Arias case: Mentor says Travis Alexander feared Jodi - New York News

Arias case: Mentor says Travis Alexander feared Jodi

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PHOENIX -

A FOX 10 Exclusive

PHOENIX - For weeks we've seen and heard the story of Jodi Arias, accused of murdering her boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

We even got an exclusive look inside her jail cell to see how she's been living the past few years behind bars. Tonight, we talked with a man Travis Alexander considered a mentor, a father figure – and someone who knew about Travis' troubled relationship with Jodi.

It's the first time he's spoken to any Phoenix TV station.

Karl Hiatt is a distinguished plastic surgeon in the valley. Both of Travis Alexander's parents died, and Travis called Dr. Hiatt his Arizona dad.

Travis was even roommates with Dr. Hiatt's two sons for a time. The family took him in.

In our interview, Dr. Hiatt told me about Travis' humble beginnings, and a conversation that foreshadowed his violent death at the hands of Jodi Arias.

"I don't know if there are too many people close to Travis who didn't suspect Jodi immediately."

Dr. Karl Hiatt and his family were very close to Travis Alexander. Travis would eat dinner with the family almost every Sunday night -- but Dr. Hiatt said one day, Travis told him something he'll never forget.

"'If it don't show up some Sunday, maybe you'll find me dead.' That sort of comment. Course we all didn't take much credence to that, but he was serious."

Me: "So you think Travis was scared of Jodi?"

Dr. Hiatt: "He had some fear that could actually happen."

When they were told Travis had been found murdered, Dr. Hiatt's family was devastated, and gathered to share their shock and grief.

"Travis had a way of bringing us together, even in his death."

Me: "And it's still hard for you to talk about."

"Well, yeah."

The next time Dr. Hiatt saw Jodi Arias was at Travis' memorial service.

"And she was the only one who was expressionless. We all were wallowing in the emotion of everything that was said. We were laughing, we were crying, we were reliving Trav's life," says Dr. Hiatt.

Me: "And she showed no emotion?"

"She was just stone cold emotionless."

Me: "What did you think about that?"

"It was just odd. It kind of solidified for many of us the suspicion."

Dr. Hiatt told me he doesn't want Travis just remembered for the way he died. He wants people to know he came from nothing -- lived in the back of a pickup until he was 9 years old.

But Travis made himself a successful man. He also idolized his grandfather, who inspired him to become a motivational speaker.

"He said I know what I want to do now," says Dr. Hiatt. "I want to take grandpa's message to the world. You're somebody. God loves you. You can be raised in a pickup and still come out ok."

I asked Dr. Hiatt if he was surprised the prosecution never called him or any of his close Arizona friends as witnesses -- and he told me one of them will be called by the defense.

The defense testimony begins next week.

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