Jodi Arias: Hell Hath No Fury

Jodi Arias says she prefers death penalty

Jodi Arias May 8, 2013 Photo / AP - APTN - PoolPHOENIX (AP) – Jodi Arias spent 18 days on the stand sharing intimate, emotional and oftentimes X-rated details of her life before a rapt television and online audience. She had hoped it all might convince a jury that she killed her one-time boyfriend in self-defense.

But the eight men and four women on the panel didn’t buy it, convicting Arias of first-degree murder after only about 15 hours of deliberations. Jurors will return to court Thursday to begin the next phase of the trial that could set the stage for Arias receiving a death sentence.

It’s a punishment that Arias herself says she wants, telling a TV station minutes after her conviction that she would “prefer to die sooner than later.”

“Longevity runs in my family, and I don’t want to spend the rest of my natural life in one place,” a tearful Arias told Fox affiliate KSAZ. “I believe death is the ultimate freedom and I’d rather have my freedom as soon as I can get it.”

The case elevated the unknown waitress and aspiring photographer to a household name, with a real-life story of love, betrayal and murder far more alluring than any made-for-TV movie. The crime itself was enough to grab headlines: Arias, a 32-year-old high school dropout, shot Travis Alexander in the forehead, stabbed him nearly 30 times and slit his throat from ear to ear, leaving the motivational speaker and businessman nearly decapitated.

She claimed he attacked her and she fought for her life. Prosecutors said she killed out of jealous rage after Alexander wanted to end their affair and planned to take a trip to Mexico with another woman.

Arias’ four-month trial quickly became a media sensation – ratings gold for cable networks that could broadcast from inside the courtroom and feed an insatiable public appetite for true-crime drama delivered live and up-close. It was, for many, the horrible train wreck they just couldn’t turn away from, even though they know they should.

Arias fought back tears as the verdict was announced Wednesday in the hushed, packed courtroom, while Alexander’s family members wept and hugged each other. They wore blue ribbons and wristbands with the words “Justice For Travis.” The family thanked prosecutor Juan Martinez and a key witness and said it appreciated the outpouring of support from the public.

Outside, a huge crowd that had gathered on the courthouse steps screamed, whistled and cheered the news in a case that has attracted fans from across the country who traveled to Phoenix to be close to the proceedings. Some chanted, “USA, USA, USA!”

Alexander’s friend Chris Hughes said he was happy with the verdict, pointing out a bold proclamation that Arias made in one of her jailhouse interviews that she wouldn’t be found guilty.

“She said, ‘No jury would convict me. Mark my words.’ This jury convicted her,” Hughes said. “Luckily we had 12 smart jurors. They nailed it.”

When asked about Alexander’s family, Arias told the station (, “I just hope that now that a verdict has been rendered, that they’ll be able to find peace.”

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said no more media interviews with Arias would be granted. She has been placed on suicide watch.

Testimony in Arias’ trial began in early January. The trial quickly snowballed into a made-for-the-tabloids drama, garnering daily coverage from cable news networks and spawning a virtual cottage industry for talk shows, legal experts and even Arias, who used her notoriety to sell artwork she made in jail.

The trial now moves into the so-called aggravation phase during which prosecutors will argue the killing was committed in an especially cruel, heinous and depraved manner that should allow jurors to consider the death penalty. Both sides may call witnesses and show evidence. If the panel finds the aggravating factors exist, the trial then moves into the final penalty phase during which jurors will recommend either life in prison or death.

Authorities said Alexander fought for his life as Arias attacked him in a blitz, but he soon grew too weak to defend himself.

“Mr. Alexander did not die calmly,” Martinez told jurors in opening statements.

Arias said she recalled Alexander attacking her in a fury after a day of sex. She said Alexander came at her “like a linebacker,” body-slamming her to the tile floor. She managed to wriggle free and ran into his closet to retrieve a gun he kept on a shelf. She said she fired in self-defense but had no memory of stabbing him.

She acknowledged trying to clean the scene of the killing, dumping the gun in the desert and working on an alibi to avoid suspicion. She said she was too scared and ashamed to tell the truth. However, none of Arias’ allegations that Alexander had physically abused her in the months before his death, that he owned a gun and had sexual desires for young boys, were corroborated by witnesses or evidence during the trial. She acknowledged lying repeatedly before and after her arrest but insisted she was telling the truth in court.

Arias spent 18 days on the witness stand describing an abusive childhood, cheating boyfriends, dead-end jobs, a shocking sexual relationship with Alexander, and her contention that he had grown physically violent.

A defense expert later testified that Arias suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociative amnesia, which explained why she couldn’t recall much from the day of the killing. Another defense witness concluded that Arias was a battered woman.

Martinez worked feverishly to attack the credibility of the defense experts, accusing them of having sympathy for Arias and offering biased opinions.

Aside from her lies, Arias had another formidable obstacle to overcome.

Her grandparents had reported a .25-caliber handgun stolen from their Northern California home about a week before Alexander’s death – the same caliber used to shoot him – but Arias insisted she didn’t take it. Authorities believe she brought it with her to kill him. The coincidence of the same caliber gun stolen from the home also being used to shoot Alexander was never resolved.

Meanwhile, the entire case devolved into a circus-like spectacle attracting dozens of enthusiast each day to the courthouse as they lined up for a chance to score just a few open public seats in the gallery. One trial regular sold her spot in line to another person for $200. Both got reprimands from the court, and the money was returned.

Many people also gathered outside after trial for a chance to see Martinez, who had gained celebrity-like status for his firebrand tactics and unapologetically intimidating style of cross-examining defense witnesses.

The case grew into a worldwide sensation as thousands followed the trial via a live, unedited Web feed. Twitter filled with comments as spectators expressed their opinions on everything from Arias’ wardrobe to Martinez’s angry demeanor. For its fans, the Arias trial became a live daytime soap opera.

Adding to the spectacle, Arias sold drawings from jail throughout the trial on a website operated by a third party, Arias’ mother said. According to the site, some pieces were fetching more than $1,000, and Sandra Arias said the money was being used to help pay for family expenses. Nothing prevented Jodi Arias from profiting from her notoriety given she hadn’t been convicted of a crime.

Source: AP

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Patricia Nelson says:


Ismynightlife says:

Justice for Travis the real victim here!

Tanya says:

Why should I care if she kills herself? She obviously won’t do that! This was a murder not murder/suicide!! She loves herself to much every sentence has an an I in it!! Death or life, just stop the drama and get it over with!! What’s the world coming to when it stands for a murderer instead of a victim! She did it, she’s guilty, let her die her hand or state matters not to me!!!

Patricia Nelson says:

Mr. Martinez you have fought the fight with this, the Lord is with you ,fighting crazy, you will come back on this, TIME,TIME.

Patricia Nelson says:

I am scared she is in this hospital, no trial until Wednesday, bringing in another Dr. she is going to pretend to be crazy, you can’t send crazy to death row, this is her last card and she set it up.

LoveBunny says:

FYI: According to the public record of this trial (you can find it at the Maricopa county superior court website), the Defense made a request that the Alexander family could only present a video tape during the “victim impact” part of the aggravation phase. . . In other words, Jodi wanted to cut the throat of the Alexander family so they couldn’t speak directly to the jury! She wanted their live voices to be extinguished. . . This is incredibly nasty and only adds the to overall cruelty. . . . ok, now where’s that needle?

Irene says:

I have worked with battered women for over 30 years. I have watched the testomony and I have to say I DO NOT believe Jodi was a battered woman. I know women who have been battered for years and stay in the relationships. There were just too many things Jodi said that made me doubt her honesty. She sounded as if she read books on domestic violence and tailored her stories to fit the profile of the abused while making Travis appear to be an abuser. I can tell you abusers would not just abuse the one woman. He may not have been as abusive with others but there was something he would have done. Not one other woman could say he had done anything. I believe Jodi is mentally ill but not in a way she would garner enough sympathy to be found not guilty of the offence. I believe she went there with the intent of killing Travis unless he changed his mind about her. She seduced him and spent the time with him expecting he would realize how much he loved her and wanted to be with her. When he didn’t say the magic words that would save his life she killed him. Had he agreed to take her on the trip, I believe his life would have been spared for the time being. I do agree she sufferes with borderline personality disorder. I have worked with women with the same issue. They are wonderful and happy with their relationships until they aren’t. It is that simple. She didn’t kill her previous boyfriends because she didn’t care about the realtionship anymore. The reason she killed Travis is because he was the person who wanted to move on when Jodi wasn’t ready. If Travis would have known he may have stuck it out until she got tired of him and moved on to her next man. That is simply how it is. She was in love with the idea of being in love and Travis was the perfect man as long as she thought so. She snapped not because she was an abused woman wanting to end the abuse. She snapped because she didn’t want to let him go and if he wasn’t going to stay with her he would have to go…. or in this case Die!

Josh says:

No one date or marry Lisa if you care for your life… enough said.

Lisa says:

To add to my previous comment, studies prove that abused children have a higher chance of mental illness later in life. Now, Jodi, for all intense and purposes was abused by her mother (who oddly didn’t shed a tear upon the verdict). Jodi is only, right now, going off to get her proverbial wooden spoon for society to punish her with. Is this how we treat mentally ill people? Would you lock up someone with a broken leg in jail because you didn’t understand that a cast would help heal it? Speaking of Dr Drew, he also ruined his chance to educate the American people about mental illness by jumping on the lynching bandwagon along with Nancy Grace and that other so-called ‘journalists’. I think HLN handled the entire court case very distastefully and was not at all neutral or objective….something the media SHOULD be. Thanks for setting our attitudes toward mental illness and violence against women back 50 years HLN!

Lisa says:

*intents and purposes

Lisa says:

I don’t know, something still doesn’t seem right about all this. Travis was a big man compared to Jodi. Hearing the evidence, he obviously was okay enough to go to the mirror and see he was shot. Now, if he was as volatile as some make him out to have been, wouldn’t that cause him to lunge at Jodi and attack her? No wonder she stabbed him. I still think she was battered and she doesn’t deserve the judgement she got, in or outside of the courtroom. And what’s with this ‘eye for an eye’ mentality that Americans have? The cheers outside the courtroom upon the reading of the verdict were almost obscene, as another life will be extinguished. The world had a chance to learn about and empathise with Battered Woman Syndrome but instead it chose to ignore it and blame the victim, yet again.

Sid says:

Lisa, Lisa, Lisa…did you say this for attention? You must be related to Jodi

Lisa says:

Sid, that comment was uncalled for. If I were related to Jodi, I wouldn’t give a hoot and certainly wouldn’t be defending her. They WANT her to hurt, why else would they abuse her?

crissy snow says:

I feel really no joy in thinking Jodi might get the death penalty. I cried for Travis as well as his family, and I cried for Jodi and her family. Dr. Drew said it best, Jodi is not a (well) woman. Yes, I agree to live in our society she needs to follow the laws our constitution has put in place for our society. But are we playing God when we put people to death? What is the harm in keeping them from society’s reaches, but alive and possibly able to get help and become some form of help to others in prison. Are we no better they Jodi if we put her to death? we say killing is wrong, yet it is ok if we put her to death. I cried, it made me hurt to feel the emotions of any of those involved in that trial.

Patricia Nelson says:

She prefers death penalty, get the needle now ready. Too many years wasted on this, wrap it up.


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