Jodi Arias Murder Trial Begins, Prosecutors Seeking Death Penalty

Prosecutors in Arizona have begun arguing today that 32-year-old Jodi Arias should die for the especially brutal murder of her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander, who was found dead in his shower over four years ago. Given the gruesome nature of the crime and Arias’ subsequent bizarre behavior, prosecutors will indeed seek the death penalty if they are successful in securing a conviction. Arias, who has been locked up since her arrest, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

The former couple met six years ago at a conference in Las Vegas. Arias says they fell in love, traveled the country together, and to strengthen her ties to the devout Mormon, she even converted to his religion. However, Alexander’s friends say after dating a few months he tried to break it off. Soon after, Alexander became fearful that Arias was stalking him and interfering with his new relationships.

On June 9, 2008, Alexander’s friends went to his home after not hearing from him for several days. They found their friend dead, having been shot in the head, stabbed 27 times, and having had his throat slit as well. Police found a digital camera in the washing machine and were able to retrieve the photos on it, which provided crucial evidence for prosecutors.

At first Arias denied being at the victim’s residence the night of the murder. Then police found a camera in Alexander’s washing machine containing pictures of the two having sex that day. There were also pictures of Alexander after he was killed.

After she was arrested, Arias told “Inside Edition” that she “witnessed Travis being attacked by two other individuals.” Now the accused killer is admitting to the court that she did kill Alexander, but that it was in self-defense. She claims he was sexually and physically abusive throughout their relationship.

Should she be found guilty of felony murder, which she is charged with, she could face the death penalty. Defense attorneys are hoping that she will be found guilty of second-degree murder and instead serve a life term.

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