Arias was found guilty May 8 in the grisly premeditated first-degree murder of her ex-boyfriend, 30-year-old Travis Alexander, in June 2008. (Photo : myspace.com/jodiarias)
Jodi Arias' time is finally up. Jurors will continue to deliberate Monday to determine if Arias is guilty of the brutal premeditated first-degree murder of her ex-boyfriend and could return a verdict at any time.
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A 32-year-old aspiring photographer from California, Arias is accused of the grisly first-degree murder of her ex, Travis Alexander, in June 2008. Arias has admitted to killing her former lover, so her guilt isn't up for debate - but her mental state is. Arias' future depends on whether the jury believes she killed Alexander in self-defense because she feared for her life due to his alleged habitual domestic abuse, or was actually a jilted lover exacting gruesome, jealous revenge.
Arias has already admitted to lying about Alexander's death to just about everyone. She first claimed she was never at Alexander's home the day he was killed. Then, when a bloody handprint on the wall confirmed she was at his home through DNA evidence, she admitted she was there, but said two masked intruders killed him. Finally, years later she backtracked to admit she killed the victim, but now claims it was in self-defense, saying he attacked her in the shower, forcing her to fight for her life. She claims she lied so often because she was "ashamed" she killed Alexander in self-defense and because she was afraid of revealing the details of their sexual relationship.
With fourth months of testimony finished, the jury must now decide between the disparate versions of Arias reiterated by the state and defense in their closing arguments.
Arias' lawyers have portrayed her throughout the trial as an innocent, naive, devout convert of Mormonism who was sexually exploited by an often sadistic and abusive Alexander. The defense's case is essentially built around this version of Alexander. Arias has testified throughout proceedings about her lover's supposed double life: a pious virgin on the surface, but a "sexually deviant" violent control freak underneath. Alexander's friends contend the defense's portrait of him is nothing like the man they knew, and have said Arias was stalking him and was "possessive and jealous." However, Arias has consistently claimed the couple had a volatile relationship, and that Alexander was possibly a pedophile who was "emotionally detached."
The defense has effectively rested Arias' fate on the argument that Alexander fractured Arias' mental state so badly that's she's suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and memory loss, and is a victim of domestic abuse.The defense's claim that Arias is the real victim here is the crux of its case; an assertion defense attorney Kirk Nurmi emphasized one last time in his closing argument.
"Why, if somebody is there to commit a murder, do you hang out and let the intended victim of this murder take pictures of you, at what you assume will be a crime scene?" Nurmi asked the court room, referring to a series of nude photographs authorities discovered on Alexander's digital camera.
"If this is a preplanned murder ... why create this crime scene of chaos," Nurmi said, referencing the extraordinarily bloody crime scene. "It doesn't make any sense as it relates to premeditation."
Arias has claimed that she traveled to Alexander's Arizona apartment on a whim while she was on an entirely unrelated road trip from her new home in California to visit a friend in Utah. Arias has maintained her memory of the day of Alexander's death is spotty, but has testified that after a day of raunchy sexual escapades, including a nude photo shoot in Alexander's shower, her ex savagely attacked her when she dropped his camera, forcing her to defend herself.
Medical examiners found that Arias stabbed Alexander 27 times, primarily in the back, slit Alexander's throat from ear to ear with so much force it almost decapitated him, shot him in the head, and left his bloodied corpse crumpled over in the bathroom shower of his home - all in the course of 106 seconds. The prosecution has argued that Arias stabbed Alexander before she shot him, which is significant to the prosecution's case that Arias was not acting in self-defense, and didn't commit a crime of passion, but was rather "posed to strike."
Prosecuting attorney Juan Martinez reminded jurors of the heinous intent revealed by Alexander's wounds once again in his closing arguments
"Her intent was to kill, not to defend herself," Martinez insisted. "The defendant is a liar and a killer."
"She stabbed him first, he wasn't dying fast enough ... for good measure she shoots him in the face," Martinez said. "Jodi Ann Arias killed Travis Alexander ... She just gutted him."
Martinez closed by explaining to the jury that considering Arias' numerous admitted lies, and several explicit instances of manipulation and sociopathic behavior, there was no other acceptable explanation for Alexander's death but a verdict of premeditated first-degree murder.
"It is the State's view that nothing indicates it was anything other than a slaughter," Martinez said.
Following the dismissal of three jurors earlier the trial, a jury of eight men, four women and, possibly, three alternates, will now attempt to decide Arias' guilt unanimously.
The trial resumes Monday at 12 p.m. EST