Jodi Arias has been battling it out in the courtroom for months now in the highly-publicized trial for the murder of Travis Alexander, and new documents have been brought to light that show she was actually the "secret witness" who was allowed to speak privately to the jury during the penalty phase of the trial in October.
At the time, reporters and the public were asked to leave the courtroom so the jury could hear the testimony of a witness whose name and identity were kept secret, and the explanation given was that the person didn't want to appear publicly in association with the trial. However, new court documents show that it was actually Arias who took the stand that day, and she admitted to killing Alexander shortly after the questioning began.
Arias initially told investigators that masked intruders were responsible for an attack on the couple and that they killed Alexander, but eventually recanted and admitted to killing him in self defense after a day of "rough sex". He was found stabbed 27 times and shot in the head, with his throat slit from ear to ear. The tale of the murder and lengthy trial became tabloid fodder and went on to inspire a television movie and several interviews with news outlets, where Jodi painted a picture of her life as an abused child and, eventually, a loving girlfriend. Prosecutors say she killed Alexander in cold blood after he revealed he didn't want to be with her anymore.
Because of all the media attention, it's believed that the judge allowed Arias to testify in secret simply to keep the trial from becoming a circus.
"It had to do a lot with, I think, everybody wanted it closed," criminal defense attorney Dwane Cates said.
Although Arias was convicted of Alexander's murder, jurors became deadlocked on a decision regarding the death penalty, and a closed-court retrial was initiated last year. The jury must decide whether Jodi killed Alexander in an "exceptionally cruel" way in order to hand down the death penalty.
When asked during her testimony why she lied at first about killing Alexander, Arias said she had been pushing the thoughts away.
“Why did it take you two years to admit that . . . that you did it?” her attorney, Jennifer Willmott asked.
“It took me that long to be able to admit to myself that . . . that I did it,” Arias said.