Well, this is going to take a while. There is a lot happening today in the Jodi Arias case. And I’m three hours behind because I have a yard guy that needs supervision working outside. So, let’s get started with Nurmi’s appeal to the appellate decision. He says that the only person willing to testify in the last sentencing trial was Jodi’s ex Brewer. Alyce LaViolette refused and so did her childhood friend because of the harassment they receive from the previous trial. (If you missed the LaViolette stuff it’s worth a read.) So this time they are scrounging around for witnesses and having the same issues. He claims more than one person will only testify under seal.
In the motion to dismiss, it is stated very clearly that the new examination of the computer has shown “a plethora of pornography” including child porn. It talks about he state skewering Alyce LaViolette and Dr. Samuels for relying on Jodi’s word regarding Travis’ “porn addiction” while all along knowing that they had destroyed the evidence. That is a pretty major exaggeration. They allege that over a three hour period on June 19, 2009 “thousands of files were deleted.” The motion lists quite a few of the sex sites and they were visited on 5 or 6 different days at the end of March and the beginning of June. There are also two sites mentioned that appear to clearly be child porn sites. I must admit this doesn’t look like a virus where all the sites were visited on the same occasion. That said, even in the motion he sort of acknowledges that letting Jodi roam free is not going to happen. He does make a good case for removing the death penalty as an option as sanctions against the prosecution for their misconduct if proven.
Also, a third motion to remove cameras from the courtroom entirely has been filed by the defense because of a videotaping of Jodi chatting with her mitigation expert. Yet another hearing will happen on that.
Moving on to today. It looks like we begin with the defense motion to sanction the media. Judge Stevens says she hasn’t gotten the motion yet and cannot rule. She is not going to hold up proceedings for it. Judge Stephens tells cameraman to abide by the rules and we move on.
Next up is Nurmi’s motion to dismiss the whole damn thing. He says he needs 2-3 days to question the new forensic expert and he is available a week from Friday. Friday? We don’t have court on Friday? Friday is bottomless margaritas at Pheonix House of Tacos! Martinez says he has had the hard drive reevaluated as well and there is no porn on the laptop. Martinez also says that the defense were responsible for actually powering up the lap top during the three house forensics investigation in 2009. He was there, Flores was there, and the defense at that time made the modifications to the computer. Defense attorney’s at that time were not Nurmi and Willmott but Schaffer and Parsich. Martinez says that porn was accessed on the lap top six days after Travis died. Martinez says this is because a virus is activating links to porn.
Nurmi is now trying to change horses in mid-stream again. He says that if the defense powered up the laptop then Jodi has a case for ineffectual counsel. What’s your point Nurmi, everybody knows she is going to claim that anyway so we are back to square one. That is not a post conviction relief issue, silly. It’s another thing to add to the huge pile of appeals issues.
Judge Stephens says that Nurmi is not to bring this crap up in front of the jury until they have a hearing about it. Judge Stevens says that Nurmi may not call witnesses out of order. He needs to move the fuck on.
We finally bring in the jury and call the first witness, Dr. Michio Fonseca a clinical psychologist. This is a new psychologist, presumable because LaViolette refused to return. Dr. Fonseca is described as elderly. She will testify with regard to the perverse nature of the relationship between Jodi and Travis. In particular, she will focus on unconventional sexual interests or sexual improprieties, including pedophilia. She begins by defining “unusual sexual proclivity ” and gives examples that include cross-dressing and pedophilia. Dr Forseca has reviewed a ton of emails written by Travis as well as watched videos etc. She says that the relationship was full of love, lust and forbidden sex.
Dr. Forseca talks about an email Travis sent to the Hughes where he tells them that they crossed the line telling Jodi that he didn’t treat women well. They had been dating for about three months. We move on to baptism followed by anal sex day. BTW, Jodi is the only source that the anal happened on baptism day. Dr. Forseca testifies that Travis was a Mormon who struggled with sexual urges and Jodi was someone seeking spirituality. Dr. Forseca goes on to discuss Jodi’s relationship with Daryl Brewer saying that he provided her with safety and the relationship was harmonious. Jodi was frugal and responsible according to Daryl.
On to the visit where Jodi and Travis went to visit his friends, Chris and Sky Hughes. Travis bragged about how much money he had and threw hundred dollar bills on the table. . Sidenote: Why isn’t Martinez objecting every five minutes. This woman wasn’t present for any of the things she is talking about and has never interviewed Travis, or Jodi for that matter. It could just as well be me on the stand pontificating about the nature of their relationship. Nurmi comes back to this relationship several times in today’s testimony. One email in particular where Travis’ friends cautioned Jodi about Travis and Travis responded saying they had crossed a line. Also their emails back saying they liked Jodi and didn’t want to see her get hurt. In Travis’ email he says the convinced Jodi he was abusive and needs counseling.
The email takes up the majority of the testimony. Travis seems rattled in the email. He says he is having a nervous breakdown. He doesn’t want to lose Jodi. Travis says he is trying to fix himself. Nurmi is going the “dirty little secret” route. The Dr. discusses Travis using the phrase “three hole wonder” and “slut.” Travis says in the email, “I am trying desperately to overcome my problems so that I don’t lose something great like I have done before.”
Dr. Forseca says that Jodi and Travis had both oral and anal sex on the day of the baptism, before and after the baptism itself. OBJECTION! FAIRYTALE! Oh but it get’s better. Dr. Forseca just identified the mystery penis photo as that of Travis Alexander and said it was sent in the same month as the baptism. I honestly don’t understand how this testimony is admissible. Favorite tweet of the day goes something like “giant penis on screen, jury paying attention and taking notes…” Nurmi put penis picture and baptism picture side by side on the overhead projector. Female juries look down.
We took a lunch break and when we came back there were immediate sidebars. Because, Arizona. Everyone including the victim’s family, court reporter and all counsel go into chambers. What now? Jury issue? We may never know. Everyone comes out. Jodi is smiling. Jury enters. Witness retakes the stand.
Dr. Forseca continues to discuss the fact that Jodi was Travis’ little secret and his close friends encouraged Jodi to leave him. More and more about the emails. The general consensus is this witness is doing a good job for the defense. Of course that will change when Martinez gets his crack at her. Nurmi compares Travis to Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. There is Travis Alexander the Mormon and T-Dog the sexual deviant. He led a double life. We get it. Can we please move on. I am bored and the jury has after lunch drowsiness. One older male in back row continuously fights the urge to nod off.
Back to the email. Chris Hughes says he has no idea that Travis was that attached to Jodi. He says he has seen all the dozens of girls in and out of his life and the only one he seemed attached to was Deanna who he strung along until she eventually gave up. Chris says he didn’t know Travis had feelings for Jodi and, “I really believed she was your next victim.” he also says “I’ve seen a lot of gals get gutted in your wake” and “I think what you term ‘rough around the edges,’ Sky and I would call ‘abusive.'”
Dr. Forseca says Travis did not have a split personality there were just two sides to him. She says that Travis’ behavior toward Jodi could be debasing. She talked about how they both came from troubled childhoods. Jodi used sex to keep Travis. This witness has been very mindful of Travis and is not throwing him to the wolves like LaViolette and Sanders did. Nurmi however continues to refer to Travis as T-Dog which makes the expert witness answer in kind at times. Travis felt no connection to Jodi during sex, yet sex escalated Jodi’s connection to Travis.
Dr. Forseca repeatedly stated throughout the day that Travis was a master of deception. She says that Travis was feeling pressure to marry. Sky says that she loves Travis but wanted him to know she is causing Jodi pain. Notes he tends to be falling apart. Forseca says a lot of animosity was building up with Jodi as Travis was more and more unable to build an intimate bond with her. Nurmi describes the animosity as a boulder rolling down hill.
Oh and I just realized that the reason this testimony is allowed is because it is the mitigation part of a bizarre land “sentencing trial” that we are not accustomed to. This would have never been allowed in a normal trial or even the guilt phase of an Arizona one. That said, this is the best mitigation witness the defense has ever put on the stand. Kudos to Nurmi and Willmott for not giving up on their stupidhead client. More from Sky’s email as it is dissected paragraph by paragraph by the witness. Sky wrote, “Travis with love, you are a heart predator.” also “It would scare me to death if my sister liked you. In fact i wouldn’t allow it.” and “Women are fragile and you shattered a lot of them.” and “months is long enough to see if you want to commit and you need to do this. This is called a relationship.” Jodi provided Travis the perverse sexual fulfillment that Deanna did not despite his strong emotional attraction to Deanna.
Do it was a long day of Nurmi on direct to his first mitigation witness. She spent most of the day dissecting emails between Travis and his friends Sky and Chris Hughes who were both chastising him for the way he treated women in general and Travis in particular. Basically, Travis led a double life. Jodi was treated horribly. Animosity built up and she exploded in a rage. The witness did very well and may have hit a couple of home runs with some of the female jurors. That said, Martinez hasn’t had his turn to rip her to shreds yet. She will continue her testimony tomorrow.