Jodi Arias – Discounted Evidence

This page is for evidence or arguments that I have seen, and discounted as having little or no value, with an explanation for why I think the evidence has insufficient value and should be excluded from consideration. See Evidence Assessment for my evaluation of the evidence I find to be of value.

Behaviour after the murder

Although this created enormous prejudice against Arias, the fact is that her behaviour is only (very strong) evidence that she killed Alexander, but has no effect on the defence case, since this is admitted.
Note that attempts to conceal her movements after the killing have no significance : since that is admitted as beyond doubt.

The gas cans

As per the Defence narrative it is common to take spare gas cans when travelling in desert regions, due to the extreme conditions, and the possibility of getting lost, or not being able to find a gas station.
See “You can never have too much gas or water in the desert” ( an article giving tips on driving in the deserts of California ).
Besides, gas stations may not be open all night. And petrol in very remote locations tends to be more expensive than near big cities.
It’s also worth noting that Arias refilled the gas cans for the return trip, at the Tessoro gas station, after using them to fill up at Mesquite.
Finally, I think she might (subconciously) have been wanting to be sure she could leave Alexander’s place and make it to Utah. She had trouble leaving before.
This way, he couldn’t ask for her cash, since it was already spent on the petrol she would need to get to Salt Lake City after visiting him.

The prosecution have spent a lot of time on various gas receipts, presumably intending to show that Arias used the gas cans to conceal her movements, rather than keeping them for emergency use.
They have not proved anything at all. They have speculated that Jodi did not return a gas can she bought, from Walmart, and that a purchase of $19.95 at Tesoro was to refill it.
To the argument that for the particular trip, gas cans were not needed: it’s like putting on a seat belt – some people choose to do that as a matter of habit, you do not “overthink” safety precautions.
What, for example, if Travis had called back saying he didn’t want to see her after all?

Gas receipts
It has been suggested that the lack of receipts for gas on her trip to Mesa suggests she was trying to conceal her movements.
But of course, we only have the other receipts, because Arias is trying to cover up. She throws the “incriminating” receipts away.
There is no way to directly prove she didn’t buy gas where she says she did, and I very much doubt it can be proved indirectly.
See also Trip Pasadena to SLC

The returned gas can

From the defence site: “I wanted to comment on the WalMart return of the gas can situation. My mother was a manager at Wal Mart for many years. Until recently like the last two years or so If you returned an Item to Wal Mart and the barcode was not visible or if the tag was damaged or the barcode wouldnt scan they put in a general code for the item. So it necessarily would not show up as a gas can it would be the department it was ins number and as for the fact the receipt didn’t have a mark on it for the return maybe she could find the receipt in her purse at the time and because the item was under $15 she still would of gotten cash based on the return practices at that time.”
See also Walmart Return.

She didn’t fill up with gas on the journey to Mesa as she testified

The argument is that she couldn’t have used all the gas she did, given how much she put in on getting to Utah.
Fuel capacity of Ford Focus : 13.5gallon gas tank* 24mpg city/35mpg highway.
Intermediate stops: Desert Center (173 miles) , Buckeye (338 miles). Then Mesquite, where she puts in 12 gallons.
Google Map of journey (direct) It has been suggested that this route is too short, by about 8 gallons = 240 miles, if she filled up twice en-route to Mesa, as she testified, and also at Mesquite.
But in fact Mesquite is where she used her gas cans. There was apparently some testimony suggesting but not establishing that she bought gas*. She bought something else for $46.11 at Mesquite, not gas.
* I have not yet been able to locate this, please leave a comment if you know which day it was.
* The fuel capacity is not known with any certainty.
See Trip Pasadena to SLC which supercedes this superficial analysis

Records on the car rental

Martinez argued that the renting in Redding was not due to her reserving a car online for cheap because the statement shows that budget is the merchant but for the ticket she bought after that we see priceline is the merchant also he asked if priceline is not the merchant then how do they make money.
Possible response:
1) The defense explained : renting of a car is different than the renting of an air ticket the fact that the transaction for the car shows on the day she returned it unlike on the air ticket it’s reflected on the day she booked it is suggesting different business practice between these industries and that is common practice and personal experience and we don’t know what deal Priceline might have with their dealers and how they make money.
2) She did not say it was Priceline she said it was such a company but don’t remember what company we cannot learn a business practice from one company to the other.
3) She might have just looked it up for pricing and then go directly to the dealer himself (although she entered reservation on the website it might not have linked up with the dealer).

Arias asked for her car to be changed because it was red

Arias apparently believed that red cars are more likely to be pulled over by the police ( this is in fact not true, it’s an urban myth ).
But it is quite natural to want to avoid getting a speeding ticket, especially with the financial problems Jodi had.
Therefore I consider this to have no value.

Arias turned off her mobile phone

Very weak. She testified she couldn’t find her charger. Why would she switch it on before she is on her “alibi” route?
In fact the whole idea that she could permanently conceal her trip to Mesa is ridiculous.
Her multiple phone calls to Alexander, lack of evidence she was elsewhere, and Alexander’s friends would always make her a prime suspect.
So the whole idea that she could gain any advantage by the alleged actions before the murder just doesn’t work. It’s not logical.

The rear number plate of Arias’ car was upside down when she got to Utah

I confess to not entirely understanding the point here. Is it meant to be an attempt to defeat automatic number plate recognition software?
Wouldn’t such software be able to detect an upside down plate?
Wouldn’t having a number plate upside down attract the attention of the police? ( as in fact happened )
And why only the rear plate and not the front plate?
This is certainly an odd event, but it does not seem to be logical if she is trying to conceal her movement.
She provides a plausible account of how it happened – a group of skaters ran off laughing after she returned to her car after she stopped at a fast food place.
Finally it is not evidence of premeditation – she could have done it afterwards ( and since it seems crazy, this is perhaps more plausible ).
See also here re the question of skateboarders carrying screwdrivers.
and ]

The bullet casing is on top of some blood

The prosecution suggests this supports their narrative that the gun was not fired first. But it’s very weak : the cartridge casing may have moved to that location later, or the blood may have pooled around it.

The gun shot would have incapacitated Alexander “immediately”

The evidence of Horn on this point is a very complex sub-plot, see Prosecution misconduct .
This indicates that Horn “adjusted” his testimony to fit the change in the prosecutions case.
Horn is non-specific about how rapidly Alexander would be incapacitated.
When Martinez asks “immediately” he responds “rapidly, yes“.

Even if we accept the dubious testimony of Horn on this point, we cannot attach weight to this subjective opinion.
“Rapidly” could be 30 or 40 seconds, Horn is not specific.
Arias herself makes this point with great humour ( about 25 minutes in ). during cross-examination.
She asks Martinez “Immediately as in four days later?” And Martinez responds, “Yes, immediately as in four days later“.
Point made Jodi, well done!
Therefore Horn’s opinion on this has very little value. Besides, the blood spatter evidence in the basin shows that Alexander was alive after he was shot.

A few minutes further on, “very quickly” is actually four months! ( the time to arrange a date with Ryan Burns ).

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”
Richard P. Feynman

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