Jodi Arias, the woman convicted last year for the 2008 murder of boyfriend Travis Alexander, is expected in court for another hearing on Friday as prosecutors prepare for a second penalty phase of her trial.
Arias first claimed that a masked intruder killed her boyfriend, but later changed her story after evidence showed she was engaged in sexual acts with him right up until his death; a camera found at the crime scene still had photos on it of the two of them, as well as pictures of Alexander’s dead body in the shower. He had been stabbed 30 times, shot in the head, and had his throat cut. Arias eventually admitted to killing him but said she did it in self defense after he attacked her during an argument.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez asked the jury for a decision of first-degree murder, which carries the threat of the death penalty; however, a decision couldn’t be reached regarding a sentence, forcing a second phase of the trial which will take place in September. If a decision still isn’t made, Arias faces 25 years to life in prison.
“The state is asking that you return a verdict of guilty, a verdict of first degree murder, not just premeditated murder, but also felony murder, for no other reason than it’s your duty, and the facts and the law support it,” Martinez said in his closing arguments last May.
In order to be given the death penalty, Arias will most likely have to be found guilty of murdering Alexander in an “exceptionally cruel” way.
Arias made headlines last month when it was reported that she filed suit against a sheriff and television personality Nancy Grace; Arias says she’s not getting proper medical treatment after contracting Hepatitis C from a dirty needle during a TB inoculation, and that the same sheriff released sensitive correspondence of hers to Nancy Grace.
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