Accused murderer Jodi Arias is fighting for her life in an Arizona court, but she has problems with telling the truth and showing a proper demeanor in court. After eight days of fielding gentle, softball questions from defense attorney, Kurt Nurmi, Arias faced a prosecutor who was aggressive, frustrated, persistent and even loud at times. Prosecutor Juan Martinez challenged Arias' claims that her boyfriend was abusive and sexually deviant. He challenges her claims of innocence. Arias, age 32, admits that she killed Travis Alexander in June 2008, but claims that she was defending herself against a man who broke her finger, choked her and threatened her. According to a Feb. 26 ABC News article, Alexander was stabbed 27 times, his throat was slashed, and he was shot in the head.
At yesterday's hearing, prosecutor Juan Martinez elicited a chilling revelation from Arias. She was in an NBC network "48 Hours" documentary titled "Picture Perfect". Martinez referred to several excerpts that he entered into evidence. In one clip, knowing that she was responsible for Travis Alexander's brutal murder, Arias calmly described how she sent Alexander's grandmother a note and a bouquet of flowers described as exactly twenty Irises. She said nothing in her note about her role in the murder. She claims that she and Alexander talked about baby names and that he liked "Iris" as a name.
Arias also explained at length why she was smiling in her mug shot. She went into a lengthy explanation why she thought about Alexander and smiled because he would probably smile, too.
Fireworks erupted when Arias claimed that she wanted to kill herself with a razor blade, but failed after nicking herself and feeling a "sting". Martinez ignored defense objections and managed to ask Arias how her minor nick compared with the pain Alexander felt when she stabbed him in the chest.
Martinez proceeded to attack her claims throughout the day yesterday. He toned down the behavior he showed in Friday's tense standoff and exposed a lack of any evidence to support her claims that Alexander choked her, broke her finger and hit her in her neck. Arias' demeanor remained calm throughout the session. Today, she has returned to the combative and smug behavior that she demonstrated on her first day with the prosecutor.
According to a live Headline news summary of events, police arrested Arias on July 15, 2008, a month after she killed Alexander. For over thirty days, she gave differing stories about her involvement. When police tracked her down, she said that she was not at Alexander's home. Then she admitted to being present and claimed that invaders killed him. Finally, she admitted to the killing and started to complain that Alexander was abusive. Currently, she claims to have no memory of the killing or anything she did afterward.
Arias is on trial at the Maricopa County Superior Court with Judge Sherry Stephens presiding. Maricopa County, Arizona incorporates the cities of Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale and Scottsdale.