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Inside the Arias Courtroom

Aired March 5, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: You won`t miss a minute of the dramatic crescendo to Jodi Arias`s time on the stand. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. Let`s go right back into the courtroom, and then, we`ll debate it.

JODI ARIAS, MURDER DEFENDANT: Yes, that is correct. That is correct.

KIRK NURMI, JODI`S CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: And at -- and at times we talked about how you want to remember where the knife was and the fact that you stabbed him with it and cut his throat. All those are kind of things that you`re using logical assumptions, not actual memories, is that accurate?

JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: Objection, leading, asked and answered.


ARIAS: That`s correct.

NURMI: So, as it relates to this entire Exhibit 249, you don`t really know where the knife was. Did you, immediately after you got up and got out from underneath it?

ARIAS: I have no memory of where it was at rest at that moment.

NURMI: OK. You just know it was up there, based on the fact of the wounds Mr. Alexander suffered?

MARTINEZ: Objection.

STEPHENS: Sustained.

NURMI: Now, during your cross-examination, you were shown many different photos of water being splashed around, clean-up efforts that you made, you dragging Mr. Alexander`s body across the floor. Do you remember seeing those?


NURMI: Do you remember taking any of those actions?

ARIAS: Not those ones.

NURMI: OK. Do you remember grabbing the gun? And taking it with you?

ARIAS: I don`t remember grabbing the gun and taking it with me in the car.

NURMI: OK. Do you remember grabbing the rope and taking it with you in the car?

ARIAS: I don`t remember putting it in the car.

NURMI: Well, to clarify then, do you remember grabbing it from or taking it from Mister -- excuse me, Mr. Alexander`s bedroom?


NURMI: Do you remember placing Mr. Alexander`s body in the shower?


NURMI: You told us during your testimony that Mr. Alexander -- you remember, not at the time, but later on, you remembered kneeling on the bathroom floor, screaming and dropping the knife. Do you remember that?

ARIAS: I remember screaming and dropping the knife. I don`t recall the exact position.

NURMI: OK. Do you remember how you felt at that moment in time when you were screaming and you were dropping the knife?

ARIAS: I can`t really describe it. It`s -- it`s a horrible feeling. I felt -- I don`t know. I felt panic. It`s horrible.

NURMI: Let me show you what`s been marked as Exhibit 78. Could you look there, Ms. Arias? When you went to Mr. Alexander`s home on June 4, 2008, was it ever your intent to leave him lying dead in the shower?


NURMI: While you were there at his home on June 4, 2008, did you ever decide that you wanted to kill Mr. Alexander and leave him dead in the shower?

ARIAS: No, that was never my thought. That I recall.

NURMI: As a matter of fact, you didn`t want to kill Mr. Alexander on June 4, 2008, did you?

MARTINEZ: Objection, leading.

STEPHENS: Sustained.

NURMI: Did you want to kill Mr. Alexander on June 4?

ARIAS: No, that was not a goal of mine.

NURMI: Did you want to leave him like that?

ARIAS: That`s not how...

NURMI: Look at that picture. Did you want to leave him like that?

ARIAS: No, I didn`t.

NURMI: Then why was he left like that?

ARIAS: That`s how things happened that day. That`s not what I...

MARTINEZ: Objection. Nonresponsive. (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

STEPHENS: I`m sorry, Mr. Martinez, I couldn`t hear you.

MARTINEZ: Objection, nonresponsive as to why the body was left like that.

STEPHENS: Restate your answer.

ARIAS: I don`t know.

NURMI: Did you want to kill him on June 4, 2008?

MARTINEZ: Objection, asked and answered.

STEPHENS: Sustained.

NURMI: Then why did it happen?

ARIAS: It escalated after he attacked me. And I don`t remember the specifics. I just remember panicking, and I remember thinking he`s angry. And I remember him coming after me and he was coming after me and he was coming after me and he wasn`t stopping.

NURMI: Did you have any other choice?

ARIAS: When I was cornered, I didn`t feel like I did.

NURMI: After June 4th, 2008, let`s talk about the period of time between June 4 and the times -- the point in time when you were arrested on the 15th of July. OK?


NURMI: We saw on your cross-examination and in other parts of your testimony that after June 4, you sent Mr. Alexander text messages, you sent him e-mails, and you left him a voice mail. Do you recall those issues being brought to light throughout your testimony?


NURMI: Why did you make those -- why did you contact him at all, regardless of the fashion?

ARIAS: I was -- I knew I had done something that I felt was wrong, and I was very scared about everything that was going to happen subsequent to that. And how things were going to unfold, and I did those things after the fact to try and make it look like I hadn`t been there. I -- I knew that that wouldn`t hold up for long, but...

MARTINEZ: Objection. Narrative (ph).

STEPHENS: Overruled.

NURMI: Go ahead, Ms. Arias.

ARIAS: I knew that it wouldn`t hold up for long. We slept together that day, you know, all that stuff can be found out, but...

NURMI: Well, let me ask you this, Jodi. You said, like, you felt like you had done something wrong.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are going to take a very, very short break, and then we`re going to go right back into the Jodi Arias courtroom. Don`t go anywhere. Back in a moment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are not missing a single second of the dramatic conclusion of the redirect questioning of Jodi Arias by her attorney. Let`s listen in.

NURMI: You said, like, you felt like you had done something wrong. You told us just a moment ago that you really felt like you didn`t have any other choice.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, this is such an extraordinary end to the redirect questioning of Jodi Arias by her attorney, because essentially, they are taking everything that we`ve heard thus far and trying to put it in a little package and a bow and present it to the jurors as an example of why Jodi Arias should be found not guilty of premeditated murder.

Let`s bring in our panel to debate this extraordinary day. OK, we`ve got half defense, half prosecution. Let`s debate what has gone on, because essentially Jodi Arias and her attorney are now saying, "Hey, this was a pattern. I was attacked by him before in the bedroom. I felt trapped before in the bedroom, and I had to fight for my life." They have tried to establish a pattern here.

And Jordan Rose for the prosecution out of Phoenix, Arizona, do you think that is an argument that has resonated with these jurors?

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: I certainly hope not, Jane. I mean here, if you want to show that you have self-defense, you have to show that the guy was trying to kill you. And we have no testimony other than Jodi, who is a proven liar, and we watch every day as she lies more and more. On the stand she contradicts things that she said just weeks ago.

And we harken back to the interviews she gave with the press, which the prosecutor keeps reminding us of where she lied all over the place. I mean, we had ninjas coming in. So I can`t believe a jury would believe this, and she is not doing any favors for her case in the discussion that she`s had over the last few days.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, let me say this. We`re going to hear the other side. First, we`re going to go back into the courtroom, because we are wrapping up the redirect questioning. Let`s listen to some of Jodi`s final comments to answer the questions of her attorney.

NURMI: You said, like, you felt like you had done something wrong. You told us just a moment ago that you really felt like you didn`t have any other choice. But to kill Mr. Alexander because of him attacking you. Do you recall that?


NURMI: So what in your mind did you do that was wrong?

ARIAS: I feel like maybe it should have been me, that maybe -- that I made it out of there and I didn`t have a choice, but I -- maybe I did have a choice, because just let him do what he was going to do. Not fought back.

And like -- like I said when I was at the Hoover Dam and I was leaving that message, and I wasn`t thinking. I don`t know what state of mind I was in, but I wasn`t thinking that he died. I was just -- I knew that something awful had happened, and then following with the e-mails and those things, I knew what had happened was wrong. And my philosophy then is that it`s not OK to kill somebody under any circumstance.

NURMI: When you left Mr. Alexander`s home on June 4, is there -- was there a part of you that wished you were the one lying dead on that bathroom floor?

ARIAS: What part would this be? I had that thought, I didn`t know what time period you were talking about.

NURMI: Well, after. Afterwards. After you left.

ARIAS: Not immediately. It was -- I don`t remember what I was thinking during those hours. But yes, I`ve had that thought many times afterward.

NURMI: On cross-examination you were also asked about lying. On several occasions you were asked -- you were asked about do you recall, you were asked about conversations you had with Dan Freeman.


NURMI: And conversations you had with Leslie Udy. Do you remember that?


NURMI: And conversations that you had with many different people, friends and family, prior to his [SIC] arrest. Do you remember being asked about that?


NURMI: And the assertion was you lied to these people because you didn`t admit that this happened. Do you recall that?


NURMI: And we`ve also talked at length during your cross-examination about the fact that you lied to Detective Flores. Do you recall that?


NURMI: One of the things that you talked about or that was asked of you is if this lies were to benefit you. Do you recall being asked that?


NURMI: What you`ve told us here today and throughout the course of this trial would also be or could also be beneficial to you. Is that correct? About what happened on June 4.

ARIAS: If I had said that then? Possibly. I wasn`t thinking about benefitting myself at that time. I was more just focusing on -- I just wanted to die.

NURMI: What`s that?

ARIAS: I just wanted to die, but I was conflicted about -- I don`t know, I was conflicted about suicide at that point, but I was beginning to think about it some more.

NURMI: What -- what was, then...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jodi Arias saying, oh, she killed in self-defense, and maybe it should have been her, because it`s wrong to kill under any circumstances. Was that a subtle plea to the jurors to, please, spare her from the death penalty?

You won`t miss a second. We`re taking a very short break. We`re going to be back with her words on the other side in just a moment. Stay right there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are in the final few minutes of Jodi Arias answering questions from her attorney. Let`s listen in back in the courtroom and hear her try to explain herself.

NURMI: What was then -- putting aside suicide, I want you to address the specific issue of what was the benefit of you lying to all these people? Was it to evade responsibility, as was suggested?

ARIAS: Ultimately, that wasn`t my goal. Ultimately, I just didn`t want people to know that I could have done something like that, because that`s not how I -- that`s not how I live my whole life. I consider myself a nice person, and I couldn`t believe that it happened.

NURMI: I`m sorry, what was the last part of your answer?

ARIAS: I couldn`t believe that that had happened, and I was -- I was horrified with myself. I was very ashamed.

NURMI: You mention the word "shame." But it also came up in your cross-examination and in your testimony in general that you were ashamed of much more than what happened on June 4, correct?


NURMI: You were ashamed of the sex?

MARTINEZ: Objection, leading.

STEPHENS: Sustained.

NURMI: Were you ashamed of the sexual behavior?

ARIAS: Somewhat. Not too ashamed that I didn`t go to my bishop, but certain aspects of it, certainly, I was ashamed of certain aspects of it.

NURMI: Certain aspects of it. What do you mean by certain aspects of it?

ARIAS: I didn`t want certain things about our sex life to be known. I didn`t want -- I didn`t want people to know what I knew about Travis. I didn`t want to de-edify him at this point in time, because it just, one, it seemed hateful, and, two, it didn`t seem like it would accomplish anything. If I`m going to be dead, what`s the point?

And I didn`t want -- people are hurting, and I didn`t want to hurt them worse by telling them. Like, I didn`t see the point in saying, hey, look at all this stuff that happened between us. It just didn`t -- and I didn`t want anyone to know about the violence, because I thought that people would think, oh, must have been her because he attacked her or he this or he that. I didn`t want people to know that our relationship had that escalation in it, that type of violence, that type of drama.

NURMI: You had said earlier in your testimony you talked about how you became, through the course of this relationship, excuse me, "one of those people," referring to battered women. Do you remember talking about that?


MARTINEZ: Objection.

STEPHENS: Approach, please.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jodi Arias pulling out all the stops, turning on the tears in an effort to save herself from lethal injection. We`ll be right back with more of her testimony.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: You have not missed a moment. Let`s go back into the courtroom and listen to Jodi Arias try to explain why she slaughtered Travis Alexander and then lied about it. Let`s listen in.


KIRK NURMI, JODI ARIAS DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Showing you exhibit 249. Right here, what do we see here?

JODI ARIAS, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: The double doors that were the entrance to his bedroom.

NURMI: Were those the doors we saw pictures of earlier? That had locks on them?

ARIAS: Yes. Yes.

NURMI: This is the place, this bedroom here -- a lot of secrets went on behind those closed doors, didn`t they?

ARIAS: Yes. Yes.

NURMI: A lot of violence?

JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: Objection -- asked and answered.

ARIAS: I would say four incidents of violence total.

NURMI: Ok. Some violence.


NURMI: And some sex.


NURMI: Lots of sex, right?

ARIAS: Yes, lots.

NURMI: This doorway here on this side of it, people know what was going on? Outside those doors?

ARIAS: I don`t think so.

NURMI: It was a dirty little secret you and Travis shared, wasn`t it?

MARTINEZ: Objection -- leading.


NURMI: There`s a secret life going on behind those doors, wasn`t there?

MARTINEZ: Objection -- leading.

STEPHENS: Sustained.

NURMI: Was there a secret life going on behind those doors?

ARIAS: Yes. There was.

NURMI: A life that only you and Travis knew about until June 4th, 2008, is that correct?

ARIAS: Well, I think other girls may have known with Travis in that room, but as far as between him and I, yes.

NURMI: Even after his death, those secrets, because this bedroom is also where you viewed him masturbating to an image of a child, correct?

MARTINEZ: Objection, leading.

STEPHENS: Overruled.

ARIAS: That`s correct.

NURMI: When you were arrested and you were questioned about this -- let me back up. After June 4th, did you still have an interest in what went on behind these doors, keeping what went on behind these doors a secret?

ARIAS: The extent of it, yes, I did.

NURMI: When you were arrested and you spoke to Detective Flores, did you still have the same desire to keep those secrets?

ARIAS: About when I walked in on him? Yes.


NURMI: No, about everything. About everything that happened behind those doors.

ARIAS: No, I told him a little bit that we had engaged in sexual activity, but I didn`t want to go into detail, and I didn`t want people to know the extent of that, but I thought it would be silly to deny it because I went to my bishop already about it.

NURMI: My question was, if you did tell him, is if you wanted to tell him about what went on behind those closed doors.

ARIAS: No, I didn`t want anyone to know about -- there were -- everyone was saying he was a virgin, that`s completely the opposite.

MARTINEZ: Objection --

STEPHENS: Sustained.

NURMI: Why not?

ARIAS: I didn`t want to throw mud on him at that point or -- I mean he was -- this was a time where people were remembering the good things about him and I didn`t want to take away from that by sharing certain things that I knew. I wanted to just share the good things that I remembered also.

NURMI: Your plan was to keep the secrets that went on behind these closed doors and take them to your grave, wasn`t it?

MARTINEZ: Objection, leading.

STEPHENS: Sustained.

NURMI: Is that your plan, what was your plan, to take these secrets to your grave?

MARTINEZ: Objection. She wasn`t asked about any plan.

STEPHENS: Overruled. You may answer.

ARIAS: My plan was to never talk about the scope of those things. I didn`t want to throw him under the bus.

NURMI: So, getting back to my question, then, and we talked about your plans for suicide and things, it was your plan to simply not talk about those things and keep those secrets and take them to your grave, is that right?

MARTINEZ: Objection, leading.

STEPHENS: Sustained.

NURMI: You didn`t want to talk about these things, right?

ARIAS: That`s right.

NURMI: You wanted to die before you told these secrets, is that correct?

MARTINEZ: Objection, leading.

STEPHENS: Sustained.

NURMI: Would you rather have killed yourself than tell all the things that you`ve had to tell throughout the course of this trial?

MARTINEZ: Objection, leading.

STEPHENS: Overruled.

ARIAS: At that time and for years that followed, yes.

NURMI: You wanted to keep those secrets.

MARTINEZ: Objection, leading, asked and answered.

NURMI: I haven`t finished my question.

STEPHENS: Continue.

NURMI: Keeping -- was keeping those secrets more important to you than your own life?

MARTINEZ: Objection, asked and answered.

STEPHENS: Overruled.

ARIAS: At that time, yes, it was. I didn`t value my life much.

NURMI: You didn`t what?

ARIAS: I didn`t value my life much. I wanted -- well, I mean eternal life, yes, but I wanted to be dead.

NURMI: And in the same regard, you really didn`t want to have to come out and tell all of us all these secrets, is that correct?

MARTINEZ: Objection, leading the witness.

STEPHENS: Sustained.

NURMI: Was it a desire of yours to come forward, sit down in this witness chair in front of the cameras and national TV and air all this dirty laundry?

ARIAS: No, that was probably in the top three of my biggest fears.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jodi Arias claiming in open court that she lied and even contemplated suicide in an effort to protect Travis`s secrets. Do you buy it? You`re not going to miss a moment of this trial or her testimony.

A very short break -- we`re back with more on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: In an extraordinary finale to this redirect, Jodi`s on the stand claiming she lied and even thought about killing herself to protect Travis, believe it or not. Let`s listen in.

NURMI: You wanted to keep it a secret, is that accurate?

MARTINEZ: Objection, leading.

STEPHENS: Sustained.

NURMI: What was your goal? We talked about your goal throughout this process, your goals of deception, your goals of not telling Detective Flores, your goals of lying. Was it your goal to keep these secrets?

ARIAS: Yes, it was a goal of mine.

NURMI: Your honor, I have no other questions.

STEPHENS: All right, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to take the evening recess. Tomorrow morning there`s some matters that we need to address outside your presence, so I`m going to ask that you return at 1:00 p.m. -- 1:00 p.m. tomorrow.

Please remember the admonition. You`re excused, have a nice evening.

Please be seated.

Miss Arias, you may step down. Counsel -- I just received some additional questions from the jurors. It looks like we have probably 100 questions, so I`m going to ask that Mr. Nurmi and Miss Willmott, you arrive tomorrow morning at 10:00. Miss Arias will be here. I`ll give you an opportunity to review these questions. Mr. Martinez, can you be here by 11:00?

MARTINEZ: I can, but if there`s going to be a court proceeding involving anything like this, I would ask that next of kin also be included if the defendant is present involving these issues here.

STEPHENS: Well, I wasn`t going to have a court proceeding. I was going to allow defense counsel to review the questions with their client in the back, then I was going to give you a chance to review them at 11:00, then we would go on the record around 11:30, discuss objections.

MARTINEZ: The only thing I ask is that I be given the same amount of time, since I do have this obligation to the next of kin to properly discuss some of these things with them. So, I would ask for the same amount of time, perhaps 45 minutes for each side.

STEPHENS: Can you be here at 9:30 tomorrow morning?


STEPHENS: My concern is that you believe you would need a substantial period of time to review these, if you are here at 9:30, you could have from 9:30 until 10:30 and then I`ll give the state from 10:30 until 11:30, then I`ll hear objections. Will that work?

MARTINEZ: It will for me, thank you.

STEPHENS: Otherwise, we`ll do it the opposite and allow --

NURMI: Will we have the jury coming in at --


NURMI: 1:00. That would only, based on that time frame, would only leave a half hour to deal with objections of 100 questions. That seems like it won`t be sufficient.

STEPHENS: Well, we`ll take whatever time we need, and if the jury`s here at 1:00 and we`re not ready for them, then we`ll deal with it at that time. All right. So, 9:30 unless you want to come earlier.

NURMI: Well, we could --

STEPHENS: Mr. Martinez, you`re here tomorrow morning at another case.

MARTINEZ: Whatever time you want me here, I`ll be here and just let them know.

NURMI: Yes, I mean, one side can have from 9:00 to 10:00 and 10:00 to 11:00. We`ll be here at 9:00.

STEPHENS: Ok. 9:00.

MARTINEZ: We`re at 10:00.

STEPHENS: And then you`re here at 10:00.

MARTINEZ: Thank you.

STEPHENS: Ok, that will give us an hour. All right. Thank you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh -- an extraordinary day and we have just learned that the jurors have a hundred questions; 100 questions for Jodi Arias, the defendant. What does that mean? We`ll debate it on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a shocker, Jodi Arias concluding 15 days on the stand, but we just learned it isn`t over, not by a long shot, because the jurors in Arizona have 100 questions for her. That`s right. In Arizona jurors can ask questions. Gosh, that could go on for days.

And what does it mean? Let`s bring in our expert legal panel to debate it. Could it mean they`re very skeptical of her story or that they`re buying her story and are looking for something to hang their hat on? Let`s start with the defense -- Evangeline Gomez.

EVANGELINE GOMEZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I think it`s a sign that the jury understands they have a serious responsibility. They have her life in their hands. There may be many instances during this trial where they just didn`t get enough information, information that was presented, wasn`t somehow reconciled and this is their opportunity to ask questions.

And, believe it or not, in jury trials that I`ve seen, many times the jurors ask questions and you think, where are you getting that from? That`s not the one of the elements that needs to be proven. So it will be interesting to see what they`re going to ask.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Leiberman for the prosecution.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think many us are skeptical of Jodi`s story and I think that`s exactly what the jurors want to know. They want to know why her story defies common sense, defies logic, defies the evidence; not to mention the changing stories. I mean Jane, just today this far into the trial she`s changing the story yet again. Now the gun was in a holster. Now she remembers shooting Travis but she -- everything goes into a fog after that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, yes, yes.

LEIBERMAN: Now she believes that he`s dead when she leaves the house when before she didn`t remember. I mean I think the jury wants some answers here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Adam Swickle, you`re for the defense. When I heard that she said I think the gun was in a holster, wait a second -- now she`s flying up to the corner to grab --

LEIBERMAN: More lies.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Grab a gun and take it out of a holster all in a moment`s time?

ADAM SWICKLE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I have to tell you, when I heard that there were 100 questions, I almost fell out of my chair here.


SWICKLE: Because that`s a large number of questions. However, I`m a big believer that the questions of the jurors are like the windows to their soul, to their doubts, to their beliefs. And I think there`s 100 questions means that there`s a big problem for the prosecution in this case because it usually are things that were never answered. They didn`t get the answers to their questions. And I think this is good for the defense.


Good for the defense, 100 questions?

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: 100 questions, I have to believe, is good for the prosecution because it means that they were listening intently and they were taking notes and they were writing down things that she said once that she contradicted later and they`re going to call her on it.

I mean we sit back here and we have all sorts of information from the media and listening to your show and we know so much more. We`re going to find out what they know, what they don`t know, what they want to know and that`s going to be wonderful and I can`t believe that that`s good for the defense. That many questions -- that`s astounding.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we shall see because you`re going to hear all of those questions right here on HLN. And at 7:00 we recap everything or take you right to the trial as it continues.

More on the other side.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Out to correspondent Beth Karas. While Jodi was talking, the victim Travis Alexander`s family, they were weeping and they were rolling their eyes trying to suppress what was clearly their rage over her comments. What struck you about her testimony today?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Well, you know, we heard a few new details like the holster and the gun that you`ve already talked about. But much of it was the same. She went through the killing again and she wasn`t all that emotional. So we really didn`t hear too much new and everyone was like, ho-hum. At one point even the first juror, the one who sits closest to her let out a big yawn and didn`t even cover her mouth as Jodi was talking about the killing.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, but those same jurors have 100 questions for her. That is a shocker. More tomorrow.

Nancy is up next.