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Cross-Examination Begins of Domestic Violence Expert in Arias Trial

Aired April 4, 2013 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Good evening. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell. Fireworks in court today as it seems like the man that was killed, victim Travis Alexander, is on trial. In a strategy that`s angered the victim`s family, the defense domestic violence expert rattles off a litany of brutal insults Travis hurled at Jodi Arias via text and instant message during a huge fight just weeks before she killed him. Listen to this stunner.



JODI ARIAS, MURDER DEFENDANT (singing): Oh, holy night

LAVIOLETTE: Just calling her a pure whore, "corrupted carcass." "Hitler had more of a conscience than you." Tells her her words are worthless. He hates her. She ought to get tips for giving (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

She never loved him. She`s got a slut`s job. "Who freaking cares about you? You`re worthless."

J. ARIAS: (laughing)

LAVIOLETTE: She`s a rotten lunatic. Nothing but a liar. She`s a "three-hole wonder." "You`re a (EXPLETIVE DELETED). You don`t care about anything but Jodi."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: There`s Jodi and says Travis compares Jodi to Hitler. We`ll play that for you in a little bit.

Also, jaws were dropping in court today as the woman who was just kicked off the jury, known as juror No. 5, caused an uproar. She makes an appearance in court. There she is. She walks right into the courtroom and sits down. Now we heard they called her Two-Tone. Now we know why. Look at her two-tone color hair. What is this woman doing in court? She was kicked off the jury. Is she writing a book? And why did even Jodi Arias turn around and take a good look at her? We`ll talk to somebody who was inside court in a moment.

But first, let`s go back into the courtroom where we`re being told the defense is wrapping up, and the prosecution is about to begin its cross- examination. But right now, defense star witness, Alyce LaViolette, this domestic violence expert, is accusing Travis of assassinating Jodi`s character. Well, as we listen, let`s remember, Jodi is accused of actually assassinating Travis. Let`s go back in the courtroom.

LAVIOLETTE: When you`re looking at lower-level abuse, and I say that not out of disrespect to people in that category, in the victims in that category. Because they can have very low-level abuse and still have very high levels of fear. So it`s not about the level of fear. It`s more about the behavior that`s part of them.

And the behavior that`s part of that tends to be lower-level kinds of physical abuse, which would be pushing and hitting, and lower-level injury, which might be a bruise or a contusion, something like that.

But choking is considered high end. So is breaking a finger. Kicking is considered high end. So what you`re seeing is physical abuse at a higher level. You`re seeing definitely the character assassination at a higher level. You see manipulation, you see deception, you see chronic infidelity. I mean, there`s a lot going on here.


LAVIOLETTE: And the other thing is, of course, the family of origin issues.

WILLMOTT: OK. And we see that is at the top of your continuum with the exacerbating factors, right?


WILLMOTT: OK. And -- and that -- the family of origin, you`re talking about specific to Mr. Alexander`s family?


WILLMOTT: OK. Is this something that Jodi could have seen from the beginning?

LAVIOLETTE: No. You know, you don`t start out in an abusive relationship with an abusive relationship. And I think that`s really important to understand, that the way this started was with Ms. Arias meeting a very charming young man who was handsome, who wooed her, who got her address to be able to go -- from a friend to be able to go to an executive directors`, you know, brunch who -- or dinner who was -- who was someone who made her feel very special.

That`s what people attach to at the beginning. They don`t attach to - - in general, they don`t attach to somebody who`s violent and doesn`t treat them well. They attach to the best part of this human being.

But what happens over time is that, if you tend to be abusive, you`re unable to maintain that. You -- that beginning stage where you have all that big energy from being in love with someone, that tends to go down.

And if you`re a child who grows up in an abusive household and the more abusive, you know, there`s a positive correlation there generally with how people react as adults, that child who is grown now becomes scared in an intimate relationship. I mean, intimate relationships are scary for people. Healthy people are scared in intimate relationships.

So when you`re dealing with somebody who is abusive, the emotional fear can be really debilitating for them. And that`s what begins to take over. The fear -- you know, it`s called sometimes chronic combat readiness, that these kids have been around violence enough that they`re -- they`re in a state of a perpetual state of apprehension.

And what happens is they develop what I would call an emotional reflex. So they`re reactive. They are coming from a reactive place instead of a responsive place. And so over time, that`s what you start to see. You start to see the person become abusive. Even when they don`t want to be.

WILLMOTT: All right. What about the information that you`ve used to make this assessment about Jodi and the relationship between Jodi and Mr. Alexander. That information, is this all coming from Jodi`s mouth or from her journals?

LAVIOLETTE: No. Not at all. I reviewed -- well, I`ve got a box at home that`s this big. And I`ve reviewed -- I`ve reviewed tapes from CBS, "48 Hours Mystery." I reviewed IMs and text messages, and I don`t know what the other things are -- e-mails.

I`ve reviewed small portions of Mr. Alexander`s journal. I`ve reviewed some things that he`s written, some of his writing about his family.

I`ve reviewed the comments from -- between him and other women and the events between, and the IMs between Mr. Alexander and Jodi Arias.

And I don`t believe anyone provokes somebody to an ongoing pattern of violence.

WILLMOTT: What do you mean by that?

LAVIOLETTE: We are the experts in relationship, I think, of pushing each other`s buttons. When you`re in a relationship with somebody, you pretty much know how to get to them. But -- so there`s provocation that happens in healthy, normal relationships. People provoke each other.

The difference is that, in an abusive relationship, nobody can provoke that pattern. That pattern tends to go from relationship to relationship, if the relationship is long enough and intimate enough. And that`s what I`ve seen over time with the men in my group. If they`re connected to the woman, and a lot of times that is a sexual connection, intimate connection, there`s more likelihood that they`re going to act out.

WILLMOTT: You talked about long enough and intimate enough. So in speaking with, specifically, about Mr. Alexander, when he was dating Lisa Andrews, that went on for months. Does it make a difference with abusive relationships if he was never intimate with her, versus being intimate with Jodi?

LAVIOLETTE: That makes a difference.

The other thing that makes a difference is they were really only together for eight months. When Ms. Arias lived out of state, there was not a lot going on. And she lived out of state for about eight months. So there was not as much intimate connection between here and Mr. Alexander until she moved back, because they lived in separate places.

But, with Lisa Andrews, what you saw was that they broke up three times in that eight-month period. There was some physical contact, for sure, but there wasn`t sex. Sexual intimacy. But it was a length of time that was not particularly significant, either.

WILLMOTT: All right. So, then would it surprise you if -- if she didn`t complain about Mr. Alexander being physically abusive with her?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes, it would surprise me.

WILLMOTT: Maybe I asked a double negative.


WILLMOTT: Is it -- would it be -- I don`t know how to word it. How would you feel if -- if Ms. Andrews did not complain about physical abuse from Mr. Alexander?

LAVIOLETTE: That she did not complain about it?


LAVIOLETTE: I wouldn`t find that unusual. And she did complain about other things and about the pressure and about the -- on her sexually. She did complain about him pushing on her boundaries. She did complain about him putting her down. She did complain about those things.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. We`re going to take a brief pause. Do you notice, by the way, Jodi Arias has a new look, hair tucked behind her ears? These are the final few questions by the defense of this defense star witness, and then cross-examination by Juan Martinez will begin momentarily. And if history is any indication, it will be fiery and explosive.

Some new interrogation tape involving Jodi`s dad. We`ll be back with more testimony in just a moment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you catch her anyway?

WILLIAM ARIAS, JODI`S FATHER: She was at the house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She stopped in?

W. ARIAS: She was at the house.


W. ARIAS: Her grandma`s house.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was she on her way out already?

W. ARIAS: No. No one took her to Hertz. She said she was going to be gone for three days.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are looking at exclusive new video of Jodi Arias. Nancy Grace has just obtained never-before-seen exclusive video of Jodi Arias at a -- as a bridesmaid at her longtime friend`s wedding. That`s Nancy Grace tonight at 8, top of the hour, 8 Eastern here on HLN. And we are going to go back into court. The final few questions from the defense for its key star defense witness, a domestic violence expert. Then cross- examination by Juan Martinez starts.

WILLMOTT: You talked a little bit about the difference about the change, change in personality of Jodi. How do you know that she has a change? What is it that -- what information is it that you have in order to make that assessment?

LAVIOLETTE: I read the interviews with her two previous boyfriends. One was Matt McCartney, who she had about a two-year relationship. And the other one was Daryl Brewer, who she had a four-year relationship. And Daryl Brewer actually says he saw her change, sort of before his eyes, from a very responsible person, you know, a very, you know, a more outgoing happy person, and she changed. And she -- you know? He had descriptions of her and talked about that.

So I read what -- the way she was described by her other partners. And they had significant time with her. So, I thought there was some accuracy with that.

The other thing is that she still maintained friendships with both of them. And that usually says something positive. When relationships break up oftentimes people, certainly for a period of time, aren`t friendly with each other or they -- or they don`t have a friendship after that. But she maintained friendships with both of them, which is a positive thing.

WILLMOTT: All right. And, based on your review of the case, did you learn about the changes that occurred with Jodi, then, after being with Mr. Alexander?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes. She was -- she became, well, they described her as bipolar, meaning that she went back and forth in her moods.

WILLMOTT: Not an actual diagnosis?

LAVIOLETTE: No, not a diagnosis. People say bipolar.


LAVIOLETTE: Usually when people say bipolar, what they mean is she goes from one mood to another, and it looks like it`s happening relatively quickly. And -- and she was described as moody prior to that. But this was a more extreme change, and this was described more by Mr. Brewer.

WILLMOTT: OK. And what about -- depression and suicidal tendencies? Those types of things. Is that something that changed for her after being with Mr. Alexander?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes. Neither -- neither Mr. McCartney nor Mr. Brewer described Jodi Arias as suicidal.

WILLMOTT: Or -- and what about any type of deep depression with her?

LAVIOLETTE: They describe her as generally happy. And they -- they talk about her crying and that she can -- she can fluctuate in mood, but don`t talk about her having deep depression, that I read.

WILLMOTT: OK. And did they talk about -- when you say crying, is that what happens when she gets upset, that she would cry?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes. Not an unusual response.

WILLMOTT: All right. Did either one of them ever describe her as a liar?


WILLMOTT: I have a couple of additional questions for you. I know it was a couple days ago we established that you sent books to Jodi, right?


WILLMOTT: And is that about five books you sent to her?

LAVIOLETTE: I think I sent her four books and a magazine subscription.

WILLMOTT: OK. And -- I guess I`ll get this out of the way now. Do you have a memory problem?

LAVIOLETTE: No, I don`t.

WILLMOTT: And do you have any feelings for Jodi such that it would impair your abilities to make an honest assessment about her as a battered woman or about her relationship with Mr. Alexander?

LAVIOLETTE: No, I don`t.

WILLMOTT: In everything, the text messages, everything that you`ve reviewed in this case and from Mr. Alexander`s own words, did you ever hear about patterns where Jodi was being physically abusive or aggressive with Mr. Alexander?

LAVIOLETTE: No, I did not.

WILLMOTT: Did you ever see any patterns of verbal abuse from Jodi to Mr. Alexander?

LAVIOLETTE: No, I did not.

WILLMOTT: Did you ever see any patterns of psychological abuse or controlling behavior by Jodi to Mr. Alexander?

LAVIOLETTE: No, I did not.

WILLMOTT: And did you ever see any evidence, evidence at all of jealousy from Jodi to Mr. Alexander?

LAVIOLETTE: No, I didn`t.

WILLMOTT: I have nothing further, Judge. Thank you.


JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: Ma`am, one of the things that you told us earlier was that you have a bachelor`s degree, correct?

LAVIOLETTE: I have a master`s degree.

MARTINEZ: Well, before that you had to have a bachelor`s degree, correct?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Now you can see the cross-examination by Juan Martinez just getting started. We`re going to pause very briefly. It`s expected to be explosive and argumentative. Stay right there. How is he going to try to tear down this witness, who is blaming the victim, Travis Alexander? We`ll find out on the other side.


W. ARIAS: I said, "What are you running away for if you`re not guilty."

She says, "I don`t want to be a part of it." Something like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where was she going? Did she tell you where?

W. ARIAS: She just told me she`s leaving. And she`ll see us another time, but it`s going to be awhile.




SANDRA ARIAS, JODI`S MOTHER: She told me she didn`t want to stay here long. She was going to leave. She told me that she was going to go down to Monterey for a few days, but she didn`t tell me when. I did not know she was leaving today. Maybe that phone call scared her; I don`t know. Maybe she did do it, I don`t know. I just cannot imagine her doing it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, we are at perhaps the most crucial moment of this trial. This is the star witness for the defense, who is accusing the victim, Travis Alexander of being abusive towards Jodi, the defendant. Now, prosecutor Juan Martinez is cross-examining her. It`s just getting started. Let`s listen in.

MARTINEZ: What year did you get your bachelor`s degree?


MARTINEZ: And then after that you did get your master`s degree, right?


MARTINEZ: What year was that?


MARTINEZ: So there was a span of time between the bachelor`s and the master`s degree, correct?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes, there was.

MARTINEZ: And, ma`am, one of the things that you didn`t tell us was that, after the master`s degree, you did not continue in your studies, did you?

LAVIOLETTE: I`m not sure what you mean.

MARTINEZ: You did not obtain a Ph.D., did you?

LAVIOLETTE: No, but I continued in studies.

MARTINEZ: So did -- so is it true that you did obtain a Ph.D., then?

LAVIOLETTE: No, I continued in my studies. I took classes, and I -- I take CEU`s every year.

MARTINEZ: So the answer is no, you do not have a Ph.D., correct?

LAVIOLETTE: No, I don`t have a Ph.D.

MARTINEZ: And since you don`t have a Ph.D., ma`am, there`s certain restrictions that are placed on you that are not placed on an individual with a Ph.D., correct?


MARTINEZ: For example, you cannot administer any tests, correct?

LAVIOLETTE: I don`t administer tests.

MARTINEZ: The answer is no, then, correct?


MARTINEZ: And the other thing that you can`t do is you can`t read any psychological tests either, correct?

LAVIOLETTE: I can`t read any psychological tests?

MARTINEZ: In other words, you may have some training in what you do, but in terms of looking at psychological tests, you may have some idea, but you have to rely on others that have more schooling and training than you to be able to tell you what the results are of a particular test. Right?

LAVIOLETTE: I would tell you that we have different training. And in terms of psychological tests, I would not be doing psychological tests. In terms of other things, I might have more training than someone with a Ph.D.

MARTINEZ: I`m not asking about other areas. I`m talking about psychological tests. Do we understand each other?

LAVIOLETTE: We definitely understand each other.

MARTINEZ: With regard to the psychological testing, it`s true that you do not have the expertise to be able to engage, if you will, in the reading of tests, correct?


MARTINEZ: And you can`t score tests, correct?


MARTINEZ: And in fact, you`re aware of what is known as the DSM 4, right?


MARTINEZ: It`s the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual that psychologists and sometimes psychiatrists use in diagnosing individuals, correct?

LAVIOLETTE: Actually, that`s not correct.

MARTINEZ: There is no such book, the DMS 4?

LAVIOLETTE: Psychotherapists also use that book. And I am a psychotherapist, Mr. Martinez.

MARTINEZ: So you do use that book, then, right?

LAVIOLETTE: I`ve used that book.

MARTINEZ: And with regard to this particular case, isn`t it true that in that book that you say you use and that you are familiar with, isn`t it true that in that book, there is no diagnosis of battered woman, right?


MARTINEZ: There is no indication or any diagnosis of an abused woman, either, correct?

WILLMOTT: Objection, leading question.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Well, there you hear it. Prosecutor Juan Martinez attacking the credentials of this key defense witness. They`re in sidebar.

Let`s debate it with our sidebar panel, 15 seconds each. Will he destroy this crucial defense witness, who accuses the victim, Travis Alexander, of being abusive, or could he go too strong on a likable, middle-age woman? Starting with Jordan Rose for the prosecution.

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: Oh, he`s starting out slow but strong. He`s destroying her credibility, and then he`s going to lower the boom where he goes, "Hey, how can you believe a liar when her diaries and everything are all very positive and loving about Travis, and the only evidence you have of her being abused is her?"

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Suskauer for the defense?

MICHELLE SUSKAUER: You know what? I think that he`s not going to be able to completely demolish her. This is the main witness for the defense. She`s the why. And I think she`s going to stick to her guns. She`s tough, and she`s going to remain tough.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is Jodi`s life hanging in the balance right now? Let`s take a very short break, and we are going to be back with more testimony. The cross-examination, the grilling of this key defense witness, the domestic violence expert, by prosecutor Juan Martinez. Stay right there.


S. ARIAS: She would not even let me come down to Monterey to visit her and stay at her house, because she was afraid I would snoop through her stuff. That`s the kind of relationship she had. She -- she did not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She has trust issues?

S. ARIAS: She did. And I don`t -- and I don`t know why. I told her one day, I said, "You need some help, Jodi. You`ve got this fantasy in your head that you had a rotten childhood and that we searched your room all the time and we did all this stuff and we didn`t. And you need some help," I said. That didn`t happen.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: The star defense witness now on the stand has been trashing Travis Alexander, the victim, calling him an abuser. Well, now, it`s her turn to get grilled by prosecutor Juan Martinez. Let`s go back into that courtroom.


SHERRY STEPHENS, PRESIDING JUDGE: You may continue. Overruled.

JUAN MARTINEZ: (inaudible) -- is it true it does not have a diagnosis of quote, unquote, "battered woman", right?


MARTINEZ: And now what we really have in this particular field is what you do, correct? You have somebody who has experience, right?

LAVIOLETTE: Well, I want to hear what you are talking about.

MARTINEZ: Do you or do you not have experience in dealing with battered women?


MARTINEZ: With regard to that experience and making a determination of whether or not an individual is a battered women, basically what you have available to you are clinical interviews, right?

LAVIOLETTE: That`s one thing that we have available.

MARTINEZ: Right. And basically a clinical interview is you sitting across from the person that may or may not be a victim of battering and talking to them, right?

LAVIOLETTE: That`s one of the things I use.

MARTINEZ: That`s what you do, right?

LAVIOLETTE: That`s one of the things I do.

MARTINEZ: That`s one of your main instruments, if you will, in trying to determine whether or not the situation --

LAVIOLETTE: It is not my main instrument, Mr. Martinez.

MARTINEZ: Is it one of the items that you use?

LAVIOLETTE: It is one of the things that I use, correct.

MARTINEZ: And in this particular case you told us that what -- you spent 40 hours talking to the defendant?


MARTINEZ: 44 hours, so that`s the clinical interview aspect of it, correct?

LAVIOLETTE: I used that as one of the -- that is the clinical interview that I did, right.

MARTINEZ: Yes or no? That is the clinical aspect of your practice, correct?

LAVIOLETTE: It is a clinical aspect of my practice.

MARTINEZ: And in this case 44 hours -- that`s the clinical aspect of this evaluation, right?

LAVIOLETTE: I`m not sure what you mean by the clinical aspect.

MARTINEZ: A clinical interview, you know what a clinical interview is, right?

LAVIOLETTE: Of course I know what a clinical interview is.

MARTINEZ: All right. Then we seem to be having problems with that. With regard to the clinical interview, ma`am, isn`t that a situation where you sit across from an individual and you talk to them about the issue that is at hand, isn`t that true?

LAVIOLETTE: You interview them, you ask questions, you do an assessment.

MARTINEZ: So when you are interviewing you are not talking to them, right?

LAVIOLETTE: Mr. Martinez --

MARTINEZ: Yes or no. My question is are you talking, Yes or no?

LAVIOLETTE: Mr. Martinez, are you angry at me?

MARTINEZ: Ma`am is that relevant to you? Is that important to you?

STEPHENS: Ladies and gentlemen please refrain from laughing in the courtroom.

MARTINEZ: Is that important to you whether or not the prosecutor is angry with regard to your evaluation? Does that make any difference to your evaluation whether or not the prosecutor is angry? Yes or no?


STEPHENS: Overruled.

LAVIOLETTE: It makes a difference to me the way I am spoken to. And I would like you to speak to me the way I speak to you.

MARTINEZ: Is it true that just because the prosecutor is angry with you, is that going to make you change your answer with regard to whether or not this is a battering situation?

LAVIOLETTE: No. Certainly not.

MARTINEZ: Well then the fact that the prosecutor may or may not or you may perceive him as being angry, that really has nothing to do with your evaluation does it?

LAVIOLETTE: No, but it certainly is --

MARTINEZ: Yes or no. Does it have anything to do with your evaluation? And Judge, it`s a yes or no answer.

WILLMOTT: Judge, she`s trying to answer the questions. Some of these questions cannot be answered by yes or no.

STEPHENS: Miss LaViolette, can you answer that question yes or no?

LAVIOLETTE: I`m not sure what the question is because when someone is approaching in that way, it`s very hard to listen.


STEPHENS: All right. Restate your question.

MARTINEZ: Just because somebody has a demeanor that you perceive to be angry, is that going to sway your opinion as to what you think in this case?

LAVIOLETTE: No, it isn`t.

MARTINEZ: Is it going to change anything about your evaluation based on the way the questions are asked?


MARTINEZ: So in this case, when we`re talking about the interview, the clinical interview, what we`re talking about you doing is speaking to the defendant across the table about the issues in this case, right?


MARTINEZ: That`s the interview speaking with each other, you spent 44 hours, right?


MARTINEZ: The other thing that you indicated to us was that, well, you looked at a lot of other collateral items, right?


MARTINEZ: You looked at journals. That`s what you indicated, right?

LAVIOLETTE: One of the things I looked at.

MARTINEZ: Sure, I mean you indicated that you looked at writings of interviews with other people, right? Interviews that were done by somebody else?


MARTINEZ: You looked at text messages, right?


MARTINEZ: Instant messages, right?


MARTINEZ: E-mails, right?


MARTINEZ: That`s how your evaluation was in this particular case, right?

LAVIOLETTE: That is correct.

MARTINEZ: You did not -- other than talking to the defendant -- you did not talk to anybody yourself, right?

LAVIOLETTE: That is correct.

MARTINEZ: So you were left, if you will, in terms of the materials that you were to review, not from the defendant, not about the journals, you were sort of left to just read what somebody else had written about an interview with a collateral source, right?

LAVIOLETTE: On those particular collateral sources -- on the interview parts certainly. Not on the IMs and the texts.

MARTINEZ: Yes. I`m talking about the collateral sources that actually somebody wrote down a synopsis, right?


MARTINEZ: And one of the things that we know with regard to your particular approach is that since there are -- there is no diagnosis in this DSM4, there really is no, if you will, guide out there to tell you when somebody is really a battered individual or if somebody is an abused individual, right?

LAVIOLETTE: That`s not correct.

MARTINEZ: Well, what we actually have, ma`am, is exhibit number 558. Isn`t this what you used to tell us --

LAVIOLETTE: That was an example --

MARTINEZ: I`m not done, ma`am.

LAVIOLETTE: I`m sorry. I apologize.

MARTINEZ: Isn`t this true Exhibit 558, isn`t that what you ended your testimony with talking about this particular continuum of aggress and abuse to tell us the defendant, in your opinion, was the victim of abuse, right?

LAVIOLETTE: That was not the only thing I used.

MARTINEZ: Yes or no. Did you use this to tell us that the defendant was in an abusive relationship? Yes or no.

WILLMOTT: Objection. She tried to answer and he interrupted her.

STEPHENS: Overruled. You may answer.

MARTINEZ: Yes or no?

LAVIOLETTE: It`s not a yes or no. Do you want the truth Mr. Martinez or do you want yes or no.

MARTINEZ: Ma`am I`m asking you questions. You seem to be having trouble answering my question. If you have a problem understanding the question, ask me that. If you want to spar -- do you want to spar with me? Is that -- will that affect the way you use your testimony?

WILLMOTT: Objection -- argumentative.

STEPHENS: Sustained.

KURT NURMI, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: May we approach, Your Honor?



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Whoa -- whoa, whoa, whoa. This is a slug fest -- a verbal slug fest going on right now in court. Who is winning? Let`s debate it with our side bar panel -- 15 seconds each. Jordan Rose for the prosecution first.

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: Oh, this is fabulous, Jane. I mean he is just taking it to her and she is shaking. Shaking to the core as he goes after her professionalism and the fact that she can`t be opining and then that she doesn`t use sources other than Jodi herself. It`s beautiful -- wonderful to watch.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michelle Suskauer for the defense.

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Way too aggressive. He is screaming. He is acting like a bully. He`s acting like an abuser. And I think the jury is going to turn him off.

He doesn`t have to be this aggressive to make his points. Prosecutors don`t have as much experience as defense lawyers in cross-examining. This is not the way to get it done.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: One thing I noticed is that she seemed to mimicked something Jodi Arias said when she was on the stand. Remember Jodi Arias said, I can`t think when people like you and Travis yell at me. She said that to the prosecutor. This defense expert said a similar thing.

Oh my gosh, this is the crucial moment of the case. Who is going to win? We`ll have more testimony on the other side.

Stay right there.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She just refuses to tell me why.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She won`t talk to us, either.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She won`t talk to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I have been talking to her since the day after Travis was found. I talked to her on the phone and she called me three times that week. There was a couple times the following week. Every week she calls me and I just sense that there`s something there from day one. Even before we found the first piece of evidence linking her to it, I knew there was something there.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. There`s a Facebook poll showing 96 percent don`t think that Jodi was abused by Travis. But that`s the point this defense witness is making and prosecutor Juan Martinez going after her to the point where there was a side bar called because he was accused of yelling at her. She was fighting back essentially saying are you angry at me? Why do you have to speak to me that way? So, she`s giving it back.

Let`s go back to the courtroom and see what happens next.


MARTINEZ: With regard to this particular case, ma`am, you did refer to this exhibit, 558, yes or no?

LAVIOLETTE: I referred to it.

MARTINEZ: Yes or no?

LAVIOLETTE: Yes, I referred to it.

MARTINEZ: When you refer to it, Miss Willmott was asking you questions about it, yes or no.


MARTINEZ: And she was asking you questions about that and it involved the defendant, didn`t it?


MARTINEZ: It involved the defendant in your opinion as to whether or not she was somebody who was abused, correct?

LAVIOLETTE: Not exactly.

MARTINEZ: Well, is it somebody that was not abused then?

LAVIOLETTE: No. I don`t rely particularly just on that. It feels like that is what you are trying to get me to say.

MARTINEZ: Didn`t you use this as --

LAVIOLETTE: As one -- as one part.

MARTINEZ: Right? Isn`t that what you used?

LAVIOLETTE: I used it as one piece of information.

MARTINEZ: And what happened is you went to the diary, the journals for example, right. You reviewed the journals.

LAVIOLETTE: I reviewed the journals.

MARTINEZ: And then you went to this which is Exhibit number 558 and then you started to talk about how something in the journal was mirrored or set out in Exhibit 558, right?

LAVIOLETTE: Something in just the journal? I`m not sure what you are asking. Are you asking me if --

MARTINEZ: Ma`am, let me ask it this way. Do you remember talking to us about a lot of journal entries? Do you remember talking to us about that?


MARTINEZ: Do you remember talking certain dates? Right, do you remember that?


MARTINEZ: And do you remember talking about what was written in those journals, right?


MARTINEZ: And you characterized what was written in the journals, right?

LAVIOLETTE: Some of what was written in the journal.

MARTINEZ: Yes. Some of what was written in those journals, you characterized it, right?

LAVIOLETTE: Mr. Martinez, I`m not sure what you are saying.

MARTINEZ: With regard to the journals, do you remember talking about the journals?


MARTINEZ: Do you remember talking about specific dates in the journals, right?


MARTINEZ: And with regard to those journals, for example with regard to the defendant, you indicated that she never said anything negative about Mr. Alexander, right?

WILLMOTT: Objection (inaudible).

STEPHENS: Overruled -- you may answer.

MARTINEZ: Do you remember saying that?

LAVIOLETTE: I said that I hadn`t read anything that she said that was negative.

MARTINEZ: So, if you didn`t read anything that showed that there was anything negative, in your mind, there was nothing negative about Mr. Alexander right, as written by the defendant, right?

LAVIOLETTE: There were selections of the journals.

MARTINEZ: Right. The journals that you reviewed here in court, ma`am, all of the journal selections that you reviewed here in court, and you did review more than those journal selections here in court, right?


MARTINEZ: You reviewed all of the journals, right?

LAVIOLETTE: Miss Arias` journals?

MARTINEZ: Sure. Yes.

LAVIOLETTE: During that period of time?

MARTINEZ: Yes, you reviewed the journals?

LAVIOLETTE: I didn`t read all of her journals.

MARTINEZ: You read journals aside from the ones that were presented here in court, right?


MARTINEZ: So as a result of those reading of those journals you then said to us, for example, well, there is nothing in those journals that is said by the defendant negative about the person that she killed, right?

LAVIOLETTE: No, that`s not true.

WILLMOTT: Objection.

STEPHENS: Overruled -- she`s answered her answer.

MARTINEZ: Ok. Tell me what negative things the defendant wrote about herself.

LAVIOLETTE: I thought you asked me if she said anything negative about Mr. Alexander.

MARTINEZ: Did you have a problem understanding the question? Tell me what negative things the defendant wrote about herself in those journals. That was my question.

LAVIOLETTE: Would you show me what you are referring to?

MARTINEZ: No. You`re the one that just told us that read journals --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well again, this is explosive. There is a lot of anger in this courtroom. The tension is palpable. This prosecutor, Juan Martinez is trying to tear down this witness who says that the victim, Travis Alexander, was abusive to Jodi. And he`s pointing out that Jodi didn`t say anything in her journals about Travis being abusive.

We are going to take a very short break. Back with more testimony in a moment.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Is this defense expert the only thing standing between Jodi Arias and the death penalty? She has accused the victim, Travis Alexander, of being abusive towards Jodi and now the prosecutor trying to tear her down. It is a verbal duel.

Let`s go back in the court for more of it.


LAVIOLETTE: Would you show me what you`re referring to?

MARTINEZ: No, you`re the one that just told us that you read journals before you came here into court, didn`t you?


MARTINEZ: And you spent many hours, correct?


MARTINEZ: And you charged $250 an hour to read them, right?

LAVIOLETTE: That is the standard fee.

MARTINEZ: Am I asking you if that is the standard fee?

LAVIOLETTE: Apparently not.

MARTINEZ: Ma`am and in those journals, the ones that you read, the ones that you can remember, can you think of anything negative that the defendant said about herself in those journals, anything?

LAVIOLETTE: She talked about being depressed. She talked about -- and there are -- numerous places where she talks about feeling bad about herself in places not just in the journal. But in places --

MARTINEZ: I`m talking about the journals, ma`am. Remember -- that is what we`re talking about, just the journals.

LAVIOLETTE: I read the journals.

MARTINEZ: Right. What else --

LAVIOLETTE: I read the journals, and you would have to show me specifically what you`re talking about. I don`t know what part of the journals you`re talking about, and frankly, I read pages and pages of journals, Mr. Martinez --

MARTINEZ: I`m just talking about --

LAVIOLETTE: -- so when you ask me to say something specific about what she said about herself, I don`t have -- I have samples. Do you have samples to give me that I can see where --

MARTINEZ: Ma`am, I`m asking you from your reading of the journals as you sit here today with the memory that you have intact, what can you tell us that she wrote that was negative? You did say that you read the journals, right?

WILLMOTT: Objection, argumentative, and the foundation (inaudible) --


VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Is prosecutor Juan Martinez going too hard on this middle aged lady or should her age and gender not count a wit?

A short break, we`re back with more in a second -- amazing stuff.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Clinical psychologist Seth Meyers, is the prosecution coming on too strong, or does he owe it to the victim`s family to go after this woman who is trashing the victim?

SETH MEYERS, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST: Yes, I think he owes to the victim and the family. I think LaViolette is really trying to take a relationship that was extremely dysfunctional and make it sound abusive and it`s not working.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ok. Now, but from the perspective of the jurors sitting in the jury box, who is winning from a psychological standpoint?

MEYERS: Martinez, absolutely. LaViolette seems like she has an extremely flexible definition of abuse and I don`t think any of the jury is buying it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m talking about their demeanor and his tone?

MEYERS: Yes, well, I think that he loses the jury when he starts to sound too aggressive towards LaViolette, because the truth is she did nothing wrong. So I think he would be a little smart to dial it down a little bit with her.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, she is talking back to him, what do you make of that? Could that boomerang on her?

MEYERS: Yes, it`s interesting. I almost wonder if one of the things she is trying to do is to show how a man can be very successful at intimidating a woman.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Interesting, fascinating cross.

Nancy Grace is up next.