Arias defense tries to discredit state witness - New York News

Arias defense tries to discredit state witness

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Janeen DeMarte & Jodi Arias in court - 4/18/13 Janeen DeMarte & Jodi Arias in court - 4/18/13
PHOENIX -

In the Jodi Arias first-degree murder trial, it was a combative day in court Thursday.

An expert witness for the prosecution faced off against a defense attorney in a tense cross-examination.

The cross-examination, beneath its veneer of civility, was grinding trench warfare featuring two foes.  One sitting on the witness stand, one standing in front of her, firing questions.

Prosecution witness clinical psychologist Janeen DeMarte clinged tenaciously to her conclusion when Arias killed Travis Alexander, she had borderline personality disorder.

But DeMarte concluded Arias was a victim of abuse.

Defense attorney: "On May 26, when Mr. Alexander is calling Ms. Arias a freaking whore, do you consider that particular word to be bad?"

DeMarte: "Yes."

Attorney: "Do you consider it to be mean?"

DeMarte: "Yes."

Attorney: "Do you consider it to be a word that cuts her down?"

DeMarte: "Yes."

Dr. DeMarte admitted Arias' psychological tests indicated a high reading for post-traumatic stress disorder, a key claim of Arias' defense.

In a testy exchange, Arias' attorney accused the prosecution expert of a selective reading of the data.

"Things like aggression, dominance and hostility were not important to you?" asked the attorney.

"Research doesn't support," replied DeMarte.

"I'm asking you to answer the question.  Please answer the question.  The fact she was low in hostility, aggression and dominance, that was not important to you?"

"I did not interpret it," answered DeMarte.

"You did not interpret it.  Thank you. Nothing further," said the attorney.

The prosecutor allowed DeMarte to re-explain what she viewed as Jodi Arias' mental disorder on redirect examination.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

 

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