Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Jodi Arias GUILTY Of 1st Degree Murder

Jodi Arias has been found guilty of first degree murder for the June 4, 2008 killing of Travis Alexander. Arias sat with her attorneys, dressed in black as the jurors entered the courtroom. She tries to make eye contact with each one of them, even taking a step behind Jennifer Willmott to look directly at them as they are taking their seats.  It was a packed courtroom, they were filled to capacity and then some while hundreds of people assembled outside the Superior Court building to be a part of the resolution of this tragic 5 year case.

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.

30 comments:

  1. Statement: Alexander siblings to sue Jodi Arias
    Travis Alexander's surviving brothers and sisters Samantha Alexander, Gary Alexander, Dennis "Greg" Alexander, Tanisha Sorenson, Hillary Wilcox, Steven Alexander, and Allie Iglesias are in agreement with the jury's verdict of guilty against Jodi Arias.
    The would like to thank Deputy County Attorney Juan Martinez and Detective Steve Flores for their hard work and professionalism in this case. The siblings appreciate the outpouring of support they have received from the public.

    Buesing, Hernacki & Beckstead PLLC will be filing a civil wrongful death suit on behalf of the siblings against Jodi Arias in the near future.

    The siblings request that their privacy be respected. They will not be making any further statements or participating in any interviews until the sentencing phase is complete

    http://ktar.com/22/1633009/Statement-Alexander-siblings-to-sue-Jodi-Arias

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous (5/8 @ 2:39PM),
      Thank you for posting that information. I'm happy to hear they will move forward with the wrongful death suit. This will ensure that Arias & Co. do not profit from this crime. The most important thing was to find & hold Arias criminally responsible for the killing. Now the Alexander family can finally do something to thwart the flow of cash Arias is making from the sale of her "artwork". I'd expect the profiteering and the tweeting Arias has done while ON TRIAL to come back to bite her in the ASS in a big way as the jury begins to see how Arias has spent her time behind bars to make money. Granted, in the beginning she claimed this was to assist her family financially so they could attend the lengthy out of state trial. I can almost understand that, but this went well beyond trying to help her family. While the taxpayers foot the bill for her costly defense & expert witnesses, she has been pocketing these proceeds. I don't know exactly how much she has made, but when I saw her message posted on her website about the 100 Limited Edition reprints for that hourglass sketch, that showed her outright greed and a complete lack of respect for the victim's family. The "fundraising" claims in the name of domestic violence victims was just another attempt to cover her tracks and stage yet another scene!

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    2. She's very greedy, asking $1500 to $3000 for her traced crap is disgusting.

      Delete
  2. I have been praying for the Alexander family and friends for
    Justice4Travis, and bless the jury for seeing thru all of the
    lies. I now have faith again in
    our justice system.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is just crazy guys..I just listened Jodi giving interview just after the verdict. No remorse, didn't say I am sorry for killing Travis, blaming the prosecutor for hiding evedence on and on..what is going on? It's crazy for sure. Did any one of see that?

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    Replies
    1. Isn't she the most vile and disgusting human being? I watched part of the interview and she's still bringing up the 12 year old girl thing, saying that proved Travis was a pedophile. Get over it Jodi, you're done!!!

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  4. Jodi Arias talks exclusively with FOX 10 after verdict

    Video:
    http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/22200056/2013/05/08/jodi-arias-talks-exclusively-with-fox-10-after-verdict


    ReplyDelete
  5. I want to thank you so much for your blog and your dedication to update it. It was the most reliable source I went to on a daily basis to follow this trial. I appreciate your work very much.
    I am happy that justice was made here on earth as well in this case and I pray that Jodi will start to sit down and reflect on what she actually did and stop trying to blame others and circumstance and admit her guilt and get the strength to apologize before she dies (not only for Travis' family but also for her own health).

    Thank you,

    Dia

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  6. Twitter terms of service does not allow convicted murderers to have a twitter acct – so they shut it down as soon as she was convicted. Happy day!!!

    My faith in our justice system has been fully restored. It is a very fine day.

    Looks like stripes it is!!!

    TwitterMaryEllen Resendez @maryellenabc15
    U ask-I seek: Deputies say #jodiarias will now appear in court in her jail stripes. NO more civilian clothing now that she’s been convicted.

    My Forte - You've written 3 excellent articles today. Your coverage continues to be superior and I'm so appreciative of all the time and effort that you have put in!

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  7. Great post and well said.

    Wasn't it Jodis mother Judy that wrote the 5 page letter to the judge about Nurmi staying on as defense?

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  8. My Forte, A big thank you for a
    wonderful job covering this trial
    You're an excellent writer. I missed a lot of the trial but your blog kept me updated.

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  9. as above here is the link


    http://twitdoc.com/upload/josemcyntire/moms-letter-to-judge-re-kirk.pdf

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  10. oops not as above but as to the letter to the judhe about keeping Nurmi on case.

    Wasn't it Jodis mother Judy that wrote the 5 page letter to the judge about Nurmi staying on as defense?
    http://twitdoc.com/upload/josemcyntire/moms-letter-to-judge-re-kirk.pdf

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it was Jodi herself who wrote the 5 page letter. Her mom wrote a much shorter one, about a paragraph I think.

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  11. Wouldn't it have been better for Jodi had she been taking advantage of counseling - either by a psychiatrist or her church during her years of incarceration before her trial? Of course, she doesn't think she is guilty of murder 1 but wouldn't it have been beneficial in some way? After all, rehabilitation is the goal. It certainly could have been a point made in her favor by her defense team.

    Now that she has made a public statement that she would rather die than live out her natural life in prison, I wonder if she will ask the jurors to accomodate her wish? Jennifer and Kirk certainly have their hands full with this young woman. I'm sure it's an experience neither one will ever forget. I know I won't.

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  12. Congrats Juan Martinez and Detective Flores! It is wonderful to have real role models in society, such as these hardworking, intelligent, passionate guys.
    Someone in a previous thread mentioned something about Chris Hughes having done a 3 hour interview, and that in the interview he talks about Jodi "working it in front of a mirror at a conference."
    I really want to hear the details about this, but on my work computer I can't access video or audio clips.
    Would someone in-the-know be so kind as to tell me more about this story?
    Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. I've listened to the entire interview with Chris Hughes and it was fascinating. It was at a Mormon convention, all the women were up front checking people in and all the men were in a conference room. They had the door to the room open and outside was a wide hallway with a mirrored wall at the end. Instead of sticking with the other women, Jodi kept walking to the end of the hall and flicking her hair around in a very erotic way. Chris said you could see her looking over to make sure all the men were watching. After doing this multiple times, she went back to where the women were and said "OMG, all the guys in there are checking me out. If one of them tries to hit on me I'm telling them I'm Travis Alexander's girlfriend".

      He also talks about Travis coming over to talk to Sky, he was very upset because he said Jodi told him she had a stalker and forwarded an email she'd received from the supposed stalker. Sky read the email and started laughing, Travis couldn't understand why she was laughing...he told Sky this wasn't funny and that he was really afraid for Jodi. The email said stuff like "I'm going to take you away from Travis, you're too good for him" blah blah blah and Jodi told Travis "If I lived in AZ I know you'd protect me", obviously hinting at him to invite her to move there. Anyway, Sky says to Travis "Jodi wrote this Travis, she's trying to make you jealous!". She said the email was so clearly written by Jodi herself, she couldn't believe Travis had fallen for it.

      Chris also talks about Jodi threatening suicide to Travis every time he tries to back away. This really scared Travis because he didn't want to feel responsible for that.

      He talks about Jodi coming onto married men, she was very flirtatious with them, then she'd run to Travis telling him So and so was hitting on me.

      Delete
    2. Very interesting! Thank you so much, I really appreciate the info.

      Talk about an attention-seeking narcissist!

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  13. Also I heard some gossip that Jodi was heard "screaming" sometime after the guilty verdict.
    Does anyone know anything about that?

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    Replies
    1. I think it was what My Forte mentioned in today's post, she was arguing loudly with her lawyers. It was most likely them trying to talk her out of doing the interview but who knows, maybe she was blaming them for her verdict.

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    2. Thank you. I can't believe Jodi was surprised by the jury's decision!
      You would think that at least one of her attorny's or that mitigation specialist could have forseen that there was big chance of her being found guilty of first degree.
      Would they not have tried to prepare her or warn her of the possibilty?
      Or was the defence team so immature and snide (as they came across)- that they didn't realize what a fantastic job the prosecutor was doing?
      Did they not think that Jodi's arrogance on the stand when she was disrespectful to Juan would prove that she wasn't a meek victim?
      I'm suprised the defence attorny's never tried to make her improve her attitude towards Juan and show him the respect he deserved.

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    3. Anonymous (5/9 @ 8:10AM),
      I honestly don't believe that Willmott or Nurmi were surprised by the verdict. Willmott looked defeated before the jury even entered the room. They have to put their feelings aside and show confidence in their case for the sake of the client. I personally feel the defense stepped so far over the line of respect and reason when they continued to trash talk the murder victim. I realize they had a strategy, but I believe they could have done better showing a little more respect instead of behaving as if Travis deserved to die. That's the feeling I got, that they were saying he was such a bad guy that Jodi's actions were justified. Poor lawyering, IMHO!

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    4. Thank you for your reply My Forte. Very intersting regarding Wilmott looking defeated before the jury entered the room (I wasn't able to watch that part myself)
      I agree that their depiction of Travis was a travesty.
      Worst of all, I read somewhere that Nurmi had filed a motion to make it so that Travis would not be allowed to be referred to as "the victim" during the trial.
      How disgusting of the defence.

      Delete
  14. Thanks again My Forte, for your for your insights & continued coverage of this trial. I've posted before, as a family member & friend of 3 murder victims, & pray the Alexander family/friends can begin to wake up from the nightmare of Arias. Though nothing can bring dear Travis back, they can finally feel he was vindicated by this jury's verdict. My family & I were on conference call, as we listened to the Murder 1 guilty verdict & we all felt a sense of relief, pride in this jury's decision & justice for Travis. We were acutely aware of the anxiety they were feeling, having been in their shoes. This Cluster B personality disordered woman has no redeeming qualities, as displayed in her cold, calculated post-conviction interview. She continues to malign Travis, his family, the prosecutor & the public w/ her words & actions. If you noticed, she picked a young, good-looking Troy Hayden to interview her- still so manipulative & cunning, trying to have the last word. How Travis must've suffered just dealing w/ her machinations on a daily basis. She said the public needs to persecute someone? Who is she comparing herself to, Joan of Arc? Again, this reminds me of the LAW & ORDER episode "Sects" (2005), where the despicable cult leader compares herself to Jesus, the apostles, the Buddha & other religious leaders. Yet again, meeting the Classic co-morbidity of Cluster B subcategories' criteria grandiosity & "above the law" thinking for Narcissistic & Antisocial w/ suicidal ideation of Borderline to boot! That interview is so revealing. I only hope Juan Martinez can use it in the aggravating & penalty phases. This mal-adjusted miscreant can not be rehabilitated. That's a fact.

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    Replies
    1. AMEN to everything you wrote!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous (5/9 @ 7:26AM),
      Thank you for the great post, and on behalf of everybody who reads this blog I want to thank you for sharing your personal story with us. Your distinct insight, having been through tragedy of such epic proportions has been thoughtful and moving. I'm sure this trial had an effect on you and your entire family. Thank God the jury got this one right. I was confident in the State's case, but as each hour passed w/out a verdict, I started to think about the possibility of one lone holdout juror who may have fallen prey to Arias' false-charm. Looking forward to seeing justice all the way through, from arrest, to trial and to sentencing. The victim impact statements will be emotional. Thank you so much for sharing your story here. God bless you.

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  15. I think we all agree My Forte that you have given us all a thoughtful outlet and reliable information through your blog and we are all grateful.

    One thing I would like to say as this, we will never have the satisfaction of JA's repentance or admission or empathy for TA or his family so we must not seek it. The only sembelence of justice we can hope for is the DP. Despite her manipulative words to the contrary she does not want it. She believes she'll get an appeal and ultimately create some lie and manipulate her way out of it. I think JA truly believes that she can manipulate EVERYONE. Her shock at the verdict makes that clear. Her testimony on the stand makes that clear. Do we forget how she would not even admit "the sky was blue"? No matter what JM asked, no matter how clear it was, she would just deny it if it conflicted with the image she wanted to present. JA's shock and I believe greatest fear is that we know her for what she is. Well Jodi, we ALL KNOW WHAT YOU ARE! Even the jury! Did you see her scanning their faces trying to make sense of how they didn't buy her facade? This is why the Death Penalty is what she deserves. While she says in her interview that she knows some support her and very vaguely goes into she hears things and finally admits the majority don't like her, she still says facts have been withheld, blah, blah, blah... So for the next 12 years or so she is going to try to manipulate different attorney's, judges, civilians, inmates on and on and on in her exhausting manner. Time after time she will realize and be faced with the fact that no one is buying it and that they ALL know what she really is, just like TA, and after years and years of this fear and frustration, she will get death as she deserves. That is the closest to justice we can hope for.

    Having been the victim of serious dom violence in my past, I can say pretty confidently that abusers escalate when the smaller controls don't work anymore. Add to that her personality type and the fact TA was going to expose her for something horrible she had done and there was her trigger. Having been in the situation where you are dealing with someone violent you have to handle that person carefully. Yes you should be able to safely express yourself to anyone at anytime but poor Travis just didn't know who/what he was dealing with...

    One commentor I read said that we should all go visit her in jail and eat Cinnabon in front of her. I would like to add that before we leave we look her straight in the eye and say, "You don't fool me and I know who you really are."

    Sonja

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sonja,
      The look on JA's face when the guilty verdict was read really says it all. I think she was genuinely surprised, despite the tone of the jury questions I really think she thought she sold her story! I know you are spot on about what we can expect in the form of appeals from her in the future. It's only a matter of time before she turns on her attorneys and the broken-finger-pointing starts! She'll blame the media, even though she's the one who has been courting them for interviews and say that she didn't get a fair trial. I see nothing but defiance in her immediate future. I didn't see the "Cinnabon" comment yet, but that's a good one since you can smell those things a mile away! I think the worst thing that can happen in JA's mind is that she becomes irrelevant. Once the spotlight fades and people forget her, Travis will be remembered for being a good man despite her attempts to frame him as a deviant wife-beater. I think that infuriates her, and she seems to hate and blame him for her downfall! It's just amazing, how she is still trashing him - couldn't believe what she said about the family resemblance in her post-guilty interview. She keeps giving Martinez more ammunition than he needs! Thank you so much for your comments and contributions to this blog! Looking forward to the next phase.

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  16. Thank you for this gtrat overview of the trial. I love Juan Martinez and his passion for doing right for people who have been wronged. i swear he has God right by his side in that courtroom. I loved the way he introduced felony murder in the closing argument. i also loved how he was able to turn the tables on her in regards to the gun, and her stealing Traviss so called gun, which makes it a felony murder also. He is so so smart. i just absolutely love him!

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  17. rach6166,
    I loved how Martinez ran with the gun lie and used it against the defense! It was brilliant. You have to love it when those lies blew up in the courtroom like they did. Looking forward to seeing this trial through all the way to sentencing. It's been a long time coming and Arias has had 5 more years than Travis had!

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