Jodi Arias: Hell Hath No Fury

Arias attorneys will put one witness on: Arias

Jodi Arias looks at the family of Travis Alexander as the jury arrives on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, during the sentencing phase of her trial at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. Photo / AP - The Arizona Republic, Rob Schumacher, PoolPHOENIX (AP) — Complaining that Jodi Arias’ sensational murder case has become a modern-day “witch trial,” her lawyers tried to quit in the middle of the death-penalty phase Monday, then said they will call only one witness: Arias.

When Arias addresses the jury on Tuesday, the big question will be whether she pleads for mercy or repeats what she told a TV reporter minutes after she was convicted: that she would rather be executed than spend the rest of her life in prison.

The courtroom fireworks came as the jury that found Arias guilty of murder in the 2008 shooting and stabbing death of boyfriend Travis Alexander was hearing evidence on whether the former waitress should get the death penalty or a life sentence.

Last week, Alexander’s brother and sister tearfully described for the jury how his killing had torn their lives apart. This week, the defense planned to call its own witnesses, including a female friend and an ex-boyfriend of Arias, in hopes of convincing the jury her life is worth saving.

But defense attorney Kirk Nurmi told the court Monday morning that the female witness refused to testify after receiving threats, and he asked the judge to declare a mistrial in the penalty phase. He argued that he could no longer effectively defend Arias without all of the intended witnesses, and that “a partial picture is not good enough for this jury.”

Nurmi also renewed arguments that the judge should have sequestered the jury during the nearly five-month trial and that it should never have been broadcast live. The case became a tabloid and cable sensation, with its tales of sex, lies and death.

“The court had a duty to protect Ms. Arias’ right to a fair trial and failed to do so time and time again,” Nurmi told the judge. “This cannot be a modern-day version of … a witch trial.”

Judge Sherry Stephens denied the mistrial request. Nurmi then asked that he and co-counsel Jennifer Willmott be allowed to withdraw from the case, saying they could not effectively represent Arias.

The judge turned down that request too, to which Nurmi quickly replied, “We will not be calling witnesses in the defense case.”

Arias’ attorneys also tried without success to quit after she gave the interview in which she said she would prefer death over life in prison.

Arias, 32, initially claimed she knew nothing about the slaying, then blamed masked intruders, then claimed self-defense. Prosecutors argued she killed Alexander in a jealous rage because he wanted to end their relationship and go to Mexico with another woman.

Experts say the sheer brutality of the killing has probably already sealed Arias’ fate, so any witnesses presented during the penalty phase would have been pointless.

The victim suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, his throat was slit from ear to ear, and he was shot in the forehead. Arias then dragged him into his shower, where his decomposed body was found days later.

“I think they could put Mother Teresa on there and it’s not going to spare her life,” said Phoenix defense attorney Mel McDonald, a former judge and federal prosecutor.

San Francisco-area criminal defense lawyer Michael Cardoza said the request to quit the case and the defense decision not to call any witnesses on Arias’ behalf could very well be a strategic move — but one that could backfire.

“She could argue ineffective counsel on appeal, but the fact is, it’s anything but ineffective because what they’re doing is handing her an appeal,” Cardoza said. “So it’s actually very effective counsel.”


Follow Brian Skoloff at

Source: AP

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

Share this post!
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email Pinterest


Patricia Nelson says:

This is coming to a end no more words, everyone being mean.

Max says:

There are lots of heartless animals among us.

LoveBunny says:

I wonder if those traced Guess ads will be part of a bizarre in court “art show” today? She think’s her doodles are going to put a spell on the jury and end up saving her life.

Tiffany_Alexandra says:

When is the trial set to start! I am eastern time if someone can help..

LoveBunny says:

It’s supposed to start at 12:30 EST but who really knows for certain since there are often inexplicable delays and all sorts of 11th hour drama.

Andrew says:

at 12:30 eastern time and 9:30 pacific time

cecelia says:

pothead patti felt “threatened” because of her criminal history and JM willingness to USE it. hodi knows she has NO redeeming qualities, yet we’ll have to listen to her blather on more about “evil” TA. hope they give her death and hope Az can use it rather quickly.

LoveBunny says:

Expect some kind of poem after she shows off those traced copyrighted Guess magazine ads. Well, you know it’s coming. . . She’ll probably talk for hours and try to stretch her allocution over the lunch break. Today is her “big day” so she’ll try to enlighten everybody.

louanne says:

The posted picture of Arias shows pure evil in its eyes. No remorse, just evil.

LoveBunny says:

What I’m wondering about is that mitigation lawyer that they hired. She’s been sitting there presumably getting paid this whole time and for what?

Jude says:

Don’t forget about her “artwork” show for the jurors. Actually after today’s entertaining circus for all of us except the Alexander family, anything can be expected for tomorrow morning. Please don’t disappoint us, Hodi!! Whine and snivel about how your life is over because of what Travis did to you and you are only sorry that you got caught when you didn’t think that would happen because you are as smart as Einstein. How are we ever going to live our lives again after you are sent to Death Row? We will miss you soooo much!! (… your dreams)

Patricia Nelson says:


Patricia Nelson says:


Patricia Nelson says:


my2cents13 says:

Nurmi just wants out. They threw everything against the wall and nothing stuck. What do they have to lose now. They have or will be paid. Their representation is what it is.

LoveBunny says:

The whole thing with Womack feeling “too intimidated” smells like a set up. It’s a defense strategy to create this “issue” so they can try to quit again so there’s a record for this. It’s all about creating a future grounds for appeal.

Cathy says:

She did it. She found a way out of it because she is going to appeal on the grounds of ineffective counsel…it’s on record how many times they wanted off this case. Then neumi wants to blame the courts for the ‘witch trial’ when it’s his client that can’t stay off media. If she was not ‘tweeting” she was giving interviews. This is a case of another sociopath that thinks everyone owes her. She will never admit the truth and she is gonna ride this out on appeals until she dies of old age. Patty Womack didn’t show chz she’s doesn’t want to admit to her own lawbreaking. Not the best character witness. I thought for sure her girlfriend Donovan would testify for her….what’s up with that. Can be an ass behind a tweet board but can’t stand the heat of Juan Martinez?

Patricia Nelson says:


LoveBunny says:

Well tomorrow I expect that Jodi will express regret that Travis somehow forced her to kill him. . . It was all HIS fault dontcha know? She’ll be “sorry” that he somehow did this to himself because he “made her do it”. . . She will then probably read a poem or talk about having “dreams” or other BS where she saw Travis in heaven and that he begged her to forgive him for all of those wrongs. For that she’ll express regret.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *