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Jodi Arias Convicted of First-Degree Murder in Death of Travis Alexander in Mesa, Arizona

Wed May 08 2013 7:52 pm
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An Arizona jury convicted Jodi Arias of first-degree murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

Jodi Arias, 32, was convicted on May 8, 2013 for the murder of Travis Alexander that occurred on June 4, 2008, at his home in Mesa, Arizona. His body was found by co-workers from Prepaid Legal Services who came to his residence to check on him after he missed appointments. Pools of blood were discovered in the hallway leading to the master bathroom, and the Mesa Police Department was called. Travis Alexander’s body was discovered in a shower at his home with his throat slashed and a gunshot wound to the head. He was stabbed multiple times — over 25 times. Maricopa County Medical Examiner, Dr. Kevin Horn, testified that Alexander’s jugular vein, common carotid artery, and windpipe had been slashed. Alexander’s hands also had defensive wounds. Horn also testified that Alexander may have been dead at the time of a gunshot to his forehead.

A spent .25 caliber round was located near one of the sinks in the master bath, and Alexander’s damaged digital camera was located in a washing machine on the first floor. Mesa Police were able to recover deleted images, which showed Arias and Alexander, both in sexually suggestive poses, in images captured about 1:40 p.m. on June 4, 2008. The last photo showing Travis Alexander alive was captured on June 4, 2013 at 5:29:20 p.m. Images immediately following the time frame showed Alexander profusely bleeding on the floor. A bloody palm with DNA from Aria and Alexander was discovered in the bathroom hallway.

On June 2, 2008, Arias rented a white Ford Focus in Redding, California from Budget Rent-a-Car about 100 miles south of her home. She told the Budget Rent a Car staff that she would only be driving the car locally, but the car was returned on June 7 with about 2,800 miles added. The Ford Focus also missing all of its floor mats, and there were stains that looked like Kool-Aid stains on the front and rear seats. The car was cleaned before police evidence technicians were able to investigate the vehicle.

On June 5, 2008, West Jordan, Utah, Police Officer Michael Galieti pulled Arias over while she was in the Ford Focus. The front license plate of the car was missing and the rear plate was upside down. Arias Galieti that some kids at a Starbucks must have played a trick on her. Galieti did not cite her for the license violation.

Witnesses observed Arias with cuts on her hands, which she explained were injuries from work at a restaurant.

Arias was indicted by a grand jury on a first-degree murder charge on July 9, 2008, and arrested at her grandparents’ home on July 15, 2008. She was extradited to Arizona on September 5, 2008, where she pled not guilty on September 11, 2008.

The homicide trial against Arias began on January 2, 2013, in Maricopa County Superior Court before Judge Sherry K. Stephens. Prosecutor Juan Martinez sought the death penalty.

On February 6, Arias testified that she killed Travis Alexander in self-defense and recounted an intimate sexual encounter with Alexander that went beyond what Arias wanted. Arias testified for a total of 18 days, and psychologist Robert Geffner — the final witness for the defense — claimed Arias had post-traumatic stress disorder while prosecution witness Dr. Janeen DeMarte diagnosed Arias with borderline personality disorder.

The verdict of guilty of first-degree murder was announced at about 2 p.m. local time on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. The jury arrived at their decision late morning on Wednesday.

After four months, verdict day at the Jodi Arias trial brought a crowd to the courthouse to find out the jury’s decision. Dozens of people lined up daily to try to get a seat in the courtroom, and others stood or sat outside.

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