Jodi Arias Trial: How Good Is The Rebuttal Witness Dr. Janeen DeMarte?

By | April 17, 2013

She is everything that Ms. LaViolette and Dr. Samuels, should have been. She is a true professional clinical psychologist. Her professionalism fills the courtroom. She is bright and articulate. Her integrity is beyond reproach.It is quite apparent that she believes deeply in her profession. It is also apparent that she is well-educated and could serve as a role model for her profession. demarte alone2In the opinion of this writer, her integrity is not for sale.

Dr. DeMarte is very confident in her opinions and conclusions. She answers each question with the truth, as she sees it, without regard to whether or not it pleases Juan Martinez or Jennifer Willmott.

During the first day of cross-examination, it became apparent that Jennifer was not going to be able to dominate or outwit Dr. DeMarte. Gamesmanship would not be effective in deterring Dr. DeMarte. No clever sleight of hand by the defense attorney would obscure the testimony of Dr. DeMarte.

If I have not been sufficiently ebullient in my praise of Dr. DeMarte, please allow me to say this. Dr. DeMarte is an absolute nightmare for the defense team. Her credentials are impeccable. Her intellect is not to be challenged. Her competence is unshakable.

She is being paid, for her time, as was Dr. Samuels and Ms. LaViolette. We should not begrudge anyone for charging for their professional services. There is a real difference with this witness. We get the impression that we can buy her time but not her professional integrity. I really don’t believe that her integrity is for sale at any price.

It is refreshing to see a professional witness who is not deliberately attempting to be evasive. A witness who can answer a simple yes or no when it is appropriate. Did you get the same feeling when Ms. LaViolette answered a question?

If prosecutor Martinez asked Ms. LaViolette a simple question like: Ms. LaViolette, did you eat lunch on Tuesday? I would expect her to respond in the following fashion.

Mr. Martinez, it is a difficult question to answer. First of all there are different time zones around the world and I have no idea which calendar you’re referring to, not to mention, I think the Mayans were dead set against Tuesdays.

You need to look at the full context. You see I always look at the full context, Mr Martinez. You can’t take time out of context and Tuesday is time and I seem to recognize a pattern of Tuesday’s and patterns are very important to me, Mr. Martinez.

I wasn’t hired to evaluate Tuesday’s. I was hired to say that Jodi Arias was a victim of abuse and I think I said that about $30,000-$50,000 worth. Now Tuesday’s, Tuesday’s I don’t know. Did I ever tell you the story about a friend of mine…”

Dr. DeMarte is a professional and has formed a professional opinion. She backs it up with a belief in her profession and a belief in her abilities. She will answer a question honestly and without regard to its benefit to the defense or the prosecution. From my perspective, I am so very glad that Dr. DeMarte can be seen by the nation as a great representative of the mental health profession.

In my experience Dr. DeMarte is the rule and the other “expert witnesses” in this trial, the exception.

46 thoughts on “Jodi Arias Trial: How Good Is The Rebuttal Witness Dr. Janeen DeMarte?

  1. Paul W.

    She the confidence of someone young and inexperienced who doesn’t yet know what she doesn’t know. Offering up your 8 years of professional experience is more than presumptuous. I have no doubt her hispanic roots and volleyball ability in college insured she would easily pass through our “diverse” upper education system. It is mind boggling that the prosecution looked to this woman in a case of this magnitude and severity.

    1. Misty

      Okay, Alyce LaViolette. Now go back to your corner and sulk without annoying the adults in this conversation.

    2. Allyson Diva

      Paul,

      You must surely be a troll.

      DeMarte is clearly extremely competent and professional, totally current on all her topics and so expert that she is involved in teaching others.

      How crude and prejudiced to make remarks about her heritage or athleticism in this manner.

      You may not agree with her findings (although that would be hard to justify) but to make such ad hominem comments is shameful.

    3. Isabella

      Objectivity is clearly lacking in your appreciation.
      Do you also object to the musical genius of Beethoven giving his first performance at 7 in a half years old? My guess would be that you are a young person with professional jealousy, or an older person set in your ways. As far as your comment regarding ethnicity; I would gladly help anybody that is as brilliant as her, whatever alleged grants or scholarships she may have received were well spend, instead of wasting millions of taxpayer money on somebody like the accused.

      1. Laura

        HA! I can’t believe I just read that you are comparing Demarte to Beethoven?? Beethoven a child prodigy who was born to an alcoholic father who forced him to practice daily for hours on end? How culturally illiterate you are and just overall ignorant are you? This woman is not “brilliant.” She is good at memorizing a script. Any time someone is preparing as an “expert” in a trial the attorney, albeit is not allowed to go over what exact questions they are going to ask will certainly give them a clear enough idea as to what to read up on. I have a Ph.D. in psychology as well and I can tell you that it takes someone with a great deal of persistence and yes somewhere above slightly average IQ but not brilliance to earn one. This woman is arrogant and to you and many others ignorant enough to sit and just nod, apparently convincing as a “brilliant” prodigy as well. Ahhh…. you made me laugh after a long day of work.

        Thank you :)

    4. Nella Lee, Ph.D.

      Your remark is quite offensive. First, her age is not an issue. Second, I don’t know if she’s Hispanic or not, but race is also irrelevant. Third, whether she can play volleyball or not is anyone’s guess, but it’s irrelevant. Fourth, there isn’t anything wrong with a diverse upper education system. That is, again, irrelevant. Fifth, she is articulate, knows her stuff, doesn’t engage in puffery, doesn’t pad her CV with meaningless garbage, used all the appropriate tests for an UNBIASED evaluation, and she does have 8 years of practical experience.

      You actually sound jealous.

    5. Justice

      So many how many letters do you send to Jodi Arias on a daily basis? You can’t send files baked inside cakes anymore.

      Perhaps you are working for the Dick and LaViolette team?

    6. Becky Fischer

      Dr. DeMarte, although young, she is highly educated and very precise with her honest UNBIAS answers. I find her testimony to be highly credible. Let me give you an example, during cross examination on 4/17/13, Ms. Willmott proceeded to make false claims that Dr. Lenore Walker no longer used the 6 criteria in her well known book for diagnosing if someone may suffer from batter women’s syndrome. Dr. DeMarte testified that this was inaccurate, but Ms. Willmott kept drilling repeatedly that this criteria was no longer used and said that Dr. DeMarte did not keep up with research in the matter. Dr. Lenore Walker spoke live (via phone) on HLN Nancy Grace show that same night and verified that she did in fact still use the same 6 criteria that Dr. Demarte testified to. Dr. Walker validated Dr. Demarte’s testimony. Therefore one can see, Dr. Demarte is very well educated on the subject matter. Unfortunately, the defense attorney Ms. Willmott as insistant as she was, not only made herself look unprofessional but not schooled on the subject. However, if you follow Ms. Willmott’s cross examinations in this case, you will see that she consistently get confused and seems to lack the sound experience needed to handle this kind of case, no matter how many years of practice she has, which seems to be many.

      1. NancyB

        Didn’t you love that! My question is do you think that JW truly believed that Walker no longer uses her own 6 criteria scale and was totally misinformed or that she was just trying to trip up and rattle Dr DeMarte by introducing this issue fully knowing that it had no basis in fact? I’m thinking the later, because if it was the former and she had introduced inaccurate information in court there is no way that she wouldn’t now know what Lenore Walker had to say about this on the NG show last night. If it was an error, wouldn’t she have told Dr DeMarte today that she was in error? I think it may have been calculated, which is playing dirty. Either way, she is lacking a moral compass in my opinion.

    7. Deeliah

      Aw honey, and you angwy that the young lady is far more intelligent, accomplished, and successful that you will ever be? Quick, blame it on all the many glorious advantages of being a woman of colour, or a member of minority group.

      Are you done?

    8. McKealty

      Can this borderline racist remark be removed from your site?

      I welcome this person’s thoughts, even if they are contradictory to the majority.

      But her race and age have nothing to do with and puts a smudge on an otherwise above par website.

    9. Keith

      Really? She is one of the most intelligent people they have had on the stand to date. She is unflappable!

    10. AnotherPsych

      DeMarte is an Italian name and not a Hispanic name, Paul.

      According to Paul W., it is negative that the USA’s educational system is “diverse”. (Read: Paul W. still struggles with segregated schools and his defective soul.)

    11. Laura

      Paul,

      I completely agree with you. People don’t comprehend it isn’t just the age but the few number of years Demarte has. Education only gets one so far, after that it is the real life experience that is necessary. Proudly stating “8 years” is like a kid stating that they are old enough to be fully trusted with all the freedoms of an adult because they are a whole 16 years old. It shows just how little Demarte knows. By the way, the psychology field is flooded, people with a Ph.D. in psychology are a dime a dozen. Demarte isn’t doing anything unique or extraordinary. A number of us in this field are doing this kind of work and as soon as we can, we leave for a less toxic venue such as academia or a cash only private practice. And before you stop to ask why then we aren’t all on t.v., its because most of us aren’t stupid or crazy enough to want to get sucked into the crap storm Demarte seemed to naively and proudly believe was a flattering offer.

  2. Howard Redmond

    Very impressed with her passion when sharing her expertise. She lit up while sharing her diagnosis of Jodi Arias. Loved her response to question about how soon were you running the place after you were licensed. She said “Immediately” She is doing well in cross but I think she does not suffer fools graciously, and would love to call BS in a therapeutic manner of course.

    1. Misty

      I loved it when she responded to Wilmot by saying, ‘I am called Dr. DeMert’. I would have thought Wilmot would have taken that as a hint of the confidence this young doctor has. To be named a ‘director’ of a place you haved worked at as soon as you have obtained the necessary licensure is astounding. Wilmot is not taking Dr. DeMert as seriously as she deserves to be taken regardless of her age. Intelligence does not necessarily have an age. Integrity for this woman has no sale price.

      1. McKealty

        Willmot is, sadly, doing and asking exactly that which the Prosecution did.

        The line of questioning I found to be most absurd was when she was implying that Dr. Demarte never “taught trauma”.

        That’s like saying, “I talk computer networking but I never taught a course on Ethernet cables”.

        Obviously the little cable that comes out of your modem would be discussed but that doesn’t mean I would have to teach a class about the cables in order to know what I’m talking about when it comes to networking a computer.

  3. Gordon Mahoney

    I think you are correct in your assessment of Dr. Demarte. She makes me proud to be an American and helps restore my faith in Mental Health professionals. Thank YOU for taking time to write.

    1. McKealty

      The two defense witnesses were reasons why people think psychology is junk science.

      Dr. Demarte is the reason psychology is NOT junk science.

  4. sweetiepie

    It’s obvious that most people don’t know about the process of becoming a psychologist, or an MFT as was ALV (even ALV had to intern a great many hours before she could become licensed) and boy oh boy, it is sooooooo much harder and longer to get that MFT/MFCC today!

    Plus, the whole thing about being “under the supervision” of a licensed psychologist means you have someone to go to and they usually meet once a week to see if any support is needed. Willmont tries to make it sound like someone’s sitting with you at all times. Nothing could be further from the truth. It’s pathetic, really.

    1. Carol

      SweetiePie you are so correct. I worked on the admin side of an agency that serves the mental health needs of children (mostly those on Medicaid or no coverage). The therapists that came to use fresh out of school still practiced and the site supervisor (who was licensed) over saw all their work & signed off on it.
      Once they became registered interns (in FL) they then started working towards the supervision hours before taking the licensure exam. They met weekly anywhere from an 1-2 hours.
      This is not a “quick” trip to a license and experience has nothing to do with when you actually pass your licensure exam.
      Things have changed since Alyce went thru this – not only the process to being licensed but the amount of information they need to know & be able to practice!

      1. sweetiepie

        Exactly, Carol. It’s really just to cover the diagnostic and other legal requirements.

        Conversely, hospital patients in a teaching hospital are required to call medical students “doctor” long before they can do anything on their own or have an MD.

    2. McKealty

      It’s not that people don’t understand…it’s that Willmot simply wants to raise that doubt because she thinks the jury is full of idiots.

      She insults their intelligence when she asks Demarte something like,

      “So you testified on behalf of this person but you didn’t put his name in your CV?”

      “It’s confidential and I don’t pad my resume”

      “So your CV is incomplete?”

      It’s disgusting and insulting to not only Demarte but the jury.

      1. sweetiepie

        You’re right, McK. I let my astonishment of how so many people don’t understand the basics of human behavior to spill over.

        I believe that psychology 101/sociology should be courses in every high school in the country.

  5. NancyB

    Your words are my words! She exudes professionalism and a high level of integrity. She is a home run for the State. I’m not sure that I agree that the defense clinical forensic experts were the exception. I can think of several trials where the defense forensic experts were nothing more than hired guns but I do agree that the 2 in this trial were a true embarrassment and nothing short of the bottom of the barrel. I had heard that the defense had intended to bring ALV back in their surrebuttal but have now cancelled her. Can’t confirm that. While I don’t agree with Dr Demarte’s Dx. it makes no difference on the level of her effectiveness in this trial. I do agree with the essay you posted some time back on Diagnosing Jodi. ASPD. Question for you – I was shocked to hear yesterday that 7 out of the 10 Scales were elevated! That is a huge number, is it not? I can’t imagine that is often seen, or am I wrong?

  6. asterz

    I wish you would comment more about the BPD diagnosis vs. ASPD. That’s the discussion I find most interesting, and there are very few places to read about it other than your blog.

    I had originally assumed Ms. Arias had to have BPD but then I read your argument for ASPD and you changed my mind with the exception of a couple BPD-ish criteria that didn’t seem to fit ASPD (fluctuating identity/merging, magical thinking). Regardless, I find it hard to believe she has BPD because of her consistently “stoic” demeanor in court. She has never had any outburst or any crying (outside of the hand over mouth pose with no tears). I find it hard to believe that a person with BPD could sit there like that. Also, the ASPD symptom of easy lying- how naturally she lies- how could a BPD maintain that? She just doesn’t seem emotionally labile enough. And the points you raised about the coolheaded planning that would have gone into this were, again, very unlike BPD.

    1. McKealty

      I figured she was a borderline personality.

      But something I’ve always wondered, and I don’t think it’s ever been brought up, is whether or not she might be histrionic as well.

      The headaches to control when court begins and ends etc.

      Dr. Randle, do you have an opinion on this?

    2. Kiki

      Having experience with Narcissistic/Borderline Personality Disorder I can assure you that JA is a sociopath/psychopath. Based on the calculated extensive plan she designed (all the down to taking a picture with pigtails the day of the murder) to the heinous brutality of the murder in addition to all the data points, her anti-social behavior (after getting what she wants – typical of these type of people) I sway more towards Psychopath. I wish society had more information on these types of disorders. They are not usually *built* or created from a traumatic childhood experience. They are born this way. In addition, I think people get caught up/refuse to believe they are true sociopaths/psychoaths that do not have a conscious or empathy. It is so hard for the normal person or a healthy person to comprehend and put into habit that there is nothing you can do to help or change these types of people. That you can not reason with them or even have conversations with them as their mode is of constant manipulation. Even when they are telling the truth, tearing up, being kind, humble, generous, etc….it is all a manipulation in some shape or form. .

  7. Ria

    The irony is that the defense brought up how much Dr. Demarte is making…yet they’re the ones who are wracking up the most dollars for her. JW is trying so hard to be like JM and it’s not working for her!

    1. McKealty

      I am left to wonder if Demarte took less for this job.

      As has been stated a few times, $250 an hour for a forensic witness is very, very low.

      I’m sure the state knew the defense would simply follow the Martinez mold and line of questioning strategy…and felt it would “look bad’ if she stated she was charging $600 hour, which is what she should be making.

      Again, Dr. Randle, comment?

  8. Carol Collins

    I read that the doctor that Ms. LaViolette was working under in the late 90’s had his license revoked ( unable to continue to practice ) in California. Do you know if this is true?

  9. Don Osborne

    Dr DeMarte is the antithesis of Samuels and La Violette – vibrant, knowledgeable and organised.
    Don’t like commenting on another’s post but to denigrate her on the basis of race, sporting prowess and age/experience is inappropriate, irrelevant and offensive. On the contrary, I believe the prosecution’s use of her will prove to be a masterstroke in relation to placing the testimony of the defence’s ‘expert’ witnesses into proper perspective

  10. doug

    I am a trial attorney. I hope the jury sends Jodie away for life. However, I am shocked that Martinez would call such an inexperienced expert in a such a high profile death penalty case. I’m sure that there are many much more experienced, qualified and seasoned experts who Martinez could have called instead. It makes me wonder if Marrinez knows this lady and wanted to help her career? I hope that’s not the case. She’s only been licensed for one year!!! Incredibly dumb and/or inappropriate.

    1. Laura

      I agree! No doubt she is intelligent, but she comes across as arrogant and smug. I wish she would just answer the questions without an attitude.

      1. Kiki

        I completely disagree. I received her as very articulate, professional, well-versed, and respectful. She asked for questions to be re-stated so she didn’t reply inaccurately, she said “please” numerous times, she had the background and experience of a seasoned PhD professional. Compared to ALV, her prerequisites and internship was far more extensive. Her youth has nothing to do with her intelligence, passion, and integrity. I absolutely agree with the author of this blog/article. I was impressed by her behavior and manner whether she was answering questions by the defense or prosecution. Even when the defense was unnecessarily rude, snarky, disparaging, and using information incorrectly, Dr. DeMarte stayed professional and very very patient. People say JM was aggressive. I don’t agree. I believe he has to produce some high energy and tactics to get the defense witnesses to answer his question. Talk about being evasive and unprofessional! In addition, felt Dr. DeMarte was extremely ethical in her answers even when some of the could be taken as points for the defense. She was unbiased and did her job as her oath states. ALV and RS have years of experience although it is obvious that their years are not healthy experiences nor do they have extensive knowledge in their fields. They have positioned themselves in a comfort zone relying on outdates information and stroked ego. This is a recipe for disaster as they never observe themselves nor seek modern technology to be a full rounded clinician (or as in ALV…counselor). Just because Dr. DeMarte was concise in her answers does not mean she is rude.

      2. Seriously

        LOL, the only ones who came off as “arrogant and smug” were LaViolette and Arias. Don’t confuse Dr. Demarte’s quiet confidence.

  11. NancyB

    Hi Dr. K

    Question for you –

    I was shocked to hear that 7 out of the 10 Scales on the MMPI were elevated. That is a huge number of elevated scales to have, is it not? I can’t imagine that such a high level of elevated scales is often seen or is the norm, or am I wrong? I would greatly appreciate your opinion on this. Thanks in advance!

  12. Elaine Pierani

    Love your website! Am also interested in the other markers on the MMPI that were not brought out by Dr. D. Would any of those markers indicate her lying and her lack of remorse? Would they have pointed to ASPD? Do you know if Is it true that certain results would be too prejudicial and cannot be brought up at trial? Thanks!

  13. Jake

    I am a retired criminal lawyer. She was a terrific witness. Unlike Dr. Samuels and Ms. Laviolette, she did not give the appearance of being an advocate for the side that called her. Rather, she conducted herself as an expert witness should, that is one who explains to the jury concepts involved in evidence presented at trial which are not within the knowledge of people who do not have the training and experience to fully evaluate and comprehend certain matters. That is, she acted like a competent professional.

  14. Keli

    Dr. Janeen Demarte was the ultimate professional during the Arias trial unlike the “experts” that the defense hired.
    Ms. Laviolette is a joke to her profession.

  15. Laura

    I found Demarte extremely arrogant without initial provocation by Wilmont at first. Only after Demarte continued to glare and almost roll her eyes in an adolescent sulking fashion did Wilmont become more confrontational. I also have a Ph.D. in psychology and have served as an expert witness in family court cases. In order to present an unbiased testimony it is only fitting to be professional when answering questions from BOTH attorneys. Although I found the previous two “experts” side shows that made me cringe I also do not like the arrogant air that Demarte gave off. Furthermore if this woman REALLY got $300 an hour she would not advertise that she accepts insurance for therapy sessions. Insurance is a pain to deal with and pays next to nothing. This youngster needs to pay her dues and cool her heels before she burns too many bridges and no one will end up wanting to put up with her diva like attitude.

  16. Lovee

    I love your blog, it’s provided me with hours of great reading. I’m fascinated with the Jodi Arias case and after watching and reading 100’s of hours of testimony and reports I believe her to be a sociopath. She defies logic not to mention social norms in practically everything she does – it’s beyond weird – and yet compelling (a favorite word of hers, although contemporaneous is her ultimate fav).

    I am going to agree with both sides of the fence in this particular post. I didn’t like DeMarte’s demeanour, I found it to be slightly arrogant and I felt like she saw her invite as proof of her own status. An example: when JM asked her if she knew who ALV was her answer showed contempt. I played it back twice to see if I was imagining it, I wasn’t. That said, I believe she is very intelligent, answered honestly, had confidence in her opinion and performed her preliminary assessments very well. I don’t think her youth is relevant, her attitude is. I don’t think she damaged the case however In my opinion Dr. Jill Hayes was the perfect witness. She was warm, prepared, and handled the ridiculous questions from JW with class. I think JM knew he had a tiny bit of damage control to do after DeMarte and purposely chose Hayes to counter the other’s somewhat off putting personality. Hayes was able to prove DeMarte’s credibility (i.e. summary scales). If I remember correctly the jury had questions for DeMarte but none for Hayes and I believe its because Hayes screamed integrity and authenticity.

    Thanks for the blog, it helps me make sense out of the nonsensical!

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