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** Update 8 June 2013 **
While I continue to monitor this blog, please note I have changed to a different hosting service and therefore a new blog. If you'd like to stay current, please visit me at My Sens-iety.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Arias: The Case for Premeditation

Jodi Arias is charged with first degree premeditated murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, on June 4, 2008, at his Mesa, AZ, home.  Arias admits to killing Alexander but claims it was in self defense after Alexander attacked her for dropping his new camera.  Arias also claims Alexander had physically abused her in the past.

Note: This post has been updated to include significantly more detail than was contained in the original post.  Be aware other updates may follow.

There is no time restriction for premeditation.  A murder can be planned years in advance or it can be planned in the blink of an eye.  The question is always whether or not the accused formed an intent to kill.  It's my belief there is ample evidence to support the accusation of premeditation in this case, presented below in chronological order based on my recollection of the evidence and my notes.
  1. March 26:  Arias and Alexander have an argument via text message.  It appears Alexander is done with her, calling her a sociopath.  In addition, Alexander is planning a trip to Cancun on June 10 with another woman (Marie "Mimi" Hall).
  2. March 28: The Yreka, California, home of Arias' grandparents is burglarized.  Among the handful of items stolen is a .25 caliber handgun (the same caliber used to shoot Alexander) and a DVD player. Arias was living in the home at the time and was the last person in the house prior to the burglary.  None of the items have been recovered and the crime was never solved, although Arias was the only suspect in the case.
  3. June 2, 3:04am:  Call from Travis to Arias (831-402-1901) lasting 1,011 seconds.
  4. June 2, 3:21am:  Call from Travis to Arias (831-402-1901) lasting 2,450 seconds.
  5. June 2:  A total of fourteen calls from Arias (831-402-1901) to Travis were recorded.  The duration of most or all of these calls appear to have been short in nature.
  6. June 2, 5:39am:  Siskiyou Food Mart in Yreka, CA - Arias makes a fuel purchase of 3.334g [MC acct #2015]. Exhibit #237.002.
  7. June 2, 8:04am: Budget Rent A Car at Municipal Airport in Redding, California - Rental, Ford Focus 4-Door.  Raphael Colombo, who rented Arias the car, testified she had (at the time) blonde hair, was with a man, and requested she not be given a red car.  Terms of the rental were for local use only.  [MC #2015]  Estimated fuel tank size for this model car: 12-14g.  Exhibit #237.001.
  8. June 2, 7:32pm:  McDonalds in Lodi, CA - Food [Cash]. Exhibit #237.003.
  9. June 2, 8:41pm:  Valero - Receipt (details not in my notes) [MC #2015]. Exhibit #237.004.
  10. June 3, 7am:  Pacific Grove, CA, near Monterey - Ex-boyfriend, Darryl Brewer, testifies he loaned Arias two red 5-gallon gas cans.  She leaves his home shortly thereafter but returns at approximately 10am to return a DVD remote to Mr. Brewer.  He never asked for the gas cans back and Arias never returned them.
  11. June 3, 8:31am:  CVS Pharmacy in Pasadena - "Health Care Eligible" purchase for $6.37 [Cash]. Exhibit #237.009.
  12. June 3, 10:10-10:15am:  WaMu bank branch in Monterey, CA - Arias makes three deposits:  one deposit of $400 into account #8006 and two deposits totaling $400 into account #7148. Exhibits #237.005, 237.006, 237.007.
  13. June 3, btwn 10am & 2pm:  Arias receives a Helio phone from Gus Searcy to replace the one she claims she lost.  Searcy testifies he gave her the phone in Pasadena between those times but does not recall the precise time. My notes do not show the phone number of the Helio phone if it was ever given.
  14. June 3, 2:12 -2:28pm:  Three photos show Arias with brown hair.  Photos were recovered from the Helio phone. Exhibits #636, 637, 638.
  15. June 3, 3:22pm:  Walmart in Salinas, CA -- She uses cash to purchase a third 5-gallon gas can which she testified she returned to the same store on the same date.  A Walmart employee testified the store has no record of the return. Exhibit #237.008.
  16. June 3, 8:41pm:  Starbucks in Pasadena, CA - Receipt [MC acct #2015].  This is where Arias testified skateboarders removed her front license plate and remounted the back plate upside down. Exhibit #237.010.
  17. June 3:  Arias testified she returned the gas can to Walmart right after visiting Starbucks. Testimony Video posted by PKReport on YouTube.
  18. June 3, 8:42pm: Arco on Foothill Blvd in Pasadena - Receipt, fuel purchase of 8.301g [MC acct #2015]. Exhibit #237.011.
  19. June 3, 8:46pm: Arco (same location) - Receipt, fuel purchase of 9.594g [Cash]. Exhibit #237.012.
  20. June 3: Arco (same location) - Receipt, fuel purchase of 2.774g [Cash].  Total fuel purchase for the three Arco receipts:  20.669g.  I failed to note the precise time on this 3rd receipt. Exhibit #237.013.
  21. June 3, circa 9pm:  Arias calls Ryan Burns.  She tells him she's in Pasadena and is on her way to his house in West Jordan, Utah.  Burns estimated the drive would take her about twelve hours.
  22. The cell phone of Arias mysteriously goes dark (untrackable) before leaving California.  I'm unclear whether this applies to the original phone or to the Helio phone she received from Gus Searcy or to both.
  23. June 4, 4:08am-4:38am:  Arias arrives at the home of Alexander with badly dyed brown hair.  Alexander was still awake, watching videos on YouTube [forensic examination of his hard drive confirms activity in this time frame].  I believe this is the pivotal moment where her plan begins to fall apart -- instead of killing him in his sleep then continuing on to Utah to set up her alibi, she's forced to stay and spend time.  She has to find another way to get him into a vulnerable position without herself being equally vulnerable.
  24. June 4, 3:34pm: Last known activity detected on Alexander's laptop, a Compaq Presario, according to a forensic examiner.
  25. June 4, 5:22:24-5:32:16pm:  Photo shoot of Alexander in the shower, using his Sony camera.  Last image appears to be accidental, showing Alexander on his back and bleeding from the neck.  In the foreground is Jodi's leg and foot. Exhibit #162.
  26. June 4, after 5:32:16pm: Arias attempts a cleanup and coverup but the task must have overwhelmed her.  She leaves without completing the task, probably fearing the return of a roommate.
  27. June 4, 11:48pm: Arias leaves a voice mail on Alexander's phone.  According to cell phone records, Arias called from a location 45 miles north of Kingman, AZ, and 27 miles south of the Nevada border.
  28. June 5, prior to next item:  Arias arrives at the home of Ryan Burns in West Jordan, UT.  The two leave in separate cars to go to a meeting. Burns noted Arias had one or two fingers bandaged when she arrived but could not recall which hand.  [During interview with Det. Flores on July 15, Arias appears to be showing him healed cuts to two fingers on her left hand.]
  29. June 5, circa Noon:  Arias is stopped by West Jordan officer Michael Galetti for having her rear license plate upside down.  Arias is pleasant and tells him her friends must have played a joke on her.
  30. June 5, circa 8-8:30pm: Leslie Udy testified she rode with Jodi to Chili's and did not see any stains in the car.  Udy didn't notice whether the floor mats were missing. During the dinner, Udy's husband asked Jodi about the injuries to her fingers.  Jodi stated she cut them at work.  [Arias told Alyce LaViolette she cut them while cutting apples.]
  31. June 6, 3:57am: Tesoro on North Temple in Salt Lake City, UT - Fuel, 10.672g [MC #2015]. Exhibit #237.016.
  32. June 6, 4:01am:  Tesoro (same location) - Fuel, 5.09g [MC #2015]. Exhibit #635 (Tesoro records presented in rebuttal).
  33. June 6, 4:05am:  Tesoro (same location) - Fuel, 9.583g [MC #2015].  Total fuel purchased at Tesoro: 25.255g. Exhibit #237.017.
  34. June 6, 10:34am:  7-11 on Pyramid Way in Sparks, NV - Fuel, 5.178g [MC #2015]. Exhibit #237.020.
  35. June 6:  Flying J Travel Plaza on Winnemucca Blvd in Winnemucca, NV - Fuel, 12.175g [MC #2015].  Exhibit #237.018.
  36. June 7, 12:20pm:  Hilltop Valero on Cypress Ave in Redding - Fuel purchase $48.25 [MC #2015]. Exhibit #237.021.
  37. June 7, 1:08pm:  Ford Focus is returned to Budget in Redding, CA.  Miles used: 2,834.  Rental agent, Colombo, testifies all floor mats are missing and describes what appeared to him to be red Kool-Aid stains on the back seat and the front passenger seat.
  38. June 9: Alexander's body is discovered on June 9.  His throat has been slashed from ear to ear, he's been stabbed in the heart, has a .25 caliber gunshot wound in the head and suffers 28 other stab wounds (nine of which are to his back).  Someone wanted this man dead and suspicion immediately falls on Arias [ref. 911 call].
  39. My notes don't reflect a date, if one was given, for the purchase of a 9mm gun by Arias.  Police determined she purchased it after the death of Travis Alexander. This gun was later discovered by a Hertz employee hidden in a Chevy Cobalt during detailing.
  40. July 15: Arias is detained at the home of her grandparents in Yreka.  She was preparing to flee.  Among items seized were receipts for the "Utah Trip" from a cardboard box in Jodi's room.  Other items found during the search included two knives inside boxes of her books and 9mm ammo in her suitcase.
Even if you're inclined to dismiss this impressive collection of evidence leading up to the murder, consider the condition of Alexander's body.  I cannot imagine any way in which nine stab wounds to the back could ever be credible as self-defense.

1 comment:

  1. corrections to this post as per testimony: June 2, 2008 Jodi called Travis 4x between 1:00 am - 3:00 am with no answer.
    B. remove #13. That did not occur on June 3. Gus gave her that helio phone the day she was moving back with her Uhaul truck to Yreka and stopped off in Pasadena, it was April 3, 2008.
    c. #34: should read 10:34 pm not am.
    D. 6/6/08 @10:38 am -In/Out burgers -chb & ff for 3.37 2x.
    e. #36 is 40.25 not 48.25 ..i will ck that again.