Arias is accused of murdering Alexander in 2008 by slashing his throat from ear-to-ear, shooting him in the head, and stabbing him 27 times as he showered in his Mesa, Ariz. home.
“The simple answer is that he attacked me and I defended myself,” Arias told the jury, according to ABC News.
She also explained a prior statement made to police, in which she said “no jury” would “ever convict” her of Alexander’s murder. Arias claimed she planned to kill herself after the law enforcement interview—that took place three months after the murder—and said that is why she made the statement.
Eluding to her statement she said, “Those are probably the most bitter words I’ll ever eat.”
Arias also testified that as a child, she was abused by both her mother and her father, claiming they would beat her and her siblings with belts and other household objects.
View video: Jodi Arias Testifies at Her Murder Trial
In addition, she told the jury about a prior abusive relationship in which an ex-boyfriend choked her and threatened to kill “each member” of her family.
View slideshow: Graphic Crime Scene Photos in Jodi Arias Case
ABC notes that Arias’ testimony was a “bid to gain sympathy with the jury and convince them that she was forced to kill Alexander…”
If she is convicted of first-degree murder, she could face the death penalty.
Arias, 32, claimed the day of the murder she had been taking photos of Alexander, 30, in the shower, when she was hit on the back of the head. She said when she awoke Alexander was being killed by two masked intruders. According to Arias' story, she was able to escape, but claimed she did not tell police about the incident because she was scared.
Later she admitted killing Alexander, but claims it was in self-defense.