This is a page about the Walmart return. To see why it is important, see Closing Arguments.
- In 2008, there was just one Walmart in Salinas, store #2458, located at N. Davis
- Jodi bought a kerosene can in the main store, went to Starbucks, then returned it to the “Walmart Tire and Lube” sub-store.
- On July 10, 2010, the main store relocated to N. Main Street, still store #2458. See“Community of Salinas Welcomes New Walmart”
- But, the Tire and Lube Express part of the store did not relocate. See “Google search for “Walmart Tire and Lube Salinas” which only gives N. Davis location.
- Some time later the N. Davis store reopened, as store #5751. (as per Walmart store finder) See also“Walmart: Westridge store to reopen in fall”
- The tills of the Tire and Lube Express would have been reprogrammed with store #5751.
Those are the tills that need to be checked to find the kerosene can return. These are electronic, computer records, not records on paper.
Amanda Webb listed all the tills for store #2458. But the till that Jodi used could now be listed under store #5751.
Or perhaps that till has been scrapped for some reason.
Note: there are other possibilities, along similar lines, but this is one plausible explanation.
Also note that none of these facts were known to the jury, due to the evidence being introduced with little warning mid-trial, giving the defense insufficient time to respond.
An attentive jury might have noticed that the can was a kerosene can not a gas can, otherwise they could have had little clue as to why this “evidence” was bogus.
Not many people would realise what is wrong with Martinez’ “evidence”, they think computer records are “infallible”. In practice many things can and do go wrong, especially when stores relocate or are re-organised.
(1) In 2008 Walmart store #2458 was located at N. Davis.
(2) In July 2010 this store relocated to N. Main, retaining the same store #2458.
(3) The building at N. Davis re-opened later after being closed or partially closed for some time, as Walmart store #5751.
(4) The building at N. Davis has a “Tyre and Lube” sub-store.
(5) The building at N. Main does not have a “Tyre and Lube” sub-store.
Ok, so we can say that the “Tyre and Lube” sub-store did not relocate.
So, perhaps it remained open, or perhaps it closed for a while and then re-opened, nobody knows.
What happened to the tills that did not relocate? Nobody knows.
Could one of those tills have been the till where Jodi returned the Kerosene can? Yes, quite possibly, nobody knows.
What happened to the computer records for the tills that did not relocate? Nobody knows.
Could the records have simply been re-filed under store #5751? Yes, quite possibly. Nobody knows.
Could all sorts of other irregularities have occurred that we can only speculate about? Yes, nobody knows.
So there are “holes” in Martinez’ “proof” that Jodi did not return the kerosene can on June 3, and get a cash refund.
Thus the evidence from the Walmart lady (who is doubtless quite honest) is worthless, and in fact misleading.
JM: How many cash registers were there back on June 3, 2008 at Walmart?
AW: There was, I believe, 25 on the front end, then there’s a few outlying registers, like sporting goods and electronics, so I would say 27/28 maybe 30.
She doesn’t even know that Walmart store #2458 was located at North Davis in 2008!
She says “I believe”. She doesn’t KNOW. She gives a rough estimate.
She checks the registers that are NOW in store #2458. But these can be different to the registers that were in store #2458 back in 2008.
She has no idea that some of the registers in 2008 are now associated with store #5751.
Amanda Webb testified she had worked at N. Main Street store, Salinas.for 5 months, and 5 years for Walmart.
The receipt shows “5G KERO CARB” purchase for $12.96. Product code is 004454931777.
There is a small mark just above and to the left of where the receipt says “# ITEMS SOLD 5”.
Manager John Begue. Store 2458.
The cash register records of the tills at N. Main Street store also show store 2458.
Partial defence narrative:
It was a blue kerosene can, not a red gas can.
That’s why she returned it.
Jodi returned a blue kerosene can and got cash.
Unclear if these are relevant:
A dummy SKU was used ( Walmart policy has changed on dummy SKUs ).
Webb didn’t check for Kerosene can returns.
See here and here for views of where Tyre and Lube is located, at N. Davis. ( Alt screenshot )
Also note this overhead view of N. Main which does not show any signs of a Tyre and Lube sub-store ( there is a marker, but I think this is just a reference to the N. Davis store ).
Notes: from http://www.ehow.com/list_6973444_regulations-transport-fuel-cans.html
“Legal PFCs must conform to a standard color regulation. Gasoline containers are red, diesel containers are yellow and kerosene containers are blue. The spout must have stamped lettering embossed on it labeling the fuel type of the container in a large 34-point, Arial or other easy-to-read font.”
“Fuel containers are designed to have an easy-to-recognize appearance. Fuel must not be transported in any container that does not meet the required standards, is not made specifically for the purpose of transporting fuel, and is not the proper color for the fuel type.”
Testimony – she returned the kerosene can Wednesday, Mar 7, Day 29, Follow-up Juror questions ( 41 minutes in )
Testimony on why three transactions at ARCO Mar 7, Day 29 – Part 1, Juror question
Testimony on hypothetical filling third can at ARCO Mar 7, Day 29 – Part 1, Juror question
Testimony why would you ask a hypothetical about the third canl Mar 7, Day 29 – Part 1, Juror question
Testimony on Walmart, Martinez says Walmart do not have a record. Thursday, March 7th, Day 29, follow-up to juror’s question. (ToDo: which juror question?)
On 8th March, Martinez supplements the witness list, dated October 14th, 2008, with additional witnesses Amanda Webb (Walmart) and Chelsey Young (Tessoro ).
On April 23, there is Amanda Webb testimony.
Here is the testimony: ( Final testimony by Jodi on this – ToDo : find source )
M: Uh Ma’am, the other thing that you told us with regard to these gas cans is that you purchased one in Salinas, California, right?
M: Five gallon gas can, right?
M: And then you purchased this um gas can in Salinas, and you said after a short period of time (well you didn’t say a period of time) but you said that you returned it back to the store in the Walmart in Salinas, right?
JA: That’s correct.
M: And it’s the same store that you bought it from right?
M: Because it was in the, probably because it was in the same general vicinity, right?
Nurmi closing argument on the receipt
Then there’s this theory, this receipt that’s been bandied about this is evidence that Jodi Arias lied to you right? That’s what the state says. She lied on the stand, the light of truth..
and we’ll talk about shining the light of truth on some people involved in this trial later..
But.. she doesn’t throw it away, and she says she returned the item.
Did she ever say she returned it to the exact same Walmart?
You can go back to your memory. She was in Pasadena, she was in different places… [indistinct]…
but the state says “oh, we checked all the registers at this Salinas, at this Walmart.
Did they check the others? Do they know? Who knows?
But again, set up a house of cards, knock it down and call her a liar.
An additional meta-thought: if she wanted to conceal her purchase of this gas can, why didn’t she throw the receipt away?
Nurmi closing argument re why didn’t she throw it away
But here’s the other thing that doesn’t make any sense. She buys this extra gas can right… And here she is with this receipt
Well I don’t know about you ladies and gentlemen but I’ve never been to a Walmart that doesn’t have a garbage can. Why does this SMART woman, why wouldn’t she just take this receipt and drop it right in the garbage can. I don’t want anyone to know I bought this gas can, because I’m on a covert mission.
She didn’t do that did she? It doesn’t make any sense.
Another meta-thought : She is smart. If she was lying at trial, she could have said she accidentally left it under a table at the Starbucks say. No way to disprove that.
- Trip Pasadena to SLC
- Motion to Compel Business Records from Walmart & Tesoro: 3/12/2013
- http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/20/4053055/man-accused-of-stealing-600000.html Not directly relevant, but gives an idea of how chaotic security on Walmart refunds is/was.