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Arizona Jury To Weigh Death Penalty In Jodi Arias Murder Case

Jodi Arias, convicted of first-degree murder, will face an Arizona jury on Thursday tasked with determining if she deserves the death penalty for the brutal slaying of an ex-boyfriend in a sensational case that attracted national media attention.

Arias was found guilty on Wednesday of murdering 30-year-old Travis Alexander, whose body was found in the shower of his Phoenix valley home in June 2008. He had been shot in the face, stabbed 27 times and his throat had been slashed.

Arias, 32, had tried unsuccessfully to convince the jury during the four-month trial that she had acted in self-defense after Alexander attacked her because she had dropped his camera while taking photographs of him in the shower.

The trial, which aired graphic evidence including a sex tape and photographs of the blood-spattered crime scene, became a sensation on cable television news with its tale of an attractive and soft-spoken young woman charged with a brutal crime.

Arias teared up as the jury’s decision was read while a crowd of hundreds erupted into cheers outside the court. Jurors could have convicted Arias of a lesser crime such as second-degree murder or manslaughter, but instead found her guilty of the most serious charge possible.

In a television interview moments after the verdict, Arias indicated that she preferred a death sentence to life in prison, and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said she was subsequently placed on suicide watch.

“The worst outcome for me would be natural life, I would much rather die sooner than later,” Arias, speaking slowly and calmly, said in an interview with Fox affiliate KSAZ.

“I said years ago I’d rather get death than life and that still is true today. I believe death is the ultimate freedom, so I’d rather just have my freedom as soon as I can get it,” she said.

reuters

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