03/25/2013 10:13 pm ET Updated Mar 26, 2013

Jodi Arias' Mommy Issues Come Into Focus

Jodi Arias had such a violent relationship with her mother that she struck the woman for no reason, a defense witness admitted Monday under questioning by an Arizona prosecutor.

"When [Arias] was a teenager, isn't it true that the defendant had such anger toward her mother Sandy, that she treated her like crap?" attorney Juan Martinez asked the accused murderer's psychologist.

"Yes," forensic psychologist Richard Samuels replied.

Samuels has testified Arias suffered from acute stress disorder, which developed into post-traumatic stress disorder after the 2008 killing of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

"Isn't it true that they argued all the time?" asked Martinez.

"Yes," said Samuels.

"And isn’t it true that during that time, the defendant hit Sandy for no reason?" asked Martinez.

"Yes," Samuels replied.

The back and forth between Martinez and Samuels was sparked by Samuels' testimony about diagnosing Arias with PTSD. One qualifying symptom Samuels said he observed in Arias was her bouts of irritability and anger.

Martinez revealed Arias' alleged abuse of her mother in an attempt to show Arias had bouts of anger long before the alleged trauma of killing Alexander.

Arias, 32, is accused of the June 4, 2008 slaying of Alexander, inside his Mesa, Ariz., home. The prosecution contends Arias stabbed 30-year-old Alexander more than two-dozen 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.

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

"And this was all before this June 4, 2008 incident?" Martinez asked Samuels, in regard to the incidents involving Arias' mother.

"But it's irrelevant for the diagnosis," Samuels contended.

Martinez's comments on Arias alleged abuse of her mother had not previously been discussed during the trial. It remains unclear where he received the information.

Following Samuels on the stand Monday was domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette.

LaViolette spent about 30 minutes on the stand discussing her education and professional experience as a psychotherapist before court was recessed for the evening.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time Tuesday, when LaViolette will continue her testimony.


03/25/2013 7:30 PM EDT


The judge has called the evening recess. The trial will resume Tuesday, at 1:30 p.m. Eastern time.

03/25/2013 7:29 PM EDT


The attorneys are at a sidebar with the judge.

03/25/2013 7:29 PM EDT

On Her Experience In Court:

LaViolette said she has worked as an expert in several trials, for both the defense and the prosecution.

03/25/2013 7:24 PM EDT

More On LaViolette:

LaViolette is talking about awards she has received and books she has written about domestic violence.

03/25/2013 7:18 PM EDT

On The Lengthy Bio:

03/25/2013 7:17 PM EDT

More On Her Bio:

LaViolette said she provides therapy to couples and abuse victims. She said she also helps with custody issues and domestic violence legislation.

03/25/2013 7:15 PM EDT

LaViolette On The Stand:

03/25/2013 7:13 PM EDT

More On LaViolette:

03/25/2013 7:12 PM EDT

LaViolette's Bio

LaViolette is talking about her education and professional experience as a psychologist. LaViolette said she worked in a battered women's shelter and ran a 24-hour crisis hotline.

03/25/2013 7:10 PM EDT

Alyce LaViolette

The defense has called domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette to the stand.



Jodi Arias Timeline