Arias Trial-3/21

I got most of it…

Jury Questions and answers (paraphrased)

1.  Are you only allowed to testify about a client’s situation with their consent? They sign an agreement- the client knows about testifying.

2.  Can both Fight and Flight occur at the same time? Usually first is to flee, but both in this situation.

3.  Can memories blocked in a FF event return over time? Not if there is no stored memory to begin with.

4. How can we be sure …not based on lies…? Tests and 35 years experience with PTSD patients.

5. Did you use hypnosis on #JodiArias to recover her memory? Not to my knowledge.

6. Is it possible the memories do exist during the FF state? (I missed this).

7. Could you not extract some old lost memories with photos and journals? Not first hand memory- and can cause false memories.

8. Is there 100% consensus in your field about the diagnosis? Never 100%…

9. Acute stress is determined within 2 months but you didn’t see her until 6 months after the could you diagnose Acute Stress? She had PTSD at the time (and that’s not a “get out of jail free card”, but it’s connected to PTSD.

10. On what dates did JA take the tests? 12/2009 & 1/2010.

11. Can you be sure Jodi is not lying to you about the events on June 4, 2008? Not 100%..her 2nd story was truthful.

12. Why did you not try hypnosis? …Stress reaction…I’m better trained in PTSD.

13. Regarding June 4, 2008, do you feel JA had suppressed memories or are they missing entirely? I can’t measure that but based on acute stress and memory ..highly unlikely.

14. If suppressed—hypnosis- if not why? Dis-associative  Amnesia  has no memories to bring back.

15. As a professional what steps do you take to assure yourself that someone has truly lost or suppressed their memory as opposed to lying about the event? No way to be 100% sure it’s dis-associative amnesia..but in all reasonable probability…30% of people convicted of crimes claim amnesia.

16. Do you feel it is possible for an individual to fool professionals that someone is suffering from PTSD or Dissociative Amnesia? After a thorough evaluation…reviewing crime scene photos, re-interviews, ..feeling she was truthfull…and testing. I’m pretty confident.. acute stress and D. A. Amnesia.

17. To your knowledge was JA tested more than once on any given test? (I missed)

18. When you meet with someone can you tell if they’re telling the truth? You need corroborating info.

19. You stated she never said a negative thing in her journal yet she made negative statements about suicide and Travis making her sick… Do you consider those positive statements? They’re mild compared to the rest of the Journal.

20. Are there other disorders in the DSM-IV book that list similar symptoms? Some overlap with Acute Stress.

21. Is there any science to explain why some people can recall events and others cannot when involved in a stressful moment? Not everyone reacts to stress the same way.

22. How do you ask your questions when interviewing an individual? Do you ask leading questions? There are times you ask directed questions..but mostly just let them speak.

23. You previously said 3-8 out of 1000,000 then later said 3-8%??  It’s 3-8 cases a year.

24.  TGA (Trans-Global Amnesia)- from sex, water…how about from a bad haircut?  No…

25. Is JA taking medication to treat this terrible PTSD? Tranquilizers, Anti-Depressants…depends on symptoms….I am not involved in treatment.

26. Regarding articles- decision making process breaks down- then how did she get so much done?  Acute can see a weapon, but not plan.

27. Did you diagnose any conditions not covered in testimony? Anxiety…Personality Disorder- not specific.

28. Are your opinions based what a patient tells you? Not solely-interviews, crime scene, reports.

29. In extreme shock..can brain still function to make rational decisions? Yes, but not always rational…in this case a camera..<Objection>

30. Intrusive thoughts- what are actors? I was referring to the story changed – 2 people one set of actors the  Travis attacking- second set.

31. Regarding the tremors, how can you tell it’s caused by PTSD rather than fear of herself being found guilty?There are other physiological changes- sweaty hands, shaking.

32. Did you see JA shaking before she ever mentioned it to you?
Is there a diagnosis for selective amnesia? Not initially- I was behind a partition and couldn’t see her hands.

33. Actors..when the hypocampthus (sp) ..are you on autopilot? Yes, not rational, disorganized, poorly planned…

34. Can actors be the opposite- brain choose? Not when overwhelmed- on Auto.

35. When in the process of killing someone – fight/flight vs. premeditated…in a crime scene? <O>  Yes or No? possibly adrenaline would increase possible- yes, probable-no. If not- why?  People are different.

36. Is there a diagnosis for selective amnesia? No.

37. Would you continue to help a person who’s been lying..for 2 years? No.

38. Why didn’t you re-administer the test once JA admitted to killing Travis? I reviewed it and the score would not have changed- only the stressor changed.

39. It seems 25-30 hours is inadequate to diagnose someone who killed another person. Wouldn’t you agree? No – typically takes 6-7-10-12 hours. Beyond 20-30 the nature of the relationship tends to change.

40. Wouldn’t adrenaline output increase in someone who was committing premeditated murder.  (?)

41. Is the MMPI test utilized for anything other than therapy like job requirements? That’s very controversial…I think violates right of privacy.

42. Regarding JA’s diagnosis for PTSD when did you catch the errors in your report? Nov/Dec – so I corrected.

43. Do you feel those were big errors? They were little errors…typos.

44. You said on re-direct that JA remembers before the attack and after? Therefore she would remember cleaning up, deleting details and putting the gun in the car? Correct? No details of the trauma.

45. Can the acute stress occur if someone plans to kill vs defending themselves when in danger? A planned homicide-<O> possible, not probable.

46. Do you often make mistakes in your reports when you do evaluations? No.

47. Where was she when coming out of fog?  Check Point at Hoover Dam.

48. You have issues with omitting/forgetting you feel you need an accurate report for a trial? Yes.

49. Why didn’t you complete a new PDS when JA changed her story? PTSD answers …test results would not change.

50. Do you consider yourself impartial third party? Yes.

51. Do you always develop such a fond relationship with those you evaluate? I wouldn’t define it as fond…impartial.

52. Do you still think it was appropriate to purchase a gift for JA? Not unethical…I’m compassionate.

53. Regarding the D2 criteria- was this the phone call from her Mom? Not about one phone call, she was frequently angry with her Mom.

54. Would anyone with trouble with parents over the phone meet that criteria? Her Mom became her target.

55. Do you think that someone that was able to confront their boyfriends about cheating displayed assertive behavior? She was assertive at the moment, but not assertive with Travis.

56. Do meds cause any of the various amnesias you described? Yes.

57. Since you didn’t meet with Jodi until Dec 2009, isn’t it fair to say you are not 100% sure she suffered from Acute Stress? That’s correct.

58. Under cross examination you admitted Jodi having Anal was relevant…then later stated it wasn’t.  How do you account for this inconsistency? Anal with two other botfriends is not relevant, but the amount with Travis is.

59. Does it raise a red flag when a patient changes their story? yes- it always raises a red flag. The first story was a psychological reaction in an attempt not to deal with it. I first considered a multiple personality disorder.

60. Sending a self help book seems like it would help the success of therapy but not an evaluation, would you concur? I remembered that book…can help with self-esteem and dealing with reality.

61. You said on redirect that if someone is making up a story, their story tends to be consistent. Is that correct? A made up story- yes, from a script- like the one in her (48 hrs) interview.

62. If so, if JA is making up a story currently, wouldn’t it make sense that her story is consistent? Her story now is consistent but with added details each time.

63. Who conducted the interviews with JA’s family/friends? Defense attorney.

64. Validity scores on the PDS – are JA’s scores out of the normal range? No.

65. What are your code of ethics/guidelines if someone appears suicidal or a danger to themselves? Inform the closest people but she had no suicide plan and by the time I got to her she was not suicidal.

66. Regarding Jodi being tied up with hands and feet…was this the day of the killing? June 4? Yes.

67. Why do you believe JA’s self esteem was very low when she was with Travis? From her Journal and what she put up with- going back to him after abuse.

68. In your years of experience, wouldn’t you say low self-esteem is normal in the general population? It’s not normal, it’s reasonably common…it limits a person’s ability to make a mark in this world, so I would not call it normal.

69. How do Jodi’s test results go toward her diagnosis of PTSD if she was still telling the intruder story at the time of the test? My diagnosis of PTSD was based upon the fact that she met the criteria listed in the DSM .  The tests …confirmed my selection.  But the diagnosis could have been made without the tests.

70. Within the norm population used for a given test, if a segment of those individuals were to lie, could that cause a loop-hole, for lack of a better term in that test that could possibly allow a client taking that test to lie without detection? If the validity scales on the tests were created with a group of people who lie  regularly it would certainly skew the results. The PDS test does not have a validity scale built into it. The MCMI does. But that is based upon thousands of individuals taking the test and what is known about those individuals…the built in scales are a pretty good determiner of …lying on that test.

71. Is there an assumption that those in the norm population are answering truthfully? Yes.

72. Isn’t it possible that a hypothesis formulated early on could skew results when the tests are evaluated by the same individual that formed that hypothesis? If the individual wasn’t a trained psych…it’s possible, but..the MCMI test was scored by a computer. (He says he prefers computerized scoring). Serves as a second opinion. He hand scored the PDS and pointed out Jodi put in the numbers- he adds them up.

73. Could that hypothesis affect or color how the evaluator reads or interprets tests, answers in interviews, interprets crime scenes, etc.? A constantly changing based upon additional information. (Talks about therapy). In evaluating you may have an initial hypothesis which may guide you to the tests to take. A professional has to be willing to change their hypothesis.

74. Based on the Dissociate Amnesia article, would you agree that 3 – 8 people out of 100,000 people studied is a very minute number? Actually refers to TG Amnesia article. <O>

75. Regarding the fight/flight response by Jodi on June 4, was there ever any discussion between you and Jodi regarding her response and why she did not flee from the bedroom? She told me she did try to flee, and at some point she needed to protect herself…

76. Is it your normal practice to fill out the answers on the questionnaire for those you are evaluating? Sometimes I may do that and sometimes not. In this…case I filled it out.

77. Do you have any concerns with errors or incorrect answers? No, my work was checked several times.

78. If a patient you saw consistently lied and kept to that story, then answered a test or series of questions based off of the story the client believed, how could that test reveal they are lying, especially if that person remained consistent within that series of lies? If talking about PDS test that result is not based upon the actual nature of the trauma…it’s somewhat irrelevant as to the exact nature of the stress…

79. You stated that Jodi answered number 13 on the PTSD test the way she did because of repeated physical and emotional abuse by Travis and she explained this to you in your session after she took the test. When she took the PDS test, wasn’t she still telling the intruder story and had not told her story about Travis’s abuses yet? Yes/No she told me about the abuses early on but not the actual incident of the killing.

80. Are questions numbers 16-21 on the PDS test based on the event listed in question #14 in the timeframe in question #15, which would be the intruder story, from 6 months to 3 years ago? Yes that’s true.

81. If yes, this event never happened so those answers (#’s 16-21) are based on a fictitious story. Is that correct? That is correct.

82. Are these questions (#’s 16-21) part of the overall score to determine whether Jodi has PTSD or not?

83. Do you feel comfortable with diagnosing a person with a condition if they continually lie to you hypothetically speaking?

84. Regarding question number 29 on the PDS test, not being able to remember an important part of the traumatic event, Jodi scored this a 1 – indicating this doesn’t bother her often. Consider that she killed Travis and claims significant memory loss during the event, doesn’t it seem inconsistent this wouldn’t bother her significantly?

85. Given that the Time article mentioned that homicide suspects have reported memory loss, is it possible that a person can plan and carry out a murder and still suffer memory loss, ASD, or PTSD?

86. Even if intentional, isn’t it possible the event would still be considered stressful?

87. If Jodi was in fight or flight mode when she ran out of the bathroom, why would she run out of the closet and corner herself? She said she did try to flee but then had to fight.

88. Wouldn’t someone in fight or flight mode want to get away from the danger? (yes)

89. Would they want to get help from someone? no one there to call to…

90. Are you able to state that Ms. Arias had either PTSD or ASD before the incident on June 4 2008?

91. Would someone who plans to kill another and does be less likely to suffer acute stress than someone who kills an individual accidentally?

92. Is it possible that Jodi didn’t write negative things about Travis because there was nothing negative to write?

93. If one has suppressed feelings repeatedly would it be a natural reaction once the dam breaks, for example a gun shot that hits Travis, for all this repressed feelings to express themselves and carrying that violence to the extreme overall of stab wounds?

94. If something is premeditated is amnesia more or less likely to occur? (I think this was objected to, or he may have said less).

95. If Jodi had no control of her mind then how do you explain her dragging Travis’ body and trying to clean up the crime scene? (I believe he mentioned adrenaline).

96. Earlier you said you didn’t re-test because it was an oversight, today you said the score wouldn’t have changed. Which is it? (score would not change).

97. How can you be sure that JA did things to please Travis when you didn’t have a chance to speak to him? (Journals, going back to him).

98. How do you know she didn’t kill Travis out of jealousy?

99. Is it possible that a person can plan and carry out a murder and still suffer memory loss, acute stress disorder or post traumatic stress disorder?

100. Wouldn’t someone in fight or flight mode want to get away from the danger?

101. Regarding the fight/flight response by JA on June 4, was there ever any discussion between you and JA regarding her response and why she did not flee from the bedroom?

102. Do you feel comfortable with diagnosing a person with a condition if they continually lie to you, hypothetically speaking?

103. Can an initial hypothesis affect a later diagnosis? As professionals it should be flexible..

104. Is it your normal practice to fill out the answers on the questionnaire for the patient? Sometimes, I do.

105. Did she have Acute Stress Disorder or PTSD, BEFORE she killed Travis? I don’t know but most of her symptoms happened after the killing.

106. Did JA ever talk about her symptoms appearing before June 4 2008? I don’t know but most of her symptoms happened after the killing.

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