Jodi Arias Trial Update: Arias Could Receive Death Sentence Within 60 Days

By Staff Reporter on May 7, 2013 4:09 PM EDT

Jodi Arias
Jodi Arias' fate is in the hands of the jury. 12 jurors will present a verdict in the days ahead. (Photo: Siskiyou Sheriff's Office)

The Jodi Arias trial came to a close on Friday, May 3, after the defense delivered their final arguments. Arizona jurors commence the first full day of deliberations on Monday. If Jodi Arias is convicted of first degree murder, then she could potentially face the death penalty.

The Jodi Arias trial attracted global interest after media outlets reported a gruesome tale of sex and violence. On June 4, 2008, Jodie Arias killed her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in his Mesa, Arizona, home. Accused of a shocking murder, Jodi Arias stabbed Alexander nearly 30 times, cut open his throat from ear to ear, and shot him.

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Charged with first-degree murder, Jodi Arias maintains that she is a victim of domestic violence. Arias has testified that Alexander brutally attacked her after a day of sex.

During the Friday closing arguments, Jodi Arias' defense attorney Kirk Nurmi asked jurors to consider that Arias simply snapped when Alexander's repeated abuse finally triggered a moment of blind rage.

"It may be that Jodi Arias didn't know when to stop," Nurmi said Friday. "Couldn't it also be that after everything that she simply snapped? She may not know it, but she may very well have snapped. Out of control. Sudden heat of passion. We have been through so much and look what happened now, this instance of violence went too far."

Prosecutor Juan Martinez interpreted the incident differently. During the prosecutor's closing statements, Martinez presented Arias as a murderer.

"The state is asking that you return a verdict of guilty, a verdict of first degree murder, not just premeditated murder, but also felony murder, for no other reason than it's your duty, and the facts and the law support it," Martinez said.

The jury will decide whether Arias is guilty this week. If Jodi Arias is convicted of first degree murder, then the prosecution and the defense will commence debate on aggravating and mitigating factors in the case. Prosecutor Martinez will need to prove an aggravating factor in order to reach the death penalty phase of the case.

The jury may also convict Arias of second degree murder or manslaughter, in which she faces a maximum term of 25 years in prison and 21 years in prison, respectively. Judge Sherry Stephens of the Maricopa County courthouse will sentence Jodi Arias within 30 to 60 days.

Should the Jodi Arias trial enter the death penalty phase, the defense and prosecution will present opening statements before the jury listens to victim impact statements presented by the family members of victim Travis Alexander.

Jodi Arias will have an opportunity to speak to the jury with an allocution statement. Finally, the 12 jurors will decide whether Arias will receive the death penalty.

If Jodi Arias is sentenced to death, she will be the third woman to be executed in the state of Arizona.

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