Apparently last week Jodi wrote a letter to the judge about her desire to get rid of her defense counsel, Kirk Nurmi. She notes that she has not spoken to him since late May and that he has an “utter poverty of people skills.” Because of this letter nothing else has been settled in the case, including when they will get on with it. Read more at: http://www.azcentral.com/community/mesa/articles/20131024jodi-arias-files-motions-fire-attorney.html
Today the defense filed yet another motion to move the trial out of Phoenix. They said a fair and Impartial jury can’t be found in Maricopa County due to the “plethora of unrestrained and bombastic coverage of the previous proceedings.” Sounds like Kirk Nurmi is on a mission to add more ‘pennies to his kettle’ (Juan Martinez quote). Other recent motions include wanting the Twitter account info of the jurors and restricting cameras in the court. Hopefully these motions, and the date of the retrial of the penalty phase will be addressed on September 16. I won’t hold my breathe.
JM calls Jacob Mefford, a friend and co-worker of Travis’. Jacob confirms that Travis was affectionate with Jodi in public on several occasions. They show a short clip of Travis talking with JA lying on his lap. There is no sound. JA begins to cry in court. Next is a picture of JA in a robe with Travis kissing her on the back of her head.
Nurmi is up – he implies Jacob didn’t see them that often. Jacob did not know they were having sex.
JM calls Amanda Webb, IT specialist from Walmart. They go through a list of cash registers and determine there were no gas cans returned June 3.
Nurmi has no questions for this witness.
A juror asks about a possible way to have a ‘dummy skew’ (item #) and Amanda says Walmart must have the skew # that goes with that item. JM asks if there was no skew- Amanda says they could go get the exact item and use that skew #. Nurmi has no questions.
JM calls Chelsea Young, Tesoro IT manager. She confirms there were 3 separate purchases for gas (1. For 10.67 gals. 2. For 5 gals. 3. For 9.58 gals.) from JA June 6th in Salt Lake City. Nurmi asks if you can pay cash inside and have no record of the transaction- she says: “Yes.” JM points out that JA used credit inside for Gas (he actually specifies: “No potato chips.”)
JM calls Deanna Reid, long-term girlfriend of Travis. They met in 1998 and began dating in 2000. She went on a 1 1/2 year mission and towards the end they broke up as he wanted to date others. JM points out he did not go behind her back but wrote her a letter. When she returned they dated again for a few more years. She believed Travis to be a virgin. She confirms several times that Travis never raised his voice, swore or put his hands on her in a violent manner. She also never saw pictures of boys or girls and never saw any toys in his bedroom. When they finally broke (she wanted marriage; he wasn’t ready) up they both cried-no screaming or fighting. They remained friends until his death and she now has his dog ‘Napoleon’.
Nurmi goes over the same relationship info JM went over. He tries to establish that she wanted marriage and was heartbroken about the breakup- she says she was not. Travis was not ready. He mentions Travis dated a woman named Linda Ballard (sp) when they were split the first time. Nurmi: “He never yelled or hit you?” Deanna- ‘that’s right.’
Nurmi establishes they did have a sexual relationship. Deanna makes it clear they had been dating a long time and were only human and knew it was wrong. They both told their respective Bishops and never had sex after that.
She reads a text from Travis to the Hughes about Travis doing something ‘unpardonable’ to her. She interprets that as him not getting married to her and her then having less prospects because of her age.
Nurmi gets in a bunch of the nasty things Travis did with JA- write a letter to another guy to get rid of him, wear a maid’s uniform, call a slut, whore, ejaculate on face…Deanna and Travis did none of those things. Nurmi makes the comment: “It must have been a different relationship than with Ms. Arias.”
Nurmi asks about Travis’ upbringing. She says it was rough. He gets in they were drug addicts and Travis was neglected. Deanna says there were some good times with the Mom, and Travis was proud of his Dad for getting clean.
**When asked if Mom or Dad were physically abusive to Travis Deanna says: “No.”
Nurmis asks if Travis thought her being a teacher was ‘stupid.’ She says no- he was very supportive. Nurmi mentions Travis said this to Lisa, he says something to the effect of ‘Two different relationships I guess.’
JM points out their relationship was not based on sex and they both told the Bishops everything. Travis didn’t call her names. Deanna does not know the nature of JA and Travis’ relationship- like who initiated the sex acts like JA wanting him to ejaculate on her face. He also did not lie to her about marriage. When the relationship was over Travis never attempted to see her and ask her for sex. Deanna says: “He was always a gentleman.”
Juror questions- they want to know about the Law of Chastity and how it is taught. Deanna says it is widely known and taught in classes. JM asks if there is any ‘wiggle room’ with sex and she says ‘no.’ Nurmi then asks if taking a picture of a penis is a violation- she says she doesn’t know, but in her opinion it is. He then asks about close up pictures of a women’s vagina being a violation- Deanna says yes, then Nurmi asks the same question re- a woman’s anus and she says ‘yes.’
10. Michael Melendez the computer forensic expert is up. JM asks him if he went over everything – he says ‘yes.’ JM asks if there were tons of pics of women’s breasts- there were none. He asks about women’s lower regions (pics) there were none. No adult sites or images of children were found. Nurmi says there was more than 1 computer seized as well as CD’s, flashdrives etc. This laptop was in Travis’ office and registered to Deanna. He talks about cookies the expert prefers to look at the history. Nurmi mentions the titles of some of the you tube videos looked at: ‘Drunk, Def, Punk,’ ‘Daft Hands.’ There was access to the computer at 4:24 pm on June 4th. JM mentions the ‘Harder, Faster, Stronger’ video and asks if he would have noted in his report if there were any nudity. He says ‘yes.’ The last access on June 4th could have been Travis or JA.
11. A juror asks if there was any electronics seized with porn, naked women or children’s photos on it. There was not any on any items related to Travis.
12. A juror asks if not all of the pics on the camera were deleted. That is correct. They specify the ones deleted (like after the killing) and ask what were left. There were more than 90 photos left.
Grace Wong from In Session takes the stand. She is asked about whether she recognizes the faces of the jurors – she does. They show the story with JM taking pics and signing one autograph. She did not see any jurors present.
Next up is Bryan Neumeister- a video/audio expert. Nurmi goes through his credentials. They bring up the picture of Travis’ face in the shower. He has enlarged it so that he claims he can see JA standing with both hands on the camera a few feet away (and no knife). The picture has lines drawn in by Neumeister to make the image clearer. He says it looks better in his lab. JM says he sees a dog and the picture is subjective. Nurmi claims it proves JA was telling the truth. JM doesn’t want the pic with the lines drawn in – let the jurors figure it out. He says it is unreliable. Judge will rule on later.
Next issue- Nurmi brings up Prosecutorial Misconduct. Claims JM has bullied witnesses and deprived JA of a fair trial. He says it’s a cumulative issue, including the Fan Club. He refers to JM as: “The Great one.” JM says it was 1 incident out of view of jury. He says Nurmi wants to connect that with the social media. JM points out Wong saw nothing and they are just wasting the courts time, everyone except the defense who gets more money (implied). Judge rejects the motion as it didn’t affect the jury.
Next issue- Nurmi claims that JM attacked LaViolette and bullied Dr. Samuels (also called Dr. Samuels ‘Mr. Samuels’ – degrading him). He plays a tape from closed proceedings where JM and Samuels go at it over the new exhibits- the Power Point, the Instrumental vs. Expressive (pre-med vs. not pre-med), the Time magazine article and the Brain pic. Things heat up when Dr. S. says: “… even a blind person can run the bases.” You can hear the attornies and Dr. Samuels arguing loudly. Nurmi asserts JM was intimidating the witness. JM states the proceedings were not in front of the jury and the judge was present at these proceedings. He also says LaViolette had a reason to be upset because of what was revealed. He points to the fact the Defense brought all this new evidence in the eve of the trial- no disclosure, a clear violation. He says the defense was arguing the loudest in the tape. There was no impact on their testimony. JM states the attempt to make the state responsible for the media (which they have no control of) is ridiculous when JA is actually ‘fanning the flames’ by being on Twitter through Donovan B. She is breaking the courts rule and discussing the case- even putting down the Prosecutor (his height). He wants her to desist. Nurmi says JM is trying to take the focus off himself by pointing the finger at the defendant. Twitter ‘doesn’t change the game.’ The Judge says: “There is a fine line between zealous advocacy and unethical conduct.” She says both were outside of the presence of the jury and no evidence was affected. There is no basis for a mistrial. She states: “The prosecutor was not in any way outside the bounds of proper behavior.” Regarding the Tweets from jail- Nurmi wants proof, a motion in writing and sites freedom of speech. JM doesn’t want to investigate this as he might be called intimidating again. The judge says it is a matter for the Sheriff.
There is a closed-door hearing being held with Alyce LaViolette. I am guessing it has to do with her approaching Samantha, Travis’ sister. Apparently after trashing Travis, Alyce went up to Sam and said something like: “It’s not personal.” I am now getting rumors that this could also be about perjury. Also- Chris Stark tweets that: “Alyce to testify about discussing her testimony – rule break –in chamber today 1:15.” That is news to me. It is 2:25 as I write this.
3:14- The jury comes in. The Judge tells them that there is a stipulation: That when the picture of Travis that was taken in the shower at 5:29:20 (his face) JA was not holding a knife or gun. The jury is then dismissed and court recessed for the day.