Jodi Arias trial: Another day, no decision on verdict - New York News

Jodi Arias trial: Another day, no decision on verdict

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Jodi Arias (file) Jodi Arias (file)
PHOENIX -

After two days of deliberations, there's no verdict yet, squashing predictions that this case would be a slam dunk.

A second full day of deliberations proved fruitless Tuesday. The jury of eight men and four women left for the day about 4:40 p.m. without deciding on a verdict.

The speculation was that if the jury came back with a decision quickly, it might work in Jodi's favor. But the longer they deliberate could indicate that the jury is having a hard time coming to an agreement. Still, our legal experts believe the verdict will come out by this Friday.

As they left Tuesday, some of them were smiling and seemed to be in a good mood, but others seemed very serious and subdued.

Due to the crowds outside the courthouse, deputies had to put up crime scene tape so people could get in and out easily.

Jurors first got the case late Friday afternoon. Jury deliberations resume Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.

32-year-old Jodi Arias is charged with first-degree murder in the June 2008 death of her one-time boyfriend Travis Alexander at his Mesa home. He was shot in the head and stabbed and slashed 27 times. Jurors could also convict her of second-degree murder or manslaughter.

Testimony in the case began in early January, and Arias spent 18 days on the witness stand beginning in early February.

What does Arizona Governor Jan Brewer think of the case? Brewer said Tuesday at a separate press event that she thinks Arias is guilty, but didn't elaborate on what charge.

"I don't have all the information but I think she's guilty," Brewer said.

For complete coverage: myfoxphoenix.com/arias

The jury options:

-- FIRST-DEGREE MURDER: If jurors believe that Travis Alexander's killing was a premeditated act, they can convict Arias of first-degree murder. This charge carries a possible death sentence or life in prison. Jurors also can consider a more complicated first-degree murder count that says she committed an act of burglary in the course of killing him.

The arguments: Prosecutors say Arias began plotting a murder several days in advance and made a road trip to Alexander's house intending to kill him. They say she stole a gun from her grandparents' home, removed her license plate to avoid detection and turned off her cell phone while she was in Arizona so law enforcement couldn't track her. The defense said the killing was self-defense and noted there's no direct proof she ever brought a gun to Alexander's home.

If the jury convicts her of first-degree murder, the trial will continue as the same panel decides whether Arias should get the death penalty.

-- SECOND-DEGREE MURDER: If jurors think Arias didn't premeditate the killing but still intentionally caused the death of Alexander, they can find her guilty of second-degree murder. The sentencing range for this charge is 10 to 22 years in prison. Arias already has spent nearly five years in jail.

The arguments: A conviction on this count would be a victory for the defense, since it would spare Arias' life and get her out of prison before she's 50 years old in a worst-case scenario. Prosecutors say there's no doubt she committed second-degree murder, but they are pushing for first-degree.

If the jury finds Arias is guilty of either first-degree murder or second-degree murder, but has reasonable doubt as to which one it is, they are directed to convict her of second-degree murder.

-- MANSLAUGHTER: If jurors think Arias didn't plan the killing in advance, but instead believe the attack occurred upon a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion after "adequate" provocation from Alexander, they can convict Arias of manslaughter. A conviction on this charge carries a sentence of seven to 21 years in prison.

-- ACQUITTAL: If the jury believes Arias killed Alexander in self-defense, it could find her not guilty of all charges, in which case Arias would be released.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.


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