The Jodi Arias Trial: Sidebar Transcripts

Ever wonder what the lawyers were saying in those sidebar conferences? These two were released to the public. Both of these conversations occurred while Ms. LaViolette was testifying. Surely there will be more to come.

Sidebar Transcript April 2, 2013

Willmott: What she wants to say is that how Mr. Alexander threatened to commit suicide because he said-he used the F word, that he wanted to F’g kill himself. This is important. It doesn’t go to the truth of the matter asserted, in other words, whether or not he actually was going to kill himself. But this speaks to the threat of abandonment and when we talk about relationships and abusive relationships, threat of abandonment which she discussed during the continuum is something that is present in– ultimately in abusive relationships where one party is threatening abandonment. And the way they do it is not just by saying, I’m going to leave you, but also by threatening to commit suicide. That’s why it’s important, not for the truth of the matter asserted, therefore not hearsay.

Mr. Martinez: I don’t see how she can talk about the victim’s state of mind i.e. did or did not want to commit suicide.

Additionally, the only way she gets this information in is through the defendant, not the journal but through the defendant. There’s a lack of trustworthiness there. She’s a liar [referring to Ms. LaViolette]. So I’m just having a difficult time seeing how she can say that Mr. Alexander attempted suicide.

Additionally, if this is the incident that were talking about, she’s got it all wrong. This is the incident where the defendant was peeping in the victim’s window, the brassiere incident is the way I remember it. She came back the next day and confronted him and this is where he was banging his head on the closet door, if you remember.

There is no issue of suicide that was ever discussed. And he never said he wanted to commit suicide. He was just banging his head on the door so-

The Court: Well, that terminology doesn’t necessarily mean suicide. That’s her interpretation is that he wanted to commit suicide, that was the defendant?

Ms. Willmott: No. Judge, first of all, it’s not about Mr. Alexander’s state of mind. It’s about Ms. Arias and what she have perceived when Mr. Alexander said, I F’n want to kill myself. That’s what he says. He threatened suicide. Now that’s about what that does to somebody in a relationship.

Second of all, Ms. LaViolette does not have this all wrong. She’s talking– she just is not allowed to finish the story because of the constant objections. But that’s what she’s talking about is when she goes back the next day and talks to Mr. Alexander about it and how upset he gets.

Mr. Martinez: But the thing is that if Ms. Willmott and I were married, I certainly would say I F’g want to kill myself. That doesn’t mean I want to kill myself. It just means there’s a bad relationship and I want you to leave me alone.

She’s talking again about somebody’s state of mind. Just because somebody says that, that doesn’t mean that he wants to commit suicide.

The Court: Okay.

Ms. Willmott: Judge, just for the record, I think that that was an insult because he’s trying to say that if he and I were married–

Mr. Martinez: That was a compliment, bad joke.

Ms. Willmott: I don’t see it as either. But at any point–

The Court: All right. Let’s move past that.

Ms. Willmott: Okay

The Court: Okay. Let’s go back to the topic at issue. So you want– your witness is– you want your witness to testify that your client was concerned about abandonment because Travis Alexander said that he wanted to kill himself. Is that it?

Ms. Willmott: Yes. You know, I mean, she’s not going to say that Mr. Arias (sic) was particularly concerned about abandonment at the moment.

It’s part of the pieces that get put together ultimately in this progression of the relationship. Threatening abandonment is one of those pieces.

So she’s going to talk– she just wants to say basically that, well, he was flipping out over this, over being caught, he’s threatening to commit suicide and banging his held (sic) against the closet door. And she did testify to that.

The Court: She did. Okay. But I was unclear that this was the incident that you’re talking about is the journal entry.

Ms. Willmott: Yeah. It’s not a journal entry.

The Court: Not talking about 569?

Ms. Willmott: No, not anymore. We moved on.

The Court: You moved on. All right.

Ms. Willmott: I just move fast. 

Sidebar Transcript April 4, 2013 

Ms. Willmott: What’s hearsay? She’s not quoting anybody. I’m not understanding what the hearsay is.

Mr. Martinez: Well, then maybe you ought to go back to law school. I mean, she’s talking about an item, an out-of-court statement. How else could she have gotten that knowledge from other than out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted. I think it’s under, I think, it’s 801 Arizona rules of evidence.

Ms. Willmott: Well, I’m really familiar with hearsay, especially after this trial. I’m also familiar with what hearsay is not, and this is what we’ve been discussing. She’s been talking about subject matter this whole time. 

The Court: Where are you going with this? What are you trying to elicit?

Ms. Willmott: The fact that they have an argument and that she can read about it in text messages and that Mr. Alexander swearing at her and she hangs up on him.

I mean, I can lead her through it and ask for those two questions if it makes it easier.

The Court: And why is that important to her opinion?

Ms. Willmott: Why? Because he’s swearing at her. It’s evidence of verbal abuse. It’s also evidence of his escalation because they are fighting and his verbal abuse is getting worse as we get towards into April.

The Court: Okay. So the gist of all this is that she’s read it, they have an argument, he swears at her. And this is evidence that she believes shows that there’s an escalation and verbal abuse.

Ms. Willmott: Yes.

The Court: Okay. You can go into that part of it, but not the specifics about the argument or not what he calls her or anything else, just that there was swearing.

Ms. Willmott: I mean, if I’m allowed to specifically ask her a question without getting objected to for leading, I’ll do that.

Mr. Martinez: Well, no. I don’t want her. I want her to ask the questions–

Ms. Willmott: I can’t prevent what she says.

The Court: Well, it’s not leading to ask is this text about argument between the parties. That’s not suggesting the answer.

Ms. Willmott: Okay.

The Court: So you can do that.

Ms. Willmott: All right.

Mr. Nurmi: Before we move off the topic of verbal abuse, I’m going to ask the court to admonish Mr. Martinez. Yesterday he said that he would kill himself if he was married to Miss Willmott, now he says at bench that she should go back to law school. I think of those comments are totally inappropriate and should be, at least– very least– admonished by this Court.

Mr. Martinez: I didn’t hear what he said. I would like for him to say that again.

The Court: He didn’t hear you.

He’s asking the court to admonish you for making a comment about killing yourself because if you were married to Miss Willmott. Counsel, I understand some of this is tong and cheek, some of it is just the stress of trial, but let’s try to be as professional as possible when we have these bench conferences.

Mr. Martinez: And I would note– that’s fine– admonish Miss Willmott also on the record, so it’s not like we can sit up here and complain about one side.

The Court: I understand. So I’m asking everyone to do that. Thank you.

22 thoughts on “The Jodi Arias Trial: Sidebar Transcripts

  1. I love that the transcript captures an example of Nurmi’s bold faced distortions of the truth. We read Juan’s analogy that saying one would like to kill themselves in frustration over having to deal with an exasperating person does not mean they want to kill themselves. By analogy, he says if he were married to Willmott, he can see himself saying he like to F*ing kill himself but he would only mean “leave me alone.” I’m peeing my pants here…. So Nurmi comes in the next day with “Before we move off the topic of verbal abuse, I’m going to ask the court to admonish Mr. Martinez. Yesterday he said that he would kill himself if he was married to Miss Willmott.”

    We saw him make similar distortions in his motions for mistrial. Claiming that Jean Cesarez said she saw a juror watching Juan (“the Great One”) signing autographs; that Juan had thrown evidence (he actually dropped something once and picked it up); that he had harassed witnesses on the stand (the rules of evidence actually allow an aggressive style during cross examination); and later that something happen in chambers with Juan and Laviolette, which the judge directly refuted by saying she was there and Laviolette had reason to be upset but not because of anything Juan had done.

    This nasty pattern of distorting things is common in the world of litigation although it is prohibited by ethics and ethical attorneys do not engage in lying this way. Someday I’d like to better understand if people who do this have any redeemable traits or are they by definition antisocial?

  2. I want more! This is great. JM has a biting sarcastic tone and the defense are like cry babies! JM seems VERY frustrated with the unprofessional conduct of these dopey attorneys. They are NO match for the professional and educated JM!

  3. That “abandonment” discussion is really weird.

    If you go out one day for a quart of milk and never return home, you’ve “abandoned” your spouse and kids. If you leave a puppy on the side of a road, you have “abandoned” a puppy, You aren’t “abandoning” somebody you’ve been dating and realize it’s not a good match. That’s not abandonment. That’s cutting your losses and moving on. Regular people do it every day. You’ve done it. I’ve done it.

    Jodi was not his spouse nor a puppy, although he might have been smarter if he had just gotten a puppy instead. What the hell is Willmott on to be discussing abandonment when there was no definitive commitment or legal tie?

    As for Nurmi, first time I saw him I scheeved out. That’s Italian slang for “Bleck!”. He’s a slob. I’ll bet he has food on his tie at all times, he sat in that courtroom slouched like a combination defiant-child and beached whale. There isn’t a whit of professionalism about him. I wouldn’t hire him to wash my car. Someone mentioned that he is given to defending people charged with sex crimes. That means rapists and perverts and child molesters. Now I’m not saying they aren’t entitled to representation, much as I would rather see them all shot in the head instead, but I am saying I wouldn’t want to hang out with a lawyer who finds that kind of work rewarding. When he was beating up on one of Travis’ ex girlfriends, I detected a hint of glee when he was quoting Travis’ taped words and asking her if he ever said those things to her. He enjoyed it a bit too much, methinks. And God knows how many sleaze-bags he has gotten acquitted with his penchant for lying, manipulating information and victim bashing. Jodi’s the perfect client for the likes of Kurt Nurmi.

  4. LOL

    If I were married to Kirk Nurmi I’d kill myself.

    No, really. Well, I’d at least consider it if divorce wasn’t an option. No, wait, I’d never marry him in the first place.

    Disregard.
    Carry On.

    • Thanks Linda for saying what I wanted to say, about Nurmi. Seriously, had I been in that court room I would have asked the judge to admonish Nurmi for picking his nose and sniffing his fingers way too often in front of the jurors, on camera no less!

    • Girl, ME TOO!!!! I could nev see anyone married to Nurmi??? Uppity: Huffalump is my pet name for ole Nurms…great posts u two…I really needed the chuckle this evening!

  5. I couldn’t agree more that the defense sound like whining babies and tho Juan maybe should have used another anology…it’s kind of funny. Nurmi is disgusting and Willmott def needs to revisit law school. Crying about the objections when she and Nurmi constantly cut off lines of questioning by JM with objection after objection!

  6. haha Juan Martinez is the b*lls! Nurmi is such a bag of wind! And Willmott is almost like an Ally McBeal parody…really interesting to see what was being said though, so I hope more of these transcripts are released.

  7. Hence the nickname JDumb! Disco Donna Willmott is one of the worst attorney’s I ever heard. And to think she teaches classes to OTHER attorneys? I say she Skeetches instead if Teaches…

    And her nail polish is disgusting , like her client Jodi Scarious…

  8. Ahahahahah!
    “But the thing is that if Ms. Willmott and I were married, I certainly would say I F’g want to kill myself.” i could not be the judge there without bursting out laughing ( i hope they all did a little) .
    Sorry, I do respect Ms WiIlmott and her work, because defending Arias must be a walk over hot coals.
    Thank you for posting this, i was always wondering about how the sidebar worked.
    Learning so much here!

      • I found that blog just yesterday. Did you happen to catch the video somebody posted in comments? There’s a former Asst. Warden in Arizona who did a series of videos of what sweet Jodi can expect in the prison she’s going to. It’s almost delicious to imagine her there.

  9. Interesting indeed, Dr K. – and once again Juan Martinez takes the points. If this had been a boxing match, the referee would have stopped the fight long before it was.
    There was a high level of personal animosity between prosecutor and defenders in this trial which is born out in this sidebar – they couldn’t even have a little banter between each other.
    I certainly agree with Uppity about Nurmi’s total lack of professionalism, and that he is just an absolute slob. The way he laid around in his chair was bad enough, but his cross-examination of Deanna Read was quite the most disgusting I have seen in many years of court observance – and he obviously enjoyed every moment of it.

  10. At the end of court + after the defense rested one day, the camera hung around + caught Jaun, Walnut, Nurmi, Judge Stephens all appearing relaxed w/smiles + laughing to something Juan said. An interesting dynamic to observe given the purported animosity amongst them. In law school early on the idea of letting things go at the end of the day or when the gavel comes down it’s over is ground into you. I wasn’t sure I’d have that kind of tempermant to work in that profession: I’d punch my cohorts + end up in lockup!

  11. WOW …Everytime I read about this trial and the BOZO DEFENSE TEAM, it never disappoints with what these two will come up with..I would love to see WILMUTT & NUMNUTS track record of trials they have tried. I mean I understand they were appointed by the court to defend this HO. I also understand from the evidence they had no chance in hell of ever making this case a 1) domestic violence,2) insanity plea, 3) fear of her life self defense etc,etc.
    With that being said why did these two try to make this trial into a circus?? With the QUEEN Bi*!ch objecting every other word J.M. would say,and the judge denied every objection she threw at the judge..Instead of her stopping she would keep objecting ,being put down and GIGGLE with every denial!!
    It was embarrassing to say the least..I wonder what there colleagues thought of there “performance” Dont want to waste space with my rambling,so I will save NUMNUTS performance for another time :-)
    If I were a little younger I would definitely relocate and start a practice in Arizona,because it seems there in short supply of professional attorneys
    PS: WILLMONT & NURMI would be smart if they took the windfall they made and took a few lessons on law from the man Mr.Juan Martinez!!!!!!

  12. I enjoyed Martinez giving it back to the defense team. Very normal in the heat of battle, try to agitate your enemy. I do not have a soft spot for any defense attorney. They are in the win at all cost business.
    They’re people too!

  13. I kept waiting for Nurmi’s trademark comment…”penile / vaginal intercourse”. I swear if I EVER hear that phrase again I’ll, I’ll…idk but at the very least I’ll scream! Perhaps JSS submitted and granted her own motion that Kurt Nurmi is not allowed to say that again…ever!

    • I had almost completely recovered and forgotten the trauma of Nurmi’s penile-vaginal intercourse…now I have to start the recovery all over again.

  14. Dr. K I love your articles, they are stop on in my opinion, and I get excited every time I see an e-mail from you every time you write an article!! I love the comments here, they are always so professional and my favorites are from, Maria,Upitty, and many others, I was wondering, and this happens to me a lot now a days, every time I go to a store and see gas cans, or pop rocks, tootsie rolls, every time I see those things I want to scream, because it reminds me of Stabby!!! has this happened to any of you!! lol . again I want to thank you for your articles!!!

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