A key defense witness in the Jodi Arias murder trial said that the former boyfriend whom Arias has admitted to killing in self-defense was "extremely afraid" of her shortly before the slaying.
"Isn't it true that Mr. Alexander was extremely afraid of the defendant Jodi Arias, based on her stalking behavior?" prosecutor Juan Martinez asked domestic abuse expert Alyce LaViolette in an Arizona courtroom Wednesday.
"He was afraid of her, yes," LaViolette replied.
LaViolette has been on the witness stand for the past nine days and has testified that Arias, 32, was a victim of domestic violence. Arias says she shot and repeatedly stabbed former boyfriend Travis Alexander in June 2008 at his suburban Phoenix home. Arias says Alexander, 30, attacked her and she was forced to fight for her life.
Martinez used text messages in Alexander's own words to attempt to portray Arias in a negative light. In one message, Alexander told Arias she was "evil."
"And then it ends it by saying, 'You are the worst thing that ever happened to me,' correct?" Martinez said.
"Correct," LaViolette said.
"And that is true in this case, isn't it?" Martinez prodded, before defense attorney Jennifer Willmot objected.
Martinez said Arias showed up at Alexander's home uninvited and peeked through the windows to see him with another woman after their breakup in August 2007.
Defense attorney Willmott reminded LaViolette that after the breakup, Alexander maintained contact with Arias, even inviting her to his home.
In January 2008, Willmott said Alexander told Arias he loved her in a text message.
"Is that in any way behavior that supports him being afraid of her?" Willmott asked.
"Not that I can figure out," LaViolette said.
Indeed, Willmott noted, Arias went to Alexander's home on the day of his death "at his beckoning."
"The fact that he would fall asleep and allow someone who he's supposedly afraid of to sleep next to him, is that typical behavior" of someone who is fearful? Willmott asked.
"No," LaViolette said.
Martinez and LaViolette had another heated day of testimony Tuesday when the prosecutor accused her of blindly accepting Arias' story without interviewing anyone else.
At one point during Tuesday's war of words, LaViolette told Martinez he needed to "take a time out."
LaViolette will take the witness stand again today as jurors will be allowed to ask her questions based on testimony and the 44 hours she interviewed Arias in jail.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.