Jodi Arias, the young woman accused of murdering her boyfriend in a jealous rage in 2008, was read a verdict today deciding her fate: guilty of first degree murder, both felony and pre-meditated.
Arias initially told the jury that a masked intruder killed Travis Alexander, but during the course of her 18-day testimony, she changed her story to that of a battered woman who’d had enough. She admitted to killing Alexander, but says she did it in self defense after he tackled her in a violent rage. He was found about a week after he died with 30 stab wounds, a shot to the head, and his throat slit from ear to ear.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez has been asking the jury for a verdict of first degree murder, which would carry a possible death sentence for Arias.
“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 on Friday.
The members of the courtroom looked visibly tense today as the verdict was read. Arias appeared calm until the verdict came down, her chin trembling as her emotions took over.
The court will re-convene tomorrow for the next phase of the trial, in which she will learn what her sentence is.