A verdict was reached in the Jodi Arias trial – Guilty of first degree murder.
Jurors reached the verdict Wednesday in the trial of Jodi Arias, who was accused of murdering her one-time boyfriend in Arizona, as seen live on abcnews.go.com May 8.
Arias was charged with first-degree murder in the June 2008 death of Travis Alexander, a motivational speaker and salesman, at his suburban Phoenix home. Prosecutors said she planned the attack in a covetous rage after being rejected by Alexander while he pursued other women.
Arias initially denied involvement in the killing, blaming his death on masked intruders. Two years later, she admitted to killing Alexander, but claimed it was out of self-defense.
Jurors got the case Friday afternoon. They reached a decision, which was read shortly before 5:00 p.m. EST.
Testimony in the trial began in early January, with Arias later spending 18 days on the witness stand. The trial quickly snowballed into a made-for-the-tabloids drama, garnering daily coverage from cable news networks, and spawning a virtual cottage industry for talk shows, legal experts and even Arias, who used her notoriety to sell artwork she made in jail.
Alexander suffered a gruesome death – He nearly 30 knife wounds, was shot in the forehead and had his throat slit before Arias dragged his body into his shower. He was found by friends about five days later.
Arias said she recalled Alexander attacking her in a fury after a day of sex. She said Alexander came at her “like a linebacker,” body-slamming her to the tile floor. She said managed to wriggle free and ran into his closet to retrieve a gun he kept on a shelf. She said she fired in self-defense.
As for the multiple stab wounds? She claimed no memory of stabbing him.
Arias acknowledged trying to clean the scene of the killing, dumping the gun in the desert and working on an alibi to avoid suspicion. She said she was too scared and ashamed to tell the truth.
As deliberations drag on, dozens of people gathered daily on the courthouse steps waiting for a verdict.
Convicted of first-degree murder, Arias faces either life in prison or a death sentence.
Jurors had the option of convicting Arias of second-degree murder if they believed she didn’t premeditate the killing but still intentionally caused Alexander’s death. They opted to convict on the first degree charge.
The next phase of the trial and sentencing is to begin tomorrow.