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
  • news_marathonsecurity.jpg Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_diabetescomplications.jpg Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling

    In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_skoreaferry.jpg Fears rise for missing in South Korea ferry sinking

    Fears rose Thursday for the fate of 289 passengers still missing more than 24 hours after their ferry flipped onto its side and filled with water off the southern coast of South Korea.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_ukraineprotests.jpg Pro-Russian gunmen make inroads in eastern Ukraine

    The well-armed, Moscow-backed insurgency sowing chaos in eastern Ukraine scored a new victory Wednesday, seizing armored vehicles and weapons from underequipped government forces, then rolling through two cities to a hero’s welcome.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_detroitsunset.jpg Detroit still needs $350M from state lawmakers

    Pressure was building Wednesday for Michigan lawmakers to commit $350 million to Detroit pensions, a day after the city reached tentative agreements with pension funds and a retiree group to reduce payouts.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0417 - Sperry Funeral - 10.jpg Family, friends bid farewell to Jesse Sperry

    The fussing of 10-day-old Autumn Marie Sperry seemed to coincide with the beginning of the funeral service for her father, Jesse Sperry, whose body rested just a few feet away. More than 200 friends and family members gathered at Edgewood Baptist Church this afternoon to pay their respects to Jesse, who was killed April 6 in a traffic accident on Indiana 32.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • news_malaysiaplanesearch.jpg Sub makes second dive to search for Malaysian plane

    As a robotic submarine dived into the ocean to look for lost Flight 370, angry Chinese relatives stormed out of a teleconference meeting Wednesday to protest the Malaysian government for not addressing them in person.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 3 APTOPIX Police Conver_Unde-1.jpg Feds: Boston bombing suspect not entitled to '11 murder file

    Federal prosecutors have told a judge they have no evidence that Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev knew about his brother's alleged role in a triple slaying in Waltham two years before the bombings.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine

    Authorities say a toddler has been reunited with his mother after employees found him playing inside a claw crane machine at a Nebraska bowling alley.

    April 16, 2014

  • Boston police safely blow up suspicious backpacks

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 16, 2014

Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
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

How often would you ride an express bus to Indianapolis?

Every work day
Once or twice a week
Occasionally
I'll stick to driving my car, thank you
     View Results