, and Arias was not a victim of abuse. Martinez has finished his redirect examination. Judge Stephens has recessed court for 10 minutes. DeMarte will likely have to answer questions from the jury when court picks back up.

6:32 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar.

6:31 p.m. ET: The conversation between Alexander and Arias began with him upset she invaded her privacy, and his anger escalated through the conversation.

6:27 p.m. ET: Martinez is asking DeMarte about how Alexander called Arias inappropriate names again. She is now reading a conversation where Alexander called her offensive names.

6:24 p.m. ET: DeMarte said the fact Arias converted to the Mormon faith within two months of meeting Alexander indicates an "identity disturbance," which is a symptom of a borderline personality disorder.

6:21 p.m. ET: DeMarte is walking the jury through the symptoms of a borderline personality disorder one more time. She said Arias displays seven of the nine characteristics of borderline personality disorder. These are the seven traits DeMarte said she observed in Arias' behavior:

1.       Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
2.       Unstable and intense interpersonal relationships
3.       Identity disturbance
4.       Suicidal behavior
5.       Affective instability
6.       Chronic feelings of emptiness
7.       Inappropriate, intense anger

However, DeMarte said Arias does not display these characteristics: "transient, stress related paranoid ideation" and "impulsivity."

6:20 p.m. ET:

6:18 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

6:15 p.m. ET: Martinez is having DeMarte read Arias' journal she wrote shortly after he allegedly broke her finger. In the journal entry, Arias wrote she couldn't marry Alexander, because there was something off about him. Arias also wrote the reason why something was off about Alexander, because he didn't seem to be a family man.

6:14 p.m. ET: DeMarte said there were numerous times Alexander became mad with Arias when she lied to him, or when his privacy being invaded. There was no pattern that Alexander called her names outside of these situations.

6:12 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

6:10 p.m. ET: Arias has taken her glasses off, and she is reviewing materials at the counsel table.

6:07 p.m. ET: DeMarte said Arias' PTSD test results are completely invalid, because she lied on it. Arias lied on the test and said two intruders killed Alexander.

6:05 p.m. ET: Martinez is now asking Arias' test results on the PDS, which is a PTSD test.

6:03 p.m. ET: DeMarte said Arias had a lot of anxiety about her sexual relationship with Alexander, which suggests a personality disorder.

6:01 p.m. ET: DeMarte said Arias scores on the TSI could be indicative of PTSD or a personality disorder. She said she was able to tell that the scores indicated it was a personality disorder by asking Arias' follow-up questions. The attorneys are now at a sidebar.

5:58 p.m. ET:

5:57 p.m. ET: DeMarte said the TSI test Arias said she scored high in anxiety and depression. These high scores seemed to be caused by events throughout Arias' life and not one traumatic event according DeMarte. The attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.

5:54 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking DeMarte why she doesn't pad her resume. DeMarte said she doesn't have time to list everything she has done on her resume, and she would rather spend her time with her patients.

5:53 p.m. ET: DeMarte said Arias is not a battered woman, because she does not meet the criteria for an abused woman.

5:51 p.m. ET: Martinez is asking DeMarte about how someone becomes an expert in domestic violence. DeMarte said there is no license for domestic violence, so determining who is an expert in the field can be subjective.

5:48 p.m. ET: DeMarte said she treated the written communications in this case equally.

5:46 p.m. ET: DeMarte said it was also aggressive that Arias deleted some of Alexander's emails. Willmott keeps objecting to this line of questioning as beyond the scope of cross examination. The attorneys are now at a sidebar.

5:43 p.m. ET: Martinez is asking DeMarte what aggressive stalking behavior did Arias engage in with Alexander. DeMarte said Arias reading his emails, and stealing things from him was aggressive. The attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.

5:35 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar.

5:32 p.m. ET: DeMarte said she does not apologize or give gifts to clients she evaluates, because it would make her biased.

5:29 p.m. ET: Willmott has wrapped her cross examination, and now Martinez is conducting his redirect examination.

5:26 p.m. ET: Willmott said DeMarte pointed out that Arias scored low on hostility and anger on the MMPI. DeMarte wanted to explain what that means, and said Willmott was misinterpreting, but Willmott did not let her.

5:23 p.m. ET: DeMarte agreed with Willmott that Arias' MMPI test results are consistent with a battered woman.

5:20 p.m. ET: Willmott just pointed out that on the MMPI test Arias scored high on the PTSD scale.

5:17 p.m. ET: Willmott is still walking DeMarte through Arias' MMPI test results, and she pointed out that Arias scored low on anger levels.

5:15 p.m. ET:

5:12 p.m. ET: On the MMPI, Arias scored high on anxiety, depression and bizarre thoughts.

5:11 p.m. ET:

5:09 p.m. ET:

5:08 p.m. ET: Willmott is walking DeMarte through Arias' scores on the MMPI personality test.

5:04 p.m. ET: DeMarte and Willmott are now discussing the incident where Alexander broke Arias' finger, and how she wrote in her journal there was nothing major to report. Willmott pointed out in that same journal entry Arias wrote she should never marry Alexander, and there was something off about him.

5:01 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking DeMarte about the offensive names Alexander called Arias. DeMarte said if someone called her friend a whore, she would call that inappropriate.

4:57 p.m. ET: DeMarte is reviewing her notes to see when Arias broke up with Matt McCartney and began dating Darryl Brewer. Willmott is making the point that she doesn't know the dates of those relationships, because DeMarte only spent 12 hours interviewing Arias. Willmott has pointed out multiple time that DeMarte's knowledge of Arias' past is lacking, because she only spent 12 hours with Arias.

4:53 p.m. ET:

4:52 p.m. ET: The jury is being seated.

4:46 p.m. ET: The judge is on the bench, and the attorneys have joined her for a sidebar.

4:43 p.m. ET: The attorneys are in the courtroom, and testimony should begin shortly.

2:50 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens has recessed court for lunch. The live blog will pick back up at 4:25 p.m. ET when testimony resumes.

2:47 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking DeMarte how she analyzed Alexander's comment in an instant message conversation with another woman that he was afraid of Arias' stalking behavior. DeMarte said she would not be able to interpret or go behind those words, because Alexander is dead and she can't ask him questions. The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

2:44 p.m. ET: DeMarte just accused Willmott of changing her words. She has done that multiple times today.

2:43 p.m ET:

2:41 p.m. ET: DeMarte said Alexander had a unhealthy communication pattern within the conversation exchanges she read between Arias and Alexander.

Willmott: He showed his anger with Jodi in his text messages, didn’t he?

DeMarte: Yes.

Willmott: And he called her all kinds of names?

DeMarte: He called her names, yes.

Willmott: And, do you know what character assassination is?

DeMarte: Yes.

Willmott: And isn’t that when names become actually so severe, it cuts down the person's own character, own being?

DeMarte: I think that would be one definition, yes.

Willmott: Okay. And you’d agree that a lot of these names he was calling her was character assassination? Isn’t it?

DeMarte: They were harsh names, yes.

Willmott: And, you wouldn’t consider that to be ok?

DeMarte: No, that is not ok.

Willmott: And in fact, that was abusive wasn’t it?

DeMarte: Abuse implies it is a pattern of behavior, I would say that behavior was certainly inappropriate and not a healthy communication style.

Willmott: Ok. But you don’t consider it abusive?

DeMarte: I would say again, the word abuse implies a pattern of behavior.

2:39 p.m. ET: DeMarte said she believes Alexander rarely called Arias mean names.

2:38 p.m. ET: DeMarte agreed with Willmott that psychological abuse can be damaging to victims. Willmott said what she thinks of Alexander calling Arias a whore. DeMarte said that is a mean name to call someone.

2:35 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking DeMarte whether Alexander was verbally abusive to Arias. DeMarte said it was not a pattern of abuse but it was an unhealthy way to communicate.

2:32 p.m. ET: Wilmott is asking DeMarte about she considered different materials written by Arias and Alexander during her evaluation. DeMarte said she used the writings to gather "data points."

2:29 p.m. ET: The judge is back on the bench.

2:04 p.m. ET: Judge Sherry Stephens has recessed court for 10 minutes.

2:03 p.m. ET: Willmott is now asking DeMarte about another test she gave to Arias.

1:58 p.m. ET: Willmott is showing the jury an email Arias wrote to Alexander where she writes about his anger and how she felt compassion for him. In the email, Arias also writes about her own anger. DeMarte said she used this email to diagnose Arias with personality disorder.

1:56 p.m. ET: Willmott keeps trying to point out DeMarte did not testify about enough examples of Arias' behavior to establish the individual symptoms of a personality disorder. DeMarte has said she has more examples if Willmott wanted her to give them. During redirect examination, prosecutor Martinez may ask DeMarte to list more examples for each symptom.

1:53 p.m. ET: DeMarte is explaining how feeling "empty" is a symptom of personality disorder. She also said Arias told her that she had feelings of emptiness.

The attorneys are now at a sidebar.

1:51 p.m. ET: Willmott is now asking DeMarte if Arias started writing in her journal about the "Law of Attraction" in 2006. DeMarte said she is unsure when Arias started writing about the "Law of Attraction."

1:48 p.m. ET: Willmott and DeMarte are discussing Arias' suicidal thoughts as a symptom of a personality disorder.

1:45 p.m. ET: DeMarte said Arias wrote about suicide in her journal going back to 1995.

1:43 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking DeMarte why she believes Arias displays the following symptom of a borderline personality disorder: "Unstable and intense interpersonal relationships." DeMarte said her multiple unstable romantic relationships is evidence of the symptom. Willmott pointed out that Arias has only had four boyfriends.

1:39 p.m. ET: DeMarte is reviewing her notes from the case.

1:37 p.m. ET:

1:35 p.m. ET: On Tuesday, Demarte said Arias displays seven of the nine characteristics of borderline personality disorder. These are the seven traits DeMarte said she observed in Arias' behavior:

1.       Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment
2.       Unstable and intense interpersonal relationships
3.       Identity disturbance
4.       Suicidal behavior
5.       Affective instability
6.       Chronic feelings of emptiness
7.       Inappropriate, intense anger

However, DeMarte said Arias does not display these characteristics: "transient, stress related paranoid ideation" and "impulsivity."

1:33 p.m. ET: DeMarte is now talking about the different traits of borderline personality disorder she found present in Arias.

1:31 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking DeMarte about how she diagnosed Arias with a borderline personality disorder.

1:29 p.m. ET: DeMarte said she asked Arias if Alexander was physically abusive to her.

1:26 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking DeMarte about other psychological tests Arias took given to her by another psychologist who hasn't testified at trial.

1:21 p.m. ET: Arias is paying close attention to DeMarte's testimony today. Arias is not taking notes like she has the last two days. The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

 

1:15 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking DeMarte what Arias told her about what happened to the knife she used to kill Alexander. DeMarte said she remembers putting a knife in a dishwasher.

Willmott: You find it important that there’s cleanup in the bathroom, right?

DeMarte: Yes.

Willmott: Okay. But yet you don’t find it important as to someone’s ability to organize or plan when they leave then behind the most important piece of evidence which is the evidence that she was there? You don’t find that important?

Willmott: Do you find it important?

DeMarte: What part?

Willmott: That she left the camera behind that has all the evidence of her being there? Did that in any way figure into your opinion with regard to this organization and planning afterwards?

DeMarte: Yes, the fact that it was deleted.

Willmott: So just the fact that it was deleted but the fact that she left it there at the scene was not important.

DeMarte: The fact that, it was of my understanding that it was put through a cycle. Yes. That it was left behind and put through a cycle.

Willmott: Ok, so the fact that it was, I’m not talking about the cycle, the fact that the camera itself with all the evidence on it and able to get by forensic people, that was not important to you?

DeMarte: No, it’s important.

Willmott: So you considered this then in the organization and planning? That all the evidence was left behind?

DeMarte: Yes, I would consider that part of organization and planning.

Willmott: Leaving evidence behind for someone to find?

DeMarte: And putting it through a cycle.

1:12 p.m. ET: DeMarte said she does not know how to the police got the pictures off the camera's sd card, because she is not an expert in that area.

1:10 p.m. ET: Willmott is arguing that Arias deleted photos and tried to clean up the crime scene during a fight or flight response.

1:08 p.m. ET: DeMarte said the crime scene was not cleaned completely, because there was blood in multiple areas, but the area around Alexander seemed to have limited blood.

1:05 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking DeMarte about how someone may have cleaned up the crime scene. The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

1:03 p.m. ET: DeMarte said the photos of Alexander in the shower were deleted, which would indicate those photos were deleted after the killing.

1:00 p.m. ET: Willmott is asking DeMarte about why she wrote in her report that Arias deleted photos off Alexander's camera after killing him. DeMarte said she assumed Arias deleted the photos, because on the police report it said someone deleted photos off his camera. The attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.

12:58 p.m. ET: DeMarte said Arias did not display any memory problems when she tested her.

12:56 p.m. ET: DeMarte said when someone's life is threatened, they can defend themselves during a fight or flight response.

12:55 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

12:53 p.m. ET: Defense attorney Willmott is asking DeMarte how the brain records memories during a fight or flight response. DeMarte says usually someone will remember something during a fight of flight response.

12:49 p.m. ET: DeMarte is taking the witness stand, and the jury is being seated.

12:47 p.m. ET: The judge is on the bench, and the attorneys have joined her for a sidebar.

12:33 p.m. ET: The attorneys are in the courtroom, and testimony should begin shortly.

On Thursday, defense attorney Jennifer Willmott will likely pick up where she left off Wednesday, asking DeMarte about how she came to the conclusion that Arias did not suffer from PTSD. Court ended abruptly Wednesday when Arias did not feel well.

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