Jodi Arias trial a media mosh pit

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by Mike Watkiss and Catherine Holland

Bio | Email | Follow: @mikewatkiss3TV

azfamily.com

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Updated Sunday, Mar 24 at 1:04 PM

PHOENIX -- Nearly three months into the bizarre murder trial of Jodi Arias, jurors have once again opened up a window into their world. For the last two days, Judge Sherry Stevens has read nearly 100 questions jurors had for Arias' defense expert, Dr. Richard Samuels.

Samuels is the $250/hour forensic psychologist who diagnosed Arias with post traumatic stress disorder, saying that Arias suffered "acute stress" and "dissociative amnesia" when she killed her lover Travis Alexander in June 2008.

Many of the jurors' questions challenged, and in some cases even seemed to mock, the credibility of that diagnosis, the credibility of Arias and of the credibility of doctor himself.

"I think the questions, in large point, are demonstrating the open, overt disdain for the doctor and his testimony," said Phoenix attorney Julio Laboy, who has been following the trial from the beginning. "I don't' think those submitting the questions think very much of him."

Laboy pointed out that Samuels based his assessments solely on information provided by Arias.

"He had collateral sources to rely on," Laboy said. "He could have interviewed people who know Travis and know Jodi, but he didn't do that."

There's also speculation about how the jury is reacting to prosecutor Juan Martinez and his methods.

"Is there that one jury member who just is put off by that over-the-top aggression?" Laboy asked rhetorically. "It might be too aggressive, too biting, too sarcastic even for someone on that jury."

Because any verdict must be unanimous, it would only take one person to hang the jury -- one person who is put off by Martinez or one who has developed sympathy for Arias.

While the facts of the case are on the prosecution's side -- solidly against Arias -- the trial has gone beyond facts, introducing an emotional component illustrated by the face-off between Arias and Martinez.

Emotions are now the variable in that courtroom. The facts are not a variable.

"It's become personal, too," Laboy agreed.

Court was in recess Friday. They are back at it Monday morning.You can watch live on azfamily.com, starting at 10 a.m.

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