The defense team is bustling to support the post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis for Jodi Arias, the woman accused of brutally murdering her lover in a jealous fit, after prosecution's cross-examination questioned the psychologist's methods.
Psychologist Richard Samuels, who had met Arias for more than 30 hours in the three years she was jailed said she could be struggling with PTSD and dissociative amnesia, explaining why she couldn't remember any event the day the killing took place.
However the diagnosis could be faulty based on Arias' history of lying.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez took the opportunity to point out the countless lies Arias told on the stand and Samuels recognized he should have reapplied a test to confirm his PTSD diagnosis.
"The process of forming a diagnosis is not a simple process," Samuels testified Wednesday in the court. "The fact is that it's necessary to obtain information from as many different sources as you can."
To diagnose PTSD, psychologists perform a psychological evaluation and confirm their scores based on signs and symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- Whether person experienced an event or threat of an event involving death or serious injury
- The event made him or her experience fear, horror or helplessness
- Whether they relive the experience through distraught images and memories, dreams, flashbacks or physical reactions
- If person is avoiding situations where they're reminded of event or they feel numb in the situation
- If person is on guard, making it difficult to sleep
- Symptoms are lasting more than a month
- Symptoms are causing distress and interfering with the ability to move forward on normal activities and tasks
Previous video surveillance also picked up images of Arias behaving strangely, in one video she is standing on her head, talking to her self and playing around in the police interrogation room, 15 minutes after she wept in front of officers.
Samuels is expected to return to the stand on Thursday for more questioning but from jurors this time, a trial procedure allowed in the state of Arizona. His responses will be read later on by the judge.
If Arias is found guilty of first-degree murder, she is likely facing the death penalty. In June 2008, Travis Alexander was stabbed 30 times and shot in the head. He also retained a slit throat before Arias pulled him into the shower of his Phoenix home.
Published by Medicaldaily.com