Jodi Arias, the woman convicted of murdering her boyfriend Travis Alexander in a jealous rage, may be getting her trial venue moved to another county after what her attorneys call a “plethora of unrestrained and bombastic coverage of the previous proceedings” in the Phoenix area.
Arias was convicted of first-degree and premeditated murder in May, but the jury became deadlocked when it came time to issue her either a life sentence or the death penalty. A judge has granted a retrial–for which the jury will be chosen next month–but defense attorneys want it to be moved to another courtroom because they fear that the extreme media attention could bias the jurors.
The story has been highly sensationalized since the trial began early this year and even spawned a television movie. News outlets covered the trial obsessively as they watched Arias unfold her story, lying at first about how Alexander was killed–by a masked intruder–and then admitting that she killed him in self defense after he allegedly attacked her. However, photos recovered from a camera found at the crime scene showed the couple having sex and showering together mere moments before his death and even showed his crumpled body lying on the shower floor.
“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,” prosecutor Juan Martinez said during the closing arguments.
Indeed, the jury found Arias guilty but couldn’t reach a decision on whether the murder was committed in an “exceptionally cruel” way, which is the basis of a death sentence. Alexander was found shot, stabbed 30 times, and had his throat slit.