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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Jodi Arias: Day 14 - "A Juror's Perspective"

Jodi Arias always takes a look back to the camera
Paul Sanders, a juror on the Marissa Devault jury, is now spending his time as a spectator in the Jodi Arias courtroom.  Paul has written a great recap of today's proceedings and I'm pleased to have him as a guest writer.  (I added the photos to Paul's writing)

I have to wonder if the Jury felt the same cloud of irony that I felt at the close of proceedings today.

I watched as the Jury first sat today and I felt there was a sense of order as well as a sense of pep in their step. It was almost as if they marched in and it looked like all were dressed with care and concern. Shirts were pressed and only two Jurors wore jeans. This tells me that they care about what they are doing and becoming more unified. People in the Jury box are following the lead of the example setters and that is a good thing.

They also have a spring in their step with the upcoming holiday. They are excited to get through the day and get back to a "normal" life, away from murder and evil, to see their families and watch some football. Their minds need a break.

Juan Martinez made the day flow for the Jury like a river. He was like a fly fisherman who, with grace, captures his fish. I am sure the Jury appreciated it. His questioning kept the mind busy as he flowed from topic to topic. Dr. Fonseca was the bait and he caught her with eloquence.

"Ma'am?" he asked at the opening of proceedings, "One of the things you told us was that you do not do evaluations."

"Good Morning," Dr. Fonseca says directly to the Jury. She smiles at them as she did yesterday. She then turns to Juan Martinez as if no question had been asked.

"Ma'am?" he asks again. He never calls her Doctor or Dr. Fonseca. He only refers to her as ma'am. It is the same with Jodi Arias. He usually calls her "Arias" or "the defendant" with emphasis on "dant."

He shows no emotion even though she had ignored his question. "One of the things you told us was that you did not do evaluations. Am I right?"

"Yes, that's right," she answers.

"You said that in your evaluation that it was significant that Arias shaved her pubic region. Did you not?"

She turns in her chair and looks at the Jury. She doesn't look at Juan. "The constellation of variables suggests that shaving the pubic area is a little more common in our society. It may have had something to do with my evaluation, though."

"Are you saying that the way she groomed herself had something to do with Travis Alexander?" Juan asks as he takes a couple of steps forward.

"Didn't you say that engaging in that practice is important to you?"

"Not necessarily."

Juan looks at her. "Didn't you say it was something worth considering?"

"Well, men and women do it," she answers with a non-answer.

"Ma'am, we're not interested in men," he says firmly. "Didn't you say it was important despite what percentage may shave that region?"

She seems to think about it. She hesitates before she answers and then looks at the Jury. "I didn't look at the specifics of this. It is one of many things I consider. There is an overall dynamic between the two sexually. Every piece had to be considered."

Juan Martinez walks back to the Prosecution table and looks at his yellow legal pad. He picks up some papers from the desk and walks toward Dr. Fonseca, never stopping while he says, "May I approach, Your Honor?"

"Yes," Judge Stephens replies. He hands her the document.

"Did you review document number 440441?" he asks as he hands her the papers over the witness box.

"Thank you, Mr. Martinez," she answers. "I didn't finish yesterday."

The courtroom is completely silent for ten minutes. Nobody moves. Judge Stephens peers over her desk and Dr. Fonseca is reading. Nobody even really coughs. It seemed off-setting.

Juan stands back at the Prosecution table. He looks toward her. He imperceptibly rolls on his heels. He looks toward the carpet and back at her. He waits without emotion.

"Have you reviewed the document?" he asks stepping toward her a couple steps.

She laughs softly. "Yes, Mr. Martinez." I notice she isn't rolling her "r"'s as she did yesterday.

Juan Martinez begins the dismantling of her. He pursues each prior boyfriend of Jodi Arias in the years around the time that she murdered Travis Alexander. It is revealed one by one that she has a pattern of breaking up with boyfriends, even those whom she has lived with, and then contacting them and demonstrating stalker behavior.

He exposes, with his articulate questioning, that Jodi Arias does not take well to breaking up. It is clear that her behaviors do not show her as suffering in silence. He talks of relationships gone bad and she appears in their boyfriends lives again and it is confrontational in nature every time. She calls them repeatedly at any hour of the day.

Dr. Fonseca gets foggy on details and doesn't remember what Jodi Arias did after each break up. It is becoming clear to everyone else in the room, including the Jury, that Jodi Arias isn't what she looks to be in the defendant's chair. She is not the meek little girl in the fuzzy sweater. Her dark side is being exposed piece by piece.

"They only dated three or four months, didn't they?" Juan asks her in reference to Travis and Arias.

"Well," the Dr. says, "they broke up in February, or was it June of 2007?"

Juan looks at her and walks forward with his palm out. With the other finger, he counts the fingers in his palm. "So, they dated March, April, May and June. Is that right ma'am?"

"It was the end of June before she discovered his infidelities," she says looking toward the ceiling as if trying to remember. "Well, they dated some months..."

"Didn't she move to Mesa, Arizona from Northern California in July of 2007?"

Dr. Fonseca enduring the relentless cross examination of Juan Martinez

Dr. Fonseca appears to think. It looks like everything is getting foggy again similar to someone else we know. "Maybe. I can't be sure."

"It was a couple of weeks after they broke up, wasn't it?" he pursues.

"Well, Mr. Martinez, they never really broke up. You have to understand the sexual dynamic of it."

"The dynamic," Juan comments. "She's not "suffering in silence" by moving to Mesa, is she?"

Dr. Fonseca is trapped like a fish on a hook. Everyone can feel it. If I felt it, you can bet the Jury did.
"Sort of," she answers.

Juan moves another two steps toward her. His eyes don't leave her face. "Wasn't Arias caught peeping into Travis Alexander's home in August of 2007, two months after they broke up?"

I am busy taking notes but I can't help but look at the exchange between Juan Martinez and Dr. Fonseca. The confidence in her voice is gone. She looks at Juan but not at the Jury.

It is these little things that a Jury watches. It is similar to watching a really good movie. One looks at every detail, every feature change. They see the loss of confidence. They hear forward progress in this case. They are learning something and it is challenging for each. They feel the drama that makes a trial. They feel the theater and they feel truths rising. They are engaged.

Then Juan Martinez took us into the creepiness and foreshadowing of the terrible event. He took the Jury on a journey to Travis Alexander's backyard. It was clean and crisp. It brought the psychology of all of it home. It was not the knowledge that Dr. Fonseca may have carried with her 35 years of experience. It was the psychology of what was in Arias' head based, in part, on her prior boyfriend's treatment, in the earlier testimony.

Dr. Fonseca feebly attempted to qualify Arias' behavior. "Well, she saw two people making out but didn't know who they were. She went there to pick up something. She might have seen something."
It's too late for Dr. Fonseca.

"Arias had to stand there and look in his back patio window," Juan states. "They were kissing and her brassiere was off. She was peeping right?"

"I don't know if you would call it that," she answers hesitantly.

"Didn't she know the key code to the garage?"


"Why didn't she use the garage, Ma'am? Why didn't she use the door?"

Dr. Fonseca is suddenly at a loss for words. The words of yesterday were stolen away from her. "I don't know how she could have gotten in. That's not..."

"She didn't ring the doorbell, did she?" Juan Martinez asks pointedly.

"No, I don't know."

"She was in the backyard, right?"

"She went around the side," Dr. Fonseca daftly evades.

Juan wouldn't let go. "She intentionally went in the backyard, didn't she?"


"That's not suffering in silence. Is it, Ma'am?" he asked, slamming the door.

Dr. Fonseca admits, "It is some intrusiveness."

Juan finished the dismantling of Dr. Fonseca throughout the rest of the morning and into the latter part of the afternoon.

"We are not talking about Travis Alexander," he said to her at one point. "We are talking about that person over there, Jodi Arias!" he says pointing to the defendant.

"We are finished with this witness," he says as he walks back to the Prosecution table.

I did not realize until then the kind of tension that Juan Martinez had created. There was almost a sigh of relief in the moments he was sitting down. It was as if Travis Alexander had spoken. There had been strength in his arguments. There was a clarity that I had not seen before. This thing had been exposed. Arias looked different in the defendant's chair. Something had changed, something that knowledge addressed. It was subtle.

I know the Jury saw her in a light they had never seen before. There was a darkness to it. There was a victim on the other end who had died a horrific death and no amount of 35 years of experience could explain it away. His name was Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias planned his death. She did it with cruelty. There was evil at the end of this road and Juan Martinez did an exemplary job paving it.

Kirk Nurmi got up and began his redirect.

Dr. Fonseca began answering questions as Kirk Nurmi tried to put the house back together again. It took awhile to realize what he was doing. He had set this seed a couple of days ago and I think he has underestimated the Jury. He thinks they are easily maligned.

The Jury knows this event was premeditated. He is trying to sell a car that no one is buying.

It is Dr. Fonseca's opinion that this event was a culmination of events over time and Jodi Arias somehow 'snapped" and killed him in a fit of rage.

The Jury isn't buying it. It may actually make some of them mad. They cannot talk among each other so they have to dwell on it. It feels like they are being tricked.

Jurors are not dumb. They were selected because they are reasonable men and women. They know he is trying to deflect, hoping they will fall for it.

Kirk Nurmi asked Dr. Fonseca, "Do you think many years of experience in your field is better than only a few years?"

"Certainly," she answers. "Nothing can speak better than many years of experience."

"What do you think of other Psychologists who try to damage the reputation of fellow Psychologists in Court?"

Of course, it was easy for me to figure out this line of questioning that Juan Martinez put an end to. It made me happy. I knew a surprise that the Jury didn't know was coming.

Dr. DeMarte was on the horizon. It was going to be soon. Very soon. The "Psycho-Killer", as I refer to her in my book, "Brain Damage: A Juror's Tale", available on, would be a welcome surprise for this Jury.

Kirk Nurmi asked a final question of the day.

"Dr. Fonseca? What is misogyny?"

The Doctor thinks about it for a moment. "It defines men who are hateful of women..."

This will irritate most of the Jury on their Holiday weekend off...

Judge Stephens ends the proceedings for the day while the attorneys are at sidebar.

The air is thick with irony. The psychology in the room spoke louder than the witness with 35 years of experience.

Justice 4 Travis Alexander!
Justice for Dale!

Paul A. Sanders, Jr.
The 13th Juror MD @The13thJurorMD (Twitter)

Governor Nixon Orders 2,200 National Guard Troops Into Ferguson

Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri ordered more National Guard troops into the embattled city of Ferguson on Tuesday to keep order on the second night after a grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager.

“The violence we saw in areas of Ferguson last night is unacceptable,” the governor said in announcing that the National Guard presence would be upped from 700 troops Monday to 2,200 on Tuesday.

"Last night, criminals intent on lawlessness and destruction, terrorized this community," Nixon said at an afternoon news conference. "I am deeply saddened for the people of Ferguson who woke up to see parts of their community in ruins. No one should have to live like this, no one deserves this. We must do better and we will."

On Monday night, 21 fires were set and at least 12 buildings were burned, police reported looting, and gunfire broke out repeatedly, officials said.

More than 60 people were arrested overnight Monday into Tuesday for protest related crimes in St. Louis County, which includes Ferguson, said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. He said 32 arrests were for felony burglary related to looting, and 29 were for misdemeanor "unlawful assembly." Ten police cars, mostly belonging to the county, were damaged, including two which were completely burned, he said. Three officers suffered injuries.

Belmar also said officers "found a body" that they were treating as a homicide. And while there was no immediate indication it was related to the protests, he said "at this point I certainly couldn't discount it — I would imagine that there’s some sort of a nexus there."

The civil unrest followed the grand jury’s decision not to charge Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

At a press conference with local clergy on Tuesday afternoon, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III said he was disappointed with the delayed use of the National Guard on Monday night. After thanking the police and state troopers who did help protect the city, Knowles said, "unfortunately the national guard was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses."

He added, "The decision not to deploy the National Guard was deeply disturbing."

Knowles said that he had reached out through "political channels" Monday night to request the Guard be sent in but admitted, "I haven’t spoken to the governor since the third week of August."

In response to Knowles comments and reports that there was a political agenda at work behind the lack of response, Nixon said, "Politics has not one bit to do with the task at hand, the business at hand and the seriousness of this mission."

Meanwhile, shopkeepers swept up broken glass, buildings smoldered, and police kept parts of the city closed all day Tuesday. People in Ferguson said they were devastated, and some said they were bracing for more.

Judge agrees to delay Suffolk murder trial of Aaron Hernandez

A Suffolk Superior Court judge has agreed to delay the murder trial of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, who first faces a separate murder trial in Bristol County.

Hernandez’s case in Bristol, where he is accused of shooting Odin L. Lloyd, is expected to begin Jan. 9, while the Suffolk case had been scheduled for May 28.

A pool of more than 1,500 prospective jurors will have to be whittled down to 16 — 12 jurors and four alternates — and more than 300 people are listed as possible prosecution witnesses in the Bristol case, leading Hernandez’s lawyers to argue that the trial could take longer than expected.

“If [prosecutors] really call all those people, we’re going to be in Bristol for two or three months,” said Charles Rankin, one of Hernandez’s lawyers, in court Tuesday. “That would make it impossible for us to be ready by May 28.”

Judge Jeffrey Locke agreed that the complexity of the Bristol case will make it difficult for defense attorneys to devote enough attention to the Suffolk case — Hernandez is accused of killing two men in Boston in 2012.

“The motion to continue is not at all unreasonable,” Locke said.

Rankin asked for a November 2015 trial date but Locke declined to commit to a specific date in case the trial in Bristol ends sooner than defense attorneys predict.

If the trial ends quickly, the Suffolk case could still begin as early as September or August, Locke said.

Source - Boston Globe
Link to article

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