Jodi Arias News Update: Focus Turns To Rebuttals, Mental Health

( [email protected] ) Feb 18, 2015 10:03 PM EST
The sentencing retrial of Jodi Arias continued Wednesday when her defense team brought a key witness, psychologist Dr. Robert Geffner, back to the courtroom.
Jodi Arias, (R), looks at her defense attorney Jennifer Willmott during a hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona August 13, 2014. Arias was convicted of first-degree murder in the stabbing and shooting to death of Travis Alexander, 30, in his suburban Phoenix home in June 2008. The jury in the first trial was unable to come to a unanimous verdict as to whether or not Arias should be sentenced to life in prison or the death penalty. REUTERS/Tom Tingle/Pool

The sentencing retrial of Jodi Arias continued Wednesday when her defense team brought a key witness back to the courtroom.

According to Steve Krafft of Fox 10 News, the trial's latest battle is now focused on how mentally ill Arias might have been when she murdered her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. He described how the trial played out on his Twitter feed.

"Dr. Robert Geffner [is] back to rebut the testimony of prosecution psychologist Dr. Janeen DeMarte," Krafft wrote. "[He] says he's more experience."

Geffner then claimed that DeMarte "has a little bit of knowledge and becomes dangerous."

"He's dumping on her reading of Jodi Arias psych tests," Krafft wrote.

Michael Kiefer of the Arizona Republic noted on his Twitter feed that Jennifer Willmott asked Geffner how long he was a licensed psychologist. Geffer said that he has been one for 35 years, adding that he previously practiced as a family therapist.

"Geffner goes on to say that as a psychologist, you have to be licensed for at least two years in Arizona before you can supervise others," Kiefer wrote.

The defense psychologist then tried to tear down DeMarte's interpretation and commentary on the psychological tests administered to Arias. He also claimed that prosecutor Juan Martinez did not understand the tests either.

According to Kiefer's Twitter feed, Geffner contended that "Martinez walked out of the room when he tried to explain how he administered tests." He also insisted that the prosecutor "doesn't understand the tests."

"Geffner insists that Jodi Arias reported two instances of domestic violence," Kiefer wrote.

The psychologist then said that the passage of time can affect the memory of the trauma and its impact. Kiefer then pointed out an inconsistency within DeMarte's notes.

"DeMarte's typed notes describe Alexander straddling Jodi Arias and choking until she loses consciousness, [which is] inconsistent with written notes," Kiefer wrote.

Krafft reported that Geffner attempted to give jurors some information regarding mental illness and Arias. The way he presented it caught Krafft's attention.

"Dr. Geffner all haughty when it comes to DeMarte's resume," Krafft wrote. "[There's] a lot of inside baseball stuff here. Will jurors care?"

Krafft added that Geffner did his best to drag "the prosecution's Jodi Arias expert through the mud." In other words, Geffner tried to paint DeMarte as "unethical."

"Jurors left to wonder: is Geffner, of Alliant International University in San Diego, a renowned expert or basically a hired gun?" Krafft wrote.

According to Krafft, the focus then turned to Alexander's sex life. Geffner told the court that Alexander practiced deception when he claimed to be a 30-year-old virgin.

"Now we see a bar graph depicting Travis' various squeezes back in the day," Krafft wrote.

Krafft noted that a total of 16 sidebars were brought up in the Arias trial Wednesday. The judge then released the jury for the day.

"The white noise machine blares on," Kiefer wrote.

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