Friday, May 17, 2013

Jodi Arias trial: Watch Samantha Alexander make victim impact statement on Travis Alexander's death (videos, transcript)

On May 16, 2013, Travis Alexander's sister Samantha Alexander delivered a victim impact statement regarding the devastating loss of her brother's murder. Jodi Arias was convicted of first-degree murder on May 8, 2013, and now faces the death penalty. Samantha Alexander testified following her brother Steven and there wasn't a dry eye in the courtroom. Steven and Samantha Alexander were the only family members to deliver victim impact statements but there was no question they eloquently shared the heartbreaking plight of the Alexander family.

You may watch Samantha Alexander's victim impact statement beginning at 15:30 in the video player below. Read below for the full transcript.


Samantha Alexander: My name is Samantha Alexander. I am one of Travis’s younger sisters. There are eight siblings, 4 boys, 4 girls, and this tragedy has forever changed our lives. I’m going to do the best to speak on behalf of my family, my family that has been tortured by the loss of our beloved brother and family member.

From a family of eight siblings, we have always been there for each other through the good times and the bad. We lost our father on Travis’s 28th birthday and our mother shortly after, and through this trying time in our lives, Travis was the one that got us through the pain and the hardship, because he was our strength.
Samantha Alexander gives victim impact statement 

Juan Martinez: Exhibit 659.

Samantha Alexander: This is a picture of my grandmother. She is the one that raised Travis. My grandmother could not deal with loss, could not handle the reality of what happened. Travis being taken from us has put her over the edge, and her health eventually went into a downward spiral she never recovered from. Losing Travis has completely destroyed the overall health of our family. We lived a blessed life with our grandmother, and it was with insurmountable pain when our grandmother died shortly before jury selection of this trial.

Travis was our strength, our constant beacon of hope, our motivation. His presence has been ripped from our lives. His giving spirit, his determination for accomplishment, and his endless strength, as a foundation of our family has been taken from us and never can be replaced.

Something that we have all missed and will live the rest of our lives missing, are our times together, especially during the holidays. Travis always gave us motivational books, books which were about saving the planet, 1,000 Places to See Before you Die. It is sickening to think that he motivated us with topics he will never be allowed to live out. It’s not just the holidays, but every day will never be the same. Our lives will never ever be the same.

Travis worked hard for everything he had. He never had any handouts. He never took anything for granted. Travis was not shy. He was full of life. If he were able to walk in this room you would immediately feel his love and warmth. Travis would cry with you, he would laugh with you, and he would joke with you, always lifting your spirits. Travis’greatest attributes were his ability to make others feel appreciated, accepted and loved because he genuinely cared about making those around him feel good about themselves.

 His mission in Colorado is a testament to this, as was volunteering to help the homeless by driving around in his Toyota Prius, with our sister Tanisha, handing out care packages to the less fortunate, providing essential hygiene products, food items and a personalized message that he wrote on the brown paper bag that held his gift. He wrote, “The difference between a stumbling clock and a stepping stone is the character of the individual walking the path.”

You see, Travis wasn’t anything but a loving brother, son, grandson and friend. He was our strength and our motivation to make our lives better than the ones we were born into. This is exactly why Travis was such an accomplished motivational speaker. It saddens and sickens us all that his potential was cut short, and our family, and the world, will never receive the full benefit of his goodness.

Towards the end of May 2008, just a couple weeks before Travis was killed, he came to visit me at my house in southern California. He was so excited to let me read his intro to the book he was writing, the motivational book titled, Raising You.

Travis and I got into a deep conversation about our lives, our crazy childhood, and our cockroach phobia. We both agreed no matter how miserable our lives were at times, our childhood is what made us who we are. Our childhood made us strong and able to conquer anything. This was the last time I saw Travis.

Juan Martinez: Exhibit #660


Samantha Alexander: He talked me into taking this picture even though I was in pj’s. It makes me cry every time I look at it. I’m so glad he talked me into taking this picture. I will cherish it for the rest of my life.

Recalling the moment that I found out about my brother, my brother’s death, I think of my ears ringing, my stomach burning and this idea that this can’t possibly be happening.

On the morning of June 10th, 2008, I was on a river trip in Parker, Arizona. We were getting ready to take the boat out. I checked my voice mail before we went out for the day. There was a message from my grandmother. My heart sank into my stomach. She said, “Samantha, you need to call me back, it’s very important.” I could tell that she was crying, and I recognized her tone of voice from before. I knew that someone was dead. I called my grandma’s house and my sister, Tanisha, answered the phone. She screamed at me. She said, “Samantha, Travis is dead!” I could barely breathe out the words, “What happened to him?” She told me that no one knew, and the police didn’t provide any details.

To this day my mind paints a picture of the night Travis was taken. Even though I try not to let it, upon standing in the same exact spot where this horrific tragedy happened, when we had to go to Travis’s house after the investigators were done, I felt the same sickening feeling, my ears ringing, burning stomach, my eyes were filled with tears where I could barely see – the thoughts of what Travis must have went through that day, the pain, the agony, the screams and fear that Travis must have felt when he was brutally being taken.

We have been at this trial every day since it started. We have heard every detail about the crime and the injuries Travis suffered. I am a police officer, and some of these photos are more gruesome than I’ve ever seen in my 11 years in law enforcement. Our minds are currently stained with images of our poor brother’s throat slit from ear to ear. Our minds are stained with the image of Travis’s body slumped dead in the shower.

Our family has bore the burden of extreme loss and financial hardship to be here to see that Travis is not forgotten and to ensure that his life was not lost in vain, from being away from our sons, our daughters, nieces and nephews, stepping down from opportunities in the workplace, to suffering from anxiety and severe depression, the crying, like my grandmother, to submit to anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. Travis was the only family member that lived in Arizona, making it very difficult for us to be here. We have paid the ultimate price losing Travis. Each and every one of us have looked to Travis for support and words of guidance during times like this. None of us ever thought that he wouldn’t be here when we needed him the most.

To think that someone so loving, so caring, so giving, could be taken from us, given the already tragic lives we have lived, but to have Travis taken so barbarically is beyond any words we can find to describe our horrific loss.

I cannot adequately express how much we will miss our brother. We will miss his contagious laughter, his singing voicemails, his jokes, his funny dances, his help in hard situations, his guidance when we were lost, his motivation, his insight, his huge smile...

Juan Martinez: Exhibit 6611

Samantha Alexander: ...him being there on the holidays. Travis was the glue in our family. Our family has not been together since Travis has been gone. It’s simply too hard to think of that one empty chair.

We miss his charisma, his goal to make someone feel good about themselves and to make someone smile, no matter who they are or what they look like. Travis had an incredible heart. He had a huge heart. And it was this huge heart and his kindness that will forever be missed.

We were robbed of so any good memories, so many awesome moments with Travis. Our lives will never be the same. We can never get him back. We are so grateful for our wonderful brother and we feel so lucky and blessed for the time we had with Travis however short lived. We would give anything to have him back. Anything!

Thank you.

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