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Thursday
Apr042013

Jodi Arias' Parents Told Cops She Had 'Mental Problems'

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Jodi Arias' parents said their daughter was "strange" and had "mental problems" when they were interviewed by police two months after ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander was found dead.

In the same interrogation room where Arias did headstands while waiting to be questioned, Arias' parents learned she was about to be charged with murdering Alexander.  The police interviews took place in Yreka, Calif., with Mesa Police Homicide Detective Esteban Flores.

Arias' father, William, gave a tough assessment of his daughter's behavior.

"She was a strange person because some, you know after she left the house, she was just kind of acting a little strange, you know," William Arias said.

William described the sometimes volatile relationship between his daughter and wife.

"Sometimes she'd call real sweet, and 10 minutes later, she'd call in a rage, you know, just screaming at my wife.  She did that over the last year and a half," he said.

Sandy Arias backed up her husband's claim about the rocky relationship she had with her daughter.

"Jodi has mental problems.  Jodi would freak out all the time," Sandy said.

Sandy Arias told Flores that her daughter was troubled, but not capable of shooting and repeatedly stabbing Alexander.

"I asked her.  I ask her because that's the first thing I ask her.  She swore she did not go to Arizona.  So, of course I believed her. You know, but I questioned her about it," Sandy said.

Sandy said her daughter told her she went to Utah at the time Alexander was killed in his Mesa, Ariz., apartment.

"How could somebody... how could she come back and just be normal?" sobbed Sandy.

Jodi Arias, 32, has admitted to killing Alexander, 30, after lying for nearly two years about it, but insists she killed him in self-defense.

On the witness stand, Jodi claimed she was abused by her parents as a child.

Despite her daughter's accusations, Sandy has been present in court every day during the marathon murder trial.  William's health issues have prevented him from appearing for most of the trial.

Later on Thursday, the jury will hear more testimony from domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette, who spent 44 hours interviewing Jodi in jail.

LaViolette, hired by the defense, has testified that Jodi's relationship with Alexander was "domestically abusive."

Arias could face the death penalty if convicted.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio