Jodi Arias is on trial for the 2008 murder of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. Arias testified she stabbed Alexander multiple times, shot him in the face and slit his throat from ear to ear in self-defense. The State rested its rebuttal case this week. Closing arguments are scheduled for next Thursday and Friday.
Ex-girlfriend: Alexander was not abusive
Prosecutor Juan Martinez kicked off his rebuttal case Tuesday by calling a lightning round of witnesses to discredit Arias’ testimony.
Alexander’s former friend and co-worker Jacob Mefford testified he observed Alexander being affectionate with Arias in public, countering the defense’s claim that Arias was Alexander’s “dirty little secret.”
PHOTOS: Jodi Arias sobs in court
A video Mefford shot in March of 2007 shows Arias resting her head on Alexander’s lap. Mefford also shared a photo taken in June 2007 that shows Alexander kissing the back of Arias’ head.
Amanda Webb, a Wal-Mart employee, testified that records from the Salinas, California, store show no one returned a five-gallon gas can on June 3, 2008. According to Webb, the store’s records show there wasn't a single transaction involving that product in general until a week and a half later.
Travis Alexander’s ex-girlfriend Deanna Reid was the State’s standout rebuttal witness Tuesday.
Reid stated she and Alexander began dating in 2000, broke up in 2001, and reconciled in 2002 before their final break-up in 2005.
Alexander’s ex-girlfriend insisted he was never abusive physically or verbally during their relationship. She also testified she never saw Travis with photos of little boys as Arias claims to have seen.
“He was always a gentleman,” Reid said.
While their faith prohibited pre-marital sex, Reid said she and Alexander were sexual in 2004 for about a year before they broke up.
“He never pressured me [to have sex],” Reid told the jury.
Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi asked Reid if Alexander had ever called her a “slut,” or a “whore.”
“No,” Reid answered.
“Must have been a different relationship,” Nurmi said before ending his cross-examination.
PHOTOS: Travis Alexander & ex-girlfriend
Testimony concluded Tuesday after Detective Michael Melendez told the jury he did not find any pictures of nude women, images of children, or pornography on the laptop recovered from Alexander’s home after his death.
Detective: No evidence Alexander owned a gun
Martinez called two more rebuttal witnesses Wednesday in an attempt to prove the State’s belief that Arias committed premeditated murder.
Detective Robert Brown testified he recovered three photos of Arias taken the day before the killing from her phone. The photos show Arias with dark brown hair, supporting the State’s belief that Arias attempted to conceal her identity.
In another strike to the defense, Detective Esteban Flores returned to the witness stand to testify that he found no evidence that Alexander owned a gun, a holster, cleaning kits, or ammunition.
Detective Flores also testified about the shelves in Alexander’s closet where Arias claimed she retrieved the gun that was used in the shooting.
A photograph shown to the jury showed the closet shelf flipping upwards from the pressure of Flores’ hand. His testimony suggested if Arias retrieved a gun from the top shelf as she claims, she would have had to step on the shelf which would have caused it to be displaced. However, crime scene photos taken after the killing show the shelves in order and none of Travis items were out of place in the closet.
Medical Examiner: Alexander was stabbed first
Juan Martinez rested his rebuttal case Thursday after calling Dr. Kevin Horn, the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on Alexander’s body, to challenge Arias’ claim that she fired the gun first before stabbing Alexander to death.
Martinez showed a series of gruesome pictures of Alexander’s dead body, and Arias immediately looked away and began to cry.
Horn testified that the gunshot wound passed through Alexander’s right front lobe, causing an injury that would have quickly incapacitated him and rendered him incapable of defending himself.
Martinez then displayed a photo of Alexander’s hand that showed cuts to his finger and palms that Horn called defensive wounds.
According to Horn, Alexander likely received those wounds when he was deflecting the attack or attempting to grab the knife.
Horn stated he did not believe it was possible that Alexander would be capable of holding up his arms if he had been shot first as Arias claims.