The defense has filed 2 new motions- one to vacate death eligibility and the second to vacate the aggravating factor. One of the primary reasons cited in the motions by the defense is the use of the word ‘especially’ in the phrase: “especially heinous.” Nurmi contends that use of that word implies the statue was designed for a judge, not a jury. He said that ‘layperson jurors’ are left to ‘muddle through’ the definition with a defendant’s life in the balance. Maricopa County Attorney called this a standard procedural move: “Those are defense attorneys doing their job advocating for their client,” Montgomery said Wednesday. “Obviously, we disagree.”
Here is a play by play of what happened in court today via Twitter:
-In the courtroom at the Jodi Arias trial. Many of the usual faces are here in the spectator section. Media is rather thin. I see Tara Kelley and some other jurors in the gallery. Nurmi and Willmott just went back into chambers. Jodi Arias is not in the courtroom yet. Juan is here…Det. Flores just arrived. Just to remind everyone, this will not be live streamed and most of the hearing will be held in chambers and sealed. Jodi just came in wearing her gray prison striped outfit with salmon socks. Jodi Arias was just escorted back by the well armed sheriff’s deputies. She is in chambers now. These guys are scary looking.
@Chriswnews: Never seen a Jodi Arias escort like this. Arias walked to chambers her shackles making a racket. Arrives in chains surrounded by what appears to be an MCSO SWAT team.
@WildAboutTrial: Willmott just bolted out of chambers and smiled at Flores and Juan, she is getting something from her desk and heading back in. No sign of Travis’ family, just supporters.
@chriswnews: Was told Travis Alexander aunt the only family member expected in the gallery. Sis Samantha to attend via phone. Family civil attorney here.
@WildAboutTrial: Looks like other attorneys here for other trials. Nurmi, Willmott and Jodi Arias are still back in chambers. Flores and Juan continue to semi-reclinate and laugh while they chat. The courtroom is full of chatter. Flores and Juan were just summoned back into chambers. Everyone is coming out of chambers. Jodi Arias has full umbrella bangs and makes a clanking noise as she walks. She went to her room.
@maryellenabc15: Jodi Arias is walked back through court to her holding cell…she is shackled, handcuffed and in jail stripes. Jail SWAT is guarding her.
@WildAboutTrial: The armed sheriff seems to be clearing Jodi Arias’ table. She is brought out now and is sitting down. There are 4 fully armed sheriff deputies here to keep an eye on Jodi Arias. These are some serious deputies. Wow. Jodi Arias is sitting with the DP mitigation specialist whispering. Sheriffs haven’t left her side. Jodi Arias did not seem to have a smile on her face, looked rather tired. Attorneys are back. Judges Stephens is present and addressing the court now. Court is deferring the ruling on the motion to delay the trial until July 18. The hearing is over.
@tarakelley320: Seeing Jodi in shackles was totally worth being at the courthouse today!!!
According to ABC15.com’s Corey Rangel, the prosecution has filed a motion asking the judge to deny the motion for a delay filed by the defense. They defense had said they needed time to find other witnesses to stand up for Jodi (they have had 5 years) and that they had scheduling conflicts. Martinez responded: ““Neither reason warrants a continuance of the proceedings until the first part of next year.” For more here’s the link:
According to court documents (thank you, NancyB for the link!) the defense has filed a motion to move the trial to January 2014. They site that Jodi wants to find witnesses to stand up for her, the conflicts in dates with both Nurmi and Willmott and the fact that Willmott has 5 other cases coming up, four in August. Here is the link to the document:
Here are some of the more interesting points from this transcript. (The link to the entire transcript is at the bottom). (Thanks, NancyB!)
1. Here’s one thing we can all be thankful for: According to a comment by Willmott on page 12 there were 2 other recordings that weren’t played in court- they were Jodi singing.
2. Regarding the penis and breast pictures from her phone, (p. 6) Martinez: said: “Quite frankly I don’t think he (the expert witness) can distinguish those, to whose penis those are or whose breasts those are.” As we know now those pictures were allowed into the trial.
3. The bulk of this transcript is about the argument that what is in the tape will be asserted as fact. The defense argues it is not, but if you recall the trial all the fantasies Travis described in that tape were actually presented as fact- like the 12 year old comment, which was actually Travis describing Jodi’s voice sounding like a 12 year old, and the ‘tie you to a tree…’ comment- was said over and over and over again by both Nurmi and Willmott as if it was a fact. Here is the way the defense actually said they would present this evidence:
On page 6 is the first time Willmott asserts: “None of it (the sex tape) is for the truth of the matter asserted, we’re talking about the particular statements. So the statement that he’s going to come and stick it up wherever is not for the truth of whether he was actually going to do that. They’re not assertions.” On page 10 Martinez makes the comment: “In terms of the sexual knowledge, they’re offering it for the truth of the matter asserted. And their experts rely on it as truthful. Also they are being offered as to how Travis broke down Jodi’s boundaries sexually.”
On page 11- Willmott says: “So as it was with the ‘3 hole wonder’ conversation, we’re not putting it in evidence to prove or disprove that Ms. Arias was a quote, unquote ‘3 hole wonder.’ On page 12 Martinez continues to argue that the tape is being offered for the truth of the matter asserted. That regarding the things said on the tape ‘that’s what they want to do.’ Martinez goes on to say: “I don’t see how they can then make the argument later on and say, well, none of this was true. Their argument would then have to be, they never had anal intercourse. They never did any of that.” On page 13 Nurmi says that while Travis said those things “We’re not attempting to prove that he was going to do those things.” On page 14 Nurmi reiterates: “…we’re not using it to prove that he was going to actually do the things on the tape.”
Martinez then goes into the testimony of Dr. Samuels and how he asserts that Travis was ‘the only individual who had anal sex with the defendant. And this is proof of that. It is offered for the truth of the matter. Willmott counters with ‘Dr. Samuels is not considering whether or not Travis was actually going to take Ms. Arias to the forest or whether he did take Ms. Arias to the forest.”
On page 17 Martinez Says Travis wasn’t going past her boundaries. “No he’s not. What he’s doing is he’s responding to her. And so it is being offered for the truth of the matter asserted. He’s not the aggressor, she is.” Both Wilmott and Nurmi respond: “That’s all for cross.” Martinez argues who can he cross? Ms. Arias or Travis? “Neither of which I have access to.” Willmott suggests he cross the doctors. Martinez: “I don’t want to cross the doctors. I want to cross the declarants which is what the rule is designed to allow me to do.”
Next (page 19) Martinez says Travis did not know he was being recorded. He and Nurmi argue the point.
“She (Jodi) can introduce it when she takes the stand.” On page 22 Nurmi says: “This is distinct form of self defense. And how he treated her is germane to that and not hearsay, not being offered for the truth of the matter asserted.”
Finally the judge decides she will have to listen to the tape to see whether or not it should be admitted.
4. Other arguments from the defense as to why the tape should be admitted were:
– On page 9 Nurmi argues the tape goes to ‘The way he treated her’, …degrades her opinion’ – showing a pattern of abuse.
– Willmott adds it ‘goes to his sexual knowledge.’
– On page14 Nurmi claims this is proof that while he was calling her a stalker he was having phone sex with her.
Link to entire transcript: http://www.azcentral.com/ic/pdf/0607arias-sex-tape-proceeding.pdf Thanks again, NancyB!
We are finally getting a glimpse of what was going on behind the scenes in the courtroom. During the testimony of Alyce LaViolette, Willmott was trying to get in an example of Travis telling Jodi he was going to kill himself and Martinez said: ““But the thing is that if Ms. Willmott and I were married, I certainly would say I F’g want to kill myself. That doesn’t mean I want to kill myself. It just means there’s a bad relationship and I want you to leave me alone.” (From an article by Michael Kiefer: http://www.azcentral.com/community/mesa/articles/20130605arias-trial-transcripts-juror-questions-unsealed.html?nclick_check=1z).
In a released transcript during an argument regarding hearsay evidence Martinez tells Willmott: “…maybe you ought to go back to law school.” Nurmi asks the judge to admonish Martinez for his statement about wanting to kill himself if married to Willmott and for the crack about going back to law school. The judge responds: “Council, I know some of this is tongue and cheek, some of it is just the stress of the trial, but let’s try to be as professional as possible when we have these bench conferences.” (Link to transcript: http://www.azcentral.com/ic/pdf/arias-april4-transcript-excerpt.pdf).
Thanks to NancyB for these links!
Judge reads Jury Instructions.
She made sure she stabbed him over and over and over again and slashed his throat
He mentions her ‘painful’ suicide attempt and how excruciating Travis’ pain would have been during the attack. He takes us through the murder step by step. “It is only death that relieved that pain and anger and that is especially cruel.”
All murder 1’s are cruel. This was not ‘especially’ cruel. You have to consider her state of mind and how the brain functions as mitigating factors.
He suffered pain every time the knife went into his body. He was able to see, breathe and hear- he knew what was coming.
Damage to nerve endings cause pain. A pierced heart can feel like a heart attack, affecting breathing and causing pain. JM takes us through the photos pointing out with each that there was nerve damage and therefore pain. He mentions the divots in the skull and the defensive wounds. Then he shows the throat picture and establishes Travis was still alive. There’s scalloping along the wound from either decomp or several attempts to cut the throat. The throat is not easily cut due to cartilage. Before this cut he could speak.
After the throat cut he wouldn’t have lasted but seconds and he wouldn’t feel anything so wouldn’t feel the shot. The top of the throat didn’t have scalloping. The chest wound didn’t cut the heart. Flight/fight means he had adrenaline and he was moving so he would bleed out faster. Adrenaline would have also precluded pain.
Regardless of the time he was alive when stabbed, slashed. Even with this adrenaline reaction he could still see, breathe, hear. He stands at the sink and can see, hear, feel, smell and think. Even with adrenaline he can still feel pain. The decomp can account for the scalloping but so can multiple wounds.
1. Did you testify that Mr. A. had 3 rapidly fatal wounds? Yes- the heart, the throat and the gun shot.
2. In regards to the throat what’s more likely for the scalloping? Because of the decomp I can’t really say.
Though all 3 wounds were fatal the chest wound would take minutes if not moving. The throat would have been seconds. He would not have been able to defend self or move around after that. The shot would have made him unconscious in seconds.
The first wound was the slowest but would have been faster due to movement.
She made sure Travis did not go gently. She also made sure he went nude. He was vulnerable in his shower, seated. Totally unaware. We know he felt the knife to the heart. Extreme mental anguish- he can see, breathe, smell and this is the person he was just with. Adrenaline or not it hurts, and she knows it hurts- it hurt too much for her to commit suicide. A knife in the heart- like a heart attack. She’s still standing, he tries to grab the knife and more pain. He can’t even get away- more mental anguish. It’s a paper cut to the Nth degree. He grabs the knife 3 times. This hurts. His hands and chest are bleeding. He’s still in a small area with a woman who’s ‘pretty strong’ according to Ryan Burns. She never lets go of the knife. He’s wanting to get away- what is he thinking about? His dog? His family? The grandma she sent irises to? To see himself bleeding. Not thinking about a vacation. He tries to get to the sink and get her to leave him alone. Adrenaline takes away the pain? Actually adrenaline talks to fear and terror and pain. He sees himself in the mirror. He’s in pain- is he screaming? Do you think he was quiet as a church mouse while all this is going on? He’s stabbed on the back of the head…sees blood, causes anguish, see’s the defendant. She’s striking the head- the knife goes into the head and causes a divot. That it painful. Seems like a short period- but it’s interminable for him. Lets just sit for 2 minutes (we wait 2 minutes). And now he got his throat slashed. Seem short? No- he’s continually stabbed and followed. It’s painful. Her ‘suicide’ was too painful. She gave him no choice. He tries to get away down the hallway but he has no strength. He’s bled out. He’s down, but still alive, seeing, hearing, breathing. The last thing he saw was the blade coming down to his throat. The last thing he felt before he left this earth was pain. Defense ‘Only 30 wounds.’ It’s especially cruel. Travis suffered enough for 2 lifetimes. He was stabbed in the heart and ran and his throat was slit.
Regarding jury instructions- to find especially cruel:
- Pain? He was conscious. He could see, hear, breathe. From the shower to the hallway the defendant was with him. He was conscious- he ambulated.
Physical pain. ‘It stings’ (referencing the suicide attempt) well he was stabbed on the back of the head, back of body, throat. He did suffer physical pain. Not what you want to do on a Sunday afternoon. He could see himself bleeding and being attacked. He tried to get away. He goes down and can’t defend himself. The defendant comes over- how absolutely horrific as the knife comes down. He knows. The defendant slits his throat.
- Did she know he would suffer? She’s 27 years old. She knows what’s going on. She’s been cut at work, at Travis’ or stabbing him. Any reasonable person would know a stab to the heart would cause pain. She’s past her teens, almost 30. When she continued with the back? Absolutely. The throat is sensitive. That’s where she went. Every step of the way she knew, he’s hurting. Every time it goes in. The woman with the high IQ. It was directed to the neck. She knows. Whether Mr. A. was in fear or adrenaline doesn’t matter. She should have known how much he was suffering, until she put him into another life, and that is especially cruel.
The jury has to determine whether cruel or especially cruel. He says to be mindful of the jury instructions- no sympathy or sentiment. A detached judgement. Has the state proven beyond a reasonable doubt? You have to give the defendant the benefit of the doubt. All first-degree murders are cruel to some extent.
The 2 elements:
- Suffer pain? The state changed it’s story from 62 seconds (where her story couldn’t have been true) to 2 minutes to play on sympathy. Dr. Horn/Flores changed testimony regarding the gunshot. If shot first no suffering. The experts talked about fight/flight and adrenaline preventing pain.
- Defendant knew he would suffer? About that suicide attempt- it was after she was in jail and the state said that it didn’t happen. She has to be conscious and processing what’s going on. Dr. Demarte said she had BPD and that she could have an extreme violent outburst. That’s what happened on June 4th. She didn’t know as she was functioning under this mental defect. Put emotion and sympathy aside. It’s hard not to react to the crime scene photos. Your job is to detach yourselves. The experts told you about her mental condition- she didn’t know she was causing pain. That is evidence enough. This aggravated factor was indeed not proven.
He is arguing instead of facing the evidence. He told you the state was trying to fool you. Not talking about the facts. The defendant should have known. She knew what a camera was and which of the 2 cameras had the photos she deleted. She cleaned up. If she didn’t know how did she even know she had done anything wrong? Who Travis even was? She cleaned up, took her clothing and put on the license plate. That’s the weakness of their argument. Of course she knew what was going on. You already used these jury instructions. They don’t want to talk about what happened. Changing stories? Why talk about that? He puts up a series of autopsy photos while asking: “Why don’t we talk about this?” Then he shows the shot to the head photo- the ‘Coup de Grace.’ In this case there is no doubt he suffered immensely. It can be physical OR mental pain. Dr. Samuels has a bad track record and Dr. Geffner is a ‘hired gun.’ If you take a knife you are going to hurt someone and cause mental stress. We don’t know the exact time of the first cut or when the throat was slashed. In those 2 minutes blood was gushing, the mental stress was only relieved by death. Thank You.
Judge gives instructions.
Would you forgive me if I forgo this very unpleasant task? Suffice it to say he implied the ‘on a mission’ theory was ridiculous and Travis was a horrible person. I just can’t bring myself to type all those despicable (and ridiculous) accusations against the victim in this case. Can’t do it. I would much rather you get a little comic relief and read what my favorite blogger (Thanks, Eggy!) on this trial wrote about Nurmi’s closing at:
It also mentions that the Defense witnesses are being attacked through social media and therefore can’t do their job!
Following is a letter from Chris Hughes- I have not yet verified it’s authenticity but it seems legit. Credit to Shirley Accatino for this info.
Chris Hughes The State vs Jodi Arias ~ Travis Alexander murder trial
February 9 at 2:28am · ..OK, so I have been pretty quiet through this trial…so far. We have decided to not do any media until after the trial is over. We had no idea how hard that commitment would be to keep as we had underestimated the attack that would be made on Travis. But we made it, so we will keep it. That said, there are a few things I need to clear up that are floating around on the net…..
IT (Jodi), being IT, came up with a whole new set of lies in 2010. Lies, I would imagine, she is going to try to work into this trial, as she fights for her life. I didn’t think she would attempt to do this as there is no evidence as to the validity of these claims. There are only letters conjured by IT that were thrown out of court and deemed “fraudulent.” I just figured she, and everyone on her team, had given up on these ridiculous claims until I read the posts below:
“It also makes you wonder just how much Chris & Sky Hughes really knew about TA’s child addiction (and the physical/verbal abuse he inflicted upon Jodi in private). Remember Sky’s initial reaction to one of TA’s letters too, where she specifically referenced TA’s age of attraction?” and “(& subsequent cover-up of TA’s abuse & child porn-related issues) by Chris & Sky Hughes.”
UNBELIEVABLE! Are people really this delusional? This info is from fake letters…too fake even for the National Enquirer to run with! That is saying something! Some of you heard me call Nurmi a liar. It was related to these claims. He had LIED to my wife. He emailed her a letter, telling her it was “100% verified to be Travis’ writing” and that there was “irrefutable evidence” backing up these claims. #1- It’s near impossible to verify something 100%. AND it is absolutely impossible to even come close if there is no original (which we later found there is not). #2- There is no, and never has been “irrefutable evidence” to back up these claims. He totally lied! Sky’s reaction to what Nurmi sent her had ZERO to do with Travis and his character, and EVERYTHING to do with Nurmi’s lies and manipulative tactics and her experiences working with sexually abused kids. The ONLY reason Sky even went there, as far as Travis was concerned, was because Nurmi told her there was “irrefutable evidence,” and to us, the only thing irrefutable would be video tapes. We had NO IDEA that it was legal for the defense attorney to lie about evidence to try to sway someone’s testimony (we had been subpoenaed to testify in a hearing the following week). Unbelievably unethical in my opinion.
I just wanted everyone to be aware of this, because I’m guessing Jodi, being the shamelessly evil person she is, is going to make these asinine claims! Here is what we know about Jodi… and it is truly “irrefutable.” Jodi lies…and lies… and lies… it’s just what she does, and who she is. She has done it from the beginning, and we can expect more of it until this trial is over. To expect anything other than lies from Jodi would be naive at best. Travis is not, and never has been, a pedophile. And only the most despicable of human beings would accuse someone of being such, knowing they are not. There is nothing worse.