|Arias Challenged On Pedophilia Claim|
|By COLLEEN CURRY||Feb 21, 2013, 1:07 PM|
Accused murderer Jodi Arias was challenged today by phone records, text message records, and her own diary entries that appeared to contradict her claim that she caught her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, looking at pictures of naked boys.
Arias had said during her testimony that one afternoon in January 2008, she walked in on Alexander masturbating to pictures of naked boys. She said she fled from the home, threw up, drove around aimlessly, and ignored numerous phone calls from Alexander because she was so upset at what she had seen.
The claim was central to the defense's accusation that Alexander was a "sexual deviant" who grew angry and abusive toward Arias in the months after the incident, culminating in a violent confrontation in June that left Alexander dead.
Arias claimed she killed him in self-defense. She could face the death penalty if convicted of murder.
Today, prosecutor Juan Martinez, who has been aggressive in questioning witnesses throughout the trial, volleyed questions at her about the claim of pedophilia, asking her to explain why her and Alexander's cell phone records showed five calls back and forth between the pair throughout the day she allegedly fled in horror. Some of the calls were often initiated Arias, according to phone records.
She and Alexander also exchanged text messages throughout the afternoon and evening at a time when Arias claims the pedophilia incident occurred. In those messages they discuss logistics of exchanging one another's cars that night. Alexander sends her text messages about the car from a church social event he attended that night that she never mentioned during her testimony.
Arias stuck by her claim that she saw Alexander masturbating to the pictures, and her voice remained steady under increasingly-loud questioning by Martinez.
But Martinez also sparred with Arias on the stand over minor issues, such as when he asked Arias detailed questions about the timing and order of events from that day and Arias said she could not remember them.
"It seems you have problems with your memory. Is this a longstanding thing? Since you started testifying?" Martinez asked.
"No it goes back farther than that. I don't know even know if I'd call it a problem," Arias said.
"How far back does it go? You don't want to call them problems, are they issues? Can we call them issues? When did you start having them?" he asked in rapid succession. "You say you have memory problems, that it depends on the circumstance. Give me the factors that influence that."
"Usually when men like you or Travis are screaming at me," Arias shot back from the stand. "It affects my brain, it makes my brain scramble."
"You're saying it's Mr. Martinez's fault?" Martinez asked, referring to himself in the third person.
"Objection your honor," Arias' attorney finally shouted. "This is a stunt!"
Martinez dwelled at one point about a journal entry where Arias wrote that she missed the Mormon baptism of her friend Lonnie because she was having kinky sex with Alexander. He drew attention to prior testimony that she and Alexander used Tootsie Pops and Pop Rocks candy as sexual props.
"You're trying to get across (in the diary entry) that this involved a sexual liaison with Mr. Alexander right?" he asked. "And you're talking about Tootsie Pops and Pop Rocks?"
"That happened also that night," Arias said.
"You were there, enjoying it, the Tootsie Pops and Pop Rocks?" he asked again, prompting a smirk from Arias.
"I enjoyed his attention," Arias said.
Jodi Arias' Contentious Cross Examination
The questioning about the candy props continued on for a while.
After the two sniped at each other during questioning, Judge Sherry Stephens reprimanded both for talking over one another.
Still, Martinez pressed forward with pushing Arias to admit that she never wrote down in her diary any claim that she saw Alexander looking at photos of naked children or had a blowout fight with him about it. She similarly never wrote that she had a violent confrontation with him where he threw her to the ground and kicked her, injuring her finger, as she had previously testified.
In fact, during the days surrounding both of those events, Arias wrote "Nothing newsworthy to report" in the journal she said she took with her everywhere.
Earlier, Martinez had used the journal entries to try and show jealousy Arias had toward Alexander. The prosecution has attempted to prove that Arias killed her ex-boyfriend in a jealous rage on June 4, 2008 and that she showed a pattern of lying.
She has testified that she killed him accidentally in a state of panic when he was threatening to kill her.
Martinez also asked her about an August 2007 incident in which she went to his house and saw him kissing another woman.
"Yesterday you told us that in August 2007 you went to Mr. Alexander's house...and you saw Mr. Alexander and a female making out, and her bra was unhooked. And you took off, and got home, and you felt strongly enough about this that you called your father. You spoke to your father and were crying. You were upset about this," Martinez said in his rapid fire style.
"You could have just left that situation alone, but you decided to confront him [Alexander] anyway, and the reason you did this was because you were jealous," Martinez said.
"No," Arias responded. She said she asked Alexander about the woman he was kissing "because he was still courting me."
"You were in love with him and you didn't want to let him go," the prosecutor insisted.
He also pointed out that she told multiple stories about her broken finger, which she alleges that Alexander broke in January, 2008, the day after she claims she saw him looking at nude photos of children. The different versions were told a new boyfriend Ryan Burns and Detective Esteban Flores who interrogated Arias.
"It seems a run of bad things happened to (your finger). You talked to Ryan Burns about it, told him that finger had been damaged on a broken glass at work," Martinez said. "You told (Flores) that on June 4, 2008, at Mr. Alexander's home, somebody broken in and... it was your left finger that had been damaged... And then you gave us another story here."
Arias had admitted on Wednesday that she lied to Burns and to Flores in the wake of Alexander's death. She said she was ashamed of killing Alexander and didn't want to get caught.