Accused murderer Jodi Arias was cross examined today by prosecutor Juan Martinez as she spent her eighth day on the witness stand broadcast live on HLN. The prosecutor adroitly forced Arias to discuss inconsistencies in her statements and previous testimony in an attack on her credibility Thursday in the Arizona courtroom.
Martinez challenged her loss of memory asking her how it was she could remember what coffee she drank at Starbucks years ago or what kind of sex she had with Alexander several years while she couldn't even remember what she said a few days ago on the witness stand.
Arias calmly responded, "I do have memory problems when I am under stress."
She said she felt stressed on the witness stand.
Arias has spent seven previous days on direct examination in which she explained her relationships with several men including the man Travis Alexander whom she is charged with murdering in great detail.
When it came time for her to testify about the details of the day Alexander was stabbed 27 times and shot once, her memory failed her.
But she did testify enough to possibly establish a self-defense claim Wednesday near the end of her direct examintion. Arias claimed Alexander flew into a rage on that fateful day, body-slammed her and chased her around his home.
Normally, a defendant will have to establish she was in fear of imminent, seriously bodily injury or death to walk free based on self-defense. In this case it will be up to the Arizona jury to decide whether or not they believe her version of the facts and allow her to walk out the courthouse doors a free woman.
While she had a memory failure during the time when Alexander was stabbed 27 times, his throat slit and his shooting, she did remember what happened afterwards.
The 32-year old Arias remembered putting a knife in the dishwasher and disposing of a gun in the desert as she drove away fromt he Arizona crime scene to California.
The defense is expected to call expert witnesses to testify about battered spouse sydrome or post traumatic stress syndrome and apply them to the facts in this case. If they testify in a certain way, it could support Arias self-defense claim.
Defense attorney Jennifer Willmoth told jurors on Jan. 2 during her opening remarks that, "Sadly, Travis left Jodi no other option but to defend herself."
Arias explained of memory loss as being caused by stress on the witness stand. Judging the credibility of that statement will be one of the key issues to the outcome of the trial.
Arias could be convicted of capital murder and receive the death penalty, a lesser offense and sentenced to prison time or be found not guilty by reason of self-defense.
The cross examination by Martinez is expected to continue when trial reconvenes.
On June 9, 2008 Alexander's body was found in his Mesa, Arizona home with 27 stab wounds, a slit throat and a bullethole, according to People Magazine.
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