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Jodi Arias' Troubled Love Life Recounted By Expert Witness Alyce LaViolette (LIVE UPDATES)

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How will Jodi Arias' defense team fare on day 41?
How will Jodi Arias' defense team fare on day 41?

The defense needs to prove Travis Alexander abused Jodi Arias to save Arias from a murder conviction, and they'll try to hammer that point home Thursday, when a domestic violence expert retakes the witness stand.

In testimony Wednesday, Alyce LaViolette, a psychotherapist retained by Arias' defense team, cited two examples of physical abuse -– one that allegedly occurred in January 2008, when Alexander allegedly broke Arias' finger, and another in March 2008, when he allegedly hit her when she told him she was moving from Arizona to California.

The defense is hoping LaViolette's testimony will help dispute the contention of the prosecution that Alexander's slaying was premeditated.

The defense claims Arias cannot be guilty because she acted in self-defense and did not plan to shoot Alexander in the head, stab him almost 30 times and cut his throat from ear to ear in his Mesa, Ariz., home on June 4, 2008.

Arias, the defense claims, was physically and emotionally battered by Travis Alexander and feared for her life when she killed him.

For the prosecution, proving Arias' intent the day Alexander was killed is key to sustaining the first-degree murder charge brought by the state. Prosecutors say Arias, jealous of Alexander's interest in other women, attacked him in the bathroom of his home after the couple spent the afternoon in bed making love.

LaViolette is expected to continue offering her opinion Thursday on the downward spiral of Arias' and Alexander's relationship and, ultimately, what drove her to take his life.

The domestic violence expert is the final defense witness. When the defense finishes their direct examination she will be cross examined by prosecutor Juan Martinez before the state puts on its rebuttal case.

The defendant's fate is expected to be in the hands of the jury later this month. If convicted, Arias could face the death penalty.

The trial is set to resume at about 12:30 p.m. Eastern time with LaViolette on the witness stand.

Read below for minute-by-minute updates from court Thursday:

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The judge has called the afternoon recess. The trial will resume Monday, at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.

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"Based on your understanding, who had the power in that relationship, the king or the queen," Martinez asked.

"Mr. Martinez you're mischaracterizing my presentation," LaViolette replied.

"What this shows us is that even if its a myth ... all made up .. you can come up with the opinion that the person is a victim of domestic violence," Martinez said.

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The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

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Martinez is talking about some parallels between Arias and Snow White.

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Martinez is walking LaViolette through the fictional story of Snow White.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is fictional, right?" Martinez asked.

"Yes," LaViolette replied.

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"In 2010 are you familiar with putting on a seminar and indicating Snow White was a battered woman?" Martinez asked.

LaViolette said she used the name Snow White because it was catchy.

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"You conduct the interviews and then you look at other sources, right?" Martinez asked.

"I do," LaViolette replied.

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"Did you have a problem understanding the question?" Martinez snapped when LaViolette appeared confused by a question about the journals.

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Maritnez is asking LaViolette about the materials she used to form her opinions on the case. LaViolette said she is not understanding some of the prosecutors questions.

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Martinez asked LaViolette is she wanted to spar with him. The defense objected and the attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

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LaViolette said there is no medical diagnosis for when someone is battered or abused.

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"Mr. Martinez are you angry at me?" LaViolette asked, prompting laughter from the gallery.

"Is that important to you ... does that make any different to you ... yes or no?" Martinez asked.

"It makes a difference to me how I am spoken to," she replied.

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The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

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"You do not have the expertise to engage in the reading of tests, correct?," Marinez asked.

"Correct," LaViolette replied.

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Martinez pointed out LaViolette does not have a Phd.

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Martinez is now redirecting the witnesses testimony.

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"I guess I'll get this out of the way now ... Do you have a memory problem?" Willmott asked.

"No," LaViolette replied.

Willmotts question was an obvious preemptive strike, considering Martinez has asked that of many of the witnesses.

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Neither of the two ex's who were interviewed described Arias as suicidal, LaViolette said.

"Did either one of them every describe her as a liar?" Willmott asked.

"No," LaViolette replied.

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LaViolette said Arias maintained friendly relationships with her previous ex-boyfriends, which was a "positive thing."

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LaViolette said she studied the interviews with Arias' previous boyfriends and one of them said he saw her "change before his eyes."

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LaViolette said her opinion is based on interviews with Arias, court documents, journals, text messages and other related materials.

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"The way this started was with Ms. Arias meeting a very charming handsome young man ... someone who made her feel very special." LaViolette said.

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LaViolette said Arias previous boyfriends described her as "generally happy, sweet, creative -- lots of positive things.

She said after she got with Alexander Arias became depressed and pulled away from other relationships.

"So there was a lot of change in who she was," LaViolette said.

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The Huffington Post is live blogging Thursday's testimony. Check back here for updates.

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