Arias concludes testimony after 18 days on stand - New York News

Arias concludes testimony after 18 days on stand

Posted: Updated:
Jodi Arias - 3/13/13 Jodi Arias - 3/13/13

By BRIAN SKOLOFF
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) -- Jodi Arias has concluded her testimony after 18 days on the witness stand in her Arizona death penalty trial.

She's charged with first-degree murder in the June 2008 death of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. Authorities say she planned the attack on her lover in a jealous rage. Arias says it was self-defense.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez spent much of the day Wednesday questioning Arias over repeated lies in the case and her self-proclaimed memory lapses from the day of the killing.

Jurors also had about 10 additional questions for Arias. Last week, the panel posed about 220 questions and made it clear they aren't satisfied with her explanations. Arizona law allows jurors to quiz defendants through written questions read aloud by the judge.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A prosecutor questioning Jodi Arias in her Arizona death penalty trial on Wednesday repeatedly pointed at her and angrily raised his voice as he said it was impossible for the killing of her boyfriend to have occurred the way she contends.

Arias is charged with first-degree murder in the June 2008 death of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. Authorities say she planned the killing in a jealous rage, but Arias says it was self-defense when Alexander attacked her after a day of sex.

On Wednesday, Arias took the witness stand for the 18th day. Prosecutor Juan Martinez showed her two photographs taken 62 seconds apart - one of Alexander alive in the shower, the other a portion of his bloodied body.

Arias has said she was taking provocative pictures of Alexander in the shower when she dropped his camera and he became enraged, forcing her to fight for her life.

"You drop the camera ... you are body-slammed, you get away, you go down the hallway, you go in the closet, you get the gun, you go into the bathroom ... You shoot him, he goes down ... and then, after you're able to get away, you go get the knife and you end up at the end of the hallway? All of this in 62 seconds?" Martinez snapped.

"No, that's not what I'm saying," Arias replied, reminding the prosecutor of her memory gaps from the day of the killing. "Definitely after the gun went off ... I don't know, it starts to get a little more confusing."

Martinez is trying to show Arias took time to think about what she was doing during the attack.

"You didn't have the knife in your hand when you shot him," he said. "So that means, if you didn't have the knife in your hand, you had to go get it from somewhere, right?"

"I don't know," Arias replied.

Alexander suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, was shot in the head and had his throat slit before Arias dragged his body into his shower.

Arias has said she remembers little from the day of the killing but recalls Alexander attacking her in a fury. She says she ran into his closet to retrieve a gun he kept on a shelf and fired in self-defense. She said she has no memory of stabbing him.

Martinez seized on her memory lapses, noting it seemed unusual she could remember some key details, like Alexander screaming at her and threatening her life, but not much else.

"You don't remember anything, right?" Martinez asked loudly.

"In general there is a huge gap," Arias replied softly, her eyes fixed on jurors.

The questioning elicited repeated objections from defense attorneys as Arias often replied smugly to yes or no questions with answers such as "If you say so" and "I presume."

"I would like some certainty from you," Martinez barked at one point.

Arias has acknowledged trying to clean the scene of the killing, dumping the gun in the desert and leaving the victim a voicemail on his cellphone hours later in an attempt to avoid suspicion. She says 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 Alexander's death - the same caliber used to shoot him - but Arias says she didn't take it. Authorities believe she brought it with her.

Since testimony began in early January, none of Arias' allegations of Alexander's violence, that he owned a gun or had sexual desires for young boys have been corroborated by witnesses or evidence. She has acknowledged lying repeatedly but insists she is telling the truth now.

She initially told authorities she had nothing to do with the killing then blamed it on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she settled on self-defense.

Arias has been testifying over nearly six weeks during which she has described her abusive childhood, cheating boyfriends, dead-end jobs, a raunchy sexual relationship with the victim, and her contention that Alexander had grown physically abusive in the months leading to his death, once even choking her into unconsciousness.

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

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

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