Travis Alexander, the Arizona man Jodi Arias admits she killed, saying she did so in self-defense, has a conviction in Riverside, Calif. for battery and shoplifting, according to a March 13, 2013 AZCentral.com report.
The website reports this may have been a boon to the Arias defense, which claims Arias was forced to defend herself against Alexander because he physically abused her. Unfortunately for Arias’ legal team, Alexander’s conviction is in name only, as the Riverside Sheriff’s Office indicates the photo from the incident—in which a man and a woman kicked a supermarket employee in the face—contains a mug shot and fingerprints that actually belong to Alexander’s younger brother, Dennis.
The younger sibling admitted to the Huffington Post that it was he who was arrested for the crimes and noted that Travis had forgiven him for the incident.
View slideshow: Graphic Crime Scene Photos in Jodi Arias Case
AZCentral reports that the conviction occurred in 2002 when Dennis—posing as Travis—pleaded guilty to battery and shoplifting and “reaffirmed that he was Travis Alexander.” He was sentenced to three months probation, and by late 2003, Dennis was wanted on another warrant.
The report indicates that during the supermarket incident, Dennis was trying to steal Contac cold medicine, which contains pseudoephedrine, a substance used to make methamphetamine.
Prosecutors argue Arias, 32, killed her former lover, Travis, 30, in cold blood as he showered in his Mesa home in 2008. He was stabbed 27 times, his throat was slashed, and he was shot in the head. After initially lying about his death, she admitted killing Alexander, but claims she did so in self-defense.