3rd juror dismissed in Arias trial in Phoenix
PHOENIX (AP) – A juror was released Thursday from the high-profile Jodi Arias murder trial, the third member of the panel to be dismissed this month.
No reason was immediately given by Maricopa County Superior Court officials about the release of Juror No. 8.
Juror No. 11 – another man – was excused because of health reasons on April 12, and a woman who was Juror No. 5 was dismissed on April 2, reportedly for making statements that showed a bias.
That leaves the jury with nine men and six women. Twelve jurors eventually will be selected at random to decide the fate of Arias, who claims she killed her 30-year-old lover in self-defense at his suburban Phoenix home in 2008.
Prosecutors say Arias, 32, planned the attack in a jealous rage. She could face the death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder.
Arias initially denied involvement then later blamed the attack on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she said it was self-defense.
In the final prosecution testimony of the case, a medical examiner testified Thursday about the wounds of victim Travis Alexander.
Dr. Kevin Horn, who performed the autopsy, said a gunshot injury through Alexander’s brain would have rendered him unconscious and unable to defend himself.
Alexander’s body was found in the shower of his Mesa home in June 2008. Authorities also said his throat was slashed.
“Again because of the injury to the brain, the information processing part of the brain would have rendered him unable to raise his hands to offer any sort of purposeful action or to verbalize anything,” Horn said.
Arias wept during part of Horn’s testimony and members of Alexander’s family averted their eyes when monitors showed autopsy photos.
The trial, which began Jan. 2, resumes Wednesday with a last defense witness. Closing arguments are expected before the case goes to the jury.
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