Many people watch Nancy Grace say “she STABBED him 27 times! She’s guilty” and immediately draw the conclusion that Jodi Arias is guilty of First Degree Murder without having a clue what First Degree Murder is. So this post will break down what First Degree Murder entails, and I’ll explain why it’s not even a possibility.
There are two ways one can be convicted of First Degree Murder: (1) the murder occurred during the commission of a felony, or (2) the murder was premeditated.
Option 1 – Felony Murder
Let’s just make this short and sweet. There was no fake stolen gun, so there was no felony. The gun that was stolen from her grandfather‘s house was NOT the only item stolen. BUT HLN WON’T REPORT THIS. There was also cash, a stereo, and a DVD player stolen from the house that evening. Did Jodi plan on dancing to music in the family room after the murder? This is utterly ridiculous! Nobody knows where the weapons are, so they have never been tested for forensics. Without this, it is only a speculation.
The law proscribes that you don’t view the world from the lens of guilt, but from the lens of innocence. I cannot make the leap of logic from there was a stolen gun — she stole the gun so she could use this gun to kill him, without any corroborating evidence. It is not too much of a coincidence. It’s simply unproven. There was zero evidence except for the lack of evidence at the grandparents‘ house to show she stole the items. So because the police can’t solve the case, we are supposed to assume a two birds with one stone mentality?
Another question I have with Rock Star’s theory is why he is allowed to claim this? He isn’t charging her with this crime, she has never been convicted of this crime, and there was no evidence presented supporting her guilt. How is it that a prosecutor is allowed to claim an unproven, uncharged crime is proof of another alleged, charged crime?
Verdict: Not Guilty of Felony Murder
Option 2 – Premeditation
Now there’s the often-talked about subject of premeditation. Premeditation is defined as the contemplation of a crime well enough in advance that you can reflect upon the thought and deliberately continue with your intent to commit the crime. Premeditation cannot and should never be proven with a mere speculation, assumption, or inference. All of Rock Star Juan’s claims of premeditation are circumstantial. Since circumstantial evidence is fair game in American courts, let’s break down some of his key points.
The circumstantial case for premeditation
- Jodi rented a car away from her home so she’d go unnoticed.
Is this so? She rented it in her own name and she also took it with her on the rest of her trip; she didn’t switch cars and things like that. So, other people saw her in a white car later, including a police officer. And she had an alibi on the trip, in a sense. She was late. Leslie Udy said that she was worried about her. She was unaccounted for.
- She turned the license plate upside down.
There is no proof when this happened and it really makes absolutely no sense that this was part of her plan. If anything, this would make somebody more likely to be noticed. I’m not saying skateboarders did this, but skateboarders do carry screwdrivers with ’em everywhere they go. And if she flipped her license plate over in Arizona, how did she make it past the Hoover Dam checkpoint? This just doesn’t make sense, and it’s definitely nothing a jury can say means premeditation beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Jodi dyed her hair so she’d look different.
If women are guilty of premeditation for dying their hair, Janine Driver, Dr. Drew Pinhead’s fake body language expert, would be on death row along with millions of other Americans. There is no proof she dyed her hair other than the testimony of the rental car man. If I have to juxtapose the testimony of one man to all the rest of the evidence — including photographs that show her with no blonde hair — I’m going to come down on the side with corroboration. And speaking of the rental car guy, just because he said he saw (what he described as) “Kool-Aid stains”, which can be incriminating, doesn’t mean he is right. And these mystery stains were never tested for blood, but even if they tested positive for blood, we know Jodi killed Travis. It’s a matter of premeditation, and I see no proof of premeditation from any of this hogwash.
- Jodi purchased gas cans and had ’em filled up.
This is another prosecution red herring. It’s a fact that many people take gas cans when they travel through the desert. Is it safer to go into the desert with no way out or to go into the desert with a combustible way out? If I drove through the desert, I’d probably carry some gas with me. Did she return the can? I have been to Walmarts numerous times. They are fast and loose with the rules like any other major store chain. You can return items with no receipt and get items with no documentation put down. It happens, I’ve seen it with my own eyes. If you do the math, like Juan Martinez wants you to, with two gas cans and a car tank, you can come out with that amount, just like if it were a car tank and three gas cans. So this red herring is nothing more than somebody being safe when driving through the desert. Let us remember that Jodi’s ex-boyfriend, Darryl, taught Jodi to fill up gas cans before driving through the desert. Besides, Rock Star says she bought the cans so she wouldn’t have to fill up and leave a trail near Travis. How is going to a gas station and paying with cash going to leave a trail? I don’t buy it.
Perhaps a better question is why didn’t Martinez ask Jodi while she was on the stand if her intent was to use the gas cans so there was no paper trail? The answer? Sneaky prosecution tactics. Juan was afraid. He knew the answer wouldn’t be what he wanted it to be. So what did he do? He waited until closing arguments, where nobody can rebut his claims and the jury can further buy into his circumstantial case of premeditation.
- Jodi turned off her cell phone in Arizona.
Is this incriminating or did she really just lose charge? I’m unsure, but I hardly think that someone can know beyond a reasonable doubt that someone who has their cell phone off is definitely incriminating. Remember to see the case through the lens of innocence. And on a side note, many people talk and text while driving, but there are also many people who turn their cell phones off while driving to avoid distractions. There is just simply no proof that Jodi intentionally turned her cell phone off to avoid detection. Refer to what I said about premeditation — it cannot be proven with a mere speculation, assumption, or inference.
The Physical Evidence of Premeditation
This is most damning for Rock Star Juan, and it’s the reason he tried to mention it as little as possible. The physical evidence at the scene obviously indicates a struggle ensued. Had this been premeditated, we know Travis had his back to Jodi and she could have done the deed there. She could have done it in his sleep. Did she really want to physically fight him before running into a closet to grab a gun that she’s barely tall enough to reach? I find this very difficult to believe.
If Jodi has a 119 IQ like Tot Doc Janeen DeMarte testified with her 3 years of experience, then Jodi is far above average intelligence. This being the case, she surely had about a 70 IQ and was basically retarded when premeditating this crime, if you want to believe Rock Star Juan.
Would she really throw a cup of water on the crime scene — which, if she premeditated it, wouldn’t have been much of a scene — and then call it a wrap? Besides, cleaning up a crime scene is post-act, which doesn’t prove premeditation. So who really cares if she threw a cup of water or whatever on the blood? She put her camera in a washing machine. Well, that proves that she was scared of getting caught for what she had done, but it has nothing to do with premeditation. Again, this is post-act and has nothing to do with premeditation.
Rock Star mentioned little of the physical evidence because he realized that there is nothing about the physical evidence that proves premeditation. They don’t even know if the gun shot was first or last.
Verdict: Not Guilty of Premeditated Murder
Final Verdict: Not Guilty of First Degree Murder
Rock Star Juan overcharged her because it’s a high profile case and he wanted all the fame and glory that comes with winning high profile cases, just like Jose Baez. But let’s be real here. Juan is no Jose Baez. Sorry.
Is Jodi evil? I personally don’t think so. I think that either she was demeaned and verbally and emotionally abused and with her Borderline Personality Disorder or Battered Women’s Syndrome, snapped and couldn’t take it anymore. Or she could have been physically attacked by Travis, as we know Travis was abusive with ex girlfriends in the past. But I think she got tired of being used, abused, and discarded into the trash like a piece of garbage.
Regardless of what happened, one thing is for sure. She’s not guilty of First Degree Murder, as felony murder and premeditated murder cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
What are your thoughts? Leave your comment(s) below!