Jodi Arias Admits: Travis Alexander Death Occurred Because 'He Attacked Me And I Defended Myself'

By Jason Van Hoven on February 5, 2013 3:49 PM EST

Jodi Arias
Jodi Arias admitted on Monday to murdering her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. (Photo: Siskiyou Sheriff's Office)

Jodi Arias, the 23-year-old Arizona woman suspected of killing her 30-year-old boyfriend Travis Alexander in his Mesa, Ariz., home back in June 2008, finally admitted to her wrongdoing, saying that Alexander "attacked me and I defended myself," according to reports.

A soft-spoken Arias calmly narrated the sequence of events to Mesa jurors that led up to Alexander's murder, beginning with the day she actually murdered him. She included details of her troubled -- and sometimes bizarre -- upbringing, which included abusive parents during her childhood, a high school boyfriend who tried to strangle her, dropping out of high school to support herself, sex and overall deceit.

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"Did you kill Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008?" asked her defense attorney Kirk Nurmi.

"Yes, I did," replied Arias softly. "He attacked me and I defended myself."

Arias took the witness stand on Monday in what many considered a surprising move aimed at bolstering her case that Alexander's killing was self-defense. She is charged with killing Alexander, a successful businessman and motivational speaker, in what prosecutors describe as a "jealous rage" after she found out that he had planned to take a trip to Mexico with another woman. If Arias is convicted, she faces the death penalty.

Not many people believe to this day that Arias killed Alexander in self-defense, and the crime scene photos, which were leaked online earlier this month, don't seem to be working in Arias' favor.

Authorities say that Arias stabbed and slashed Alexander 27 times, slit his throat from ear to ear and shot him in the forehead with a .25 caliber gun, leaving his bloodied body in the bathroom of his home only to be found five days later by friends.

The trial for Alexander's slaying began in early January with lewd details about an impassioned romance between Arias and Alexander after they met at a conference in Las Vegas in late 2006. Arias claims they dated for about five months, then broke up but continued to see each other strictly for sex up until the day of Alexander's death -- similar to a "friends with benefits" relationship.

Arias also initially told police that she didn't know anything about the killing, but later blamed it on masked intruders until eventually admitting her involvement because of self-defense. Early in the investigation, Arias further stated that she lied about not being at the scene of the killing because she planned to commit suicide and avoid a trial.

"At the time, I had plans to commit suicide," she said. "So I was extremely confident that no jury would convict me because I didn't expect any of you to be here. I planned to be dead."

She described how a perfect childhood in California went south when her parents started to beat her with belts and wooden spoons, which later escalated into shoving her into furniture and slapping her in the face for sneaking out of the house.

Her mother sat in the front row of the courtroom and showed no emotion as Arias described her childhood.

Defense attorneys have depicted Alexander throughout the trial as a liar and cheater who told Arias and other girlfriends that he was a devout Mormon saving sex for marriage, when in fact he was having sex with multiple women. They have also worked to convince the jury that Alexander mistreated her for months and was possessive, according to the Daily Mail.

Prosecutors have portrayed Arias throughout the trial as a jealous ex-girlfriend who stalked Alexander for months after their breakup until finally snapping and killing him.

Authorities say they found her hair and bloody palm print at the scene of Alexander's murder, along with time-stamped photographs on a camera discovered inside Alexander's washing machine proving that Arias was indeed there on the day he died. The photos in the camera included one of Arias naked on his bed, one of Alexander alive in the shower and one of his body on the bathroom floor.

Defense attorneys, though, have yet to explain what happened to the weapons and why Arias apparently tried to clean up the scene by washing Alexander's bedding and the camera.

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