Domestic violence expert testifies in Arias trial - New York News

Domestic violence expert testifies in Arias trial

Updated:

By BRIAN SKOLOFF
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - A domestic violence expert is testifying in Jodi Arias' murder trial that the defendant was vulnerable at the time she met the victim and had a hard time declining his sexual advances.

Psychotherapist Alyce LaViolette says she spent more than 40 hours interviewing Arias. She says Arias had a difficult childhood and grew up with little self-esteem.

Arias faces a possible death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder in the June 2008 killing of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home.

Authorities say she planned the attack on her lover in a jealous rage. Arias initially told authorities she had nothing to do with it then said it was self-defense.

Arias says Alexander grew physically abusive prior to his death, but no evidence at trial has supported her claims.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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