Authorities provide security for holdout juror in Arias case
PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities were providing security Friday for the sole juror who voted to spare the life of convicted murderer Jodi Arias.
No threats had been reported against any of the 12 jurors, authorities said. However, the lone holdout on the death penalty had requested the security after her name was posted on social media.
Prosecutors also said they’re examining whether the holdout disclosed that her husband had been prosecuted by the same county attorney who headed the case against Arias.
The 2013 trial of Arias became a global sensation with its revelations about her sexual relationship with the victim and that she had slit his throat so deeply that he was nearly decapitated.
She was convicted of murder but that jury deadlocked on her punishment.
Prosecutors say Arias killed Alexander as revenge because he wanted to date other women and was planning a trip to Mexico with his latest love interest.
The name of the holdout juror in the sentencing retrial was leaked through a Twitter account that also posted sympathetic comments about Arias’ victim Travis Alexander. The juror could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, a pro-Arias website published names of 11 people it said were the jurors who voted to sentence Arias to death for the 2008 killing.
A mistrial was declared Thursday and a judge will sentence Arias on April 13 to life in prison or life with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
Arizona law prohibits the public release of juror names. It’s unknown how the identities were leaked, but information appeared online after jurors who favored the death penalty expressed frustrations over the holdout.
Juror Emily Cova said she was relieved to hear that authorities were looking into the leak.
“I was a little nervous last night. But I’m feeling better now,” said Cova, who agreed to be named.
Aaron Nash, a spokesman for the clerk of Maricopa County Superior Court, said no member of the clerk’s staff reported being approached by anyone seeking the names of jurors.
“The office’s primary concerns are the safety and privacy of these individuals who responded to this difficult and lengthy call to public service,” Nash said in a statement.
Most of the jurors discussed their deliberations with the media on Thursday. However, the holdout hasn’t publicly commented.
Her phone wasn’t in service. She didn’t return emails seeking comment. And no one answered the door when a reporter knocked on the door to her home Friday.
Officials at Maricopa County Superior Court didn’t immediately return messages seeking comment.
Arias will remain in the Estrella Jail in west Phoenix as she testifies in a civil case. Further information on the matter wasn’t immediately available.
Once her testimony is complete, Arias will be sent to prison.
She’ll begin her sentence in a 12-by-7 foot cell in a maximum-security unit at the Perryville prison for women, located 30 miles west of downtown Phoenix. If prison officials deem her behavior good over time, she could be moved to a medium security unit.
JACQUES BILLEAUD, TERRY TANG
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