Ethics charge dropped against former Jodi Arias prosecutor over book

Apr 7, 2017, 6:52 PM
Prosecutor Juan Martinez asks defendant Jodi Arias a question about her diary during cross examinat...
Prosecutor Juan Martinez asks defendant Jodi Arias a question about her diary during cross examination in Maricopa County Superior Court, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 in Phoenix. Arias was convicted of first-degree murder in the June 2008 killing of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle, Pool)
(AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle, Pool)

PHOENIX — A Maricopa County Attorney who was involved in the Jodi Arias murder trial will no longer face charges for writing a book on the case, according to The Arizona Republic.

Deputy Attorney Juan Martinez was accused of violating ethics rules regarding “the existence and content of certain exhibits previously sealed by court order” by the State Bar of Arizona after his book, “Conviction: The Untold Story of Putting Jodi Arias Behind Bars,” was published last year.

The state bar then sent the charge to the Supreme Court of Arizona Probable Cause Committee, who dismissed it on Monday.

“This matter is being dismissed as respondent obtained permission from his employer to disseminate information relative to his representation in the state v. Arias case,” the committee said in its dismissal. “Similarly, while his book made general reference to the existence of sealed testimony and exhibits, the references did not contain specific content and was, in some circumstances, publicly available despite the court order(s) sealing the testimony and exhibits.”

But the order of dismissal, which can be viewed online through 3TV, called the timing of the book’s publication “very concerning.”

“The public expects much more from prosecutors and the book release shortly after the trial significantly risks undermining those expectations,” the order continued.

The Arias trial and all who were involved, including Martinez, captivated Arizona and the rest of the nation for nearly a decade.

Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder of her former boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2013, five years after the murder, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2015.

While Arias has been sentenced, she has filed for appeal, which has not gone back to court.

Arias’ case has gone through several twists and turns leading up to her sentence. The original penalty phase was declared a mistrial, and it resumed in October 2014.

Her trial became a media sensation as details of their tawdry relationship and the violent crime scene emerged while the courtroom saga was broadcast live. Spectators traveled to Phoenix and lined up in the middle of the night to get a seat in the courtroom to catch a glimpse of what had become to many a real-life soap opera.

Arias claimed she killed Alexander, who was stabbed 27 times, shot in the head and his throat had been slit,  in self-defense.

But Arias changed her stories several times throughout the investigation and subsequent trials. Initially, she denied involvement before changing her story two years later, saying she killed Alexander because he attacked her after sex.

However, jurors concurred with the prosecutors’ belief that she planned the murder after finding out Alexander wanted to end their affair.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Ethics charge dropped against former Jodi Arias prosecutor over book