Wednesday, November 4, 2015


In 2013 Jodi Arias was on trial for the 2008 first-degree murder of Travis Alexander.  The prosecutor alleged Jodi took steps before the murder to cover up her crime.   He claimed she obtained gas cans to allow her to go to and from her victim's Arizona home without the risk of being detected. Whereas Jodi could have used cash to purchase gas while in Arizona, doing so would have risked detection if she was caught on a gas station video surveillance.
The prosecutor introduced evidence to show Jodi contacted a friend prior to her trip and borrowed two gas cans.  This was an act Jodi could not hide because the friend would not lie for her even though he loved her.  It was this friend, Darryl Brewer, who shared information that Jodi planned on "going to Arizona to visit friends" despite her claim she didn't.   The prosecutor also showed Jodi purchased a third can while in Salinas and a third can was required to ensure she could move through Arizona without the need to purchase gas:
  • Pasadena to Mesa to HWY 15 (Jodi's alibi route) = 720 miles
  • The Ford Focus = 29-31 MPG; 
    • 13.5 gallon tank
      • + 2 5-gallon cans 
        • = 682 - 728 miles
        •  + 3 5-gallon cans
          • = 826.5 - 883.5 miles

"Jodi would have thrown the receipt away if she didn't want anyone to know about it"

Prior to her arrest,  Jodi wanted people to know about the receipt.  She believed MPD would never be able to place her in AZ because she took multiple steps to hide her presence.  The Walmart receipt was one of many she kept to corroborate her alleged route.  She did not learn her alibi was blown until after her arrest and by that time it was too late.  MPD already had the receipt.

After her testimony,  the prosecution placed two rebuttal witnesses on the stand.  Their testimony showed Jodi was continuing to lie and was willing to do so under oath despite her claim she wouldn't. Neither woman had anything to loose or gain from their testimony against Jodi.

"It wasn't fair for the prosecution to add the witnesses during the trial.  The defense had no time to prepare."

Jodi's testimony was the first time the prosecutor heard many of the claims she made.  The state had a legal right to obtain rebuttal witnesses based on new information the defendant introduces during a trial.   Unlike the State,  the defense is not required to share their "game plan" when it comes to the defendant's testimony.  


Amanda Webb was the first rebuttal witness the state used to show Jodi lied.  She worked for Walmart for five years at the time Walmart was contacted for information about the alleged return.   Like most people starting out with a company,  Webb's initial position was low-level.  She started out as an associate who folded clothing and worked her way up to the position of a loss prevention specialist.

"Webb folded clothing at Walmart in 2008"

What position Webb did in 2008 does not matter.  She was not asked in 2008 to find the records.  She was asked in 2013 and in 2013 she was a loss prevention specialist.  She was competent to find the records when asked  in 2013 because she had the training to do so.  

"Webb didn't even know how many registers were in the store in 2008"

Amanda Webb didn't need to know how many registers were in the store in 2008.  She only needed to know the open ones.   She did and they were the ones she checked.
  • JM: On June 3rd, 2008, were you able to go back and determine how many cash registers were open that day?
  • AW: Yes
  • JM: And did you check each and every cash register including the ones that don't usually give refunds to see what refunds were given that particular day?
  • AW: Yes.

Webb was chosen to search for the return and testify about it because of her expertise.  The Walmart company did not have 469 billion dollars in sales in 2013 based on bad decisions such as putting someone in a loss prevention position who did not know how to do it.   It is a multi-billion dollar company who has been a global leader in information technology innovation and continue to increase in sales yearly.
  • 1975 started using electronic cash registers
  • 1977 company wide network system for ordering merchandise for resale in its stores
  • 1979 builds a company wide computer network and installs the first computer terminal in a store to manage customer sales.
  • 1983 Started scanning bar codes for POS management.
  • 1987 completes what is the largest private satellite communication network of its time. The network allows stores to exchange data between it's POS system.
  • 1995 Walmart has stores in all 50 states
    • 1,195 stores,  239 Supercenters, 433 Sam's clubs, and 276 international stores.
    • Topping 93.6 billion dollars in sales
  • 2002 Walmart starts using the internet for data exchange w/ thousands of suppliers throughout the world.
  • 2005 RFID technology starting to be used.
  • 2006 349 billion dollars in sales and 6,775 stores world wide.
  • 2007 introduces site to store service that enables customers to order their items online and pick them up in the store.
  • 2012 446 billion in sales
  • 2013 469 billion in sales
  • 2014 476 B
  • 2015 485 B

By 2008,  Walmart had a POS system that allowed its annual billion dollar transactions to be recorded for business and tax purposes.    As a leader in the industry,  Walmart was knowledgeable of IRS standards requiring them to maintain an accurate record of transactions for the past seven years for each store.  The satellite communications and POS system aided them in maintaining these records.

Per day, each store's POS system record financial information that can be accessed from another site through satellite communications.
  • The Store number 
  • The terminal (register) number
  • The total amount inputted 
  • The total amount of voided sales
  • The total amount of returns
  • The total amount of discounts added.
  • The final amount taken in minus voids, returns, and discounts.

Using the satellite communications system, Amanda Webb was able to access the electronic journal of store 2458 to determine what registers were open on June 3rd, 2008.  Those registers were:
  • T3
  • T4
  • T5
  • T7
  • T8
  • T9
  • T10
  • T13
  • T14
  • T43
  • T44
  • T45
  • T46
  • T52
  • T59
  • T65
  • T67
  • T70
  • T73
  • T76
  • T77
  • T79
  • T92
  • T93
  • T95
"She might have missed a register"

Amanda Webb knew what registers were open on June 3rd, 2008 because she looked to see which ones were open.
  • AW: "11 and 12 were not operating that day so no one jumped on that register and operated it."
  • JM "Were any of the other registers between 14 and 43 operational on June 3rd, 2008"
  • AW "No, there would be a journal for that.  When I look through the journal itself, it just shows me the journals that were operating.  So if the register was not operating that day, it won't show it (the non-operating register) to me at all."

Amanda Webb went to the electronic journal and pulled up the list of what terminals/ registers were in use on June 3rd, 2008. Once it was learned what terminals were open,  Webb  was able to access the individual terminal to see if returns were made, how much, and what was returned.  Webb knew she had the correct register because the store number was attached to the terminal/ register number.

Only seven of the open registers had returns listed on June 3rd, 2008.
  1. Terminal 53
    • one return of $9.93
    • Did not include the SKU number for the kero can
    • The kero can cost $12.96
  2. Terminal 59
    • six returns totaling 223.05
      • No SKU for KERO can
      • No return for $12.96
  3. Terminal 73
    • One return for Bounty napkins $3.20
  4. Terminal 79
    • One return for a prescription of $73.88
  5. Terminal 92
    • customer service desk
    • Returns $4,441.55
      • No kero can SKU
      • No return of $12.96
  6. Terminal 93
    • customer service desk
    • Returns $3198.85
      • No kero can sku
      • no return of $12.96
  7. Terminal 95
    • one return battery/ battery core:  $63.53
      • This is likely the tire and lube register

 "The store moved and the tire and lube store could have stayed behind.  Maybe Jodi returned it there"

Amanda Webb was able to locate the list of registers open for store 2458 on June 3, 2008.   She viewed the electronic journals of those register using that list.  If a register was missing from the list, she would have known.  If she had the "wrong" register from 2008, she would have known because the store number would be different.  And, if the register was "new" from the move, she would have known because the e-journal would not have included June 3rd, 2008. 

The "TC" number (5a) on the receipt is linked to the original purchase receipt.  If a person brings in the receipt with the purchase,  the associate can scan the bar code on the receipt and the transaction will come up.

Maybe Jodi returned the item without the receipt and that's why it's not been found.

Amanda Webb looked for the SKU number of the item,  not the receipt number.  When returning an item, the SKU number would have been scanned so the associate knew the correct amount of money to return to the customer.
  • AM:  The TC number at the bottom of the receipt is how you can connect that receipt to that actual transaction, that return.
  • JM:  Did you check the TC number to see if this receipt was brought back for a return or any other activity?
  • AM:  I didn't check for the TC number,  I checked for the specific item and then went through each register for that specific item.
  • AM:  I searched that sku number for a week,  it had not been returned or purchased until about a week later.

"Amanda Webb said she didn't know if all the financial records transferred with the move."

Amanda Webb did not need to know if all the financial records transferred.  She only needed to know what registers were open that day to locate them and look in their electronic journals.   Amanda Webb knew that information,  printed it out,  and those print outs where shared with the state, the defense, and the court.  If items were missing or the store number incorrect, the defense would have been aware and Nurmi would have filed a motion.


Juan Martinez introduced evidence that Jodi Arias made three purchases at the Tesoro gas station in Salt Lake City:
  1. Paper receipt showing gas purchase of 10.67 G at $3.859 a gallon
  2. Paper receipt showing gas purchase of 9.583 G at $3.859 / gallon
  3. A credit card purchase for $19.65 or 5.09 G at $3.859 / gallon.
The defense objected to the prosecution referring to the 19.65 purchase as gas.  Per Jodi's claim, it couldn't had been because she said she took the gas can back on June 3rd.  She did not have enough storage volume to hold 25.34 gallons of gas.   The Tesoro company was contacted and a witness obtained for rebuttal.  The rep,  Chelsea Young,  testified that the $19.95 credit card purchase was made at the pump so it had to be gas.

"Jodi could have overfilled the two gas cans and that is where the extra two gallons went to "

Jodi testified that she did not fill up the extra cans to the top because she was concerned about spilling a "highly flammable substance" on her hands or the ground.

ARCO Purchases

  • At 8:42 PM, Jodi purchased a total of 8.3 gallons of gas with her credit card at the pump.
  • At 8:53:24 PM, Jodi prepaid $40 cash inside the store  and purchased a total of 9.594 gallons
  • At 8:54:52 PM Jodi prepaid $20 cash inside the store and purchased 2.77 more gallons

Why would Jodi use her credit card at the pump for one purchase but then go inside to prepay for two different purchases?  Why not continue to use her credit card at the pump?  Jodi's actions suggest her initial plan was to hide the two additional purchases.  There is no other logical reason for Jodi to not use her credit card at the pump if she did not know how much gas she needed.

Jodi's Rental

Jodi rented a 2008 Ford Focus for her trip.   According to the specifications for this car,  the vehicle was equipped with a 13.5 gallon gas tank.  

"Jodi's car must have had a bigger tank in it."

The car did not have a bigger gas tank in it. Rental companies are out to make money, not loose it by customizing an economy car.

"Jodi returned the gas can because it was a kerosene can and purchased another one later."

 Jodi did not testify that she returned it because of it being a kerosene can.  The reasons Jodi used to return it does not make it a reasonable suggestion to claim she purchased a fourth can. 
  • Jodi's testimony for returning the gas can:
    • She didn't have the room for it.
    • It did not make financial sense to purchase a can to save money on gas
      • Her financial status did not change in Utah.
        • The majority of her trip back was not in California.
          • The most she could have saved on gas by buying a fourth was $5.00
            • The gas can at Walmart cost $12.96 (Walmart = low prices)
              • Jodi would be loosing money by purchasing a fourth can.
"Jodi bought a fourth can.  That's the only explanation.  When she stated "on that trip", she was referring to only the part between Salinas and Mesa."

The jury asked Jodi a four part question identifying "the trip" as the one from CA to AZ to UT. "The trip" was the entire trip, not one leg of it.
  • Four part Jury question:
    1. Have you taken long trips by yourself in the past such as the one from California to Arizona to Utah, the one you took in June of 2008?
      • JA: "only along highways I was familiar with"
    2. How often do you take such trips?
      • JA:  "I wouldn't know an exact number."
    3. During the trips you took, did you take extra gas cans with you?
      • only after I moved to the desert....  we started carrying water.  We carried gas for long distances."
    4. If you took gas cans with you,  where did you get them?
      • "I got two...  the TWO gas cans I got on that trip I got from Darryl.  Then I bought a third one, I determined I didn't need it, then I returned it.

Jodi implied multiple times that she only had two cans because she returned the third:
  1. I got two...  the TWO gas cans I got on that trip I got from Darryl.  Then I bought a third one, I determined I didn't need it, then I returned it
  2. You said you got the two gas cans to fill up where gas was cheaper in Nevada or Utah.  Why did you fill up in Pasadena?
    • JA: I initially got the gas cans to save money on gas............  I didn't want to get stuck in the dark in the middle of the desert.  I wanted to make sure I wasn't stranded."
  3. Jury question
    • If you had three gas cans........
      • JA: First,  I didn't have three gas cans...  I didn't have three gas cans.  I believe we were discussing a hypothetical,  if I had three gas cans................. I only had two anyway so there were never three on that trip when I pulled out of Salinas.
  4. Jury question:  You mentioned filling a third can.  When and where did you get this can?
    • JA: March 5?  I believe that was a hypothetical. I had a third can when I purchased on in Salinas, I returned it before leaving Salinas............  I only had two gas cans with me.
  5. JA: to answer the gas can question, I went to Mesa with two gas cans.
  6. Troy Hayden interview
    • Troy: Was there a third gas can?
    • Jodi:  There was initially when I purchased it but I really did return it.  I got thirteen dollars and change back and I went on my way.

According to Jodi,  she stopped in Desert Center and in Buckeye on her way to Mesa. Despite using her credit card for every other gas purchase there was not any record of Jodi using her credit card en route to or leaving Mesa. It's not reasonable to suggest the only time Jodi didn't use her credit card or keep a receipt was the time when it could have benefited her the most if she was telling the truth.

Using cash and stopping at Desert Center at night would have been an unusual choice for a young woman driving alone at night.  The action is not reasonable in light of Jodi's other testimony regarding her safety concerns. Desert Center was a desolate and dangerous place.  The one gas station in the area was a "scary dump" and had been as far back as 2005.  

According to Jodi, she had a large amount of cash on her:
"Just for emergency purposes, I kept just over $100 (cash) just in case"

Jodi claimed to be safety conscious.  Stopping for gas in Desert Center and paying for it with cash was not a reasonable claim in light of  her other testimony:
  • The gas cans were for cheaper gas.  She only filled them up because she was driving HWY 15
    • Then why stop again in California (Desert Center) to fill her tank when she still had a 1/2 of a tank?
      • She could have made it to AZ without dipping into the gas cans.
  • Jodi said she filled the gas cans up because she was a woman, alone, driving at night, on an unfamiliar route, in an unfamiliar car. Or, "safety first."
    • Then why stop in barren Desert Center where truckers rest and use cash to buy gas instead of her credit card? 

Why did Jodi pick Desert Center as one of her stops?  


Other than her word,  Jodi had nothing to corroborate her statements.  Of course, it's true a defendant does not have to provide proof of innocence.  However,  when she has a lot of evidence that is contradictory to her word, a history of lying, and suspected lying on the stand  (Jodi's credibility issues ) she had better provide evidence other than her word.

Evidence showing Jodi had a third gas can
  • Walmart Receipt showing purchase
  • No evidence of her alleged return
  • Three separate purchases at Arco
  • Three separate purchases in Salt Lake City
  • Purchase of 25.3 gallons in Salt Lake City
  • No evidence of gas stops between Pasadena and Mesa
    • No evidence of gas stops between Mesa and Mesquite Nevada
    • Used her credit card everywhere else for gas except between Pasadena to Mesa, Mesa to Mesquite.
    Evidence showing Jodi only had two cans
    • She said she returned the third can and only had two, two cans on that trip.

    It is not one piece of evidence that supports Jodi had three cans;  it is the combination of it all.  Some Jodi supporters fail to consider the evidence as a whole and ignore the lack of reason associated with her version of events:

    Why fill up in California if she got the cans to save money on gas?

    Why stop in a dangerous area at night if she had enough gas to allow her to drive at least 480 more miles on a road she had driven before if she was concerned about safety?

    Why fill up in California the second time (Desert Center) with more gas if she had enough gas to get her to Quarzite or Buckeye AZ where she could get it cheaper?

    Why would she buy another gas can fro $13.00 if she returned the first because it didn't make financial sense?

    Why would she buy another gas can at the end of her trip to save money on gas when  the most she could save was $5.00 at the can would cost her $13.00?

    Why buy the gas can in the first place if she already had two since two unless she needed to travel further than what two cans and one tank would allow?

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