Jodi Arias Back In Court: Update

By | October 5, 2013

Jodi Arias was back in court today. The lawyers argued over whether cameras will be allowed in the courtroom during the retrial of her sentencing. The hearing was not open to the public.

Jodi7Much of the morning discussions concerned the media’s presence. Reportedly Arias’ defense attorneys brought in a media expert to testify about the enormous media coverage her trial has received.

Jodi Arias’ lawyers are doing everything they can to prevent the retrial from being aired on television.

At least one reporter and a producer from CNN were allowed to remain in the courtroom. A lawyer from CNN reportedly spent hours arguing in favor of having the retrial on television.

It seems that CNN is not backing down.

“She has voluntarily thrust herself into the vortex of this public controversy,” the news network’s attorney, David Bodney, told the judge at a hearing Friday. “It is unfair to deprive the public … because someone can’t control her own speech.”

Judge Sherry Stephens was also supposed to rule about several other motions including: whether the defense can access the Twitter accounts of jurors, if the jury will be sequestered, and whether or not jurors can be questioned individually.

According to various media reports, there was no ruling today on any of the defense motions.

Additional oral arguments, potentially concerning the matter of media, are scheduled for November 1.

Much of the information from today’s hearing was sealed.

Monica Lindstrom, a legal commentator who regularly appears on HLN, is in favor of live coverage of the retrial but she doesn’t think that Judge Sherry Stephens will allow it:

The Judge is trying very hard to keep this trial out of the media in order to prevent tainting the future jury pool and CNN is not having it.  I do not think CNN will prevail or change the Judge’s mind because it has no dog in this fight, it is not a party, it’s life is not on the line and its family member was not murdered.  The Judge has the power to withdraw her order allowing the cameras or revise it.  In fact, I think that is exactly where she is headed.”

We know very little about what happened in today’s hearing and we may not know for some time.

36 thoughts on “Jodi Arias Back In Court: Update

  1. Don Osborne

    More evidence of this judge not asserting herself nor controlling what she is supposed to be in charge of. How much time does she need to make some rulings on these defense motions?
    The more these proceedings drag on, the more farcical the situation becomes.

    1. Tracy

      Don, you’re so right. We see judges makes rulings on motions everyday. They just do it. Why does it take her months to make a ruling on a motion! The failure to see justice served in this case is on the judge, period.

      The irony of the media coverage is Arias herself was the one who got that ball rolling. Did the DT count the number of media interactions she did in their motion, surely not. This case wouldn’t be a spectacle if she had stayed away from the cameras to begin with.

      The judge could rule to have delayed coverage until proceedings are over. However, if she rules against cameras now, it will be a prime appeal tactic for appellate lawyers later, I’m sure. By the time Nov 1st rolls around for the next closed hearing, Nurmi will have filed several more motions to keep this delayed meanwhile the current motions could have been ruled on and a retrial started.

      I don’t care what she does as long as she does something!

  2. Observer

    It’s very ironic that Jodi Arias who loves playing to the cameras doesn’t want cameras in the courtroom anymore.

    Jodi Arias loves cameras when she thinks she can use them to manipulate a potential jury and the public in general. Ever since she was arrested, Jodi Arias jumped at the chance at TV interviews when she could wear makeup, fluff her hair and try to manipulate the media and the public into believing that she was too pretty, sexy and soft spoken to be found guilty of premeditated murder or get the death penalty.

    Now it backfired and her TV interviews were used against her in court and post verdict interviews could be used against her in the re-sentencing hearing and she has to appear in court in stripes and shackles and no makeup, she is camera shy.

    Frankly, I think it may be better if there are no cameras in the courtroom. Maybe without cameras to play to, there will be less Jodi time on the stand and less sex talk and the jury can concentrate on the brutality of the crime she convicted and she will get what she deserves: a date with the executioner. I don’t care if I ever see her smug ugly mug again.

    I just want her to get the lethal injection and have her disappear from the face of this earth.

  3. Victoria

    I agree with Observer. She’s now a convicted murderer, she’s probably going to look like death warmed over after all those months of solitary so she no longer feels it’s to her advantage to have it all aired. I see no need for it to be televised. Clearly, the media wants it for ratings but if I were the judge, I would agree to no camera’s.

    As for the Twitter, anyone can follow someone on Twitter so what’s the big deal? Why does the defense have to ask for access to it? Just look up the person’s name and follow them, it’s all public. Or are they asking for passwords?

  4. Dawn

    Oh my. Now Jodi & Keystone Cop Defense are worried about the media? But would Jodi still be allowed to tweet, tweet, tweet out? Usually when a sociopath is found guilty there are limits as to who can be conned. Jodi Arias seems to have manipulated a major part of the court system. She needs a legal slap to halt her. It might start something other convicts deal with: One cannot continue to walk all over the victim’s family, prosecutor, judge, jury…

  5. Observer

    I think it will be easier to get the death penalty the second time around because Jodi Arias has already been convicted of premeditated felony first degree murder and the cruelty factor has been established.

    These new jurors will know their only job will be to vote for life or death so they will be questioned only on whether they can vote for death and it will be easier for them to know if they are up for the job. In the first trial, the four who voted against the death penalty might have thought they could vote for the death penalty but found they couldn’t after four months in the courtroom with the defendant and listening to her testify about being the victim and being used and abused for 18 days. The new jurors will only have to look at the lying sociopath for four to six weeks and be focused on the death penalty and not guilt or innocence.

    The focus for the prosecution will be on showing how Arias premeditated and cruelly stabbed Travis Alexander 29 times, slit his throat and shot him in the head to make sure he was dead and how he suffered every time the knife was thrust into his body and the focus for the defense will be proving mitigating factors. It will be interesting to see if the defense will call any of their previous defense witnesses since none of them were believed by the first jury including Jodi Arias.

    Since the other jury rejected the PTSD and fog BS and were embarrassed by the sex tape, it will be interesting to see if the defense pulls those cards again or if they try to push DeMarte’s diagnosis of borderline personality disorder for a mitigating factor and have her family members testify that she was abused as a child and how she was crying one minute and happy the next. Her family may say anything Jodi wants them to say to save her worthless life.

    Usually in the mitigation phase, the defense calls friends, family, grade school teachers, neighbors, anybody who can say the murderer had some redeeming values. Darrell Brewer and Gus Searcy may be willing to testify again. We know Patti Womack and LaViolette aren’t going to testify. Daniel Freeman, who testified for the defense in the first trial, said he wouldn’t testify in the mitigation phase because he wanted Jodi to get the death penalty. Nothing he said in the first trial helped the defense.

  6. NERN

    I tend to agree that the judge should rule against live televised coverage of this new phase. I think all the typical Arias antics will be minimalized because she does not have the cameras to play to. The sensationalism will be gone for her and then finally they can get down to business and finish this!

    I also agree that more motions will be filed as the defense team – all three of them, led by Arias – work towards what they initially wanted – a 2014 date for the trial.

  7. Observer

    Even if there are no cameras in the re-sentencing trial, it can’t be closed to the press and public once the jury is seated. So even though we can’t watch it live stream or on TV, we will know what witnesses the prosecution and defense call and what they say.

    While the last jury was debating whether she lived or died, Jodi was giving TV interviews demanding she only be filmed in full makeup and a sweater, with the stripes and shackles not showing. Only ABC showed her stripes and shackles.

    During these interviews, she made it very clear to the public that she wasn’t happy with her attorneys. She charged that they refused to put on evidence and witnesses that would prove Travis Alexander was a pedophile and physically abused her. She said her attorneys refused to enter into evidence a picture of Travis Alexander pretending to be a priest and carrying a Bible chasing a naked toddler who had streaked through the room at a PPL gathering, that they refused to call witnesses who saw her bruises and refused to call her mother and father who wanted to testify on her behalf because Nurmi told her Martinez could impeach them with their police interrogations.

    Since that interview, Nurmi and Wilmott have hardly looked at Jodi Arias and she marches past them arrogantly with her nose in the air. It is also possible that Arias has written letters to the judge complaining about her attorneys.

    It will be interesting to see if Jodi gets her way and in the re-sentencing trial, the defense tries to admit the photograph of the naked boy and the pedophile letters and if the defense calls Matthew McCartney, whom she claims saw her bruises and her mother and father. McCartney was not called to testify for either the prosecution or defense because he told the prosecution and defense attorneys in depositions that he did not see any bruises and Martinez showed copies of coded messages Jodi Arias had tried to smuggle out of court in magazines to try to convince McCartney to lie for her.

    In a pre-trial hearing in 2011, McCartney swore that copies of 10 letters to Jodi from Travis admitting he was a pedophile and physical abuser were true. After he testified, Martinez told McCartney if he testified in the trial, he would have him charged with perjury. State experts testified that the letters were forgeries. It is believed that either Arias or McCartney forged the letters. The judge refused to admit the pedophile letters because they were not originals and they were hearsay since Travis Alexander was not alive to testify whether he wrote them or not.

  8. Robin

    I think whether cameras are allowed in the courtroom again or not, Travis’ murderer will perform for her new audience, the new jurors. While she adores cameras, she loves trying to con people more, she always has. The new audience hasn’t seen her poor pitiful waif act yet and she’ll view it as the roll of a lifetime.

  9. Tracy

    Now I’m at the point where I want to step away from this case altogether. It’s a game to the defendant, she’s loving every second of it and I’m sickened by it.

    Nurmi’s new motion 10/7/13:

    “DEFENDANT’S REQUEST FOR EXTENSION AND TO THAT ALL FUTURE PLEADINGS REMAIN UNDER SEAL PRIOR TO RULING”

    So Nurmi wants everything kept top secret and would like to delay the retrial indefinitely to stall this sentencing. The previous extensions, continuances and BS motions to stall weren’t enough and it will never end. The crime is now over 5 years old and the defendant was found guilty. There should be no reason to grant the extension. The family deserves justice and an end to the victimization.

    1. NERN

      Tracy – I was unaware of this latest motion by the defense (Arias). This motion is in itself – disgraceful!
      I believe this motion is in part…..
      1. The longer there are delays, in Arias’ mind, the better chance she has at not getting the DP.
      2. Yes, she is playing a game and feels she is winning.
      3. Still trying to find SOMEONE to speak up for her.
      4. And possibly trying to show everyone she is “sick” and therefore the DP is not appropriate for her.

      She knows exactly what she is doing and loving every minute of it!

      No cameras, closed hearings and no live feed of upcoming trial……makes no difference to me AS LONG AS this gets done!

      I have supported the judge in this trial and believe she knows what she is doing as evident in the fact that the conviction of Arias was GUILTY of First Degree Felony Premeditated Murder with Extreme Cruelty. This conviction came after 5 months which included 18 nauseous days listening to Arias, countless days listening to the defense’s experts, constant sidebars, feigned illness by the defendant, outrageous and obnoxious sex tapes and appalling accusations of deviant behaviour by the victim. All of this to no avail for the defendant. A justified and correct verdict was reached.
      Having said this, if the judge seriously considers this latest motion by the defense (Arias) and incorrectly agrees to it – that is the extension – my faith in her will be damaged greatly. It is time to get this done and motions like this can be dismissed easily and quickly and should be.
      If in fact she does agree, then the defense (Arias) ended up getting exactly what they wanted in the first place following the hung jury verdict – delay the final trial ’til 2014! It is time for the judge to put the brakes on all the motions that the defense is making, rule on them immediately and set a trial date. Enough is enough.
      This is not a game as Arias believes it is. This is serious business. A man has been slaughtered, his murderer convicted and it is time to set sentence.

  10. Observer

    Frankly, I am bored with the Jodi Arias saga. I trust Martinez will keep pushing and sooner or later, the re-sentencing trial will get underway and she will be sentenced to death.

    Meanwhile, I am following a new trial of a Mormon murder which takes place in Provo, UT beginning Oct. 15.

    Martin MacNeill, a doctor and an attorney who went to medical school and law school on false credentials, is being tried on first degree murder charges for drowning and drugging his wife, Michelle, mother of his eight children in 2007. The coroner said she died of natural causes and the police didn’t investigate until her two grown daughters believed their father murdered their mother and pushed for an investigation and he was arrested in 2012 for the murder.

    It is largely a circumstantial case. Apparently, MacNeill talked his wife into having plastic surgery and talked the surgeon into giving her drugs she didn’t need. He drugged her and drowned her in the bathtub. He moved in his mistress two weeks after his wife’s death to act as nanny for the small children still living at home. MacNeill and his mistress were later charged and sent to federal prison for stealing the identity of one of MacNeill’s adopted daughters and putting the house in her name. Investigation of his background shows he was convicted of fraud as a youth and that he forged credentials to get into medical and law school. He practiced as a doctor for many years and was a Mormon Sunday School teacher before his arrest.

    http://abcnews.go.com/2020/utah-doctors-wife-victim-foul-play/story?id=12972591

    1. Don Osborne

      A most interesting case, Observer, and thank you for the link.
      Without much research into the case, the immediate question that comes to mind is why would a woman that had her looks need plastic surgery? She apparently didn’t want it, so why was the husband so insistent that she have it? Obviously the daughters believe their father murdered her, but it will be no easy task for the prosecution as homicidal drowning is extremely difficult to prove, and the use of drugs or alcohol by the deceased person heightens that difficulty.
      This should be a fascinating trial to follow.

      1. Observer

        Michele MacNeill never used drugs and alcohol. She was a 50 year old Mormon mother with eight children.The drugs she overdosed on were prescribed by a surgeon who performed the plastic surgery. He said he would never have prescribed those drugs if her husband who was a doctor had not requested them. Her husband said he told the surgeon he would administer her the drugs. Her daughter who was in medical school saw her mother was over medicated and took her off the drugs. She said her mother was happy and healthy. Twenty four hours after the daughter left to go back to medical school, her father overdosed her mother on the drugs

        1. Observer

          Drew Peterson was found guilty of the murder of his wife Kathleen who was found dead in her bathtub and like this case the medical examiner originally had termed Kathleen’s death a natural drowning.

          There was less evidence against Peterson than MacNeill. Two inmates will testify that MacNeill confessed to them that he murdered Michele while he was jailed awaiting trial. The judge hasn’t decided yet if Michelle’s daughter who was eight at the time that she found her mother in the bathtub will testify. Ada was interviewed by her older sister before a professional interviewed her.

          Ada told police that her mother was sitting up in the tub with her clothes on. MacNeill’s story changed several times, one of which said he found his wife bent over the tub with her head under water and her legs out as if she had fallen in that position. When emergency personnel arrived, Michele was naked from the waist down with just an undergarment on her top. Wet clothes and towels with blood on them were found in the garage.

          1. Don Osborne

            You don’t seem to have much doubt as to guilt here, Observer, but the prosecution will still have their problems.
            At autopsy, Michele was found to have four drugs in her system – Valium, Phenergan, Ambien and Oxycodone – and if these were prescribed to aid recovery from a rhytidectomy, it is difficult to comprehend the reason as pain or discomfort is usually slight, though there is some tenderness apparently, but this is easily treated as is any bruising or swelling. There will certainly be dispute as to who administered those drugs and why.
            The evidence of the then six year old daughter who discovered her will also be in hot dispute as it is said that she was ‘coached’ by an older sister.
            Gaolhouse ‘snitches’ should, and usually are, viewed with a great deal of suspicion and skepticism as their motives for testifying are usually connected with the opportunity for sentence reduction.
            McNeil’s 911 calls will be interesting as it is alleged that he hung up three times in five minutes in order to delay medical response, and that he lied to police about resuscitation attempts.
            The mistress is interesting, too, particularly as to how he introduced her as nanny so soon after his wife’s death, but she was not their first nanny – though it would be rare indeed for a nanny to steal the identity of one in her care. However, having a mistress is no reason to kill your wife, so there could well be other factors in play such as financial ones, but the defense is sure to maintain that the defendant may well be a fraud, but no killer.
            Much suspicion here, certainly – it will be interesting to see how the evidence plays out.

          2. Observer

            Yes, Don the evidence I have seen so far lead me to believe MacNeill is guilty.

            The plastic surgeon testified in a pre-trial hearing that he prescribed the medications even though they aren’t normally used for recovery from plastic surgery because MacNeill, who is a doctor, requested them and said he would be administering the drugs.

            According to documents in Provo’s 4th District court, MacNeill reportedly “used the surgery and recovery period to obtain the necessary drugs and set in motion the circumstances to intentionally or knowingly cause Michele’s death.”

            A nearly 60-page affidavit goes into even greater detail, suggesting that MacNeill was a serial liar with homicidal tendencies years before his wife died. The affidavit begins in 2006, when MacNeill allegedly had an affair with Anna Osborne. During the affair, MacNeill reportedly told Osborne that he previously killed his own brother, as well as some of his patients. Osborne also claimed that MacNeill had tried to kill his mother and that he wanted to kill his daughter Vanessa.

            “On Jan. 22, 2006, Anna Osborne informed her psychiatrist she was having an affair with a serial killer,” the documents state.

            The affidavit states that in 2006, MacNeill also began telling his family that he was dying. He claimed to have cancer, and later multiple sclerosis, and began rearranging his assets. He mentioned his supposedly fatal diagnoses to his family, neighbors and church congregation, the documents state, even though he knew he didn’t have those diseases.

            By 2007, MacNeill’s behavior aroused his family’s suspicions. In one section of the affidavit, investigators describe an exchange he had with his daughter Alexis Somers in Henderson, Nev. MacNeill reportedly was headed to Arizona but stopped by Somers’s home to switch cars with her. While he was inside, the documents state, Somers opened his trunk and found a woman’s suitcase filled with makeup and female clothing.

            MacNeill later angrily denied that he was having an affair, though Somers and Michele continued to find an array of evidence that MacNeill was seeing another woman.

            The documents ultimately state that at the time MacNeill was having an affair with Gypsy Willis. The affair is cited as a possible motive for the murder, and MacNeill’s attempts to hide the relationship, as well as the support he provided for Willis, are detailed at length in the affidavit.

            According to the affidavit, Michele’s surgery first came up in February 2007 when MacNeill mentioned it to Willis. The affidavit adds that Willis may even have known about the surgery before Michele herself.

            MacNeill reportedly suggested that Michele get a face lift and found her a doctor in March 2007. During the same time period Michele and Somers were becoming increasingly aware of MacNeill’s affair, though MacNeill and Michele underwent a religious sealing ceremony with their adopted daughters in an LDS temple that same month.

            Michele’s surgery happened less than a month later, on April 3. The documents add that Somers told investigators that Michele only agreed to have the surgery because MacNeill wanted her to.

            In the following days, MacNeill reportedly over-medicated Michele, then on April 11 finally gave her a “dangerous combination of drugs” including Valium, Percocet, Phenergan and Ambien. His whereabouts during some of that day also are unknown. Moreover, investigators write in the documents, MacNeill called one of his daughters that day and indicated that he had interacted with Michele, even though the drugs would have left her “unable to walk and respond appropriately to her environment.” He also made an unusual phone call from his office that morning.

            “It appears as if Martin wanted a record of him calling from his office at that time of the morning,” the affidavit explains.

            Throughout the day, MacNeill also was communicating with Willis, the affidavit alleges.

            The affidavit later includes a nearly minute-by-minute account of the events on April 11 leading up to Ada’s discovery of Michele around 11:30 a.m. In the moments following the discovery, MacNeill’s behavior was similarly suspicious. The affidavit states that he improperly performed CPR, provided authorities with the incorrect address for his own home, and finally yelled at a 911 dispatcher.

            “She stated Martin was aggressive, angry and condescending to her when she tried to help him administer CPR and hung up on her,” the affidavit states of the dispatcher who took MacNeill’s call.

            When police and paramedics finally found MacNeill’s house, they took over CPR and Michele reportedly “threw up a lot of clear liquid.” The affidavit states MacNeill continued to act “belligerent,” so the officers removed him from the home.

            Michele was eventually taken to American Fork Hospital. Throughout the ordeal, MacNeill reportedly gave odd and false statements and even offered the hospital doctor $10,000 to continue resuscitative efforts. The doctor described it as the “oddest request I have ever had doing emergency resuscitation.” Nevertheless, Michele was pronounced dead around 1:30 p.m.

            Michele’s actual cause of death remains unclear, according to the documents, though she may have died from the drugs or from drowning after being placed in a bathtub.

            The affidavit states that only eight days later, MacNeill tried to hire Gypsy Willis as a nanny. Somers subsequently accused MacNeill of having an affair, and MacNeill kicked her out of the house.

            The affidavit ultimately argues that MacNeill fell out of love with his wife years before her death. The consequences of divorce “were not a viable option” for MacNeill, the documents argue, so he decided to murder his wife.

            “This investigation shows Martin MacNeill led a life filled with contradictions, deception and manipulation,” investigator Jeff Robinson writes. “I believe it was his intention to rid himself of his family and wife, and that he (Martin) set into action a series of events leading to Michele’s death.”

            Later, MacNeill and Willis also both were convicted of fraud and identity theft. They both served time behind bars, and MacNeill was just released in July from federal prison.

    2. Victoria

      Wow, what a piece of work that man is! His daughters persistence is very admirable, without all their hard work it sounds like he may just have ridden of into the sunset with his new GF. Unbelievable how much crap he was able to get away with over the years.

      1. Don Osborne

        Observer, you have obviously completed much research into this case and have revealed much insight into it. With so many suspicious circumstances surrounding her death, it is surprising that it has taken so long for a thorough investigation and for McNeil to to be brought to account over Michele’s death.
        Thank you for drawing attention to this case and for supplying so much background information into it.

        1. Observer

          You’re welcome, Don. It took so long to arrest Dr. Martin MacNeill because 1- he was a prominent doctor and lawyer for 30 years, a devout Mormon, a husband and father of eight children and well respected in his community and 2- the autopsy report in 2007 determined Michelle died of natural causes due to cardiovascular disease.
          Their older daughters Alexis and Rachel believed their father killed their mother and began investigating him and found out he had a criminal history. In 1977, he was caught forging $35,000 in checks in California and was put on felony probation for three years. In 1978, four months after he and his wife had eloped, Martin served a six-month jail sentence for forgery, theft and fraud related to the check scheme.

          In 2009, MacNeill and his mistress, Gypsy Willis were arrested after Willis took on the identity of Jillian Giselle MacNeill and used the passport belonging to one of Martin’s adopted daughters, whom he had sent back to the Ukraine. In at least one instance, Willis used Michele’s funeral date as the date of her supposed marriage to MacNeill. The house was in Michele’s name and after her death, MacNeill who also was an attorney didn’t tell the court Michelle was dead and Willis posing as Michelle changed the name on the house to the daughter whom she was posing as. Prosecutors say they were planning on selling the house and running off together. MacNeill and Willis both pleaded guilty to identity fraud, among other charges. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison and she was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 36 months probation. According to Michele’s family members, the jacket Gypsy wore at her sentencing hearing on May 17, 2011, belonged to Michele.

          In 2010, at the urging of her children, there was a new analysis of a toxicology report .It concluded that combinations of medications found in Michele MacNeill’s system were determined to have contributed to her death. Diazepam, Oxycodone, Promethazine and Zolpidem were all found in her system. Although none of the drugs alone was at toxic levels, Dr. Todd Grey, chief medical examiner of the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office, determined that, in combination, the drugs could have led to sedation and heart arrhythmia, resulting in cardiac death.

          On October 6, 2010, Michele MacNeill’s cause of death was changed to “combined effects of heart disease and drug toxicity.” The manner of death was changed from natural to undetermined. After the police opened the investigation, they focused on MacNeill and he was arrested in July 2012, after he was released from federal prison.

          Juror selection will begin tomorrow. Three of the prosecution’s witnesses will be Alexis Somers and Rachel MacNeill, the defendant’s daughters, and Gypsy Willis, his mistress.

          Alexis, 30, is a medical doctor. When Alexis was home on spring break from medical school, she took care of her mother after her facelift, in the days just before her death. According to Alexis, leading up to her mother’s death, MacNeill had become more verbally and mentally abusive toward Michele and often threatened to leave the family. During a preliminary hearing, Alexis said she remembers MacNeill saying he no longer loved Michele and didn’t want their adopted daughters anymore. Just days before Michele’s death, on April 5, 2007, Alexis told investigators her mother told her, “If anything happens to me make sure it wasn’t your dad.” The judge has ruled she cannot testify to that at the trial. On April 10, Alexis returned to Las Vegas, where she was attending medical school. The next day, she received a voicemail from MacNeill saying Michele wouldn’t stay in bed. Alexis was in class and didn’t hear the message until later. She said she tried calling her mom multiple times and her dad finally picked up and said he found Michele in the bathtub and that police had been called.

          According to a search warrant affidavit, Martin MacNeill began an affair with Gypsy Willis in April 2004. In July 2004, Willis”s roommates told police she wanted to “get rid” of MacNeill’s wife, mentioning cutting brake lines and giving undetectable medications. Willis testified during a preliminary hearing that she and MacNeill met in an online chat room in 2005. She claims they met for the first time for lunch in November 2005, and by January 2006, the relationship became sexual. In 2007, between April 7 and April 9, just days before Michele’s death, MacNeill and Willis exchanged 32 text messages. On April 17, 2007, MacNeill told his children he needed a nanny to help with the younger kids. He asked his daughter Rachel to go with him to pray about a nanny. Just outside the temple, Willis — whom MacNeill pretended not to know at first — began talking to Rachel and Alexis. MacNeill later announced Willis as the family’s new nanny, and she moved into the family home two weeks after Michelle’s death. Rachel and Alexis said Willis never took care of the children or cleaned the house and Rachel was kicked out after she discovered Willis was his mistress.

  11. Uppity

    OT I know, but very disturbing. Did you folks see the story about the 12 year old boy who was convicted of planning the murder of an 11 year old classmate? He had a .45 caliber pistol and a knife with him on the bus. He only got caught because he was bragging about his knife and showed it. A 6th grader reported it.

    The most disturbing part of this is the testimony of the psychologist who talked to him that day. He said he wanted to kill the girl because she was “Really Annoying”.

  12. Don Osborne

    Incredible, Uppity, and certainly very disturbing. This boy is a disaster waiting to happen and is in need of much help.
    How do kids of this age have access to weapons such as these? Someone bears much responsibility for this and should be held accountable, surely.

    1. Uppity

      Worse yet, Don….the kid thinks being “really annoyed” by someone is a great reason to kill the person. This is one sick puppy. He’ll do a stint in the Juvenile system and then be free to work on more advanced plans for people who “annoy” him. There was a gun in my house when I grew up. I never thought of hauling it to school and killing some kid I didn’t like.

      1. Don Osborne

        Uppity, you have touched on what is probably the greatest problem of the system – the juvenile offender and what to do with him, as you as an ex-teacher would be well aware of.
        You say that “he’ll do a stint in the juvenile system” – what does that entail over there these days? I’ve lost track of what is being done here in Australia in recent times, but it mainly seems to be that they are sentenced to various periods of ‘community service’ which, I suppose, is an improvement on the previous ‘solution’ of sentencing them to time in Boys Homes which were simply places where they could congregate and further their education in criminal practice – mere stepping stones to prison. Such institutions just commenced the criminal cycle for many a delinquent to become a hardened criminal – with little, if any, provision of any form of rehabilitation. Eventually, these places were recognised as the failures that they were but, of course, the problem is ongoing. However, a custodial sentence is a sentence of last resort now and the community-based order is the preferred option.
        I read in the paper only this morning that in Britain a 10 year old boy has been arrested over the death of a 79 year old man who was found with a head injury in Leeds. No other details have yet been published.

        1. Uppity

          Don, the JD system here is pretty touchy-feely and, like where you are, just taps them on the wrist and then releases them to advance their……uh……’careers’.

          We are also not tough enough on animal abusers. There are horrific stories and those kids are simply killers in training. It’s been a known fact for a long time that animal abuse is a very serious sign, yet we continue to treat it as a relatively minor offense while the abusing children are violent criminals in-training. We also are woefully inadequate in dealing with mental health problems. Nearly every single mass killing in the USA yields a perpetrator who had plenty of signs and were either protected or ignored by the ‘system’. They have to murder someone for the rest of society to be protected from them. Our system has precious little interest in their victims as well. You could witness that by watching the Arias case. Poor Jodi and Travis be-damned.

          1. Don Osborne

            Well, we share total commonality, Uppity, and you have identified the problems of the system accurately. The community as a whole and the victim in particular seem to get lost in the rush to protect the ‘rights’ of the perpetrator. As you have correctly pointed out, there is no clearer illustration of this than is the on-going farce of the Arias case where justice for the victim appears to be taking a back seat, whereas it should be front and centre. I am still appalled at the way the victim was slaughtered for a second time – and in a court of law!!!

  13. Tracy

    I’m also bored with the Arias saga. She knows the spotlight is dimming and has to keep the supporters entertained so she starts sending out blog posts and tweets. I hope they don’t allow media next time around, it’s a pile of frustration and I just want to see it over with.

    I’ve also been following the MacNeill case. When all the evidence and testimony comes out, I think the jury will convict him. There’s so much to this case that can’t be summed up in one news article. You have to know the history, listen to the 911 tapes, hear the witnesses to understand and Observer, you have done a great job laying the foundation here. The judge has yet to rule on whether the younger sister will testify but if she does I think it will be very important testimony. They are expecting two of the sisters to be the prosecution’s star witnesses. MacNeill was released from a Texas prison in July 2012 (after serving 3 years for fraud) then charged with murder in Sept. 2012. I think it’s a strong case as long as the jurors can put two and two together.

    1. Don Osborne

      Yes, Tracy, it is not difficult to feel frustrated over the progress – or rather the seemingly lack of progress – in the Arias case. Let’s hope for some action soon to bring about resolution to it .
      One thing that continues to worry me about Arias that I have contemplated all along about this monster is that somebody who plans and executes a sadistic murder in the manner that she did, is rarely a ‘one-off’ offender. It was the method by which she carried out the killing that compels you to wonder whether indeed this was her first and only attack. I’d very much doubt it as it usually takes a practiced killer to torture and then cut the throat of the victim as she did.
      I greatly suspect this was not her first kill.

      1. NERN

        Don – I have no idea if this was her first slaughter but I do believe that if she was ever out in the free world again, it wouldn’t be her last.

        1. Don Osborne

          With every good reason, Dawn – that ‘chilling, darting glare’ you described in another post would frighten the hell out of you. She is the personification of evil.

      2. Uppity

        I’ve thought for a long time that this might not be her first kill. What she did to Travis doesn’t seem to phase her at all.

        1. Uppity

          ……….In fact, what she did to Travis not only seems not to phase her, but I detect a bit of glee in her face and demeanor.

        2. Dawn

          And…I know this might over-the-top, but it has been on my mind since the beginning of the trial. Jodi’s relationship with Bobby Juarez, the vampire hunter. It is said he had knives, swords, & knew how to use them. “Vampire” was a “fad” in the 1990’s when they were together. A proliferation of vampire novels & people drinking blood. This was also the time Jodi took up the so-called “harmless” witchcraft, “Wicca.” And they did cocaine together. So, a lot of stuff here one could pull together for some activities, tied in with using cocaine. And possibly using animals.

      3. Tracy

        Don, yes I’ve too contemplated that exact thought. It was well planned and executed and seemingly second nature to her. Not to mention the ensuing lying, lack of remorse and justification came very naturally. One thing is for certain, she had her next murder planned out as she was on her way out of town with the murder weapons conveniently stashed in the car. Chilling thought!

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