Arias testimony retreads details from killing - New York News

Arias testimony retreads details from killing

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Jodi Arias in court 3/5/13 Jodi Arias in court 3/5/13

By BRIAN SKOLOFF
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) -- Jodi Arias' defense attorney concluded his questioning of the defendant Tuesday after testimony in her Arizona death penalty case that largely repeated previous details from the day she says she killed her lover in self-defense.

Earlier in the day, Arias read from her journal as her attorneys worked to explain why she made no specific mention in her entries regarding claims that her lover physically abused her and had sexual desires for young boys.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez hammered her during his cross-examination about the fact that there was no proof of anything Arias had been telling jurors regarding her contention that Travis Alexander had become violent and abusive in the months leading up to his death.

Arias previously testified that she once walked in on Alexander viewing explicit pictures of young boys, something that has not been backed up by evidence or witnesses throughout the trial.

Martinez had pointed out repeatedly how Arias noted nearly every intimate detail of her life in her journal, yet made no reference to the incident.

"That's exactly the opposite of things I would want to note," Arias testified Tuesday under questioning by her own attorney. "I wouldn't want to remember that ... It was very shocking."

She then read another journal entry she says she wrote several days after discovering Alexander viewing the pictures.

"It still remains that I cannot marry him. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but something is just off with that boy," she read.

"What did you mean by that?" asked her defense attorney, Kirk Nurmi.

"That's kind of my indirect way of referring to his issues that were in my mind, something I couldn't look past or accept," Arias replied.

She also has testified that she didn't document negative events about Alexander because he often read her journal and would get angry.

Arias' attorneys were again working to portray the victim as a sexually deviant womanizer in an apparent effort to gain sympathy from jurors.

Arias is set to return to the witness stand Wednesday afternoon. Jurors in Arizona criminal cases are allowed to pose their own questions to witnesses via written notes provided to the judge and vetted by attorneys. The judge said the panel had about 100 questions for Arias.

Throughout her two weeks on the witness stand, Arias has made numerous assertions that Alexander owned a gun, physically abused her, and had illicit desires for children, none of which have been corroborated by testimony or witnesses.

Martinez concluded his cross-examination of Arias last week after hammering her repeatedly over her lies and efforts to create an alibi immediately after she killed Alexander.

She acknowledged that she dumped the gun in the desert, got rid of her bloody clothes, tried to clean the scene at Alexander's home, and even left the victim a voicemail on his mobile phone within hours of killing him and dragging his body into the shower. She said she was too scared and ashamed to tell the truth.

Arias' grandparents had reported a .25 caliber handgun stolen from their Northern California home about a week before the killing -- the same caliber used to shoot Alexander -- but Arias says she never knew her grandfather had the weapon. Authorities believe she brought it with her, though she has testified she shot Alexander with his own gun as he chased her into his closet after body-slamming her and threatening to kill her.

Alexander had also been stabbed and slashed nearly 30 times and had his throat slit.

Arias is charged with first-degree murder in the June 2008 attack in Alexander's suburban Phoenix home. She says it was self-defense, but police say she planned the killing in a jealous rage.

Arias initially told authorities she had nothing to do with Alexander's death then blamed it on masked intruders before settling on self-defense.

Watch the trial when it's in session:
www.myfoxphoenix.com/category/234796/live-video2

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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