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Entries in Jodi Arias (31)

Sunday
Jun232013

Jodi Arias Says She Might Consider Plea Deal to Avoid Death Penalty

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Jodi Arias has suggested this weekend that she might make a plea deal to avoid the death penalty rather than appeal her murder conviction.

Hours before the movie Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret played on the Lifetime channel, Arias tweeted on Saturday, "Just don't know yet if I will plea or appeal."

It was one of two tweets sent out on her behalf by friends who maintain a twitter account for the convicted murderer.

"Let's clear up any confusion. Anyone asking 4 donation$ right now on my behalf 4 my appeals is not legit," she wrote in one tweet.

It was quickly followed by another stating, "I'm not currently accepting donations 4 appeals. Just don't know yet if I will plea or appeal."

Arias, 32, is apparently referring to a possible deal in which she would accept a life prison term instead of the death penalty in exchange for promising not to appeal her conviction.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in late May that he would have an "ethical obligation" to consider a plea deal if the defense offered one.

Arias was convicted in May of murdering her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2007 with a flurry of stab wounds, a slashed throat and gunshot to the head.

But the Arizona jury could not agree on whether to sentence her to death.

The court has set July 18 to begin selecting a new jury to decide the penalty phase of Arias' case. Her lawyers have asked that the trial be delayed until January.

If a second jury is also unable to agree on whether to execute Arias, the judge would decide whether she gets life with or without the possibility of parole.

Arias also tweeted this weekend that she has completed a new painting, a portrait of a bighorn sheep which she is offering for sale for $2,000.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
May262013

Jodi Arias Jurors: 'She Is Sentenced to Death No Matter What'

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Three jurors from the Jodi Arias trial said the sentencing phase was "absolutely awful" after they were unable agree on whether the woman they had found guilty of first-degree murder should get the death penalty or life in prison.

"We can't come to a decision, and it was gut-wrenching. It was absolutely awful," said Diane Schwartz, a retired 911 operator, who for the duration of the five month trial was known as Juror No. 6.

The jury took a short time to convict Arias of first-degree murder in the 2008 shooting and stabbing death of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, but when it came to the sentencing phase, they were split.
Schwartz, along with fellow jurors Kevin Spellman and Marilou Allen-Coogan, spoke exclusively with ABC News about the grave responsibility that they said ended with a deadlock of eight jurors voting in favor of the death penalty and four supporting life in prison for Arias. All three said they favored giving Arias the death penalty.

"It was a very trying experience," said Spellman, a banker who was known as Juror No. 13. "How do you weigh a person's life?"

Arias, 32, had been branded a liar by the prosecution because she initially denied killing Alexander, then claimed two years later that she killed him in self-defense, citing Alexander's physical and emotional abuse.

Some of the most intense moments during the trial came over the 18 days when Arias took the stand and described her relationship with Alexander.

"Based on what we saw and the evidence presented, it was very apparent that we weren't being told the truth in a lot of the matters, and there was a lot of cover-up," Allen-Coogan said, adding that she believed Arias was playing to the jury.

"The state proved their case. It was premeditated," she said.

After three days of deliberations, the jury's hung verdict was read Thursday, leaving the case open and the jury dismissed.

"I felt like we had failed the system," Schwartz said. "As I walked out, I remember looking towards the prosecution table. I thought, 'They won't even look at us.'

"I immediately, as I was stepping down, told them, 'I'm sorry,'" she said. "It was heartfelt because I was. I was very sorry."

Despite the deadlock, Spellman said he believes no matter what sentence Arias receives, she is dying.
"She is sentenced to death no matter what," he said.

Arias' fate is now left up to the prosecutor, who will decide whether to retry the penalty phase. If he decides to try again for the death penalty, a new jury will be selected and both the prosecution and defense will present evidence and arguments over what sentence Arias should receive.

The retrial, in which Arias could either be sentenced to death or to life in prison, with or without the possibility of parole, would begin July 18.

If the prosecution chooses not to retry the penalty phase, Arias will get life in prison, either with or without parole.

The prosecutor's office has not yet decided what it plans to do.

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Friday
May242013

Jodi Arias Jury Foreman: '18 Days of Testimony Hurt Her'

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- The man in charge of the jury that convicted Jodi Arias of murder, but could not reach agreement on whether her life should be spared, described the process as "gut-wrenching" and said he and his fellow jurors struggled to contain their emotions.

"We couldn't allow ourselves to be emotional on the stand," jury foreman William Zervakos said Friday on ABC’s Good Morning America. "We couldn't allow ourselves to show emotion [but] it was a different story when we got back into the jury room."

Some of the most emotional moments during the five-month trial came over the 18 days when Arias, 32, took the stand and described her relationship with Travis Alexander, the ex-boyfriend whom she was convicted last week of stabbing and shooting to death in 2008.

Arias pled for her life also during the sentencing phase of the trial, but Zervakos says her long stint on the stand didn't help her case, especially when she was cross-examined by the prosecutor.

"I think 18 days hurt her. I think she was not a good witness...I think the way the prosecutor was with her, he's known for an aggressive style. I think it'd be difficult for anybody," Zervakos said. "I don't think I want to sit on the stand for 18 days."

"We're charged with going in presuming innocence, right, but she was on the stand for so long. I don't think it did her any good," Zervakos added. "There were so many contradicting stories."

Arias had been branded a liar by the prosecution because she initially denied killing Alexander, then claimed two years later that she killed him in self-defense, citing Alexander's physical and emotional abuse.

Zervakos, for one, believed Arias' story that she was abused in the relationship, but not that she killed Alexander in self-defense.

"I'm very sure in my own mind that she was mentally and verbally abused," he said. "Now is that an excuse? Of course not. Does it factor into the decisions that we make? It has to."

Arias' appearance -- from her blonde bombshell look while she was dating Alexander, to the more subdued look she presented in the courtroom with glasses, bangs and dark hair -- that captivated the media and the public throughout the trial, seemed to captivate the jurors inside the courtroom as well.

"When I looked in the courtroom for the first time and looked who the defendant was, it's hard to put that in perspective when you look at a young woman and think of the crime and then think of the brutality of the crime," Zervakos said. "It just doesn't wash so it's very difficult to divest yourself from the personal, from the emotional part of it."

After the jury's hung verdict was read Thursday, leaving the case still open, one juror mouthed, "I'm so sorry," toward Alexander's family and prosecutors.

Zervakos says he and other jurors struggled greatly with seeing Alexander's family every day in the courtroom.

"Until you're face-to-face with people that have gone through something like that, it's something you really can't put into words," he said on GMA. "I'm six feet away from somebody talking about a horrendous loss. If you can't feel that, then you have no emotion, no soul."

Arias' fate is now left up to the prosecutor, who will decide whether to retry the penalty phase. If he decides to try again for the death penalty, a new jury will be selected and both the prosecution and defense will present evidence and arguments over what sentence Arias should receive.

The retrial, in which Arias can either be sentenced to death or to life in prison, with or without the possibility of parole, would begin July 18.

The prosecutor's office has not yet decided what it plans to do.

 

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May022013

Jodi Arias Prosecutor: 'She Knew She Was Going to Kill Him'

ABC News(MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz.) -- Jodi Arias was manipulative and deceitful to the ex-boyfriend she killed and to the jury when she testified, prosecutor Juan Martinez said during the closing remarks at her murder trial Thursday.

Martinez paced the Maricopa County, Ariz., courtroom telling jurors that Arias "looked at each and every one of you in the eye and lied" about her relationship with Travis Alexander, whom she claimed abused and menaced her and pressured her into sex.

In reality, Martinez said, Arias was the one who manipulated and abused Alexander. Their relationship ended when she drove to his Mesa, Ariz., home in 2008 and killed him in what Martinez alleges was premeditated murder.

"Even after stabbing him over and over again," Martinez said of the brutal attack that killed Alexander, "even after taking a gun and shooting him in the face, she will not let him rest in peace. Now instead of a gun, instead of a knife, she uses lies. She uses these lies in court when she testified to stage the scene for you like she did for the police."

Arias, 32, has admitted to killing Alexander but claims it was in self-defense. Arias' attorney will give his closing remarks following Martinez. The prosecutor will then have the last word to the jury before they begin their deliberations in the case.

Before the summations began, Judge Sherry Stephens told the jury that they could consider three charges against Arias: first-degree murder, marked by premeditation; second-degree murder; and manslaughter, based on the existence of a sudden quarrel or "heat of passion."

Arias could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder, but the judge's directions allow the jury to convict Arias without invoking the possibility of the death penalty.

Arias's attorneys have tried to prove the killing was not premeditated, but Martinez drove home his allegation again and again during his closing remarks. At one point he focused on evidence that she brought extra gasoline and gas cans on her trip from her home in California to Arizona so she would not have to stop and use her credit card near Alexander's home.

He noted that she dyed her hair shortly before the trip, rented a car and that the license plate was upside down, which he said were attempts to avoid being tracked.

Arias claimed during her own testimony that the June 4, 2008, trip to Arizona was spontaneous, a claim Martinez dismissed.

"She knew. She absolutely knew and had already planned that she was going to kill him," Martinez thundered.

The prosecutor, who often shouted at witnesses and grew irritated and combative during questioning, was soft-spoken to the jury throughout his statement, his voice rising only occasionally.

Arias shook her head and at times smiled in disagreement with much of Martinez's statement, writing notes to her attorney seated next to her.

Relatives and friends of Alexander filled the courtroom's gallery Thursday, taking three rows, while Arias's mother, aunt, grandmother, and friends filled her side of the room. Many of the relatives have sat through four months of testimony in the case.

Martinez is expected to finish his closing remarks later Thursday afternoon.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Apr282013

Jodi Arias Trial: Dismissed Juror Says It Was a 'Great Experience'

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- A juror in the Jodi Arias trial who was dismissed after listening to four months of proceedings called his time on the jury a "great experience."

Police in Gilbert, Ariz., said when Daniel Gibb was arrested last Saturday night, he told the arresting officer he was a juror on the Jodi Arias murder trial.

On Tuesday, the officer met with the judge, prosecutor and defense attorneys in a sealed hearing, ABC News' Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV reported.

Two days later, the man who was known as Juror 8, who had taken copious notes throughout the trial and submitted several questions to witnesses on the stand, was dismissed without comment by Judge Sherry Stephens.

"It was a privilege to know the other jurors and I will miss them," Gibb said in a statement to KNXV Saturday. "It was actually a great experience. Thank you for respecting my privacy."

He is the third juror to be dismissed from proceedings since the trial began in the Phoenix courtroom in January.

Fifteen jurors will listen to the rest of the trial, and 12 will enter into deliberations. Closing arguments are expected to begin on Thursday or Friday.

Arias, 32, faces the possibility of the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in the 2008 death of ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. She initially denied killing Alexander, 30, but claimed two years later that she killed him in self-defense.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar072013

Jodi Arias Makes Final Plea to Jury to Believe Her in Murder Trial

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Accused murderer Jodi Arias made a dramatic final plea to the jury in her murder trial Thursday, asking them to believe her.

"Why should anyone believe you now? That is the ultimate question, Jodi. Why should we believe you now?" attorney Kirk Nurmi asked Arias in his final question to her during the trial.

Arias, 32, spent two days answering questions from the jury that showed skepticism among jurors, one of whom asked her outright why the jury should believe what she says on the stand after she admitted to so many lies. Arias could face the death penalty if convicted of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008.

During Nurmi's follow-up questions, Arias turned in her seat to face the jury and speak to them directly.

"Like I said before, I lied a lot. Each of those lies tied back to two things: protecting his ego, no, his reputation, and my own, and second, relating to any involvement in his death," she said.

Arias then paused dramatically.

"I understand that there will always be questions, but all I can do, at this point, is say what happened to the best of my recollection. If I'm convicted, that's because of my own bad choices," she said as prosecutor Juan Martinez objected loudly.

It was the final statement Arias will make to the jurors, who submitted more than 100 questions of their own to Arias about the alleged murder. Martinez will finish his follow-up questions when the trial resumes Wednesday, March 13.

Arias is facing charges for killing Alexander during what she claims was a violent argument at his home in Mesa, Ariz., on June 4, 2008. She has claimed she killed him in self-defense.

The prosecution claims she killed Alexander out of jealousy and then lied about it to protect herself.

"You claim everything happened so fast you didn't have time to think, so how could you think of grabbing a gun?" asked another.

The questions were the final look into how the jurors may view the case against Arias, who is charged with first-degree murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Arizona is one of only three states that allow jurors to ask questions of witnesses. As Arias answered the original 100 questions they submitted, jurors quickly scribbled 14 more that they submitted to Judge Sherry Stephens.

The questions focused on Arias' lies and her claim that she could not remember killing Alexander.

"Were you mad at Travis while you were stabbing him? Why did you take the rope and gun with you? Why didn't you call 911?" they asked.

"Did you ever see a doctor for your memory issues? Have you ever taken medication for your memory issue? How is it you remember so many of your sexual encounters, including your ex-boyfriends, but you do not remember stabbing Travis and dragging his body?"

"Well," Arias answered from the stand, "as far as what happened on June 4, I don't know how the mind works necessarily, but I know that was the most traumatic experience of my life."

The jury is made up of 18 adults, 11 men and seven women, who have sat through more than 30 days of testimony so far in the case. Before going into deliberations, the jury will be whittled to 12, and alternates will be dismissed.

According to her testimony, Arias and Alexander dated for a year, and then slept together for another year after breaking up, from 2006 to 2008. During that time, she alleges that he grew sexually abusive and physically violent after she found out he was sexually attracted to young boys.

She killed Alexander after traveling to his Arizona home from where she was living in California. They had sex and took nude photos of each other that same day. Arias claims Alexander exploded in a rage when she dropped his camera while photographing him taking a shower. She testified that he slammed her to the floor and she ran to a closet where she grabbed a gun he had, but the gun fired as he charged into her.

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar062013

Jurors' Questions Betray Suspicions About Jodi Arias

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Questions posed by jurors to accused murderer Jodi Arias Wednesday showed skepticism toward many of Arias' claims about her relationship with ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander and the alleged confrontation that resulted in his death.

Members of the jury submitted more than 100 questions to Judge Sherry Stephens after Arias finished testifying in direct and cross examination. Arias, 32, is charged with murder in Alexander's death and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Arizona is one of three states that allow the jury to ask questions of witnesses on the stand.

The jurors asked Arias why she never took photos of the bruising she claims she suffered at the hands of Alexander, never reported his allegedly abusive behavior to police, and carried on a relationship with him despite her claim that he was sexually interested in young boys.

They also asked specific questions about the incident in which Arias killed Alexander during a violent confrontation at his Mesa, Ariz., home in June 2008. She stabbed him, slashed his throat, and shot him in what she claims was self-defense.

"Did Travis' closet doors have locks? If not, how did you get the gun down from the shelf if he was right behind you?" Stephens read from the question card.

"I don't recall there being locks. I don't know if he was right behind me, I just had the sense he was chasing me," Arias responded.

Arias was then asked to explain the confrontation using a map of Alexander's bathroom and bedroom.

The questions, which are expected to continue Thursday, are the final part of Arias' time on the stand. She has been testifying for 16 days.

The questions offer a glimpse into the thinking of the jury as the case winds toward its conclusion and jurors are forced to weigh the evidence in what could be a death penalty case.

She is accused of premeditated murder for the death of Alexander. The pair had dated for a year and then continued to sleep together for another year until Alexander's death, according to testimony.

During her testimony, Arias has claimed that she was forced to kill Alexander after he flew into a violent rage during an argument and allegedly threatened to kill her. During her days on the stand, Arias portrayed Alexander as increasingly demanding, abusive, and sexually deviant. The prosecution countered with photographic -- sometimes pornographic -- evidence Arias was apparently a very willing participant.

The jury is currently made up of 18 people, four of whom are alternates, in case one of the official 12 jurors falls ill or has to be excused from the jury ahead of deliberations.

The jury is made up of seven women, all in their thirties and forties, and 11 men, nine of whom are over the age of 40.

The jurors have been outspoken in asking questions of previous witnesses, submitting them on written cards that are then read aloud by the judge.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar062013

Jodi Arias to Answer 100 Questions from Jurors

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Jurors who have sat through nearly 30 days of testimony in the Jodi Arias murder trial will get their chance on Wednesday to ask Arias 100 questions of their own about her relationship with ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.

Arizona is one of three states that allow jurors to ask questions of witnesses following direct questioning and cross-examination.  The questions could offer a glimpse into the thinking of the jury as the case winds toward its conclusion and jurors are forced to weigh the evidence in what could be a death penalty case.

Arias, 32, who has been on the stand for 15 days describing her relationship with Alexander and the incident in which she killed him, will face their questions Wednesday afternoon.

She is accused of murder for the bloody attack in which she stabbed, slashed, and shot Alexander, 27, in his Mesa, Ariz., home in 2008.  The pair had dated for a year and then continued to sleep together for another year until Alexander's death.

During her testimony, Arias has claimed that she was forced to kill Alexander in self-defense after he flew into a violent rage during an argument.  She has portrayed Alexander as abusive and sexually deviant during her days on the stand.

Arias could face the death penalty if convicted of the most serious count.

The jury is currently made up of 18 people, four of whom are alternates, in case one of the official 12 jurors falls ill or has to be excused from the jury ahead of deliberations.

The jury is made up of seven women, all in their thirties and forties, and 11 men, nine of whom are over the age of 40.

The jurors have been outspoken in asking questions of previous witnesses, submitting them on written cards that are then read aloud by Judge Sherry Stephens.

Arias and her attorneys will begin looking over the submitted questions at 11 a.m. EST on Wednesday, followed by prosecutor Juan Martinez at noon.  The attorneys can object to certain questions before the trial begins and Arias is put on the stand to answer them.

She is expected to take the stand around 3 p.m. to begin addressing the questions, and both her attorney and the prosecutor will be allowed to ask follow-up questions once the juror questions are complete.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar052013

Jodi Arias Trial's Focus Is Graphic Sex, Not Killing

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- It has been a trial filled with smut: hours of phone sex conversations, emails and text messages containing pictures of genitals, and testimony filled with the sexual fantasies and preferred sex acts of accused murderer Jodi Arias and the man she killed, Travis Alexander.

Though Arias' fate hinges on whether the jury believes she killed Alexander in self-defense or murdered him out of jealousy, the trial has spent relatively little time on the actual incident in which Arias stabbed, slashed, and shot her ex-boyfriend.

Instead, Arias, 32, has spent 15 days on the witness stand describing in minute detail -- much of which is too raunchy to print in this report -- the sex life she shared with Alexander. In fact, she testified for nine days without mentioning the killing at all.

"What other fantasies did you have?" lead defense attorney Kirk Nurmi asked Arias on her third day of testifying, on Feb. 6.

Arias rattled off a list of fantasies that Alexander had shared with her, typical of the testimony from much of the trial ranging from a reference to the "mile high club" to having her wear boy's underwear and have sex in his office.

California defense attorney Michael Cardoza, who has been following the trial, said that with both sides focusing so heavily on the sex, the jury may be fed up hearing graphic details over and over again.

"I'm sure if they could stand up they would say enough already, knock it off, we've got it, we get it, we're not stupid. If you ask that question one more time we're going to convict you [the lawyer asking the question]," Cardoza said.

On Tuesday, Nurmi again trod well-worn ground in the case during the second day of redirect, asking Arias to read diary entries and explain her accusation that Alexander was sexually attracted to young boys.

"Something is just off with that boy," she wrote after allegedly seeing him masturbate to pictures of children.

Nurmi has used his second round of questioning to try and dispel the prosecution's claims that Arias made up her complaints about Alexander after she killed him.

During the trial, the jury has heard at least three times a recorded phone conversations in which both Alexander and Arias describe plans to make a pornographic movie, and detail the various ways in which they enjoy being pleasured.

During one of the times the recording was played, a transcript of Alexander's words flashed on a black screen facing the jury, in case they were having trouble hearing what was being said. Arias can be heard giggling and cooing on the tape.

Cardoza said that he didn't understand why prosecutor Juan Martinez spent three days going through all of the details of the sex, details that had already been pored over on direct testimony.

"That tape is going to be shocking to a lot of people, but when you play it that many times to a jury, it's going to lose its sting," Cardoza said. "Martinez wants that sting, to show, you know, you [Arias] liked to play the game, you were a willing player, you initiated it sometimes."

Nurmi's questioning on Tuesday echoed his earlier claims that Alexander was a "sexual deviant" who became increasingly abusive and demanding of Arias sexually, allegedly culminating in the violent confrontation in which she killed him.

As Arias answered his questions about feeling pressure to accede to Alexander's sexual demands, Nurmi attempted to portray Arias as a naive victim to a man with a nearly-predatory sex drive.

Martinez, during cross-examination, pointed out that Arias had previous sexual relationships that also included various types of sex and that she was encouraging and gave consent in all of her sexual interactions with Alexander.

"That all to me was, 'why are you doing this?' Get to the damn murder, let's go," Cardoza said of the prosecution. "You can prove the sex, and he's going to agree with you, but by going through painstaking detail you're playing the defense's game...So they were sex partners and had crazy sex, so what?"

Judge Sherry Stephens has not excluded any of the graphic sexual testimony from being entered into court, including nude photos of a sexual nature that have been shown to the jury and courtroom gallery.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar042013

Jodi Arias Reads Torn-Out Diary Pages About Suicide, Rocky Relationship

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Accused murderer Jodi Arias tore out pages of her diary in which she complained about her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, and said she wanted to commit suicide, she testified Monday. She said she was afraid he would snoop and read them.

Arias showed the court the torn pages of her journal and read the full excerpts to the jury, just a week after prosecutor Juan Martinez used her partial diary entries to show that she never wrote about the alleged abuse he inflicted on her.

Martinez has accused Arias of making up the allegations that Alexander was abusive. She is charged with murdering her ex-boyfriend at his home in Mesa, Ariz., on June 4, 2008.

Arias, 32, claims she was forced to kill Alexander in self-defense during a violent confrontation. She could face the death penalty if convicted.

"Who besides yourself had access to your journals?" lead defense attorney Kirk Nurmi asked Arias Monday, on the first day of redirect.

"Well, Travis would read them," she testified. "There was the potential that Travis could read something in there, and also the biggest reason was the law of attraction, which was a huge philosophy at that time in my life."

Arias said that she believed thinking positive thoughts would bring positive change to her life, and thinking negative thoughts would bring about negativity.

"How would writing about Travis being violent in your journal violate this law of attraction?" Nurmi asked.

"One thing it encourages is that if you're in a relationship to focus only on their good qualities, as opposed to harping on somebody's faults," Arias said.

Martinez pointed out last week that Arias never detailed in her diary the violent fight the couple had in which Alexander allegedly threw Arias to the ground in January, 2007, and kicked her in the ribs and hand. She also never wrote about an alleged incident in which she saw him masturbating while looking at pictures of young boys.

On Monday, however, she did read an entry in which she said Alexander made her "sick," after an incident in which she went to Alexander's house and saw him kissing another woman.

"I don't understand it and at times have a hard time believing it. He makes me sick and happy, makes me feel sad and miserable, and makes me feel uplifted and beautiful. I shouldn't be wording it as if he makes me feel those things. It all originates from within. All of my darkness is fruit of my own creation, it originates within," she wrote.

Arias said that she was referring to the law of attraction when she said that negative thoughts were her own fault. She also read an entry about suicide, one of what she claimed were many entries she wrote about wanting to die and later tore out of the journal.

"I just wish I could die. I wish that suicide was a way out, but it is no escape. I wouldn't feel any more pain," she wrote.

The testimony came as Arias and Nurmi tried to counteract some of Martinez's claims from cross-examination, including his accusation that she planned to murder Alexander and then lied without remorse to dozens of people after the killing in order to cover up what she had done.

Arias took the stand to mount her final defense to the jury Monday, after nine days of direct testimony and four days of withering cross-examination by Martinez. She began the day by insisting that she killed Alexander because, "he was trying to kill me."

He was stabbed 27 times, his throat was slashed and he was shot in the head twice. Martinez argues it was premeditated murder, an aggravating factor that could carry the death penalty.

Nurmi began the day by going through some of Martinez's claims from cross-examination, giving Arias a chance to explain what appeared to be lies or contradictions.

"Last week you were asked several questions about how you blame everybody else and don't take responsibility for things yourself," Nurmi said. "In terms of admitting certain things, I recall days ago, one of first questions I asked you was whether you killed Travis Alexander. Do you recall your answer?

"Yes," Arias said.

"Your answer was you did kill him and you also told us why you were forced to do that didn't you?" he asked.

"Yes, well, he was trying to kill me, so I was defending myself," she said.

"And did you go to Mr. Alexander's home on June 4 with the intent of killing him? At any point that day did you make the conscious decision, I want to kill Travis Alexander?"

"No," she said. "That was never a thought."

Nurmi also gave Arias the chance to explain that though she killed Alexander, she still loved him, even on the day of the attack.

Martinez had previously referenced a loving note Arias wrote in the memorial book at Alexander's funeral, saying that it showed her lack of remorse and her willingness to lie to cover up her alleged crime.

"You finish this note to him by saying, 'I love you.' Did you still feel that same unconditional love?" Nurmi asked.

"Well I still had love for him, yes, and, I was thinking now more in terms of eternity," Arias said.

"Looking at that quote -- I love you -- would that be a true statement on June 3, 2008 (the day before the attack)?" he said.

"Yes," she answered.

"And June 4?"

"Yes."

"And how about today?" Nurmi asked.

"Yes, it's still true," Arias said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio