Jurors in the murder trial against Jodi Arias are faced with two conflicting images of a beautiful brunette who killed her ex-beau: Was she a femme fatale or a timid woman of faith tricked into a lewd lifestyle?
As the trial continued this week, jurors in Arizona’s Maricopa County Court listened as a medical official gave the gruesome details in the 2008 death of 30-year-old Travis Alexander. Crime scene photos caused at least one juror to wipe away tears as the victim’s family was visibly shaken as well, ABC News reported.
Arias, who faces the death penalty, also broke down in the courtroom.
The 32-year-old has admitted to killing Alexander in his Mesa home, but claims it was in self-defense after he allegedly attacked her for damaging his camera. Police say the insurance salesman was shot in the head, slashed from ear to ear, and stabbed at least 27 times.
Phone calls were played of Arias telling police she tried to contact Alexander the week he died, although authorities say she was lying because she knew he was no longer alive.
Arias claimed she was driving from Los Angeles to Utah in June 2008 to see a new man she was dating, ABC News reported.
“On Tuesday night (I talked to him), it was brief though, 10 o'clock maybe,” she is heard telling a detective. “I'd say 10 p.m. or 9-9:30. I was calling people because I was bored on the road. He was nice and cordial, but kind of acting like he had hurt feelings.”
She went on that she tried contacting him the next day.
“I may have called (Alexander) Wednesday from the road, and I sent him a couple of text messages, and a couple of pictures,” she said, although his voicemail was full. “That’s unusual. He deletes all of his messages. I didn’t want to be obsessive about it because we’re not together anymore and I didn’t like to call too much.”
But it was that Wednesday when Arias had actually gone to see Alexander in his home, court records say. The pair had a final fling and even took pictures on Alexander’s camera, which despite being thrown into a washing machine was retrieved as evidence.
One photo showed Alexander in the shower moments before he was killed.
Prosecutors say that even though Alexander and Arias had broken up about a year earlier, they continued to have sex together and that she jealously stalked him. She reportedly converted to Mormonism for him.
Arias, a photographer from California, has given different versions of what happened that day, even telling the TV program “Inside Edition” after her arrest on July 18, 2008, that two intruders broke into the home and killed Alexander.
The new love interest, Ryan Burns, testified in court Wednesday that Arias finally did meet up with him, and the pair shared a chaste relationship — nothing like the one she had with Alexander — centered around their Mormonism.
“Every time we started kissing it got a little more escalated,” Burns testified. “Our clothes never came off. At some point she was kissing my neck, I was kissing hers, but our clothes never came off.”
He added that she “would often tell me about how she felt about her religious beliefs, the Book of Mormon.”
While Arias’ defense attorney has said in court that it was Alexander who was abusive, essentially corrupting her sexually, prosecutors say there are emails in which he felt sexually used.
Arias previously told “Inside Edition” that she believes she will be exonerated.
“No jury is going to convict me,” she said. “I am innocent and you can mark my words on that.”
The trial was scheduled to continue Thursday.