Jodi Arias Domestic Violence Expert Alyce LaViolette To Resume Testimony

David Lohr

April 2, 2013

The Jodi Arias murder trial resumes Tuesday in Arizona with testimony from a domestic violence expert the defense has called to show Travis Alexander abused Arias in the months leading up to his brutal slaying.

Defense lawyers say Arias was physically and emotionally battered by Alexander and feared for her life when she shot him, stabbed him nearly 30 times, and cut his throat from ear to ear in his Mesa, Ariz., home on June 4, 2008.

Prosecutors say Arias killed Alexander in a jealous rage.

Psychotherapist Alyce LaViolette has spent three days on the witness stand detailing her experience working with victims of domestic violence. LaViolette initially testified in general about abusive relations. Then, on Thursday, she finally began to offer her expert opinion on the dynamic of Alexander and Arias’ on-again-off-again relationship.

The trial resumes Tuesday after a four-day hiatus, due in part to the Easter holiday.

Arias’ defense team may have scored its first big win when LaViolette testified about previously undisclosed emails from Travis Alexander’s close friends that she claims indicate he had a history of being abusive.

“They have basically advised Ms. Arias to move on from the relationship … that Mr. Alexander has been abusive to women.” LaViolette testified.

LaViolette was not allowed to quote from the emails and they were not shown to the jury, but she was allowed to paraphrase the content and offer her opinion on it.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez objected to much of the defense expert’s testimony, calling it was hearsay. However, the judge overruled the majority of the objections.

The trial is set to resume at about 12:30 p.m. Eastern time with LaViolette on the witness stand.