Jodi Arias Demands Previously Undisclosed Reports on Police Probe of Victim's Laptop
Jodi Arias yawns in a December pool photograph from the penalty-phase trial.
Jodi Arias accuses her prosecutor of lying and demands the immediate release of forensic reports related to her victim's laptop in a court motion filed on Wednesday.
As we reported in early November, the sordid Arias saga took another turn for the bizarre when accusations of police mishandling of evidence arose during the penalty-phase trial.
Now, Arias and her court-appointed defense team are asking Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens to order the prosecution to "make available to the defendant any and all forensic reports generated by any member of the Mesa Police Department and/or anyone working on their behalf whose work is related [to the laptop]."
See also: -Jodi Arias Claims That Cops Deleted Travis Alexander's Porn Files, Ruining Her Credibility -Psycho Killer: Jodi Arias' Kinky Death-Penalty Trial Following a sensational, televised trial that became an obsession for uncounted TV watchers and computers users, the former waitress was convicted in May 2013 of slaying ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. Cable news network HLN bragged that 2.5 million people tuned in to its broadcast of Arias taking the stand to plead for her life.
But the jury in that case couldn't decide whether to order the execution of Arias, who'd they come to know (very) intimately following weeks of testimony, or put her behind bars for life. A new jury was selected and a new trial scheduled to determine the killer's punishment, though Stephens banned live TV coverage this time around.
The fresh jury's been getting a fast-tracked version of the lurid crime, interrupted by unexpected developments that have become expected in this case. In October, two jurors were kicked off the trial, including one who asked freelance journalist Beth Karas if she was Nancy Grace.
The issue of Alexander's computer files, and whether any were deleted, became the subject of three hearings through mid-December after a November motion by Arias that accused the prosecution of portraying her unfairly as a liar. Arias claims that pornography -- and/or links to and search terms for pornography -- had resided on the laptop of murdered Mesa businessman Travis Alexander, but were deleted by police.
Travis Alexander in the shower, seconds before Arias began her brutal attack.
She asserts that the alleged porn relates to why she slit Alexander's throat, stabbed him a couple-dozen times and shot him in June 2008, relating it back to the idea -- raised in the first trial -- that she and Alexander had been having spats over his obsession with child pornography.
That obsession, trial observers noted at the time, seems to be imaginary -- just another ridiculous and offensive lie from a proven, prolific liar. But if porn was on Alexander's computer, the November court motion argued, then "attacks" on Arias' credibility by the prosecution could be seen as unfounded. Plus, the deletion of evidence by police, if proven, should result in all charges being dropped, the previous motion by lawyer Kirk Nurmi states.
Wednesday's motion, also written by Nurmi, takes Maricopa County deputy county attorney Juan Martinez to task, accusing him of knowingly giving the jury false information.
During testimony in the recent hearings, the motion says, Martinez alleged that Bryan Neumeister, a computer expert hired by the defense, placed porn on a copy of the computer's hard drive. Nurmi says the bogus accusation was made even though two Mesa police investigators concluded that other copies of the hard drive contained those files.
The motion then asks Judge Stephens to compel Mesa police to release computer-forensics reports on the laptop made by two detectives, plus an additional report generated by Detective Michael Melendez, "as these reports contain exculpatory evidence."
Arias also wants to know who else, if anyone, was retained by police or prosecutors to analyze the laptop's contents.
In failing to disclose the reports of the three detectives on the laptop, the state has violated Arizona's Rules of Criminal Procedure, the motion states.
The "cure" is to compel the immediate disclosure of the reports, and Stephens should threaten the prosecutor with dismissal of all charges if he won't comply, Arias' motion says. New Times could not determine from the motion whether the reports actually exist.
The real issue, of course, is why anyone should care about Alexander's porn habits, whatever they were. Her story of self-defense still doesn't hold up.
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