Tempers flared between accused murderer Jodi Arias and prosecutor Juan Martinez today as Martinez tried to detail Arias' history of spying on her boyfriends, but Arias complained that his aggressive style of questioning made her "brain scramble."
The morning's testimony, and Martinez's points about Arias' alleged spying, were largely interrupted by the spats. Arias is accused of killing her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.
"Are you having trouble understanding me?" Martinez yelled.
"Yes because sometimes cause you go in circles," Arias answered.
"You said you were offended by Mr. Alexander's behavior, do you remember that? This just happened. How is that you are not remembering?" he asked.
"Because you are making my brain scramble,"she said.
Martinez, becoming agitated, barked back, "I'm again making your brain scramble. The problem is not you, it's the prosecutor, right?"
Martinez paced the courtroom in front of Arias asking her whether she had trouble with her memory or trouble answering truthfully.
"You don't know? You don't know what you just said? Didn't it just happen? You can't even remember what you just said?"
"I think I'm more focused on your posture, your tone, and your anger," Arias said, causing Martinez to become even angrier.
"So it's the prosecutor's fault because he is angry? You are having problems on the witness stand because of the way the prosecutor is asking the questions? So the answers depend on the style of the prosecutor? You're saying you're having trouble telling us the truth because of the way the questions are being posed," he said, gesturing with his hands.
Eventually, Arias's attorney Kirk Nurmi, who had been objecting sporadically to Martinez's questions, stood in the courtroom and told Judge Sherry Stephens that they should all approach the bench before Martinez continued. When they returned, Martinez briefly stood in different parts of the courtroom, asking Arias if she was more comfortable depending on where he stood, before moving on.
Arias, 32, is charged with murder for killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander at his home in Mesa, Ariz., in June 2008. She claims she killed him in self defense and that he had been increasingly violent and sexually demanding in the months before the confrontation. She also claimed he was interested in young boys.
The prosecution claims she killed him in a jealous rage. She could face the death penalty if convicted of first degree murder.
Martinez finally began to make his points that Arias snooped on Alexander's phone messages and Myspace messages, and had gone through an ex-boyfriend's email messages to see if they were cheating. Arias admitted that her behavior was "dishonest."
Martinez also showed that after Arias went through the messages and found evidence of cheating, she acted quickly to end the relationships with Alexander and two former boyfriends, suggesting that Arias was not under as much of Alexander's influence as she had previously testified.
"So you seem to be very assertive. You were very assertive even at age 17 or 18, you didn't waste any time when you'd been cheated on," Martinez said. "You have the ability to make the decisions necessary for yourself and even from the time you were younger, it appears you were assertive."
"It depends on how comfortable I am with the person," Arias replied.
Jodi Arias Trial See Tempers Flare
During earlier cross examination Martinez has reminded the court of numerous lies Arias told after Alexander's death and suggested that her accusations of physical abuse and Alexander's sexual inclinations were made up, too.
Martinez also played portions of an interview Arias gave to "48 Hours." In the interview, Arias explains why she was smiling and tilting her head in her mug shot taken by police after she was arrested for murder. Arias said that she knew that's what Alexander would do in that situation, that "he would just smile, would just flash that grin that he always does," and so that's what she did.
She also said the smile was partly because she "was innocent of that charge."