Jodi Arias will return to the witness stand for her first-degree murder trial on Wednesday, March 13, for the 2008 Arizona killing of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.
The 31-year-old is on trial for murdering her ex-lover, Alexander, a 30-year-old Mormon motivational speaker. Arias stabbed her victim over 27 times, slit his throat from ear to ear and shot him in the head. His body was discovered the day he was killed: June 4, 2008. Arias lied twice at first about how he was killed and later admitted that she killed him in an act of self-defense.
When Arias' defense attorney Kirk Nurmi returns to court this week, he will likely call two new defense witnesses, according to reports. The witnesses might be domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette to support the defense claim that Arias was in an abusive relationship and Richard Samuels, a clinical and forensic psychologist.
Samuels specializes in "testimony for sexually violent person commitment matters, psychosexual risk assessments, sexual sarassment," according to his website. The expert might testify that Alexander's emotional abuse may have pushed Arias over the edge enough to make her kill him. He may also address Arias' "foggy memory" issues - which she testified is why she cannot remember stabbing Alexander over 27 times- are a result of the psychological damage she sustained during the course of her relationship with her victim.
According to Samuels' website, he has extensive experience working with defense attorneys to testify on behalf of their clients to "result in a more favorable outcome" for a defendant on trial.
Nurmi's second defense witness, LaViolette, has worked with domestic violence victims since 1978, according to her website, and oversees a training program for battered victims. She has testified as a criminal expert witness on the stand for many trials including criminal, civil and family courts for various offenses including homicides and child custody. LaViolette's website said she specializes in "anger management, domestic violence counseling for survivors and perpetrators." She also wrote the book It Could Happen To Anyone: Why Battered Women Stay.
The state's prosecutor, Juan Martinez, is expected to cross-examine Arias when she returns to the witness stand. The jurors may submit more questions after she is questioned again by Martinez and her defense attorney.
If Arias is convicted of the murder and the lies that she confessed to, she will likely face the death penalty and become the fourth woman in Arizona's history to die by lethal injection.
Watch the live stream of Arias' murder trial on Wednesday, March 13, below beginning at 12:30 p.m. EST.