Jodi Arias appeared genuinely surprised when the guilty verdict was read, her mouth dropped slightly - as she looked to attorney Jennifer Willmott and then looked at the jurors. The Judge announced that 5 jurors found Arias guilty of premeditated 1st degree murder and 7 jurors found Arias guilty of both premeditated AND felony murder. I can't say enough about the job prosecutor Juan Martinez did with this case, granted he had a lot of evidence in his favor going into this case, but the way he presented the idea of premeditated and felony murder to this jury left little doubt that she was quite possibly guilty of both. Jodi Arias' downfall was not only her lack of honesty, but the unbelievable and distasteful allegations she made about the man that she murdered. She not only blamed the victim, she portrayed Travis as a perverted sex fiend, who used her for sex much like a prostitute. Yet in her journal entries and in her own testimony she talked about how much she admired and loved this man. Her emotions were not genuine, her stories were not believable and she absolutely dragged his name through the mud. All the while, knowing there really was no way for the prosecutor to disprove the things she was saying. Who does that? A manipulator and sociopath does that.
As the jurors were excused, again Arias took a step back behind Jennifer Willmott in an attempt to make eye contact with the jurors. She reportedly gave a brief interview after the guilty verdict to Fox affiliate KSAZ and said she was overwhelmed and surprised by the verdict because she doesn't believe she committed first degree murder. She reportedly would prefer death over life in prison. She was also quoted as saying "death is the ultimate freedom".
"No jury will ever convict me, mark my words". I wonder if those words are as bitter to swallow as she told the jury they would be? We didn't get to see much of Arias after the verdict was announced and the jurors were individually polled and then excused for the day. It has been reported that Arias was seen lashing out at her attorney(s) after the jurors left the room. Is she really going to blame her attorneys now? I doubt self defense was their first choice when they were assigned to this case. Arias wanted to get off completely, as in a justifiable homicide - a big gamble that she lost. Thanks to NancyB, we know that Jodi Arias personally appealed to the judge in a 5 page handwritten letter in which she was insistent that Kirk Nurmi remain on as her counsel. She said that he was a person she trusted and who knew her case inside and out, and she felt if he were to be replaced it would be highly detrimental to her case. She wanted Nurmi on the case, and that was in her own words.
The Alexander family cried and hugged one another. Their journey isn't over, but it just took a mighty step in the right direction with Arias' conviction on the highest charge. The jurors were polled one by one by Judge Sherry Stephens, as Arias looked each and every one of them in the eyes as if she were pleading for mercy as they confirmed their guilty verdicts. They were instructed to be back in the court room tomorrow at 1:00PM to begin hearing arguments on the next phase of this trial. Aggravating factors will be argued as the jury decides if the State has proven at least one of these factors has been met. The aggravating factor in this case is the cruel and depraved manner of death inflicted on Travis Alexander. How in the world does the defense argue against this, the most obvious of all facts in this case? Whether or not Travis was shot or stabbed first, we do know by the evidence and crime scene photos that he was still alive after the initial wound, as he bled over the sink and staggered down the hallway in an attempt to escape his killer. The blood evidence suggests she chased him down and executed him by slicing his throat while he was on the ground, already dying from the stab wound to the chest. What could the defense possibly say? This was the definition of cruel and depraved.
After hearing arguments over the aggravating factors, the jury will then decide whether Arias should be eligible for the death penalty. They will then deliberate again and they must be unanimous in their decision. If they are unable to reach an unanimous decision, a new jury could be empaneled for this phase of the trial!
Next would be the mitigation phase - the mitigation specialist and attorneys would argue the reasons that Jodi Arias' life should be spared, what her positive attributes are and how she could contribute to society. The jury would likely hear from family and friends and Jodi Arias herself during the mitigation phase of the trial.
The same jury that found Arias guilty of first degree murder could sentence her to death in the coming weeks. The guilt phase is over, but this story is far from over. I'm satisfied and relieved that this jury saw through the "field of lies" that indeed sprouted around Arias on that witness stand. But it was the nature of the lies about Travis Alexander were especially cruel and heinous. She went for the most vile accusations you could make about a person, she went for the hot-button topic of pedophilia - something people do not tolerate in others. The Maricopa County jury pool was right on the money, they found the truth through the fog of lies. Juan Martinez got more than half of the jurors to agree that Arias was guilty of both felony and premeditated murder, and that bodes very well for the State.
Tomorrow will be a riveting day in the Superior Courtroom we have become so familiar with. A collective sigh of relief can now be breathed as the Alexander family can now rest assured that Jodi Arias did not and will not get away with murder. My faith in the justice system has been fully restored. I can't wait to discuss this and hear all of your reactions to the verdict and look forward to continuing our forum all the way through sentencing! Have a fabulous day and thank you for stopping by to take part in this blog. I really appreciate each and every comment.
Congratulations to Juan Martinez and Esteban Flores for putting together an air tight case. Great police work from the lead detective, who has one of the best interview styles I've seen in a long while. And say what you will about Juan Martinez, and his pit-bull style - but the man gets the job done!! Seeing Juan Martinez standing next to Kirk Nurmi during a sidebar gave you the feeling of David vs. Goliath. Our justice system worked today. We didn't have to sit through the agony of another OJ Simpson or Casey Anthony moment and the truth finally shined through.
Looking forward to seeing this trial out to the very end! Goodnight one and all.