Other prosecution claims

This page describes various claims the prosecution made in an attempt to prove Jodi’s testimony was not the truth. Jodi testified for 18 days, and her attorney Jennifer Willmott stated in a post-trial interview that she believes Jodi’s testimony to be the truth. It’s easy to be suspicious, since Jodi did lie to the police, but to convict someone of murder, there should be definite proof, not just suspicion and speculation. In a fair trial, prosecution witnesses should not mislead the jury with false statements.

False claims

The gunshot could not have been first – Not True!
This was perhaps the most hotly disputed topic in the trial. Dr Horn, the Medical Examiner, testified that the bullet apparently passed through Travis’ brain, and this would cause Travis to be immediately incapacitated, which is not compatible with the gunshot being first as Jodi testified. However Dr Horn’s opinion seems incompatible with his own autopsy report, which (a) states that he could find no sign of damage to the brain in spite of being able to take and examine slices, and (b) the Dura Mater was intact. Faced with this contradiction, he stated that his own autopsy report must have a typographical error. But this is not plausible, if the Dura Mater were damaged, there should be a description of the damage. The likely explanation is that the bullet deflected, causing damage to the skull that Dr Horn mistook for an entry hole into the skull. Also:

bathroomsink 1. The blood evidence is not compatible with Travis being shot after he was dead ( the State’s theory ). Flores describes arterial spurting in the bathroom. This is not compatible with Travis being shot after he was dead. There is very heavy bleeding in the sink, that can only have come from the gunshot wound.

2. Travis had bleeding from his ear, which could only have come from the gunshot, again incompatible with the State’s theory.

3. It’s rather odd that the prosecution changed it’s theory on the gunshot, originally lead detective Flores said that the gunshot was first. Did the prosecution change theory simply to contradict Jodi’s claim of self-defense?

4. Even supposing the gunshot did pass through the front of Travis’ brain, a defense witness testified that this would not necessarily be incapacitating.

In support of the claim that the gunshot was not first, the prosecution pointed out that the shell casing found in a pool of blood was not covered in blood, implying the blood came first. However the casing was on the edge of the blood pool, so the blood could well have spread out around the casing, instead of dripping directly on top of it. If anything, the lack of blood on the casing suggests the gunshot was first not last. If it was rolling around after the knife fight, with blood on the floor, it would quite likely pick up blood.

Experts did not agree. HLN contacted pathologist Dr. Carol Terry, the chief medical examiner for Gwinnett County, Georgia. Terry attended Emory University’s medical school and had 18 years of experience with forensic pathology. She analyzed Alexander’s autopsy at HLN’s request. Terry agreed with Dr. Horn that the slashing of Alexander’s throat is what killed him. But she said he was likely shot first, before any of the stab wounds were inflicted.

Jodi lied about Travis’ laptop – Not True!
In the penalty retrial,  Mesa police experts admitted that Alexander’s laptop had viruses and pornography, contrary to testimony in the first trial in 2013.

During the first trial in 2013 and earlier in this trial, Mesa police experts testified that there was no porn and or viruses on the computer. Martinez had used that testimony to impeach Arias’ claims that there were both, and it furthered his portrayal of Arias as a liar. But defense experts subsequently found porn and the viruses associated with the device. Mesa police have since admitted it was there all along.

Source: Jodi Arias retrial nears its end, Michael Kiefer, The Arizona Republic, February 13, 2015. See also Michael Melendez.

Jodi lied about how she rented a car – Not True!
See Redding Car Rental.

Jodi with her hair dyed brown

Jodi with her hair dyed brown, May 15, 2008, Exh 414

Jodi changed her hair from blonde on the way to Mesa  – Not True!

The man Jodi rented a car from testified that Jodi’s hair was blonde. The prosecution claimed that Jodi changed her hair color subsequent to renting the car, in order not to be recognised in Mesa. However the defense showed the jury photographs in which  Jodi’s hair was dyed brown several weeks before. The prosecution even objected to these photographs being entered as evidence. It seems the prosecution witness was mistaken – perhaps he remembered Jodi’s driving license, in which she has blonde hair. See Defense Closing Argument for more details and here.

Jodi had the camera on a strap around her neck – Not True!
The prosecution indicated Jodi had the camera on a strap around her neck in opening statements, However the strap for Travis’ camera was found unused, in its packaging. The prosecution never gave an alternative explanation for how the picture of the shower ceiling was taken. Jodi’s explanation makes perfect sense by comparison.

Weak arguments

The prosecution also made various other arguments, but it’s hard to take these seriously. The prosecution needs (at least in theory) to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • The prosecution alleged Jodi was “manipulative”. Even if true, what does this prove?
  • Jodi turned her mobile phone off as the battery was running low, and she could not immediately locate the charger. Suspicious minds might say this was to stop her visit to Mesa being tracked, but she switched it on before leaving Arizona.
  • Jodi preferred a white car to a red car when she rented a car. However, many people believe police are less likely to pull over a white car for speeding ( whether or not it’s true ).
  • The prosecution claimed that Jodi would have disturbed items on a shelf in Travis’ closet when she momentarily used a shelf to help her reach up to grab the gun. However detective Flores did not even attempt to reconstruct Jodi’s climb, he tested a shelf without any items on it, and it’s impossible to say whether the items on the shelf were not disturbed in any case.
  • Some skateboarders tampered with Jodi’s registration plates in a parking lot in Pasadena. The prosecution claimed this was suspicious, but having an upside-down number plate and another number plate missing is not consistent with trying to be inconspicuous! Jodi’s plates were still in this state when she was stopped by a police officer in Salt Lake City.
  • The prosecution suggested Alyce LaViolette, a very well regarded expert on domestic violence, lied when testifying because she was concerned with her reputation. How would lying possibly enhance anyone’s reputation? This is simply nonsense.
  • Most ridiculous of all, prosecutor Juan Martinez claimed that Jodi’s testimony was not credible because she admitted simulating an orgasm in phone sex with Travis. What sort of proof of murder is that?

When the prosecution make false claims and weak arguments, you have to wonder if they have any real evidence.

See also FAQ for other weak arguments people sometimes make.

Next : Scene Summary

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