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Jodi Arias Trial: Faltering Domestic Violence Defense Puts Attorneys In Damage Control Mode (LIVE UPDATES)

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How will Jodi Arias' defense team fare on day 45?
How will Jodi Arias' defense team fare on day 45?

Testimony is set to resume Thursday before Arizona jurors who are weighing whether 32-year-old Jodi Arias is guilty of first-degree murder in the brutal 2008 slaying of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

On Wednesday, the defense team's domestic violence expert, psychotherapist Alyce LaViolette, endured a lengthy and scathing cross-examination by Maricopa County Prosecutor Juan Martinez.

LaViolette was backed into a corner by Martinez regarding her opinion that Arias' was a victim of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of Alexander. Martinez charged that Arias was the aggressor in the relationship and at one point got the key defense witness to admit Alexander was afraid of Arias.

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"Isn't it true that Mr. Alexander was extremely afraid of the defendant, Jodi Arais, based on her stalking behavior?" Martinez asked LaViolette.

"He was afraid of her, yes," LaViolette replied.

"Because of her stalking behavior, correct?" asked Martinez.

"Correct," LaViolette said.

The acknowledgement of the alleged behavior by a key witness for the defense could be seen as a big win for the prosecution.

LaViolette has spent nine days on the witness stand detailing her opinion on the dynamic of Alexander and Arias' on-again-off-again relationship. She testified it was her opinion that Arias feared for her life when she shot him, stabbed him nearly 30 times, and cut his throat from ear to ear in his Mesa, Ariz., home on June 4, 2008.

Prosecutors say Arias killed Alexander in a jealous rage.

The defense team is expected to redirect LaViolette's testimony today. Afterward, the judge will ask the defense expert a number of questions the jury has submitted for her. The juror questions should give some insight into how significant they consider the expert's testimony.

Arias is charged with first-degree murder and faces the death penalty if convicted.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time, when defense attorney Jennifer Willmott will redirect LaViolette's testimony.

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

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The judge has called the evening recess. The trial will resume Friday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern time.

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LaViolette was asked of the 18 forensic cases she has worked how many involved the male being the victim of abuse.

"At least two," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked hypothetically if she determined Arias had exaggerated would that change her opinion.

"I would certainly re-look at things because that would be important," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was again about smiling at Arias and one one occasion looking at her and shrugging her shoulders when she was asked a question.

"Wow ... I don't even remember doing that," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked if she has personal feelings for Arias.

"I have liked Jodi in terms of working with her ... but we have not had a relationship other than the 44 hours we spent in jail," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked why she smiles at Arias during sidebars.

"I have done that on occasion just to acknowledge her, but no other reason," LaViolette said. "I've actually tried to avoid looking at Ms. Arias."

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LaViolette was asked the same question again about manipulation.

"I didn't use Jodi as my evidence. I didn't. I used so many other things to look at, so I don't believe that Jodi manipulated me because the areas I looked at were corroborated by other people," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked if there is any reason to believe Arias has not manipulated her as she has others.

LaViolette was answering the question when Martinez objected. The attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.

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LaViolette was asked about Arias' school friend saying she was manipulative and liked playing the victim. The jury wanted to know if those traits could have stayed with her.

"I don't have evidence of that," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked if Alexander said negative things to Arias because he was afraid of her stalking him.

"No, I do not believe that," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked if she is biased toward men.

She said she is not.

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Court is back in session.

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The judge has called a 10 minute recess.

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LaViolette was asked why she did not look further into Alexander's text about him fearing Arias.

"I didn't see anything else to leave me to believe he was afraid," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked about Alexander's name calling turning into character assassination.

"Character assassination does not have to occur in the presence of other people and most of the times it doesn't," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked if she based the alleged viewing of photos of young boys by Alexander on what Arias told her.

"Yes I am basing that on what Ms. Arias told me," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked if a female could abuse, batter or terrorize a man to the point of killing him.

"Yes, women can be perpetrators," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked if any people mentioned suspicion of abuse regarding Alexander or Arias.

LaViolette said one of Arias' friends suspected Alexander was abusive of Arias.

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LaViolette was asked if she knew about the break in at Arias' grandparents house when a handgun was stolen.

"Yes, I am aware that the grandparents house was broken into," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked if someone is controlling it means they will be automatically abusive.

"No it doesn't," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked about a connection between Alexander's childhood and his alleged abusive behavior.

"The worst kind of childhood abuse is usually associated with the most difficulty in having a non-abusive relationship," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked how confident she is that Arias did not lie to her.

"I don't believe she lied to me about significant things. I don't have reason to believe that she lied to me," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked to provide a time frame for her evaluation of Arias.

"I spent about 44 hours in jail with Jodi face to face," LaViolette said. "The first visit was in October of 2011 and I spent two days that visit. There was another visit that I spent another two days ... and then I came out before my daughter's wedding and spent a day with Jodi."

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LaViolette was asked if the violence level of Arias response -- which was extreme and way beyond neutralizing a threat -- was consistent with what a victim of abuse would do.

"When they are afraid for their lives they would not know when to stop ... when is enough," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked if she found any evidence Arias was abusive toward Alexander.

"I just don't have any evidence of it," she said.

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LaViolette was asked if any of her patients have ever killed their partner.

"Yes," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked did you ever see any proof that Alexander physically abused Arias.

"The only thing I saw was a broken finger," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked how she is able to believe everything Arias is saying is truthful.

"I based it on everything that I read and all of the materials ... I don't know everything she told me is true. I know that I have enough backup with the information I got ... to believe that she is telling me the truth about most things," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked about the girl Alexander dated long-term before Arias.

"He seemed to really still care about her ... She loaned him money and she asked for the money back ... They still seemed to have a friendly relationship," LaViolette said.

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LaViolette was asked how quickly abuse can escalate after two people meet.

"Most people don't get in relationships if they think someones going to be abusive ... it varies," LaViolette said.

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

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