PHOENIX (AP) – Jodi Arias insists she killed lover Travis Alexander in 2008 at his suburban Phoenix home in self-defense during a violent fight. She then took pictures of his body, cleaned the scene, drove to Utah and proceeded to tell a series of lies to cover her tracks. She now says it was such a traumatic experience that she remembers little of the actual killing.
Jurors asking questions of her this week during her murder trial, however, obviously don’t believe all of her testimony.
Here are a few questions posed to Arias by jurors through the judge on Thursday, along with the defendant’s responses and the backstory:
Jury: “After all the lies you have told, why should we believe you now?”
Arias: “Lying isn’t typically something I just do … The lies I’ve told in this case can be tied directly back to either protecting Travis’ reputation or my involvement in his death in any way because I was very ashamed.”
Jury: “Would you decide to tell the truth if you never got arrested?”
Arias: “I honestly don’t know the answer to that question.”
The backstory: Arias vehemently denied having anything to do with the killing, and even sent sympathy flowers to Alexander’s family. She later said masked intruders did it before settling on self-defense two years after her arrest.
Jury: “Why were you afraid of the consequences if you killed Travis in self-defense?”
Arias: “I believed it was not OK … to take someone’s life even if you were defending yourself.”
Jury: “Why didn’t you call 911 to help Travis?”
Arias: “I was scared to call anyone.”
The backstory: Arias contends that Alexander lost his temper during a fight over a dropped camera and slammed her to the floor in anger. The fight escalated, she says, until she had no other choice but to shoot him in the head. She says she has no recollection of stabbing and slashing him nearly 30 times and slitting his throat. She also testified about other fights with Alexander during their relationship in which she became fearful for her safety, but no evidence at trial has indicated that Alexander ever displayed violent behavior.
Jury: “Have you ever had any firearms training or fired a .25-caliber pistol prior to this event?”
Arias: “I have never fired a gun but am relatively familiar with them.”
Jury: “Why didn’t you just run out of the house instead of grabbing the gun from the closet?”
Arias: “Again, it happened so fast.”
The backstory: Arias contends that Alexander kept a .25-caliber pistol in his closet that she retrieved during their fight, despite no evidence presented at trial that he even owned a gun. She says she dumped it in the desert after she shot him, and no knife used in the killing has been found by authorities. Arias’ grandparents reported a .25-caliber handgun stolen from their house before the shooting. She claims she didn’t take it.
Jury: “Is there anyone else who knows about your memory issues?”
Arias: “I think I have a really excellent memory.”
Jury: “How can you say that you don’t have memory issues when you can’t remember how you stabbed him so many times and slashed his throat?”
Arias: “I think that I have a good memory. June 4 is an anomaly for me.”
Jury: “Several times while testifying about the abuse by Travis, you have made comments like, `As I understand it now,’ and `I’ve come to realize.’ How has this realization come about?”
Arias: “Just the farther away I get from the situation the more perspective I have.”
The backstory: Arias says she has “huge gaps” in her memory of the actual killing. But she also displayed impeccable recollections about other aspects of her life, describing keys events from her youth and past relationships down to exact dates and days of the week during earlier testimony.
Jury: “Would you agree that you came away from the June 4 incident rather unscathed while Travis suffered a gunshot and multiple stab wounds?”
Arias: “That’s a relatively accurate assessment.”
The backstory: Arias testified on several occasions how much she loved Alexander. But she said he had a darker side that caused him to become violent and carry out perverted sexual acts.
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