As another week dawned in the marathon murder trial for Jodi Arias, Monday’s testimony focused on whether the controversial 32-year-old defendant suffered from post traumatic stress disorder after she butchered her former boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in June 2008.
Arias has repeatedly told the Maricopa County Court in Phoenix, Ariz. that she has “no memory” of the brutal killing during which she stabbed her Mormon lover 29 times, slit his throat and shot him, even going so far to claim that “June 4 is an anomaly for me.”
In the latest round of the bombshell trial, Dr. Richard Samuels, a psychologist testifying for the defense, explained how a certain type of memory loss can be triggered by intense stress as the fight or flight response shuts down the parts of the brain where memories are registered.
“The hippocampus is the seat of memory,” he told the court, revealing that memories lost during a blackout can never be revived.
“If they’re not there they can’t come back,” he said, before going on to explain that “dissociative amnesia is usually associated with criminal behavior” or “with crimes in which there is a high emotional reaction.”
Dr. Samuels claims that the way Jodi recounted the day of the alleged murder – by only remembering the onset of the bloody crime and the aftermath when she drove through the desert to Utah – is consistent with the condition.
“Memories are not formed in many people who are experiencing acute stress, because, chemically, it just doesn’t work,” Samuels previously told the court on Thursday when he embarked on his psychological testimony.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez is determined to undermine the credibility of the doctor’s opinion by revealing that he spent much of his career as a sex therapist, arguing that Samuels “crossed the line again” by going into a treatment role with Arias, and by pointing out that he is a PhD not an MD and is therefore less qualified to talk about the human brain.