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Entries in Travis Alexander (10)

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

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

Thursday
Feb282013

Jodi Arias Ordered to Reenact Travis Alexander's Alleged Attack on Her

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Accused murderer Jodi Arias was forced to demonstrate in court Thursday how she claims her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander lunged at her "like a linebacker," causing her to fire a handgun at him during the argument in 2008 that left Alexander dead.

Arias and prosecutor Juan Martinez argued over how exactly Alexander was positioned when he allegedly tackled her to the ground on the day she killed him on June 4, 2008. Arias repeatedly described Alexander's actions as coming at her "like a linebacker," and Martinez pushed her to explain what she meant.

"He lunges at me like a linebacker," Arias said.

"Like a linebacker, what does that mean?" Martinez asked.

"He was low. It was almost like he dove," she said, and trying to explain it further, "'He was like a linebacker' is the only way I can describe it unless I get up to act it out, which I'd rather not do."

"Go ahead and do it," Martinez said. "Just stand. Go ahead."

Judge Sherry Stephens initially cleared the court as Arias demonstrated and then Martinez had her do it again after the jury and spectators were allowed back into the courtroom.

Standing and moving away from the witness box, Arias bent at the waist and spread out her arms and meekly made a slight lunging motion.

According to her testimony, Arias fired the gun as Alexander rushed at her, tackling her to the ground. She said she does not remember how she stabbed or slashed him.

Arias, 32, is accused of killing Alexander on June 4, 2008 out of jealousy. He was stabbed 27 times, his throat was slashed and he was shot in the head twice.

Arias claims she killed in self-defense after Alexander had become increasingly violent with her. She could face the death penalty if convicted.

It was a day of dramatics and anger as the prosecution pressed Arias on the details of the killing. At one point Arias dissolved into tears, unable to answer pointed questions when shown a photo of Alexander's body lying crumpled in bottom of the stall shower.

After a short pause, Martinez asked dryly, "Were you crying when you were shooting him?"

"I don't remember," Arias moaned.

"Were you crying when you stabbed him?" he said. "How about when you slashed his throat?"

"I don't remember, I don't know."

Martinez pressed on, "You're the one that did this right? And lied about all this right?"

"Yes."

"So then take a look at it," he barked.

Arias did not answer Martinez's question, crying into her hands instead. The judge, after a moment, called for the lunch recess to take a break from the testimony. Arias' attorney walked over and consoled her, telling her to "take a moment."

Until that moment, Arias had given vague answers to Martinez as he asked about the hours leading up to the murder. Arias, 32, has testified that she drove to Alexander's house on June 4, 2008, for a sexual liaison, that she had sex with Alexander and the pair took nude photos before an explosive confrontation ended with her killing him. She claims she doesn't remember stabbing Alexander, but insists it was in self-defense.

Martinez questioned her claims, asking exactly what they argued about and who encouraged whom to take the nude photos. He pointed out that Arias told Detective Esteban Flores of the Mesa police department that she had to convince Alexander to take the nude photos in the shower, but that she testified on the stand that Alexander had wanted them.

Arias said that both her statements were true.

Martinez tried to walk Arias through the moments when she claims Alexander erupted in a fury when she dropped his camera while taking nude pictures of him in the shower and then bodyslammed her onto the bathroom floor.

Arias claims she fled into a walkthrough closet where she grabbed a gun that Alexander kept on a shelf. Martinez suggested that if she left the closet and ran down stairs on her right, she would have been safe.

"No, I would have been dead," Arias replied.

When Martinez pressed the point by repeating the question, Arias said, "Only if I was suicidal."

The prosecutor also suggested that the closet was so small that things must have happened faster than Arias was indicating.

"It's a very small closet, isn't it," Martinez asked.

"No, it's bigger than the cell I live in," she answered.

A clearly angered Martinez said, "Take that attitude....Is there an issue here?"

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb272013

Jodi Arias Prosecutor Like a 'Rabid Dog,' Legal Critic Says

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- He has barked, yelled, been sarcastic and demanded answers from accused murderer Jodi Arias this week.

And in doing so, prosecutor Juan Martinez and his aggressive antics may be turning off the jury he is hoping to convince that Arias killed her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in June 2008, experts told ABC News Wednesday.

"Martinez is his own worst enemy," Mel McDonald, a prominent Phoenix defense attorney and former judge, told ABC News. "He takes it to the point where it's ad nauseam. You have difficulty recognizing when he's driving the point home because he's always angry and pushy and pacing around the courtroom. He loses the effectiveness, rather than build it up."

"He's like a rabid dog and believes you've got to go to everybody's throat," he said.

"If they convict her and give her death, they do it in spite of Juan, not because of him," McDonald added.

Martinez's needling style was on display again Wednesday as he pestered Arias to admit that she willingly participated in kinky sex with Alexander, though she previously testified that she only succumbed to his erotic fantasies to please him.

Arias, now 32, and Alexander, who was 27 at the time of his death, dated for a year and continued to sleep together for another year following their break-up.

Arias drove to his house in Mesa, Ariz., in June 2008, had sex with him, they took nude photos together and she killed him in his shower. She claims it was in self-defense. If convicted, Arias could face the death penalty.

Martinez also attempted to point out inconsistencies in her story of the killing, bickering with her over details about her journey from Yreka, Calif., to Mesa, Ariz., including why she borrowed gas cans from an ex-boyfriend, when she allegedly took naps and got lost while driving, and why she spontaneously decided to visit Alexander at his home in Mesa for a sexual liaison.

"I want to know what you're talking about," Arias said to Martinez at one point.

"No, I'm asking you," he yelled.

Later, he bellowed, "Am I asking you if you're telling the truth?"

"I don't know," Arias said, firing back at him. "Are you?"

During three days of cross examining Arias this week, Martinez has spent hours going back and forth with the defendant over word choice, her memory, and her answers to his questions.

"Everyone who takes witness stand for defense is an enemy," McDonald said. "He prides himself on being able to work by rarely referring to his notes, but what he's giving up in that is that there's so much time he wastes on stupid comments. A lot of what I've heard is utterly objectionable."

Martinez's behavior has spurred frequent objections of "witness badgering" from Arias' attorney Kirk Nurmi, who at one point Tuesday stood up in court and appealed to the judge to have a conference with all of the attorneys before questioning continued. Judge Sherry Stephens at one point admonished Martinez and Arias for speaking over one another.

Andy Hill, a former spokesperson for the Phoenix police department, and Steven Pitt, a forensic psychiatrist who has testified as an expert witness at many trials in the Phoenix area, both said that despite his aggressive style, Martinez would likely succeed in obtaining a guilty verdict.

"When it comes to cross examination, one size does not fit all," said Pitt. "But if you set aside the incessant sparring, what the prosecutor I believe is effectively doing is pointing out the various inconsistencies in the defendant's version of events."

"One thing I can assure you with absolute certainty is that the prosecutor's closing statement will be one for the ages. He will weave together every single one of her inconsistencies, connect the dots, but leave it to the jury to make this decision," Pitt said.

"All this drama and sparring is going to fall off," Pitt said.

Hill, who has watched Martinez prosecute cases before, agreed,

"He has a careful plan that he will put it all together at the end. There are so many statements to sort through. I'm not defending the prosecutor, I've known him for a long time and this is his particular style. But he has been very effective. But every case is different," Hill said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb262013

Jodi Arias Claims Innocence on Charge That Carries Death Penalty

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Accused murderer Jodi Arias was confronted Monday with a barrage of lies she told after she killed her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, but she twice defiantly declared that she was innocent of first-degree murder.

"It's the truth. I'm innocent of that charge," Arias said to prosecutor Juan Martinez, referring to the criminal charge that could carry the threat of the death sentence if she is found guilty.

Arias admitted on the stand that she lied for months and years after killing her ex-boyfriend, telling investigators and friends that she had nothing to do with Alexander's grisly death, in which he was stabbed 27 times, his throat was slashed, and he was shot in the head.

Eventually, Arias confessed to the killing, but claims it was in self-defense.

On Monday, prosecutors hammered Arias about her lying, getting her to admit to lies she told and playing video of her police interrogation and a TV interview in which she told stories that she has since conceded were not true.

In an interview with CBS' 48 Hours, Arias said she smiled for her mug shot partly because she knew she was innocent.

"You truly believe that you didn't do anything wrong here?" the prosecutor asked incredulously.

"I believed that I knew that I was not guilty of first-degree murder and I did plan to be dead," she replied, a reference to her claim that she planned to commit suicide.

During a day of contentious questions and answers between Martinez and Arias, the prosecutor used Arias' own diary entries and text messages to show contradictions of her claims that Alexander was abusive toward her, that he hit her and tried to choke her.

Arias said that in early 2008, Alexander hit her in the neck while they were riding in his car. Martinez showed a diary entry describing the day they rode in the car, and there was no mention of physical violence.

"This entry does not corroborate what you told us happened in the car," he said. "With regard to the [choking incident] you didn't call police. You didn't tell anyone about it. There is no corroboration anywhere in your journal. All we have is your word. Are there photos? Any other writings? Is there a police report? Is there a medical report?"

Arias said there was no evidence that the alleged abuse happened, except for her testimony in court.

"There's no evidence because it didn't happen, did it ma'am?" Martinez yelled.

Arias said that she had told one person about the abuse she claims she suffered at the hands of Alexander, and that it was another ex-boyfriend, Matthew McCartney. But when pressed for details about the conversation in which she told him, Arias became confused and changed her answers.

"I saw [Matt] a few days later, and he called me out on the bruises," Arias testified.

"Where?"

"Over the phone, just days after I think," she said.

"Isn't it true he wouldn't have been able to see your injuries because you were talking over the telephone?"

"No, I was in Yreka [California] by then. I stopped to see Matt after I left Arizona. Let's see, I believe it was two or three days after. I'm not saying there was no telephone call, [but] it was at his house. I went and saw Matt, and some makeup wore off, and he confronted me on [the bruises]."

Martinez said that McCartney has denied the conversation ever took place.

The argument mounted by Martinez Monday echoed the focus of the prosecution throughout the trial: that Arias murdered Alexander and then lied to everyone about it to evade arrest and prosecution.

"Ma'am you have a problem with telling the truth don't you?" Martinez asked as his first question Monday, the 11th day Arias has been on the stand explaining her role in Alexander's death.

"Not typically," Arias responded.

Martinez pointed out that Arias lied to Detective Esteban Flores of the Mesa, Ariz., police department as he investigated Alexander's death. She initially denied to the detective that she was at Alexander's home in Mesa when he was killed, and later said he was murdered by a pair of masked intruders.

Arias argued with Martinez, claiming that she lied to investigators out of shame, and lied to friends immediately after the death out of confusion.

"My mind wasn't right during all that period," Arias said referring to the hours immediately following the killing when she drove through the Arizona desert and made phone calls to McCartney and new love interest Ryan Burns.

"It's like I wasn't accepting it in my mind...because I never killed anyone before," she said.

Martinez also suggested that Arias tried to find out the status of the investigation into Alexander's death so that she could know if she were about to be arrested. When a friend of Alexander's called her to report the news about Alexander's death, Arias asked about details into the investigation, the prosecutor said. She also called Alexander's Mormon bishop and asked him what he knew about the case, and then asked friends and family members what they knew, according to Martinez.

He also went over lies that Arias told to her friend, Leslie Udy, and Ryan Burns, both of whom she saw in Utah the day after killing Alexander. She talked to both about Alexander as if he were still alive. Martinez pointed out that Arias even made out with Burns in his bedroom during their visit.

But Arias claimed that it was Burns who lied about their encounter.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb202013

Jodi Arias Finishes Testimony Describing Killing

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Jodi Arias stepped down from the witness stand Wednesday after mounting an emotional effort to save herself from death row, insisting to the Arizona jury that an explosive fight with ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander led to his death, and that her lies about killing him masked deep regret and plans to commit suicide.

Arias, 32, will now face what is expected to be a withering cross-examination beginning Thursday from prosecutor Juan Martinez, who has been aggressive to many witnesses throughout the trial and who is expected to go after Arias' claim that she was forced to kill Alexander or be killed herself.

She has been charged with her ex-boyfriend's murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Wednesday's dramatic testimony started with Arias describing the beginning of the fight on June 4, 2008 when she and Alexander were taking nude photos in his shower and, she claims, she accidentally dropped his new camera, causing Alexander to lose his temper. Enraged, he picked her up and body-slammed her onto the tile floor, screaming at her, she told the jury.

Arias said she ran to his closet to get away from him, but could hear Alexander's footsteps coming after her down the hall. She grabbed a gun from his shelf and tried to keep running, but Alexander came after her, she said.

"I pointed it at him with both of my hands. I thought that would stop him, but he just kept running. He got like a linebacker. He got low and grabbed my waist, and as he was lunging at me the gun went off. I didn't mean to shoot. I didn't even think I was holding the trigger," she said.

"But he lunged at me and we fell really hard toward the tile wall, so at this point I didn't even know if he had been shot. I didn't see anything different. We were struggling, wrestling, he's a wrestler."

"So he's grabbing at my clothes and I got up, and he's screaming angry, and after I broke away from him. He said, 'F***ing kill you b****,'" she testified.

Asked by her lawyer whether she was convinced Alexander intended to kill her, Arias answered, "For sure. He'd almost killed me once before and now he's saying he was going to." Arias had earlier testified that Alexander had once choked her.

But Arias' story of the death struggle ended there as she told the court that she has no memory of stabbing or slashing Alexander, whose body was later found with 27 stab wounds, a slit throat and two bullets in his head. She said she only remembered standing in the bathroom, dropping the knife on the tile floor, realizing the "horror" of what had happened, and screaming.

"I have no memory of stabbing him," she said. "There's a huge gap. I don't know if I blacked out or what, but there's a huge gap. The most clear memory I have after that point is driving in the desert."

Arias said that she decided in the desert not to admit to killing Alexander, a decision that would last for two years as Arias lied to friends, family, investigators and reporters about what really happened in Alexander's bathroom.

She eventually confessed to killing her ex-boyfriend, but insisted it was self-defense.

"The main reason [for lying] is because I was very ashamed of what happened. It's not something I ever imagined doing. It's not the kind of person I was. It was just shameful," she said. "I was also very scared of what might happen. I didn't want my family to know that I had done that, and I just couldn't bring myself to say that I did that."

"From day one there was a part of me that always wanted to (tell the truth) but didn't dare do that. I would rather have gone to my grave than admit I had done something like that," she said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb192013

Jodi Arias Describes Violent Sex Before Killing Travis Alexander

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Jodi Arias and her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, had increasingly violent sex in which he tied her to his bed, twisted her arm and made sex videos with her in the hours leading up to the stabbing and shooting incident that left Alexander dead.

It was a day in which Arias, 32, inched closer to telling the court how the killing of Alexander took place, but after several hours of emotional testimony the court was adjourned until Wednesday.

In her sixth day on the stand, Arias tearfully described the sex-filled hours that led to Alexander's death on June 4, 2008. She is charged with her former boyfriend's murder, but she claims she was forced to kill him in self-defense.

"He tied me up, [on] the bed. It's not my favorite but it's not unbearable," Arias told the court.

She said he used a kitchen knife in the bathroom to cut the rope to the proper length, but she didn't remember whether he left the knife in the bathroom or brought it back to the nightstand in the bedroom.

"There are a lot gaps that day...a lot of things I don't remember that day," she said.

Arias and Alexander then took graphic sexual photos of one another and made a sex video, both of which Arias said were Alexander's ideas.

But the mood of the afternoon turned, she said, when Alexander became angry over a scratched computer disk of photos she gave him. He threw the CD, and Arias said she became "apprehensive" of his rising temper.

"I don't know that I was consciously thinking [of violence] but I was more tense. I stood up, went to walk over to him, to rub his back and make sure he was okay," she said. "But he grabbed me on the upper arms, spun me around and grabbed my right arm and twisted it behind my back, and bent me over the desk, and pressed up against me."

"I was scared he was going to throw me or something, kick me," she continued. "He pressed his groin up against my butt, did a few thrusts and then started pulling my pants down."

The pair then had sex, which Arias said pacified Alexander.

"I was very relieved. I felt like we had avoided catastrophe. It could have led to another fight," she said.

Instead of a fight, Alexander, who was 27 and a devout Mormon, and Arias decide to go upstairs and take more nude photos of one another. Arias said she hoped the photos would satisfy Alexander over his frustration with the scratched CD. Evidence introduced earlier in the trial show that Alexander was killed while Arias was photographing Alexander in the shower.

Earlier, Arias explained that she wasn't planning to visit Alexander during her road trip from her home in California, but was persuaded by him to spontaneously take a detour to his house for sex and to hang out. Arias' attorney, Kirk Nurmi, asked her repeatedly on the stand if Arias brought a gun or knife with her on the road trip and to Alexander's house. She said that she did not.

She also denied a series of allegations made by the prosecution that she dyed her hair, rented an inconspicuous car, borrowed gas cans, turned off her cell phone, and switched money around in her bank accounts as she left for Alexander's house because she was planning to murder him when she got there.

Arias said that her hair remained the same color, auburn-brown, throughout May and June, that she rented a car because her own car was not stable enough for highway travel, that she requested a white car instead of a red one because police pull red ones over more often, and that she transferred money to a business banking account for a tax write-off to classify it as a business trip.

The testimony about the road trip and Arias' planning could be key to the jury as they decide whether the killing was pre-meditated, as the prosecution claims. Arias could face the death penalty if convicted of murder with aggravating factors such as pre-meditation.

Arias said that she "didn't sleep at all last night" before testifying about the dramatic incident Tuesday. Her comment was stricken from the record.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb132013

Jodi Arias Claims Travis Alexander Showed Increasingly Aggressive Behavior

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- Jodi Arias' ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander became increasingly sexually aggressive and violent toward her in the weeks leading up to a confrontation in which she killed him, Arias testified Wednesday in her murder trial.

Arias read text messages aloud that Alexander had sent her calling her his "sex slave" and describing aggressive sexual fantasies he had. The pair were no longer dating, but continued to sleep together as they dated other people.

"You are the ultimate slut in bed," Alexander wrote in the messages. "When it's done, the intensity will make your body feel like you have been raped…You'll rejoice in being a whore that's sole purpose in life is to be mine, to have animalistic sex with me and to please me in any way I desire."

Arias also said that he forced her to end friendships with both male and female friends in late 2007, called her a "whore" for being friendly with other men, and began to lose his temper over the phone and in person during frequent arguments.

Arias said she grew tired of his "aggressive, authoritative" behavior and began to distance herself from him, moving away and then writing him a long email telling him that she was never comfortable with their relationship being a secret and that she wanted to "cool it" a little bit.

On the day she moved away from Mesa, Ariz., to California in March 2008, instead of waving goodbye Alexander gave her a rude gesture with both hands, she told the court Wednesday.

She told Alexander she was going to, "be proactive and remove (herself) from the list of people you have to worry about," but that she loved him and would always be his friend and confidante.

Alexander exploded when he received the email, Arias said Wednesday. He wrote angry instant messages to her by computer and cruel text messages after.

The testimony has followed four days of accusations that paint Alexander as increasingly abusive and sex-obsessed. Arias has claimed Alexander pushed her to the floor, kicked her in the ribs, and broke one of her fingers during an argument. In addition, she testified that Alexander told her that he was sexually attracted to young children and wanted to make a pornographic movie with her.

Arias' defense attorneys hope the details of the couple's sex life will help convince the jury that Alexander became so threatening to Arias that she had to kill him in self-defense.

Though she has been on the stand for five days, Arias has not yet described what happened on June 4, 2008, when she allegedly stabbed, slashed and shot Alexander in his bathroom after a day of having sex and taking nude photos.

Before Arias gets off the stand she can expect a withering cross examination by the prosecution. The defense could then call a handful of experts to discuss their relationship. The case could go to the jury in as little as a week.

Arias could face the death penalty if convicted of the brutal slaying.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb122013

Jodi Arias Said She Liked 'Debasing' Phone Sex Talk with Ex-Boyfriend

ABC News(PHOENIX) -- A raunchy 40-minute phone call between accused murderer Jodi Arias and her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander that was filled with references to rape, porn and Alexander's crude fantasies showed the twisted relationship the pair had before Arias killed him.

Arias, 32, shrank on the stand, shrouding herself behind her hands and her thick hair as her voice on the recording of the phone call, played in the courtroom where she faces trial, could be heard moaning, and her mother and sister listened from the front row of the court room gallery.

Arias giggled and cooed at Alexander as he described his sexual fantasies to her, showing less resistance to his sexual requests than she described to the jury during her testimony over the past week.

"I'm going to tie you to a tree and put it in your a**," Alexander can be heard saying.

"Oh my gosh, that is so debasing, I like it," Arias responded.

She later explained she didn't want to insult his fantasies, so said she liked them. Arias also said she complimented his stamina and sexual abilities because he "thrived on compliments."

The defense entered the audio recording into evidence hoping to show that Alexander was a sexual "deviant," as they'd previously claimed, and that the image he projected to his friends of a devout Mormon virgin deeply conflicted with the erotic sex life and fantasies in which he engaged with Arias.

They hope to convince a jury that Alexander was so obsessed with sex, and abusive and controlling toward Arias, that she could have plausibly killed him out of self-defense during a sexual encounter-turned-bloody attack just weeks after the phone call, in June 2008.

She is accused of murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

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