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Janeen DeMarte, the State’s rebuttal witness in the Jodi Arias trial, resumed her testimony Wednesday clashing with defense attorney Jennifer Willmott during cross-examination.
Willmott pressed the expert to agree that Arias met the criteria for PTSD in one of the tests DeMarte administered on the 32-year-old accused murderer. Willmott also suggested that some of Arias’ test scores weren’t necessarily consistent with DeMarte’s diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. DeMarte had been licensed as a clinical psychologist for one year when she evaluated Arias in 2011 -- Willmott made sure to bring that to light as well.
On Wednesday night, HLN’s Dr. Drew and his special guests commented on the day’s testimony.
“I think that the defense seemed to be growing more and more desperate,” said clinical psychologist Cheryl Arutt, Psy.D. “I think that this was exactly the kind of forensic expert that we like to see -- concise, direct, clarifying [testimony] when she could.”
Attorney Marcia Clark added, “I think the defense is losing the jury here … make your point. Don't talk about scales and numbers …you won't score a home run on this witness. She's an excellent, strong expert witness."
However, attorney Mark Eiglarsh noted, “Jurors are instructed to keep an open mind. They can't form definitive conclusions. The few who haven't formed fixed conclusions can, if they want to, look negatively on this witness for having less experience than the other defense witnesses. That's all. That doesn't mean that's how I feel.”
POLL: Is the defense destroying the credibility of Janeen DeMarte?
Arias claims she had to kill Travis Alexander, her ex-boyfriend, in self-defense in June of 2008 at his Mesa, Arizona home -- even though she had initially given authorities different stories about the circumstances surrounding his death. She faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder.
The defense team continues their cross examination of DeMarte on Thursday.