Jodi Arias' murder trial turned nasty again Friday as an Arizona prosecutor accused a defense expert of misrepresenting herself.
The allegation was made by prosecutor Juan Martinez when the judge finished putting the jurors questions to domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette.
Martinez zeroed in on LaViolette's response to a question about how many men she has testified on behalf of in criminal court. She had told the jury she thought she had done so once or twice. When she was unable to remember the name of either man, she relented and said she had wrote a report in one of the cases and did not actually testify in court.
"So you misrepresented something to the jury, didn't you?" Martinez asked.
"I did not testify, I wrote a report on his behalf to go to criminal court," LaViolette replied.
"That's different than testifying in court, isn't it?" asked Martinez.
"Yes, it's different than testifying in court," said LaViolette.
Hammering the point home with the jury, Martinez said, "There was no second man that you testified in criminal court on his behalf, isn't that true?"
LaViolette replied, "I said one or two because I don't remember Mr. Martinez."
Arias, 32, is accused of the June 4, 2008 slaying of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, inside his Mesa, Ariz., home. The prosecution contends Arias stabbed 30-year-old 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.
LaViolette said all the information she gathered on Arias, including interviews and the review of case materials, support her opinion that Arias was physically and emotionally abused by Alexander.
Earlier in the day, LaViolette was grilled by the jury about her opinion on domestic violence in the case. Arizona is one of three states that allow jurors to pose questions to witnesses after prosecution and defense lawyers have finished their questioning.
The jury's questions Friday, paraphrased below, included:
Is there any reason to believe Arias has not manipulated you, as she has others?
"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.
Other than what Arias has told you, what evidence have you seen that Alexander was physically abusive?
"I actually didn't see other evidences of physical violence by Travis," LaViolette said.
How can Arias remember the alleged physical abuse so clearly when she never wrote about it in her journals?
"I know that people remember things that they don't write down," LaViolette said.
Is it possible your definition of manipulation differs from others?
"Yes," LaViolette said.
Is it possible your definition of manipulation is wrong?
"Yes," LaViolette said.
Would someone with low self-esteem say, "No jury will ever convict me?"
"It sounds like a really foolish statement to me," LaViolette said.
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.
The trial is scheduled to resume at 4:30 p.m. Eastern time Monday, when the defense is expected to call their next witness.
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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.