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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Defense Expert Speaks about Travis`s Childhood

Aired March 26, 2013 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. Tonight, you will not miss a moment of testimony. Is a pattern emerging? Jodi Arias and her attorney matching their outfits, again. Yesterday, they were both wearing white. Today, they`re both wearing black. That`s two days in a row. We`ve seen it many times before. Why on earth is Jodi apparently copying her attorney?

Meantime, does Jodi Arias fit the pattern of a battered woman? Does victim Travis Alexander fit the profile of an abuser just because his parents were drug addicts? That`s what this defense expert right now on the stand seems to be implying. Imagine how upset Travis`s siblings in the front row must feel about that leak. They grew up in the same household.

Let`s debate it in a moment, but first, back to the court as battered woman expert Alyce LaViolette makes her case. Listen.

ALYCE LAVIOLETTE, BATTERED WOMEN EXPERT: But if your parents acted out a lot in front of you, you`re shaken up in a different way than when you don`t see them. If you see loving affection toward your parents and it`s consistent, you see that that`s how you treat somebody in a loving relationship.

I also remember my dad coming home from work and -- all right.

JENNIFER WILLMOTT, JODI`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Are you familiar with the term "chronic combat readiness"?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes.

WILLMOTT: What does that mean?

LAVIOLETTE: Chronic combat readiness is a term that was used in an article by Bruce Perry, who does a lot of work with children who have committed violent crimes and children who have grown up in abuse.

And what he says is that, if you live in an abusive household, that what you grow up with is the kind of situation, you`re living basically in a war zone. And if you live in a war zone, you have to be hyper-vigilant; you have to see the threat in things, because a lot of these kids grow up and they see things as threatening that the rest of us wouldn`t. They see -- they see a look or a tone or whatever that we might be unaffected by it that affects them in a way.

So chronic combat readiness is like the notion of living your life in a combat zone. If you grow up in a violent family and if you grow up from childhood in a violent family and you have a number of years in that violent family, then you`re flooded with stress hormones.

You`re -- you know, you`re -- you`re in fight versus flight a lot of the time, which means you`re not operating from your cortex as much. You`re operating from your reptilian brain. You`re operating from a place where your blood is rushing from your extremities, and you`re ready to fight.

And kids do a lot of things in that situation. I mean, I would suspect a lot of people I`ve worked with who bullied people came from violent families.

WILLMOTT: OK. And the men that you`ve worked with in all the years that you`ve done this, do you have an idea of percentage of these men that you`ve worked with who have come from traumatic childhoods or abusive childhood families?

LAVIOLETTE: My experience has been that almost everybody I`ve worked with has come from some sort of violent situation, and that could have been in foster care. It could have been with their parents. It could have been with their primary caregivers, and it could also be exacerbated by living in a violent neighborhood.

But the research was showing something like 60 percent to 70 percent. But that`s because most of the research was done before people really understood that they live in violence. In other words, they would say, "Well, you know, I -- that happened to me because I needed to be disciplined. So, you know, of course I had to be beaten, because I did something to deserve it." And so they didn`t define it as -- as violence. And it wasn`t until after they understood violence a little better.

So I would say it`s much closer to, you know -- we`re not supposed to say 100 percent to anything. So I won`t say 100 percent, but it`s closer to that.

And it depends, once again, on the degree to which somebody acts out in their own intimate relationship. The worst kinds of violence tend to be perpetrated by the people who`ve lived in the worst kinds of environments and grown up in those kinds of environments.

JUDGE SHERRY STEPHENS, PRESIDING OVER TRIAL: We will take the afternoon recess. Please be back in the designated area...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, they`re taking a recess while we debate what happened in court. You won`t miss a minute.

Now, this witness, the defense domestic violence expert, is implying that Travis Alexander, the victim, the guy who was stabbed 29 times, whose throat was slit ear-to-ear, he fit the pattern of an abuser because he had drug-addicted parents.

Listen to this expert`s descriptions, and we`ll debate it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAVIOLETTE: I don`t think you can live in a drug-addicted family with people who are violent and not be fearful.

You can be successful in your job. You can have a good job.

They get in a situation with their partner, and they`re thrown back to that powerlessness. That powerlessness is to get bigger and more powerful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. She never once mentions Travis Alexander by name, but it`s clear that she`s hinting at his upbringing. We know Travis lived with his parents until he was 12 years old. We know both of his parents were reportedly drug addicts. And they ultimately passed away, and he was eventually raised by his grandmother.

Now listen, Travis Alexander`s siblings, they grew up in the same home. They`re sitting there in the front row listening to all of this. How must they feel? What a leak.

Let`s debate it. Is she crossing the line? Let`s start with John Lieberman for the prosecution.

JON LIEBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: She`s doing what the defense does. That is, they`re going to continue victimizing the victim in this case until the bitter end.

But I think what`s going to happen, Jane -- and yes this expert is coming off as very credible on the stand with her concepts, but she hasn`t yet tied it back to Jodi and Travis. But what Mr. Martinez -- what Mr. Martinez is going to do on cross is he`s going to show that everything that this expert is describing describes Jodi Arias to a "T." And in fact, she was the abuser.

So I actually think this woman is going to turn out to be a star witness for the prosecution and help put Jodi behind bars.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian Silber for the defense.

BRIAN SILBER, ATTORNEY: Well, I think you can go either way. It really depends on the constitution of the jury. You know, if they`re still maintaining that open mind, then this is yet another question, another nail in the coffin, so to speak, that`s going to help them raise that reasonable doubt.

But if they`ve already lost this jury, they`re digging their hole deeper and deeper and deeper and making it utterly hard to get out of.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Listen, let me tell you something, my dad was an alcoholic. Yes, I`m a recovering alcoholic. On April 1, hopefully, I`ll have 18 years of sobriety, but I`m not an abuser.

I mean, to make the leap, Jordan Rose, attorney there in Phoenix, Arizona, because you grew up in a drug-addicted household that means that, oh, you`re likely to become an abuser. Isn`t that insulting all the members of Travis Alexander`s family? They`re sitting there. He has family members who are police officers, who are upstanding citizens. They`re not abusers.

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: Agreed. This is all implication. I mean, she is certainly a credible witness, but she`s testifying about things that -- she`s implying that Travis was abused. We have no testimony about that.

And in fact, I can`t wait until Juan Martinez gets up there and boom! He asks the question, "Do you have any evidence that Travis Alexander was abused in this way?" No! This is crazy.

And when he gets -- when the prosecutor is allowed to take this woman on, she is going to be completely diminished.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Lieberman.

LIEBERMAN: Not to mention, Jane, that, yes, she is a creditable witness, but in order to believe her concepts and how they tie back to Jodi, you have to believe Jodi`s story. Because all they have to show this alleged abuse by Travis is Jodi Arias`s story. And Jodi has proven...

SILBER: Yes, but here`s the issue.

LIEBERMAN: ... time and time -- let me finish...

SILBER: Here`s the real problem.

LIEBERMAN: Jodi has proven time and time again...

SILBER: And this is what we`ve all got to decide.

LIEBERMAN: ... liar. Let me finish.

SILBER: This is the real problem.

LIEBERMAN: Let me finish.

SILBER: You`re skirting the real issue.

(CROSSTALK)

LIEBERMAN: Jodi Arias is a liar. And so you cannot...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jodi Arias is a liar. Brian Silber.

SILBER: Listen, look, that`s all fine and dandy, we can sit here and talk about these details until the cows come home. But the bottom line is this. This prosecutor doesn`t have a kill shot.

At the end of the day, this is still a situation where we only have two people present, Jodi and Travis. And unless he can utterly decimate and destroy as a possibility her claim, there will always be reasonable doubt in this case...

LIEBERMAN: So you`re saying -- are you saying -- are you saying that acquittal is actually an option in this case?

SILBER: No. I think it`s going to go to manslaughter. Because the defense has laid out a case for manslaughter.

LIEBERMAN: No way.

SILBER: We know she killed him. There was a heated argument. And according to them, it was an argument provoked by the victim. You have to look at Arizona statute 13-1103 and 13-1104.

(CROSSTALK)

ROSE: But in Arizona law...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s have Jordan Rose. You`re there in Arizona. Arizona law. Go ahead.

ROSE: Look, look, Arizona requires that we prove that she used the amount of force necessary and to kill the guy she has to show that...

SILBER: That`s exactly the point. It can`t be rebutted. That`s exactly the point.

ROSE: There`s no way...

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me tell you something. I went, with the autopsy report in my hand, to John Jay College of Criminal Justice and talked to a lab expert, and we dissected the lab autopsy. You`re going to see it in a couple of minutes. Six inches across the throat, 1 1/2 inches deep. You`re going to see what that means about the force that was used by Jodi Arias in killing Travis Alexander.

More on the other side. More testimony. They`re coming out of their break. You won`t miss a minute.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JODI ARIAS, MURDER DEFENDANT: We`re always trying to top ourselves, like go a little bit farther than the last time. And usually he would come up with some creative ideas. So most of the time I was game for it.

KIRK NURMI, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Did you want to feel like you were raped?

ARIAS: No.

NURMI: He also says, "You`ll rejoice in being a whore."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRAVIS ALEXANDER, MURDER VICTIM (via phone): I`m going to tie you to a tree and put it in your (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

ARIAS (via phone): Oh my gosh. That is so debasing. I like it. I`m game for, like, almost everything you come up with. But you really are a wellspring of ideas. You are, like, quite the source.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Was she a victim of abuse, or was Jodi Arias engaging in consensual, kinky sex? And if she is a battered woman, why is she doing a headstand as she`s about to be arrested for murder. Is she making light of the situation? Is that how abused women behave?

Let`s go back into the courtroom as domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette is the final witness for the defense.

STEPHENS: Please be seated. The record will show the presence of the jury, the defendant and counsel may continue.

WILLMOTT: Ms. LaViolette, I know that we talked about victims of abuse and how, in your practice, you`ve seen them not file police reports or not tell the doctors what actually happened. Have you ever seen situations of what happens when these victims of abuse come to trial to testify?

LAVIOLETTE: It`s...

JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: Objection.

STEPHENS: Approach.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow, that was quick. Well, this is the whole argument over why Jodi has no proof whatsoever beyond her own words that she was physically abused by Travis.

So I want to go to Jean Casarez. You`ve been following this. You`re in court in Phoenix, Arizona. She did offer no proof, whatsoever. She didn`t have a police report. She didn`t have a temporary restraining order or restraining order. She didn`t even write about it in her journal. But this woman, this defense domestic violence expert, is trying to say that`s normal?

JEAN CASAREZ, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Right. She`s saying that most abusers don`t go to the police department. They don`t go to the hospital. If they have to go to the hospital, they say, "Oh, I fell down" or they blame themselves.

But you`re right, there`s no evidence that any physical abuse took place. The closest thing are to that are the journal entries, but they don`t show a state of mind of someone that just had been a victim of physical violence. But it`s up to this expert to show the jury that she was that victim.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Selin Darkalstanian, you`ve been in court. This has to be so upsetting for Travis`s sibling. They grew up in the same household, and this woman is implying that, because their parents were drug addicts and they had no choice, in that they were brought into this household, that somehow that makes them prone to become abusers. How do they feel, do you think?

SELIN DARKALSTANIAN, HLN PRODUCER: Today was particularly difficult to hear that and watch them sitting in the front row. Remember, they`ve been here every single day of the trial. They alternate between the sisters and brothers. Three of them are always there daily.

But to watch them, because today they weren`t just talking about Travis, and, you know, dragging their brother`s name through the mud, but they were talking about both their parents, who are both now deceased. So you can understand why it was so difficult for them. At one point, one of the sisters looked really upset. You can tell she`d been crying earlier in the day, as she walked back and forth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, coming out of sidebar. Let`s go back into court and see what`s next.

WILLMOTT: Many women, victims of abuse?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes, I have.

WILLMOTT: And you`ve said that you`ve counseled these women, as well? Is that right?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes, I have.

WILLMOTT: And in speaking with them, have they talked to you about whether or not they`re able or have been willing to make police reports or report their abuser to the police?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes, they have.

WILLMOTT: And -- and have they talked to you about whether or not they have been willing to seek medical treatment when their abuser has harmed them in some way?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes, they`ve talked to me about that.

WILLMOTT: And have they talked to you about when they`ve been called to testify?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes.

WILLMOTT: Is that a yes?

LAVIOLETTE: I`m sorry.

WILLMOTT: And when they talk to you about these things, what do they say about police reports?

LAVIOLETTE: Many of the women don`t make police reports. Some of the ones that do change their minds when the police actually come out, and they might change the story if they`ve called 911 when they come back. Some of the women actually follow through. It sort of depends on where they are in that whole progression...

WILLMOTT: Of the relationship?

LAVIOLETTE: Of the relationship. But, some of the women absolutely follow through with the police report.

WILLMOTT: And then have they talked to you about, if they followed through with the police report, have they talked to you about what happens if they`re called to testify against their abuser?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes. Many of them recant. I think we have about -- this is what I`ve been told by the court, that there are about 80 percent...

MARTINEZ: Objection (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

STEPHENS: Sustained.

WILLMOTT: Have you worked with the courts before?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes, I have.

WILLMOTT: And when you worked with the courts, what have you done?

LAVIOLETTE: Well, we had a domestic violence court in Long Beach. So the judge would meet with us on and off. I have consulted on some cases. I`m not sure, are you talking about with...

WILLMOTT: Well, in order to have knowledge about -- you were going to give us, I think, a number or some sort of -- what happens when women recant. How do you have that knowledge?

LAVIOLETTE: I have that knowledge because I`ve talked not only to people who run battered women shelters, but also because I know some of the judges or I knew some of the judges. We had a domestic violence court. And the judge is in Sedona now. She moved, and so we don`t have that court anymore.

But when we had it, we had it for eight years. And they gave us information about what they saw, as did the shelters, talk about what they had seen and the victim advocates, because there were victim advocates in the court.

WILLMOTT: And -- and then...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to take a brief pause. Is Jodi Arias`s life in the hands of this final defense witness? How is she going over with the jury? Apparently, they`re very attentive, and they`re taking in all of her hypothetical anecdotes. She is yet to mention the words "Jodi" or "Travis."

A short break, and then we are back with more testimony on the other side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What motive is there? A jealousy issue?

ARIAS: But I wouldn`t -- I wouldn`t even say it was jealous. You know what I`m saying? Maybe Travis was jealous.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not what everybody says. I don`t know if he was jealous, but they believe you were absolutely obsessed. Obsessed is the word that they use. That`s the word I hear from everybody. Fatal attraction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARIAS: He had a list of fantasies that he wanted to fulfill. He wanted to do the mile high, which we never did. He wanted to pull off of a freeway on a remote highway somewhere and have sex on the hood of the car, which we didn`t do. But we, he also wanted to have sex on the freeway while driving, which we did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is Jodi Arias an obsessed diabolical murderess? There she is putting on make-up behind bars. Or is she the victim of abuse at the hands of the man she killed, Travis Alexander? That`s what the final witness for the defense, Alyce LaViolette, is arguing right now. Let`s resume testimony. We`re back in the court.

WILLMOTT: And then that information plus you speaking with these women yourself, right?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes.

WILLMOTT: And so, what happens when these women get to court? You said they recant. What does that mean?

LAVIOLETTE: It means that, oftentimes, and I would just like to say that frequently, there`s a long period of time between when a case is filed and when it gets to court. And so it might be a month. It could be two months before it actually gets into the court process. And during that time, if the couple stays together, many of them have reconciled. So, you could...

WILLMOTT: What happens when a couple reconciles, then, with regard to the woman wanting to testify?

LAVIOLETTE: She doesn`t want to testify, because she doesn`t want her partner to lose his job or she doesn`t want that on his record.

And in California, there are a lot of fees associated with -- with a proceeding. There`s penal code 273.5, which is called injury to a spouse. And if you plead "nolo contendre," that you`re not contesting it or you are found guilty of 273.5, you have to do 52 weeks in a batterers intervention program, a minimum of 52 weeks. You have to pay a fine to a battered women`s program. You have to pay court fines for going through the court process. You have to do community service, and depending on what you do depends on how much community service you have to do.

And you also are on probation for three years. It can be reduced. You can file to have it reduced to two years, but you`re on probation for a period of time. During that one-year period, you also have to come back to court every quarter with a court report from your program to show what you`re doing and how you`re progressing in that program.

WILLMOTT: And so how does that affect women whether they recant or not?

LAVIOLETTE: It affects the family financially. It also affects the women, depending on how angry the men are that they have to go through this process.

And in my group, some of the men are very angry and blaming their partners for going -- being stuck in court, being stuck in a program for a while. That sort of thing.

But, beyond that, for many of the men, there`s a relief in being in the program, actually. And -- but they still have to pay fines. They still have to pay fees for the group every week.

And in California, we do a sliding scale, which means we have to serve people on a range of incomes. So, there`s usually an opportunity for somebody to get help and to be able to afford it. But, it is -- it is financially sometimes a burden on the family to go through that.

WILLMOTT: And so how often, based on...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, we`re going to pause for a second. This defense expert explaining that abusive partners often reconcile before the men can be fully prosecuted.

On the other side of the break, more testimony. And I went to an expert to dissect the autopsy report. What does it mean that she slit Travis`s throat? On the other side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTINEZ: And you enjoyed the Tootsie Pops and the Pop Rocks. Correct? You think that the braids are hot, don`t you?

ARIAS: I think cute is more appropriate.

ALEXANDER (via phone): I love the braids.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ESTEBAN FLORES, POLICE DETECTIVE: There`s no doubt in my mind that you did this. None. So you can go until you`re blue in the face and tell me you weren`t there and you had nothing to do with it. I don`t believe you. I want to know why. And it`s killing me inside that I don`t know why.

JODI ARIAS, ON TRIAL FOR MURDER OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: There`s no reason for it. There`s no reason why. There`s no reason I would ever want to hurt him.

FLORES: There`s no way anybody else --

ARIAS: He never raped me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. After lying repeatedly, she ultimately agreed, yes, I did kill him after he lunged at me. And there she is in court describing "lunge". She has no proof whatsoever beyond her own words and her demonstrations that Travis was ever physically violent or abusive with her.

Nevertheless the final defense witness is arguing that most battered women don`t have any proof, all they have is their word.

Let`s listen in to Alyce LaViolette try to make that case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JENNIFER WILLMOTT, DEFENSE ATTORNEYFOR JODI ARIAS: These women they can`t.

ALYCE LAVIOLETTE, DEFENSE EXPERT WITNESS: The estimate is about 80 percent of the time.

WILLMOTT: Ok. So if they`re -- so even if they are able to get to the point where they are able to make a report and not change their mind when the police comes, once they get to court, 80 percent of the time, these women are actually taking it back?

LAVIOLETTE: That`s the estimate that I have been given. The only thing I would say is that for some of the women that the court process has been very difficult for them and they don`t feel they have gotten supported when they have, for them, stuck their necks out. And so the ability for them to then go forward and, you know, push or to report a second time is diminished because depending on what happens the first time.

WILLMOTT: Does that go back to the feeling that an abused victim might have that no one is going to believe her if she hey reports it?

LAVIOLETTE: It goes back to not only feeling believed, but feeling blamed because adult female victims are oftentimes blamed. You know, child victims are seen as helpless child victims. But adults are oftentimes -- their victimization is not recognized in the same way. They are seen as more culpable. So, there`s a lot of judgment.

And it depends on how you feel you are treated in the court. How you feel you are treated by the original police officers that come out. In many cities, there`s a domestic violence unit and people are specially trained. And they go out and they have what are called DAR teams, Domestic Abuse Response Teams. They actually go out and really take an interview and do that kind of thing and give resources to people.

But if there are children involved, they also will send out a child abuse worker to respond with the kids. So if there are children involved, they have to send somebody out. They are trying to address this in a more holistic way. So there`s more support for families or individuals with this domestic violence.

WILLMOTT: Ok. When you have someone come to your men`s group, do you do some sort of an intake or an interview with them?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes, I do.

WILLMOTT: And what do you do? Who do you interview?

LAVIOLETTE: In my groups, I do something that is unusual. And it`s because of the work I did in the shelter, because I worked in the shelter, I knew more of the whole story initially because I would have the women and children in the shelter and I knew what happened to them. Sometimes we would have medical records or police records but we`d also have the women and children that were interviewed.

So, when I would do my initial assessment with the men who were in relationship to those women, often times the stories were very, very different. And so I thought it`s very important for me to be able to do my work well and to really have a picture of what`s going on and sort of assess the level of dangerousness. It`s important for me to be able to interview the victim.

So, what I do is, if there`s no protective order, and the couple is still together, I invite the victim to come into the intake, but I see them separately. So I get -- and if the victim does not want to come in, if the survivor does not want to come in, then I try to do an interview over the phone because I want to get a bigger picture about what`s going on. I generally will not get it from the person who is coming into my program because there`s a lot of shame attached to telling me, you know, about what happened.

Actually, Lenore Walker used to say -- you know, the old saying, if there are two stories, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Lenore would say if there are two stories and there`s n domestic violence, the truth is worst than either of them because everybody is minimizing and denying. So even in that kind of a situation, I find that people play down what`s going on.

WILLMOTT: So, do you find out --

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are going to pause for a moment. One of the most controversial things this defense domestic violence expert said today was that hypothetically -- she didn`t mention Travis Alexander, the victim by name -- but she said hypothetically if you grow up in a household with parents who are addicts, you have -- you get the pattern of an abuser. You are more likely to explode.

Travis Alexander`s siblings who grew up in the same household are sitting there listening to this. Imagine how they must feel to be painted with that broad brush. Let`s go to Shanna Hogan, the author of "Picture Perfect" a book on this case; first of all, what do you know about the household that Travis Alexander grew up in, vis-a-vis this claim by the defense expert?

SHANNA HOGAN, AUTHOR, "PICTURE PERFECT": Yes, up until the age of 10, he did have a very difficult childhood. His parents were on drugs. And they were abusive mentally and physically. His dad was not really in his life for the first ten years. Eventually his dad did get cleaned up, and was off drugs and actually died in a car accident at the age of 20 -- or on Travis` 20th birthday.

But after the age of 10, he moved in with his grandmother and the grandmother took in the children. He got introduced to the Mormon faith. And actually had a good life after that and a normal, decent home. So he actually saw both sides -- the abusive home and also the functional, happy, wholesome household.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Shanna, how do you think his siblings feel sitting there? They grew up in the same household. Essentially she`s saying that they, too, would have a greater propensity towards becoming an abuser. Is that fair?

HOGAN: You know, I don`t think that`s fair at all. Like the older children in the Alexander household, they had issues as they got into their adulthood. But after that, they all got their lives together. And they have children and they are close with each other. They have a nice life. These are good people. And to say that is really wrong to kind of paint that with a broad brush, like you said.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And would anything justify what Jodi Arias did to Travis Alexander? She slit his throat.

I went to an expert to examine exactly what that means with the autopsy report. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Certain facts are not in dispute. Travis Alexander was stabbed 29 times, his throat was slit. But Jodi Arias has not really given details about how she did that because she claims she was in a fog during that part of the killing.

Well we`re not taking "I don`t remember" for an answer. We came here to John J. College of Criminal Justice to talk to the chief of laboratory services armed with an autopsy about how that would actually go down.

What, essentially does this mean in terms of what was done to Travis Alexander`s neck?

DR. DAVID WARUNEK, JOHN J. COLLEGE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Ok. We are talking about a wound, six inches in length and one and a half inches in depth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One and a half inches -- this is my neck.

WARUNEK: The autopsy report says it`s an oblique cut. So that means that your knife, you are not shoving it into the throat, but you`re going in at an angle from one side to the other. The severity of the wound and the depth of the wound severed the trachea. And if it were in the area of the larynx or the voice box it would render the victim unable to utter or scream.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s possible that he experience tremendous pain for 30 seconds to a minute.

WARUNEK: It`s possible. With rapid blood loss, you`re going to pass out. This would be a very painful injury.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WILLMOTT: She knew that the one thing that calmed his temper the quickest is sex.

So I keep telling him, it`s ok, I`ll fix it, don`t worry. Travis grabbed her and spun her around. Afraid that he was going to hurt her, Jodi was actually relieved when all he did was bend her over the desk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Were they involved in a kinky, but consensual relationship. Or was Jodi Arias the victim of abuse. Is Travis the victim? Is he being victimized again?

Let`s go back to the courtroom and listen to this domestic violence expert who is trying to save Jodi`s life. She wrote, by the way, a book called "It Can Happen to Anyone: Why Battered Women Stay". Let`s listen in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLMOTT: So do you find out what the men who are coming in to ask you for help that they play down what they have done or what`s going on?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes, for instance, I might have somebody I`ll ask a question about substance abuse or drugs or alcohol, a problem in your family. And that`s not where I start, but that a question that I will ask. And you know, one of the men said no, you know, we are social drinkers and we have, you know, a couple of martini`s a night.

And so I ask his partner, his wife, the same thing and I said are drugs or alcohol, you know, a problem in your family and she said absolutely. I said well what`s a problem, drugs or alcohol? She said alcohol. I said why is that a problem for you? She said well because he says we have one or two drinks a night, but his drinks are like in a vat. So when we have one or two drinks, it`s like he has three drinks for every one. So it`s like he`s having six martinis instead of three.

WILLMOTT: So does that give you a bigger picture when you`re interviewing both?

LAVIOLETTE: It absolutely gives me a bigger picture.

WILLMOTT: And when you are interviewing the woman or the victim of abuse, do you find that that person tends to minimize what is actually happening in the home?

LAVIOLETTE: Most of the time, the women are protective of the men that they are with. and they are very cautious about telling me, for instance I`m a mandated reporter so if they report child abuse, I have to report it. So, I tell them the limits of my confidentiality that these are the things that I`m going to have to report. I have to report child abuse, if that`s occurring and I have to report a danger to self or others. So if there`s and imminent a threat, so somebody comes into the office and says I`m going to, you know, seriously injure or hurt somebody, I have to do something about that.

So I tell them the limits of my confidentiality and then we talk. It`s a very, you know, it`s very conversational. I don`t have like a lot of papers and fill things out. I try to just have a conversation with people. But, I ask them questions -- I ask them both the same kinds of questions to sort of see if there`s a great difference in the stories.

If there`s a big difference in the stories, I have a bigger problem. If the stories match up a little bit, it`s usually because both people are feeling like they can tell the truth a little more and there`s not as much shame as --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We are taking a brief pause. Let`s go to our special guest of the day. Mikal Ann Dillon, a retired respiratory therapist who has been in court day after day. Are you buying this argument by the defense that, oh, Travis was -- he fit the pattern of an abuser and she is a classic domestic abuse victim? What is your theory?

MIKAL ANN DILLON, HAS WATCHED TRIAL IN COURTROOM: No. I just -- I don`t buy it at all. One of the reasons I wanted to do this interview is the defensive wound on Travis` hand -- excuse me -- is a classic defensive wound of somebody who is being attacked. There`s no way possible that this man can suffer this amount of damage when you look at his legs and the bruising. I believe at one time he was even kicking her to get her away from him.

The amount of damage that is -- that he occurred to his body, there`s no way possible that she was fighting for her life, he was fighting for his.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You have been looking at this jury day after day. Very briefly, do you think they are going to find her guilty of murder one? Yes or no?

DILLON: I want to say no.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What? Oh, that`s a shocker. You don`t think they are going to find her guilty? Ok. You think murder two, manslaughter?

DILLON: I think it`s going to be a hung jury.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh.

DILLON: I hope I`m wrong. I hope I`m wrong. I want it murder one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I don`t want you to mention any jurors` names. We don`t want -- or you know, identities or descriptions but you`re saying you`re seeing that some people are buying the defense?

DILLON: Not very many but there`s a -- I spend most of my time during court watching the jurors. That`s why I came here because at home, I couldn`t see that. so I spend my time watching the jurors. And I have a theory about why somebody might even hang the jury, and that`s for the notoriety of being the person to hang the jury.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`ll have to see. We want to thank you for joining us. Mikal Ann Dillon, get back into court there. We have more testimony on the other side.

Stay right there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KURT NURMI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Would it be fair to say that he had an all-access pass to your body?

ARIAS: I had made a lot of bad decisions when it came to Travis.

If I`m found guilty, I`m paralyzed.

I did things that provoked him.

NURMI: You had sex behind closed doors and he beat you behind closed doors.

SHERRY STEPHENS, PRESIDING JUDGE: Did he force you to do things you didn`t want to do?

ARIAS: He didn`t physically force me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAVIOLETTE: A lot of women have no proof of physical abuse because they haven`t reported. You`re not wanting to get your partner in trouble so you don`t make the report. You don`t tell anybody. You don`t -- and you lie about what happened in a medical report.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. This defense domestic violence expert saying Jodi is classic. She didn`t keep any record. She didn`t call the police. She has no proof whatsoever beyond her own words and this finger demonstration a lot of people didn`t buy that she was abused by Travis Alexander. Of course, the prosecutor says she`s a big, fat liar.

Let`s debate it with our sidebar panel starting with Jordan Rose for the prosecution in Phoenix.

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: All this attempt to make Jodi into the victim ignores the fact -- and I think the jury will see -- that if you`re a normal person and someone comes at you with deadly force and you have to kill them, you immediately call 911. You say, hey, get over here. Somebody just tried to kill me. I don`t know if he`s dead, if he`s alive. But get over here. You don`t drive to Utah and go, you know, snuggle with the boyfriend.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Brian. Brian.

BRIAN SILBER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I`m sorry, that ignores everything that we know about victims of domestic violence. And as the only one here who`s been a domestic violence prosecutor, I can tell you there`s no likelihood she would call the police in every single instance. The bottom line is this case is going towards a manslaughter, and that`s what`s going to happen here.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wow. Jon Leiberman.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Let me tell you this. I sit on the board of the National Domestic Violence Registry. I have interviewed dozens of victims. And once the perceived threat is taken out of the mix, almost to a T, they are up front and tell the truth to police.

SILBER: Oh, yes. Give me a courtroom and try a case.

LEIBERMAN: Let me finish. Do not interrupt me again. When Jodi Arias -- let me finish --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, all right.

SILBER: Come on. You sit on a board. Please.

Leiberman: When Jodi Arias killed Travis -- she took the threat out of the mix. And she had nothing to worry about anymore. Yet it took her months to come up with this self-defense, battered woman defense. That is the fact here. And that is not how victims generally behave.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`ve got to take a short break. We`ve got to take a short break.

We`ve got breaking news on the other side involving Jodi Arias feeling faint in court. Why there`s a break?

Stay right there. We`ll tell you about it on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: More odd behavior by defendant Jodi Arias. She continues to mimic her attorney`s outfits. Meantime, I`m just learning -- just coming in on my Blackberry. Courtroom sources advise that one of the recesses today was related to Jodi needing a break because she was feeling faint.

The judge had to obtain permission from the sheriff`s office so that Jodi Arias could get a protein bar. Apparently they`re only allowed two meals a day. And somehow she felt faint and she got approval for a protein bar. Go figure.

All right. We`re going to be back with more testimony tomorrow. Nancy Grace up next with more testimony. Bye.

END