Psychotherapist testifies Jodi Arias was emotionally abused - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Psychotherapist testifies Jodi Arias was emotionally abused

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PHOENIX -

In the Jodi Arias trial Wednesday, a defense expert witness claims Travis Alexander abused Jodi Arias -- a destructive downward spiral that led her to kill him.

The contention Jodi Arias was the victim of domestic abuse -- psychological and physical abuse -- is the centerpiece of the defense strategy in this case. And the key defense expert was on the witness stand today.

To hear psychotherapist Alyce LaViolette tell it, Jodi Arias wasn't the jealous type and was in the process of breaking up with Travis Alexander months before she killed him.

The defense expert witness studied Jodi's journals.

Question: "Is she talking about being excited about meeting someone else?"

"Yes she mentions someone named Sam Schultz and that she is excited to meet him," testified Alyce LaViolette.

But the psychotherapist said Jodi never really left Travis. She couldn't, because Travis psychologically and physically abused her.

When she told him she was thinking about leaving Arizona for California, he became violent.

"There was discussion of her moving to Yreka. There was an argument and he was upset and slapped her across the face."

But later, the expert testified, Travis calmed down and kissed Jodi tenderly.

The psychotherapist described it as classic abusive behavior, something Jodi covered up.

"Now in this journal entry do you see anywhere where he hits her?"

LaViolette: "No. It is consistent with her promise to him, she is not going to write details about negative things."

Wednesday was only a half day in court. The defense witness went home sick in the middle of the day.

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