Tags: jodi | arias | trial | jury

Dramatic Jodi Arias Murder Case Goes to Arizona Jury

Image: Dramatic Jodi Arias Murder Case Goes to Arizona Jury

Friday, 03 May 2013 09:41 PM


PHOENIX -- An Arizona jury on Friday was set to begin deliberations over whether Jodi Arias committed murder in killing her ex-boyfriend in a high-profile case involving "sex, lies and dirty little secrets."

Arias, 32, could face the death penalty if convicted of murdering 30-year-old Travis Alexander, whose body was found in the shower of his Phoenix valley home in June 2008. He had been shot in the face, stabbed 27 times, and had his throat slashed.

She has admitted to shooting Alexander, but said it was in self-defense after he attacked her in a rage because she dropped his camera while taking snapshots of him in the shower.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens told jurors they could consider the charges of first- and second-degree murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter. First-degree murder requires proof of premeditation.

In final arguments on Friday, defense attorney Kirk Nurmi told jurors that "sex, lies, and dirty little secrets" had defined a chaotic relationship between the pair. Nurmi said Arias killed Alexander in self-defense, not with premeditation as prosecutors have argued.

Latest: Do You Support Giving Illegals Citizenship? Vote Here Now

"Was it what the state said it was yesterday, this plan? Or was it an act of self-defense forced upon Miss Arias by the actions of Mr. Alexander?" Nurmi asked the jury.

"That is ultimately your job to determine, and fear, love, sex, lies, and dirty little secrets will help you understand ... what happened."

Resting his case, Nurmi said Arias had snapped in the "sudden heat of passion" in the moments between a final photograph she took showing Alexander alive and taking a shower and a subsequent picture showing him covered in his own blood.

He told the jury that "if Miss Arias is guilty of anything at all, it is the crime of manslaughter."

In his rebuttal, prosecutor Juan Martinez said Arias had acted with premeditation throughout.

"Nothing indicates that this is anything less than a slaughter," he told jurors, asking them to return a verdict of felony first-degree murder.

The trial, which began in January and included often graphic testimony and evidence including a sex tape, was streamed live on the Internet and drew widespread media attention.



During the trial, in which the petite, dark-haired Arias wore glasses, the court heard how she met and began dating Alexander, a businessman and motivational speaker, in 2006.

During 18 days on the stand, she testified that she and Alexander continued to have sex despite their break-up from a relationship that was marked by emotional and physical abuse.

Arias said Alexander made her feel "like a prostitute" and that he kicked and attempted to choke her, although she admitted never reporting the alleged abuse to the police, seeking medical treatment or documenting it in her journal.

Martinez painted a picture of Arias as manipulative and prone to jealousy in previous relationships, and said she had meticulously planned to kill Alexander.

He accused her of bringing the pistol used in the killing, which has not been recovered, with her from California, and said she rented a car, removed its license plate and bought gasoline cans and fuel to conceal her journey to the Phoenix suburbs to kill him.

Martinez has shown that she lied after the killing to deflect suspicion, leaving a voicemail on Alexander's cellphone, sending irises to his grandmother and telling detectives she was not at the crime scene before changing her story.

The jury had more than 100 questions for Arias. They grilled her on her claims that her mind went blank after she shot Alexander, and wanted to know why she had not called emergency responders - questions she struggled to answer.

The defense called a psychologist who testified that Arias' memory lapses stemmed from post-traumatic stress as a result of Alexander's alleged abuse and the killing itself - claims disputed by prosecutors.

In closing arguments, Martinez told the jury that Alexander had sent an instant message weeks before his death saying he was "extremely afraid" of Arias because of her "stalking behavior."

Nurmi reminded the jury that she was charged with murder and not with lying.

"Did she lie? Of course she did, but that's not in your verdict instructions," he said. "The crime is premeditated murder."

© 2015 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

WashPost: Falling Gas Prices Boost Obama's Approval Rating

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 09:24 AM

While positive economic indicators may be playing a role in President Barack Obama's recent boost in job approval rating . . .

Teachers' Pension Plans Sinking Fast, Report Says

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 09:15 AM

Teacher pension plans across the country are sinking in debt and will be unsustainable unless drastic changes are made,  . . .

Prison System Weighs Putting Focus on Rehab

Wednesday, 28 Jan 2015 08:57 AM

If the initial hearing Tuesday of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections was any firm indication, then the . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved