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Court denies request to seal Jodi Arias appeal of murder conviction

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Lawyers for Jodi Arias were denied a request this week to seal the opening brief of the upcoming appeal of her murder conviction.

An Arizona Appeals Court ruling Wednesday noted a “strong presumption for public access” of the appeal. Arias was found guilty in the killing of her ex-boyfriend under seal.

A three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals said the 27-year-old’s lawyers could file a motion under seal to identify portions of the appeal brief that they believed should be kept under wraps to prevent “private or public harm” and to protect privacy interests.

Earlier in the month, the appeals courts gave the lawyers more time to file the appeal of Arias’ murder conviction in the 2008 death of Travis Alexander.

The appeal brief was due next Wednesday.

Both murder trials were fairly secretive.

White noise was played during the sentencing retrial three years ago, to make sure spectators couldn’t hear what lawyers argued at the judge’s bench.

At other times, the public wasn’t allowed in the courtroom, including the time an unidentified witness testified behind closed doors. That person turned out to be Arias.

The guilt phase of the trial ended in 2013. A jury convicted her but deadlocked in the penalty phase.

A second sentencing trial began in late 2014 and stretched into 2015. That also ended in a deadlock. Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens then had to sentence Arias to prison for life.

Arias is serving her time at the Arizona Department of Corrections women’s prison in Perryville.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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