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Charles Montaldo

Jodi Arias Found Guilty

By May 8, 2013

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After deliberating for almost three full days, an Arizona jury has returned a guilty verdict in a lurid murder trial that attracted national attention via tabloid coverage and cable television. Jodi Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting and stabbing death of her lover Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008.

The jury briefly began deliberations late Friday afternoon and reached a verdict late Wednesday morning.

The trial began in January and soon turned into a spectacle of sex and lies complete with digital images. Arias stayed on the witness stand for 18 days, admitting that she killed Alexander, but claiming self-defense.

During the course of the trial, in which prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, three jurors were dismissed.

PTSD and Amnesia

During her testimony Arias displayed the ability to recall minute details about some aspects of her relationship with Alexander, but blamed post-traumatic stress disorder and amnesia for not being able to remember the murder itself.

Arias and Alexander, a Mormon who worked as a salesman and motivational speaker, met at a work convention in Las Vegas in September 2006. Their relationship turned sexual almost immediately and continued long-distance for several months. Arias lived in California and Alexander in Mesa, Arizona.

The couple broke up in June 2007, but they continued to see each other for sex. Arias briefly moved to Arizona in 2007, but moved back to California in the spring of 2008.

A Detour for Murder

On June 4, 2008, Arias made a trip to see another man in Utah, but stopped off first to see Alexander. They had sex in his home and took nude photographs of each other. Arias continued her trip to Utah.

Five days later, friends found Alexander's body in the shower of his home. He had been shot in the head and stabbed or slashed almost 30 times. Investigators found Arias' hair and a bloody palm print at the scene.

They also found the time-stamped photographs Alexander took of Arias on a digital camera inside his washing machine.

Alexander had been shot with a .25 caliber gun, the same caliber of a handgun reported stolen from Arias' grandparents home where she had been staying.

Two Years of Lies

On her 28th birthday, June 9, 2008, Jodi Arias was indicted by a Arizona grand jury for first-degree murder. She was arrested at her grandparents' home six days later.

For more than two years, Arias told a string of lies about her involvement in the death of Alexander. At first she denied any knowledge and later admitted she was there and blamed the murder on two masked intruders.

It was not until August 2010 that Arias finally changed her story, admitted she killed Alexander, but claimed she did so in self-defense.

The penalty phase of the trial will begin Thursday.

See Also:
Haven't Been Following the Jodi Arias Trial? Read This
Timeline of Key Events in the Jodi Arias Murder Case

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Photo: Mug Shot

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