MK: Jennifer, you’ve been on the Jodi Arias defense team since 2012 after several other attorneys dropped off for various reasons. Did you ever imagine the furore and the fallout the trial has generated?
JW: No, I mean I had no idea when I first came onto the case I had never heard of Jodi’s name before and I didn’t even know any of the facts of the case, I had no idea it would turn into something like this.
MK: How much has it affected your life?
JW: Quite a bit. I mean for the first year that when I was just preparing for trial, it was just like any other case. Once we started trial in January 2013, I went through death threats, my family, they threatened my children, having deputies walk up across the street with hands on their guns, things like that I have never experienced before and I really didn’t think this would be this type of case to have that.
MK: Do you think this is an example of how cases are going to be in the future?
JW: I hope not. I don’t see the attraction to this case, I don’t know why there were followers, why people would show up every day. I really hope that as a State, as a Country, as a world, people wouldn’t be that fascinated with someone’s murder. I think it’s a sad commentary.
MK: At sentencing, Jodi admitted for the first time that she remembers slitting Travis Alexander’s throat, and she claimed she did it in self defense, now, during her first trial she claimed that she didn’t remember detail, all she remembered was shooting him. How did she recover that memory, or did she remember it all along?
JW: The memories were always there, it’s just that her ability to deal with it, she wasn’t able to handle them, so as a protection she was dissociating from them, she wasn’t remembering them, so all along I can tell you she did not remember anything, everything that she testified to was what she remembered.
Shortly after the trial, the first trial, after having to go through all the facts, is when she started to remember more, and that’s when she remembered actually cutting his throat.
MK: Or was she lying? She did lie several times at the beginning of this trial… or at the beginning of this case.
JW: At the beginning of the case. I know the prosecution wanted to label her a liar, and she did, she lied when she was first arrested, she lied about some of the things that she knew about Mr. Alexander, she didn’t want all of his skeletons coming out of the closet, as she told us yesterday, but when she testified, no I don’t believe she lied.
MK: You and Kirk Nurmi made a pretty thorough record of your allegations of misconduct by prosecutor Juan Martinez. What’s the process for appeals, and who will do it?
JW: Within 20 days we have to file what’s called a notice of appeal, and that’s something I will do, that’s something that trial attorneys do. And from there, it gets assigned.
MK: What will grounds for appeal be?
JW: That’s for the appellate attorney to decide. I imagine prosecutorial misconduct will be one.
MK: Now County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a press conference last week that Jodi or her team might have been responsible for revealing the identity of the hold-out juror #17, and other jurors. How do you respond to that?
JW: That would be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Juror #17 is the one who saved Jodi’s life, whether she realises it or not, but by hanging in there, and by literally hanging the trial, she saved her life, so there is no way that we would ever disclose her name. The fact that all of the defense team has been subject to so many threats and different types of harassment, knowing that that’s what happens when someone’s name leaks out, I could never imagine any one of us doing something like that. There would be no point, because we got life, we were very happy and content.
MK: Thank you Jennifer Willmott.
JW: Thank you very much.
See also here for another post-sentencing interview Jennifer Willmott gave, and the words of Victoria Washington, who represented Jodi before a conflict of interest led to Kirk Nurmi becoming lead attorney: