Jury Questions for Dr. DeMarte


  1. Was JA mentally ill prior to the murder?  A:  She has BPD and it doesn’t come out of the blue.
  2. Without having training in DAPS testing, what is your basis for believing RG administered incorrectly?  A:  it is self-reporting test. Don’t need extensive training in it. I have read the manual several times–many mistakes.
  3. How many tests are there to diagnose the disorder and PTSD?  A:  There are 100s of tests. Some are more popular.
  4. How many did you personally administer?  A:  RAP, MMPI, TSI, WAIS. Four.
  5. How many years experience do you have in treating DV?  A:  Since 2004
  6. How many years experience with victims of sexual abuse?  A:  Same time frame.
  7. Do these fields require certification?  A:  Yes for a clinical psychologist. In terms of PTSD or DV, there’s no certification out there.
  8. When you were treating patients from 2004-2008, was it by yourself or with another psychologist?  A:  While unlicensed, we practice under the license of another psychologist but we meet alone with the patient.
  9. Do you feel that the knowledge of a sexual assault is as damaging as having a memory of it?  A:  Memory supports symptoms of intrusive thoughts. It wouldn’t be PTSD without memory.
  10. Can the body have reactions to certain stimuli that triggers emotions to a memory?  A:  Yes–there could be a physiological reaction.
  11. In one of the communications between JA and TA, TA says JA can have all of his passwords. Is it still unwanted intrusive behavior?  A:  No–not when they exchanged. As time went on, it was clear TA took away the permission.
  12. There were some communications between TA and other women where he complained that JA wouldn’t leave him alone. Were these people, like Michele Lowry, aware of his relationship with JA?  A:  Not the the extent it was sexual.
  13. How long in total did JA work at the Purple Plum both times?  AJD needs to look at her notes. (Pause as she looks.)  Doesn’t have the exact times she worked there.
  14. Did you monitor her at all after the 4 times you met with her?  A:  No.
  15. How far back did your forensic evaluation go and were all the records were available?  A:  All the records pertaining to her were made available to me, as far as I know. Evaluation wnet back to her childhood.
  16. Do you consider BPD a mental illness or psychological disorder and why?  A:  It’s a psychological disorder (same as metal illness)
  17. How does dissociation play into BPD?  A:  It’s a technique to distance oneself from an environment that is anxiety-provoking. One of the symptoms of BPD is dissociation and paranoia.


3 Replies to “Jury Questions for Dr. DeMarte”

  1. As always, MANY thanks, Lisa!!

    Random thoughts…

    While I had seen a Dateline episode about this murder awhile ago, I only got into the Arias trial a few weeks ago. I binge-watched the whole thing.

    Somewhere out in cyber space, I had gotten the sense before I watched it that there was a general consensus that many people were less than impressed with Alyce LaVioletteat. I didn’t agree with that assessment at all. I think she’s right on the money. I liked her a lot.

    Alyce LaVioletteat has been in the trenches and knows what she talking about from an experiential perspective. That holds a lot of weight with me. As a survivor of domestic violence, physical and emotional, myself, she really “gets it”.

    From the standpoint of expert witness testimony, clearly tests, measures, and statistics have greater influence on juries, and their questions to DeMarte that you have shared with us seem to bear that out. The same goes for juries and the CSI effect. Often they can’t see the forest for the trees. They discount incontrovertible circumstantial evidence and, instead, make the mistake of interpreting reasonable doubt, confusing there being a reason to doubt with there being – any – reason to doubt.

    In my opinion, for better or worse, endless analysis, objectivity, and statistics is exactly where the world has gone. I think it’s for the worse, the pendulum has swung too far in that direction. In the “real world,” not everything that counts can be counted. People can take DeMarte’s tests at a computer, which can then immediately score them. Just because a human scores them and looks on a chart and copies down what someone else has decided that means, only goes so far.

    When working with human beings, I think it’s a mistake. Human experience will always, I hope, be an equally important element in “diagnosing” and working with people in all situations, in this case with those who have personality disorders/ mental illness.

    DeMarte has jumped through the appropriate academic hoops and come out on the other end with a fancy certificate to hang on her wall. If I sound irreverent it’s because I earned my doctorate in 2000 and I know how that racket works – even at esteemed academic research institutions, where I continued on for 16 years on the faculty.

    I was 40 when I began my graduate work. By then, I had gone through far too many relationships with guys like Travis, had two kids, had gotten in and out of an abusive marriage, had been on locked psyche wards twice. I was the person who took the tests DeMarte gave Jodie, and I read the PhD Psychologist “interpretation of the results of the tests administered to me.

    Later, in my academic career, I worked side-by-side with PhD psychologists on the other side of the fence. No one knew I had been there myself. You get a different perspective when you’ve experienced both sides. It’s one of many reasons I would never have been selected as a jury member for this trial

    I don’t dislike DeMarte but she’s young and sh strikes me as distinctly inexperienced in life, in the “real world”.

    I had also gotten a sense that people were huge fans of the prosecutor, Juan ___?___ ( Maybe my sense of how people felt about Jody and the prosecutor came from random comments people shared on Websleuths in the Pistorius trial Forum. I think that’s it. I haven’t followed any trials anywhere else.)

    Anyway, I was shocked to find that I could stand the Prosecutor. His fast-talking, derisive, bullying, histrionics were court-room theater that I didn’t respect. I do’t like American courts for just that reason. It’s about theatrics vs. intellect. Clearly he had a strategy but, listening closely to everything he said, he didn’t strike me as being very intelligent.

    I compare his “performance” to the thoughtful, measured, and dignified work of Gerrie Nel in the Pistorius trial. That verdict was beyond comprehensible but that doesn’t mean he didn’t do one heck of a job – not perfect, but brilliant.

    Jody’s sentence? My guess is that she’ll get life and I hope she does. I don’t believe in the death penalty, for many reasons, not the least of which is that, to me, the far harsher punishment is life in prison without the possibility of parole. Death is an easy out.

    Having watched every minute of the Arias trial that was televised, I believe…

    1. Travis did not deserve to die / to be murdered by Jody.

    2. Travis had serious unresolved, undiagnosed, untreated issues of his own, stemming from his extremely dysfunctional past.

    3. Even with those serious issues, Travis was “functional”.

    4. Travis had culpability in creating and perpetuating a situation in which Jodie’s predisposition to mental illness / violence was fostered.

    1. Jody did not deserve the DV? she experinced — more specifically “physical (sexual), psychological, emotional, and spiritual relationship-violence” by Travis.

    2. Jody had serious unresolved, undiagnosed, untreated issues of her own, stemming from her extremely dysfunctional past along with a predisposition for mental illness.

    3. Even with those serious issues, Jody was “functional”.

    4 . Their relationship exacerbated the serious issues both of them had.

    5. A perfect storm was created. It was no one’s fault and it was everyone’s fault.

    “But, Lulu, Travis was MURDERED!”

    Yes, he was.

    The law has it’s own definition of murder which I don’t think goes far enough.

    To me, murder is not just physical. Someone can murder someone’s spirit, someone’s psyche, someone’s mental equilibrium, someone’s economic wherewithal.

    Many women who are raped are never the same, their spirits, their psyches, their mental equilibriums have been murdered. Bernie Madoff murdered many people economically with his crimes (some major fraudsters are still sentenced to just a few years.) Child abusers murder children who are still alive. Same thing with wars. My abusive husband was a VietNam vet. He was a dead person who was physically alive.

    Jody and Travis : The Perfect Storm

    These are only my opinions. Take what you want and leave the rest. :o)

    1. Hi Lulu,

      I appreciate your thoughts. They’re not the popular ones out in the public, but I appreciate you being brave enough to say them. There are some items I agree with and some I don’t. I do believe that Travis had some issues of his own that were not resolved. I think it goes a little beyond him just being a single guy who was a player. The bigger issue was that he was living a lie – preaching to groups of people and pretending to be living a Mormon life and he wasn’t. Nobody’s perfect, we all do things we know we shouldn’t, but there’s a difference when you’re preaching to a group of people and encouraging them to live that life. He was a motivational speaker, but he wasn’t living what he was preaching. He mislead them.

      With that said – I do not believe that he abused her at all. He was pretty darn clear that he wasn’t going to marry her and she kept pursuing him. She wanted sex with him so bad whichever way she could get it. He didn’t make her do anything she didn’t want to. She even moved to AZ after they broke up even though he told her not too. His mistake was that he continued to sleep with her. You wave sex in front of a single man and most of them are going to take it. So I get that and cut some slack. But when he found out she was hacking his accounts, stalking him & his girlfriends, slashing tires, etc… he was crazy to continue sleeping with her. That’s just simply unexplainable, and seems to show his deep-seeded issues.

      At the end of the day – Jodi is one insane, evil, beyond-repair criminal. I have no sympathy for her. Whatever she gets, she deserves. Was Travis responsible for his death? No, absolutely not. Did Travis make some very unfortunate, foolish mistakes that played a part in the grand scheme of what happened to him? Yes. I wish he made different choices. We can learn from this.

      The thing that’s hard about discussing this case with many people is that emotions are exceptionally high and people tend to be radically on either side of the fence. Myself, and Nick, believe that you can have a civil conversation about all of it without being a supporter, hater, troll.. and whatever else some may call you. We’ve been called haters and supporters online, which is ridiculous. Nothing could be further from the truth. Interrogating people and the decisions they make is important in life. It helps us to understand humanity and be better people. That’s what we wrote about in our book. Again, thanks for being honest and brave about how you feel. I agree that Jodi and Travis were a perfect storm. I disagree about LaViolette and about the abuse, but respect that you have a different opinion. Chat soon

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