Jurors in the Jodi Arias trial are expected to have their questions put to the defense expert who claims Arias was a victim of domestic violence.
On Thursday judge Sherry Stephens began asking domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette dozens of questions, submitted by the jury, showing they're skeptical of her diagnosis that Arias had been abused by the man she's accused of killing.
Arizona is one of three states that allow jurors to pose questions to witnesses after prosecution and defense lawyers have finished their questioning. Arias' defense attorney, Jennifer Willmott, wrapped up her redirect examination of LaViolette Thursday, giving the 12 jurors and five alternates -- seven women and 11 men –- their first opportunity to put questions to the defendant.
The jury asked about LaViolette's assessment that Arias was a victim of domestic violence and whether LaViolette has affection for Arias. One juror wanted to know why LaViolette often looked at Arias in the courtroom and smiled.
"I have done that on occasion, just to acknowledge her, but no other reason," said LaViolette, a psychologist. "I've actually tried to avoid looking at Ms. Arias."
The jurors' questions and LaViolette's answers could prove to be a defining moment in the trial that will ultimately have a large impact on Arias' fate. Arias could face the death penalty if convicted.
Arias, 32, is accused of the June 4, 2008, slaying of Travis Alexander inside his Mesa, Ariz., apartment. The prosecution contends Arias stabbed Alexander 27 times, shot him twice in the face and slashed his throat in a jealous rage. Arias told jurors she killed Alexander in self-defense during an argument over a dropped camera that followed his escalating sexual demands.
The trial is scheduled to resume at about 12:30 p.m. Eastern time when jurors' questions will again be presented to LaViolette.
Read below for minute-by-minute updates from court Friday:
04/12/2013 4:04 PM EDT
The judge has called the evening recess. The trial will resume Monday, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.
04/12/2013 4:03 PM EDT
One Follow-Up Question
After the jury question Martinez again asked if she had earlier said the shooting occurred in the closet.
"I misspoke," LaViolette said
04/12/2013 4:02 PM EDT
One More Jury Question
Was miss Arias story from October 2011 consistent with the story as we know it today?
"I was not privy to her testimony" LaViolette said.
04/12/2013 3:52 PM EDT
The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.
04/12/2013 3:52 PM EDT
Again On Bias:
LaViolette said she took an unbiased approach to the case.
Martinez has ended his questioning of the witness.
04/12/2013 3:48 PM EDT
Can AL just answer a freaking question without a qualifier?!? #jodiarias— Debi Geroux (@debgeroux) April 12, 2013
04/12/2013 3:46 PM EDT
Martinez is now pointing out that LaViolette cannot see or hear inflection when she is reading text.
04/12/2013 3:44 PM EDT
LaViolette said Alexander told a lot of lies.
"That is a liar, correct?" Martinez asked.
"Correct," LaViolette replied.
04/12/2013 3:42 PM EDT
Martinez is again pointing out LaViolette is being paid to testify.
04/12/2013 3:39 PM EDT
Perpetrator Vs. Survivor
Martinez asked LaViolette is she told the jury Alexander was perpetrator and Arias was the survivor. She said she does not remember saying that. Martinez asked to approach the bench and the attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.
The Huffington Post is live blogging Friday's testimony. Check back here for updates.