|Jodi Arias always takes a look back to the camera|
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?"
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 Amazon.com, 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)