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Arias Defense Paints Her As Alexander's "Dirty Little Secret"

During opening statements today in the Jodi Arias murder trial, her defense attorney wasted no time in blaming the victim - 30 year old Travis Alexander, for his own death.  Arias's attorney portrayed Alexander as someone who was leading a "double life", having an intense sexual relationship with Jodi Arias while leading others to believe he was a devout and virginal Mormon. 
They further attempted to paint Travis as a manipulative man who seduced Arias, while telling friends she was "stalking" him.

The prosecution entered photos into evidence that proved Jodi Arias, while initially denying involvement in the murder was indeed there.  The jury saw graphic photos of a nude Arias and Arias and Alexander the very night of the murder, followed by a photo of Travis in the shower - his face staring directly into the camera, so clear you could see the drops of water on his face, sadly the last photo of Travis alive.  The photos that follow, the prosecution asserts were the beginning of the attack on Travis.

A blurred photo of the ceiling just above the shower, the prosecution argued was taken by accident when Arias dropped the camera. What is believed to be Jodi Arias's foot is seen in the next photo, with Travis's arm, head and blood on the floor visible in the photo. In the next photo, he is bleeding on the floor of the shower.

The defense told jurors the attack began after Travis became "enraged" when Jodi Arias dropped the camera - thus, the photo of the ceiling. Her attorney said that in the two minutes that followed, Jodi Arias had to make a decision to live or die.  They painted Travis Alexander as the aggressor in the fight, and stopped short of calling him a sexual predator.

The prosecution described Arias's erratic behavior before and after the murder. She reportedly had been following him as he went on dates with another woman, sneaking into his house through his doggie door, hacking into his Facebook account and sending threatening e-mails to Travis and a woman he was dating.

It was also apparent that she was aware that Travis was going on a vacation to Mexico with another woman.  Prosecutors pointed out that just a few weeks before the murder, Arias's grandfather reportedly had a gun stolen from their home.  The gun in this case hasn't been recovered.  Coincidence?

Alexander's family and friends were clearly and visibly shaken by the testimony today, sobbing as they viewed the photos being shown to the jury. Arias, who had previously been all smiles in jailhouse interviews and even in her mugshot, cried or appeared to be crying at points during the opening statements.

The "dirty little secret" references, painting Travis Alexander as somebody who was living a double life - all ploys to blame the victim, or lessen Arias's responsibility didn't sway my opinion one bit. In fact, I think these portrayals will ultimately backfire.  I didn't get to see the actual opening statements, just seeing the highlights now.  Day 1 looked like all the drama that was expected, and even some that wasn't. There will be much more to come!!

Jodi Arias Murder Trial Begins in Phoenix, AZ

Opening statements began this morning in Phoenix, Arizona in the murder trial against 32 year old defendant Jodi Arias.  Arias is charged with first degree murder for the June, 2008 homicide of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.  In a brief summary of the case, on June 9, 2008 Travis Alexander was discovered dead in the shower of his Mesa AZ home by close friends who became concerned when they couldn't reach him.

Arias & Alexander had met the previous year during a conference for Pre-Paid Legal, where Travis Alexander was employed.  The pair had brief but intense relationship that ended when Jodi Arias's jealous and possessive behavior became more bizarre and Travis broke things off with Arias.  By friends account, Arias did not take the break up well and Alexander twice had his tires slashed, and suspected Arias was hacking into his Facebook account and reading his messages.

Travis's friends suspected Jodi Arias was involved with the murder almost immediately, and provided police with her name. When initially questioned, she denied any involvement and said she hadn't seen Travis in several months. By July 15, 2008 police had enough physical evidence to arrest Jodi Arias and charge her with the first degree murder of Travis Alexander.  Arias has been held on $2,000,000 bail in the Estrella Jail in Maricopa County since her arrest.

It has taken more than four and a half years for the case to go to trial. Many of the delays were because of the defendants own shenanigans.  In August of 2011, Arias request to represent herself was approved by the judge.  Almost immediately she had second thoughts, and got a new defense attorney.  That attorney, Victoria Washington asked to be removed from the case in December, 2011. That motion was granted within a week and finally, in January of 2012 defense attorney Jennifer Willmott was assigned to represent Jodi Arias.

Arias's attorneys have argued that she should not be facing a potential death penalty because the killing was not premeditated.  Their arguments failed and if convicted, Arias would become the 4th woman on Arizona's Death Row.  She would join the following women, all convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death:  Shawna Fordes, sentenced in February, 2011, Wendi Andriano, sentenced in December of 2004 and Debra Milke, sentenced in February, 1991.  All three current death row residents are Caucasian.

The lead prosecutor for the State of Arizona is Juan Martinez. He began his opening statement this morning and has pointed out the brutality of the crime. Alexander was shot in the face, stabbed at least 27 times and had his throat slit.  Any of these inflicted individually could have been fatal.  Alexander had defensive wounds as well.  The killer took the time to clean up and Travis Alexander's body appeared to have been washed.  The crime scene appeared to be staged.

I was hoping to find streaming coverage of the opening statements online, but haven't been successful. HLN should provide details of the day's events during Jane Valez-Mitchell and Nancy Grace's shows.  I believe In Session's coverage begins on Monday, January 7th.  Should be the most talked about trial since Casey Anthony's.  Stay tuned!!

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