Jodi Arias Trial: Dr. Jill Hayes, Last Witness For The Prosecution

Dr. Hayes was by far the strongest witness in the entirety of the Jodi Arias trial. She was unyielding, unmovable, intelligent and charming. If I had to describe her in one word it would be “disarming.”

Dr Jill Hayes

She used her southern charm, her country girl persona, to completely repel and dismiss every attempted attack by the not-so-charming, Jennifer Willmott. Jennifer was up to her old tricks. She tried her best to diminish Dr. Hayes in the eyes of the jury but it was all to no avail.

When defense attorney Jennifer Willmott tried to get Dr. Hayes to agree that the summation tables were important and that the directions for the test gave instructions on how to prepare summation tables, Dr. Hayes disagreed. She more than disagreed she told Jennifer that she, Jennifer, was completely wrong.

Jennifer didn’t like that answer, not even a little bit. She sarcastically said to Dr. Hayes, “oh so you think there are no instructions on preparing the summation tables? Dr. Hayes replied, “yes that is correct there are no directions for preparing summary tables.”

Dr. Hayes, then went on to say that she had called the psychological resource center, which is responsible for selling and distributing the test, spoke to them and was told that the summation tables were unnecessary and were only generated by computer scoring.

Again with feigned shock, Jennifer Willmott said “oh so you didn’t know whether or not you were supposed to use the summation tables?” She said it as if Dr. Hayes was obviously a fool and an idiot, like even a defense attorney knows you are supposed to use the summary tables, duh!

Once again, Dr Hayes had the masterful last word. “I knew that they were not of value but this is a capital murder case and I wanted to be completely sure.” Jennifer was mired in her own ineptitude. It was a capital case, Jodi’s life is on the line. How could she criticize Dr. Hayes for wanting to be completely sure? Should she even go there? She chose to move on.

Remember that the summation tables are just a convenient summary of the information that is already readily available in the test results.

Defense attorney Jennifer Willmott had hit a brick wall. She was wrong, completely wrong and now the jury had just seen just how wrong she was. This was a rather large point because the summary tables had been used in an attempt to discredit Dr. DeMarte.

The defense’s point was “Dr. DeMarte is no good because she didn’t prepare the summary tables.” Now keep in mind, that there is absolutely no new information available in the summary tables. There was no reason to prepare the summary tables and no benefit from having done so but the defense team had tried more deceptive sleight of hand in an attempt to fool the jury.

Attorney Willmott was forced to move on. If you re-watch this part of the video, you will see that Jennifer Willmott was surprised and had no idea how to save herself.

She then went on to the post-traumatic stress test, you know the one where Jodi lied about the trauma. This is the one where Jodi says that she had been attacked by a male and female ninja. That was Jodi’s lie du jour when she took the test so she maintained the deception when answering questions at the beginning of the exam about the seminal traumatic event.

Of course she would later change to yet a different lie. No ninjas anymore. Now it would be self-defense against the woman-beating-pedophile.

But don’t forget she took this test long ago while she was still holding firm to her ninja lie. Dr. Hayes did something that no other prosecution witness could do, she made it clear why the test would be invalid and was invalid because Jodi lied about the seminal traumatic event.

Jennifer Willmott’s position was that it really didn’t matter that Jodi lied because traumatic stress is traumatic stress, whether it came from a tiger or a bear. But Dr. Hayes, made something very clear, something that even Juan Martinez had not been able to sufficiently bring across.

Now also remember that every question after question 14 (the one where the traumatic event that supposedly produced trauma is specified) is self-report. In other words it just asks you, “do you have bad dreams? How bad are they on the scale of 0 to 3.”

The answers that the test-taker reports, are added up and the total is compared to a cutoff point. If they add up to enough, bingo, you have post-traumatic stress disorder. And that’s, Jennifer Willmott’s whole point. She’s saying “hey if the score is high enough, you sure qualify for post-traumatic stress.”

Well of course Jennifer’s point is disingenuous, in fact it’s misleading and deceptive.

But here’s the point that Juan had been trying to bring across and the one that Dr. Hayes made crystal clear. If you know someone was deliberately deceptive in the first part of the test, then it is quite reasonable to conclude that they are very likely to be deceptive in the rest of the test.

She lied about there being two strangers who attacked her. Why did she lie about that when taking a test about post-traumatic stress? She lied on the test so that she would be consistent with the lies that she was telling everybody else, that there were two ninjas. In other words, she didn’t care about the test, or the need to be honest.

There is an underlying assumption behind every one of these types of tests and that assumption is that the test-taker is not lying. After all, you are coming for help, coming to a professional and they are using a test to try and find out what’s wrong with you, so that they can best help you.

It’s the same assumption that your PCP has when you make an appointment. The assumption is, you want help and what you are telling him or her is the truth. After all, why would you go to the doctor and lie to him if you want to his help?

People do lie to their PCPs, when they are not injured but are attempting to get money from an insurance company or to get more time off from work. If there is secondary gain, even your trusted PCP may become suspicious.

There’s no doubt that Jodi Arias lied at the beginning of the post-traumatic stress test. She admitted it. Can we, or Dr. Samuels, or Dr. DeMarte or Dr. Hayes, safely assume that she would not and did not lie on the second part of the test? No of course not. But what we can safely assume is that Jodi Arias felt no need to be honest on the first half of the test. She felt no need to be honest because she would benefit greatly by being diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress. She needed and to this day, needs us to believe that she has post-traumatic stress because without post-traumatic stress there is absolutely no explanation for her excessive mutilation of Travis. One simply does not cut another person’s throat in self-defense. You don’t stab someone 29 times in self-defense.

If you have terrible fears and demons swirling through your head and someone pushes the wrong button, then you might go a little crazy and cut someone’s throat and stab them 29 times. That’s the post-traumatic stress defense. That’s why it’s so important for Jodi’s defense team to get the jury to buy the big lie about post-traumatic stress.

Dr. Hayes was the last witness for the prosecution and the best. Not the best of the last but the best of the entire trial. Dr. Hayes made it clear that it was only common sense that if someone lies at the beginning of the test then you have to assume that they’ve lied on the rest of the test and thus the test results are invalid.

With disarming Southern charm, Dr. Hayes met the advancing charge of Jennifer Willmott, defeated her every move and sent her packing.

If you live in the North you should be glad that there weren’t any female confederate generals in the Civil War. If ya’ll live in the South, I bet you wish there had been.

32 thoughts on “Jodi Arias Trial: Dr. Jill Hayes, Last Witness For The Prosecution

  1. And please, don’t forget the excellent inadvertent comic relief provided by Dr. Hayes:

    As Jennie asked a new question, Dr. Hayes responded “Are we moving away from lyin, tigers, and bears?”

    Oh my. It was priceless

  2. Great summary of Dr. Hayes superb testimony. It has been deeply disturbing to watch Jennifer Willmott’s petty and nasty attacks on Dr. DeMarte, Dr. Hayes and the Medical Examiner Dr. Kevin Horn. Would love your comments on the defense attorneys’ ethics from a psychological point of view.

  3. I don’t know much about these tests but it’s baffling to think any professional would claim that lying about the specifics of the traumatic event is no big deal. Travis was someone Jodi knew, had been intimate with and taken many trips with…the ninja’s would have been complete strangers. In my uneducated opinion, that would make a huge difference! The trauma of being attacked by a loved and trusted person vs. being attacked by complete strangers is night and day to me.

    I didn’t see Dr. Hayes testimony but I’m going to look for it on youtube, I’ve heard from many people that she was great!

  4. This article is as outstanding as Dr. Hayes was as a rebuttal witness! Let’s all hope this jury was lucid enough to have understood her great points.

    Also, I do agree with the fact that the defense team, both Jennifer Willmott, as well as Kirk Nurmi were very deceptive throughout the trial. I thought it was stooping very low to use reverse psychology to ridicule the prosecution’s case as “a house of cards” when in fact the evidence is overwhelming. I doubt many other homocide cases have to be fought with much less data than Juan Martinez had.

    Finally, to insinuate that Juan simply brought up an illogical “covert mission” story is laughable since he clearly proved that there was no trace of receipts of her in Arizona and her cell phone “conveniently turned off” until after crossing into Nevada, it seems almost offensive.

    Yet, since the defense so clearly called on that one juror or wildcard to stand their ground without compromise, I’m worried we may still face the risk of a hung jury or a lower charge. Then this psychopath, Jodi Arias, will walk among us again in a few years and I fear she will kill again, too. The stakes are very high and it scares me.

    • Through all this testimony, these months of witnesses, arguing, lying…If the Defense had wanted their client to be believable, they should have told her to act as if she really cared about Travis. When telling her story, both in court and on her 48 hours interviews, she didn’t shed a tear, only crying when testimony was about HER. Travis’s ex-girlfriends and some of his male friends cried when talking about him…they all loved him and cared about him and feel the loss of his personality. Chris Hughes told of one incident where Travis saw a homeless man, took him to his house, gave him a chance to take a bath and clean up, gave the man some of Travis’s own clothes, and took him to a store and got him a job; Chris said this was typical of the man Travis was…I even cried, and I didn’t know Travis, but Jodi Arias did not cry one honest tear in compassion for Travis or his family.

  5. I thought the PTSD diagnosis was used to explain the “global amnesia” aka “memory loss” aka “the fog,” not to explain the overkill per se…?

    • You are absolutely right. I have been stomping my feet for days. During testimony, the claim was that PTSD was the explanation for her “fog” to make it *OK* that she doesn’t remember the part of this crime that makes it heinous and worthy of the death penalty. It was also linked to the actual murder, not her past. Yet in closing, Nurmi claimed that the extensive abuse (apparently 4 alleged attacks over 2 years is extensive) that JA endured at the hands of TA is what caused her PTSD. So which is it???

  6. Dr. Hayes was an excellent expert for the prosecution. She was calm,cool, and confident. I believe that defense attorneys lose more credibility with the jury than they think,when they try to discredit these types
    of experts. This made Willmott look desperate and childish. Dr. Hayes and Dr. DeMarte looked like the adults in the room. Why didn’t the defense team hire these types of experts for their evaluations? I guess the answer is, they wouldn’t have liked the honest results.

  7. EXACTLY-smart reputable honest doctors like Mr Martinez’s 2 witnesses wouldn’t go on the stand and lie for the defense.
    the defense got 2 money hungry dishonest so called doctors to lie for them.

  8. I agree that traumas are different. The whole bear/tiger trauma is different. A tiger will stalk its prey and lie in wait until the right moment to attack. Often leaving little time to know what has or is happening. A bear will growl and make itself known giving time to try to escape. Both my parents are dead. My mother had a long, drawn out illness that lasted years. My father’s death was sudden. I sometimes think “I need to call my dad and ask him something.” Then i realize he’s gone. His death still has not completely hit me even though I go to the cemetery often. They are both traumas to me, but different.

    • I absolutely agree. I think the best way to put it is like this. If a person is attacked by a dog as a child, that person will likely be terrified of dogs, but will probably be able to be a happy cat owner. That person will cross the street and walk on the other side if a dog is on that side, yet will probably have no problem bending down to pet a cat in the same scenario.

  9. I thought Dr. Hayes did a great job too. I agree with Kristina she handled the summary scale issue well. But I think there are still some minor problems with the way the results of the PDS were handled by the prosecution with all the witnesses. According to Pearson (the publisher) the PDS is to be used to “SCREEN for the presence of PTSD in large groups or with patients who have identified themselves as victims of a traumatic event” or to “gauge symptom severity and functioning in patients ALREADY IDENTIFIED as suffering from PTSD.”

    It surely seems that Dr. Samuels used the PDS to DIAGNOSE Jodi. The test publisher doesn’t recommend that nor would a competent psychologist ever diagnose anyone with any disorder based on a paper-and-pencil self-report test. (And in fact, the PDS is a test often used to screen large groups when individual interviews can’t be easily done such as in a natural disaster, terrorism, bombing in the military–and that wasn’t the situation Samuels was in.) If screening with the PDS or with any other test revealed possible PTSD, that would be fully evaluated by interviews, by other tests and by examination of other records (military service records, etc) Second, there isn’t any doubt that Jodi lied on the second part of the test. That’s not just my opinion—that’s a logical conclusion that can be treated as fact. In Part I of the test, Jodi said she was attacked by two strangers and she identified that as the biggest trauma she’d had. In Part II she was to answer questions based on that particular trauma. It seems she said she had intrusive thoughts, dreams, whatever, about being attacked by these two strangers. Therefore her answers in Part II were a lie since she couldn’t have had those dreams, flashbacks, and so forth about an event that didn’t happen. If she really WAS having dreams, flashbacks, (which I doubt) but they were about some other event, but she SAID the dreams were about being attacked by strangers, then that’s a lie. Either way, she lied on both parts of the test. I don’t think it was ever brought out very well that while trauma may or may not be trauma, the DSM-IV criteria make clear the “re-experiencing” symptoms of PTSD must be related to the seminal traumatic event. In other words, if I am mugged at gunpoint (a trauma certainly) when I’m 30 yo, I can’t then be diagnosed with PTSD if the intrusive thoughts I report having are about being made fun of in high school when I wore an odd-looking dress to the prom. Sure, I might still be affected by the high school experience, but PTSD it isn’t if the identified trauma is that I was mugged.

  10. I enjoyed watching the differences in how the professionals reacted to the different legal sides. Dr Samuels and ALV, when being asked questions by the defense team seemed to be at home, old friends, laughter, joy oh what fun. As soon as big bad or is that tiny Juan got up to try and discredit them, it was like Jodi’s lies and manipulation had somehow made it’s way into the pores of these ‘professionals’. Dr S at least gave in slightly in the end. Dr DeMarte (who I believe was the best witness) and Dr Hayes were fantastic. Cool, calm answered all questions asked by JW and not always to the benefit of the prosecution. This is what a juror likes to see. Honesty and common sense please. We all understand that these professionals to a certain extent are there as hired guns but when you are asked a question like ‘Do you think Jodi is a liar’ and you say no, next witness please.

    In regards to the trauma for the PTSD, it’s one thing to compare a bear to a tiger, both vicious animals and so on but should this comparison not have been: in the fake trauma, she’s the victim with a gun to her head, a gun that somehow jammed (brings back the video of Travis discussing his near death experience). The real (still fake) trauma, she’s abused by Travis and then loses her mind, this is the defense option. The truest trauma is that she was/is the perpetrator and commits a brutal murder. So for one she’s the victim, the other the perp. Are these two events not slightly different and would cause different issues within a person?

  11. I too thought Dr. Hayes finally made clear in one sentence what no one had yet been able to explain without complicating it. If Jodi began the test by lying, for the rest of her answers to be valid, one would have to ASSUME she changed course and BEGAN telling the truth in the remaining answers. There is no reason to make that kind of assumption. It requires that one be a mind reader. The more reasonable assumption is that the rest of the test answers cannot be trusted.

  12. The defense scraped the bottom of the barrel to obtain their ‘experts’, while the prosecution’s were off the top shelf. Both Dr. De Marte and Dr. Hayes were lucid, intelligent, unbiased and thoroughly professional – qualities sadly lacking in Drs. Samuels, La Violette and Geffner.

  13. I am the wife of an attorney and I’ve had PTSD for 25 years. Dr. Hayes was by far the best, most honest, candid, forthright, humble, knowledgable, well versed, articulate, trustworthy, poised, controlled, confident and best-dressed witness not only in this trial, but out of any witnesses I’ve seen take the stand (100+ trials to date). She had an inpenetratable shield of honor. She literally exlained Jodi’s guilt, beyond all reasonable doubt, without showing a bead of sweat or raising her voice. Juan deserves accolades for reserving her tesimony for last and for being willing to accept a few unsavory answers to his own questions in order to let her rip loose during her cross.

    Her powerful, convincing, and accurate delivery of truth was a brilliant precuror to Juan;s Closing Arg. the next morning. Juan’s strategy was nothing short of brilliant. I think law schools could benefit from showing, analyzing and using her ‘approach’ when teaching students how to select and prepare their witnesses. BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. I am not a medical professional, although I am glued to this site, mainly because it’s the only site I’ve seen that cuts through the bull and logically addresses the nasty thing that is Jodi Arias for The Rest Of Us Lay Folks. Among other things, I am a software engineer, which means I tend to look at things according to what works and what doesn’t work. Therefore I saw the argument over the summary chart/table/whatever from the eyes of my own field of vision:

    Dr. DeMarte obviously failed to provide Jennifer Willmott with the Cliff Notes she so badly needed.

  15. I just found your site and your very interesting articles. I agree that Jodi has Antisocial Personality Disorder. According to Dr. Martha Stout (“The Sociopath Next Door”) that personality type is may be present in 4% in the population. Dr. Robert Hare pegs the frequency at >= 1% and notes that it may be 2% of higher at some levels of society (where there is money or fame to be gained, such as in corporate CEOs). My question: I am wondering why Dr. Demarte did not administer ‘t the psychopathy checklist (PCL-R)… perhaps it is not accepted in a court of law? It would be fascinating to see the results of the PCL-R for Jodi Arias.

  16. Not only do all of us believe Dr. Hays did a good job; I think Jennifer Willmott believes she did so too. Bet Jennifer would like to use Dr. Hays in future cases of her own.

  17. Dr. Jill Hayes was one of the best and brightest students we ever had in the Department of Psychology at Armstrong State College. We all knew that she was destined for greatness. She took almost all of the courses I taught in the Clinical Psychology areas and was the type of student that made teaching a wonderful and rewarding professional experience. It is so rewarding to share in the growth and development of such a bright and hard working student.

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