Domestic violence expert testifies in Arias trial - Dallas News |

Domestic violence expert testifies in Arias trial


Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - A domestic violence expert is testifying in Jodi Arias' murder trial that the defendant was vulnerable at the time she met the victim and had a hard time declining his sexual advances.

Psychotherapist Alyce LaViolette says she spent more than 40 hours interviewing Arias. She says Arias had a difficult childhood and grew up with little self-esteem.

Arias faces a possible death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder in the June 2008 killing of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home.

Authorities say she planned the attack on her lover in a jealous rage. Arias initially told authorities she had nothing to do with it then said it was self-defense.

Arias says Alexander grew physically abusive prior to his death, but no evidence at trial has supported her claims.

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