The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

May 2, 2013

Closing arguments underway in Jodi Arias trial

PHOENIX —  A prosecutor on Thursday portrayed Jodi Arias as a manipulative liar who stalked her ex-boyfriend and killed him in grisly fashion before courting the media spotlight in her sensational murder case.

The closing arguments by Maricopa County prosecutor Juan Martinez were punctuated by several theatrical moments as he pounded his hand on the table to emphasize his point as he ripped into the 32-year-old Arias, who is charged with first-degree murder in the 2008 stabbing and shooting death of Travis Alexander.

"This is an individual who is manipulative. This is an individual who will stop at nothing, and who will continue to be manipulative and will lie at every turn," Martinez said.

Martinez delivered his arguments to a packed courtroom, including people who lined up at 2 a.m. to get a seat in the gallery for the highly anticipated event. The defense is scheduled to deliver its arguments Friday.

Arias showed no emotion during the closing arguments, scribbling notes with a pencil most of the time. Alexander's sisters and other family members cried at various points, repeatedly dabbing their tears with tissues.

The judge earlier provided instructions to jurors that allowed them to consider the lesser charge of manslaughter, along with first-degree and second-degree murder. That means the jury will essentially have four choices: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter or acquittal.

First-degree can lead to a death sentence and requires the jury to believe it was a premeditated act. The basic standard for second-degree murder is that the defendant intentionally caused the death of another person. Manslaughter has a much lower standard and potential sentence.

Authorities say Arias planned the attack on Alexander in a jealous rage after he wanted to end their relationship and prepared for a trip to Mexico with another woman. Arias initially denied any involvement in the killing then later blamed it on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she said she killed him in self-defense.

Martinez worked to build his first-degree murder case by providing examples in which he says Arias planned out her attack weeks in advance. He said she stole the .25 -caliber gun used in the attack from her grandparents' home where she was staying in Yreka, Calif., two days after a heated text-message exchange between Arias and Alexander. In that exchange, Alexander described her as a "sociopath" and "evil."

"How absolutely prophetic," Martinez said.

Arias' lies and peculiar behavior, meticulously creating an alibi to avoid suspicion within hours of Alexander's death, have been at the heart of the prosecution's case. Arias said she was too scared and ashamed to tell the truth at the time and didn't want to sully Alexander's name by revealing their raunchy sex and his violent episodes. Alexander was a Mormon and portrayed himself to friends and family as a virgin and devout follower of the faith who was saving himself for marriage.

Arias says Alexander had grown physically abusive in the months before she killed him, once even choking her into unconsciousness, but she kept seeing him because she was in love.

However, there has been no evidence or testimony during the trial to corroborate her stories that Alexander was violent or owned a gun — the very gun she used to shoot him.

The defense has portrayed Alexander as a cheating womanizer who used Arias for sex and abused her physically and emotionally.

Prosecutors have depicted Arias as an obsessed ex-girlfriend who couldn't come to grips with the ending relationship and Alexander's desire to see other women.

Alexander suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, was shot in the forehead, and had his throat slit. Arias' palm print was found in blood at the scene, along with nude photos of her and the victim from the day of the killing.

She said she recalls Alexander attacking her in a fury after a day of sex. She said she ran into his closet to retrieve a gun he kept on a shelf and fired in self-defense but has no memory of stabbing him.

Arias' grandparents reported the .25-caliber handgun stolen from their Northern California home about a week before the killing — the same caliber used to shoot Alexander — but Arias said she didn't take it. Authorities believe she brought the gun with her to kill the victim. It has never been found.

Arias has acknowledged trying to clean the scene of the killing, dumping the gun in the desert and working on an alibi, even attending a memorial service for Alexander before her arrest in July 2008.

___

 

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Beef pollutes more than pork, poultry, study says

    Raising beef for the American dinner table does far more damage to the environment than producing pork, poultry, eggs or dairy, a new study says.

    July 22, 2014

  • High child poverty casts pall over gains in Hoosier schools

    Indiana children are doing better in school, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, but the high rate of child poverty remains a big concern.

    July 22, 2014

  • Check doctors' vitals, before they check yours

    Americans consider insurance and a good bedside manner in choosing a doctor, but will that doctor provide high-quality care? A new poll shows that people don't know how to determine that.

    July 21, 2014

  • Afghan vet who fought wounded gets Medal of Honor

    Bleeding from both legs and his arm, Ryan Pitts kept firing at about 200 Taliban fighters, even holding onto his grenades an extra moment to ensure the enemy couldn't heave them back. On Monday, President Barack Obama draped the Medal of Honor around his neck, in a somber White House ceremony that also paid tribute to his nine platoon comrades who died that summer day in Afghanistan.

    July 21, 2014

  • NASA names building for moonwalker Neil Armstrong

    NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    July 21, 2014

  • Indy to use computer game to teach kids about law

    Indianapolis police are trying out an interactive computer game based on television's "Jeopardy!" to prevent teenagers from falling into lives of crime by teaching them about the consequences of breaking Indiana's laws.

    July 21, 2014

  • McDonald's, KFC in China face new food scandal

    McDonald's and KFC in China faced a new food safety scare Monday after a Shanghai television station reported a supplier sold them expired beef and chicken.

    July 21, 2014

  • Friend convicted of impeding Boston Marathon probe

    A college friend was convicted Monday of trying to protect Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by agreeing with another friend to get rid of a backpack and disabled fireworks they took from his dorm room three days after the attack.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hopkins settles pelvic exam suits for $190 million

    Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to a $190 million settlement with more than 8,000 patients of a gynecologist who secretly photographed and videotaped women's bodies in the examining room with a pen-like camera he wore around his neck, lawyers said Monday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Train with plane crash bodies leaves rebel town

    A refrigerated train bearing the bodies of many of the 298 people killed in the Malaysia Airlines plane disaster pulled away Monday afternoon from a rebel-held town in eastern Ukraine.

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

Do you expect your physician to follow state standards and laws?

Of course
Not always
Never thought about it
     View Results