On Thursday, she explained that she spent more than 40 hours interviewing Arias and referred to several movies, including "Sleeping with the Enemy," as she described how battered women react differently to abusive partners.
During 18 days on the witness stand, Arias described an abusive childhood, including her father belittling her mother, cheating boyfriends, dead-end jobs, a shocking sexual relationship with Alexander, and her contention that he had grown physically violent in the months leading to his death.
LaViolette said Arias' upbringing shaped her belief about relationships.
"She said, 'I learned about loyalty,'" LaViolette said. "She said, 'I think I must have learned about giving up the things I want for somebody I love.'"
LaViolette is working to explain why Arias continued seeing Alexander even after she says he grew physically abusive.
However, there has been no testimony other than Arias' and no evidence at trial to corroborate the defendant's claims that Alexander had ever been physically violent in the past.
Alexander suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, was shot in the head and had his throat slit. Arias' palm print was found in blood at the scene, along with her hair and nude photos of her and the victim from the day of the killing.
Arias said she recalls Alexander attacking her in a fury after a day of sex. She said she ran into his closet to retrieve a gun he kept on a shelf and fired in self-defense but has no memory of stabbing him.
She acknowledged trying to clean the scene, dumping the gun in the desert and working on an alibi to avoid suspicion. She said she was too scared and ashamed to tell the truth at the time but insists she isn't lying now.
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