PHOENIX, Ariz. April 10, 2013— -- The prosecutor in the Jodi Arias murder trial has called into question psychotherapist Alyce LaViolette's creditability because the only person she interviewed to determine whether Arias suffered domestic abuse was Arias.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez has spent the last week exchanging verbal jabs with LaViolette, who claims Arias was a victim of abuse at the hands of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. At one point during Tuesday's war of words, LaViolette told Martinez he needed to "take a time out."
Arias, 32, has admitted to killing Alexander, 30, after lying for nearly two years about it, but insists she killed him in self-defense. She could face the death penalty if convicted.
On Tuesday, Martinez said Arias invented the domestic violence and LaViolette blindly accepted her story without talking to anyone else. LaViolette spent 44 hours interviewing Arias in jail.
"You didn't talk to any of the other witnesses, right?" Martinez asked.
"No I did not," LaViolette answered.
"The only person that you talked to was the defendant, right?" Martinez asked.
"Correct," LaViolette said.
Martinez told the jury that even Arias' own father stated she was a liar in the police interrogation interviews that were released last week.
William Arias, on the day his daughter was arrested, told a detective in a videotaped statement, "She's never been honest with us since then. And she was probably 14 then."
The jury didn't get to see the tape, but the judge allowed Martinez to ask questions about it.
"Don't you think his view of her truthfulness has a much better basis than yours?" Martinez asked.
"He has a much longer history with her," LaViolette replied.
Testimony turned to Arias sex life with Alexander. Martinez questioned LaViolette about a telephone call Arias recorded on which she and the victim are simulating graphic acts.
"There was no indication from the tape itself that Ms. Arias wasn't enjoying herself as much as Mr. Alexander, right?" Martinez said.
The defense has worked to portray Arias as having only participated in raunchy sex acts with Alexander to please him and to tame his temper.
LaViolette struggled to respond to questions about whether Arias may have been faking her pleasure on the phone call.
"My expertise is in domestic violence, not in orgasms," she told the prosecutor.
Martinez's aggressive style of questioning experts put up by Arias' defense team paid off when he got psychologist Richard Samuels, who diagnosed Arias with PTSD, to concede that he probably should have readministered a test once it was determined that Arias had lied.
The effectiveness of Martinez's fiery approach was less certain in dealing with LaViolette, a woman who has spent her life helping domestic violence victims.
LaViolette lashed out at Martinez as he raised his voice in frustration when she dodged one of his questions.
"If you were in my group, I would ask you to take a time out, Mr. Martinez," she said.
LaViolette's testimony continues later today.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.