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No Verdict Yet in Jodi Arias Murder Trial

The first full day of jury deliberations in the Jodi Arias murder trial have concluded with no verdict. Jurors are expected to begin deliberations tomorrow at 10:00AM instead of the normal 9:00AM start time. It's unclear why they are beginning a little later tomorrow and I'd hate to speculate!  It's possible one of the jurors has an appointment? Or perhaps they are very very close to a verdict, and wanted to go home and sleep on it? Who knows! 

While I understand the financial constraints the county is under, I am still surprised this jury isn't being sequestered during deliberations. The trial is already reportedly costing $1.7 million dollars, what's a few thousand dollars more versus risking the cost of a mistrial?  As we all watch and wait on verdict watch, I'm so curious as to what these jurors are discussing. Which way are they leaning? Did they take an initial vote to see how close they were to begin with?  I believe their instructions are to first consider the most serious charge(s), first degree premeditated murder and first degree felony murder. If they don't agree on that, they move on to second degree murder and so on.

I found it so interesting to hear Judge Belvin Perry's interview on the Today show this morning. As you know, Judge Perry presided over the Casey Anthony murder trial. Perry said that when the verdict slip was handed to him, he had to read it twice to make sure he was reading "not guilty" correctly. He admitted to being very surprised by the jury's verdict, and he talked candidly about the two very different sides he saw of Casey Anthony. He said she was a much different person in the presence of the jury than she was without.

I thought Judge Perry did a pretty good job keeping the trial moving forward, and that was a full-fledged media circus. I haven't seen anything like for a non-celebrity trial. Oh my!  Apparently at some point Anthony's attorneys wanted to discuss a plea deal to aggravated murder with her,  Perry said Anthony could be heard screaming and cussing at her attorneys. Obviously there were no plea deals in that case, but that's the first I've ever heard of any potential plea deals. Many Monday morning armchair attorneys believed the State of Florida overcharged Anthony, although Perry said he believed there was sufficient evidence to convict Casey Anthony, albeit it was circumstantial.

I do not believe they overcharged Arias, in fact if there were a HIGHER charge.....another case that still haunts me is the murders of Sheri, Garrett and Gavin Coleman at the hands of husband, father and MONSTER Christopher Coleman. That trial was not televised, but after seeing the photographs of this beautiful family I felt compelled to follow the case. It was fairly obvious Christopher Coleman was the killer early on, although you never want to believe a man could murder his two young boys. His story never rang true - similar to Josh Powell's lame story about taking his young sons on an impromptu overnight camping trip in the freezing snow.

Christopher Coleman is one of the most despicable murderers in recent memory.  This is a man who strangled his 31 year old wife Sheri, and then strangled his 11 and 9 year old sons as they slept in their bedrooms. What kind of father could do that to his own sons? What kind of monster wipes out his whole family, and does it by ligature strangulation? The kind of man who wants a new life with his wife's old high school friend - that's the kind of coward Christopher Coleman is. These two boys were absolutely gorgeous, and wife Sheri was a beautiful woman - inside and out. Coleman thought he was smarter than law enforcement, he plotted for several months - sending himself threatening letters via e-mail, and once the threats were reported to police he went about the business of eliminating his entire family. Coleman reportedly left his home around 6:00AM to go to the gym. When he couldn't reach wife Sheri after several attempts, he called a neighbor to go check on his family. The neighbor happened to be a member of law enforcement, and when he and other officers entered the Coleman home, they were not prepared for what they saw.

The walls inside the home had bizarre messages spray painted on them. They discovered Sheri's body first, followed by Garrett and Gavin. All three were strangled to death in their own beds. One of the boys had a spray painted message on the sheet that covered him. Coleman's grief didn't fool law enforcement. After arriving at home to a sea of police and crime scene tape, he was told his family didn't make it. He never even asked what happened to them or how they died. He was taken to the police station to give a statement, which is when an officer noticed fresh scratch marks on Coleman's arms. Sheri Coleman fought hard for her life. In addition to being strangled, she had two black eyes. The coward then took the life of each of his sons in the same manner.



Staged crime scene - Coleman house


The jury in that case deliberated for 15 hours over 2 days and delivered their guilty verdict on the second anniversary of the murders. Cowardly Coleman deserved the death penalty, but instead he was sentenced to life in prison by a Judge. This was due to the timing, the Governor of Illinois commuted all death sentences given before the state's execution ban kicked in on July 1, 2011 so Coleman escaped the death penalty he so richly deserved. All murders are horrific, but there are some stories that just stick with you and touch you in a way that's hard to describe. I think we all feel that way about what happened to Travis Alexander.  Take a look at the beautiful family Christopher Coleman killed, I feel the same sense of tragedy for them.

Christopher, Sheri, Gavin & Garrett Coleman
How could a man wrap a ligature around the neck of his wife, then repeat the torture in each of his sleeping children's bedrooms? He did this THREE TIMES. Is there even a punishment that equals this kind of depravity? The Coleman trial was full of adultery, sex, lies and religion. Coleman worked as head of security for Joyce Meyers Ministries, and his father was a preacher. There is a special place in hell for people like Christopher Coleman - and for Josh Powell, who also killed his two young sons and himself after allegedly killing his wife Susan. Sadly, her body has never been found.

Sorry, I didn't mean to get so far off track - back to the Arias trial. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a verdict tomorrow. There was a ton of evidence presented during the trial, hundreds of exhibits and hoards of text messages, journal entries etc. - but the jury asked Arias so many questions following her 19 days on the witness stand, I think they have a pretty good idea of what Arias is all about. I'm praying they do. I don't want to think about Jodi Arias out there in the free world ever again. She forfeited that right nearly 5 years ago. Have a great evening and pray for justice!

Arias Jury Begins 1st Full Day of Deliberations

It's Monday, May 6th 2013. Today marks the first full day of jury deliberations in the Jodi Arias murder trial. While it's impossible to guess how long the deliberations will go, or what the outcome will be nonetheless the end of this long journey from arrest to conviction is nearing. There's less than zero chance that Jodi Arias will be acquitted of this brutal and violent crime. Many people were shocked and outraged when Casey Anthony was found not guilty of all of the serious crimes she was charged with, but this is a whole different matter and I whole heartily believe there will be a just outcome. The Casey Anthony verdict was unpopular - the jury deliberated for 10 hours and 40 minutes before she was found not guilty of anything but lying to the police. 

Quite possibly the most outrageous not guilty verdict was that delivered in the OJ Simpson case. Jurors deliberated for less than 4 hours before letting the former football star walk. Jodi Arias is not OJ Simpson. Don't expect her to walk due to popularity or  questionable police work. The police work done in this case was by the book. Arias made a few key mistakes that prevented her from getting away with this crime. Kirk Nurmi tried to capitalize on the IQ test results and turn her mistakes into evidence - suggesting that she was smart enough to not leave so much incriminating evidence behind. The kind of argument that bordered on silly. So Jodi Arias is not an accomplished murderer, but make no mistake she did commit murder.

Had Jodi Arias taken the camera with her and been more careful with the blood evidence (palm print, hair) and had she not told Darryl Brewer she was going to Mesa, she may have very well gotten away with this murder. Despite her attempts to cover her tracks, I find it so ironic that the instrument of her own destruction would be a camera. What happens now? When a verdict is returned, the judge will set a sentencing date, usually within 30 days. 

There have been a surprising number of women who have been convicted of horrible and heinous homicides of their husbands and loved ones. I've named several on other blog posts (Wendi Andriano, Susan Wright, Susan Polk, Nancy Kissel) and there are many more cases out there. Some of these women you'd never expect to get a parking ticket let alone kill somebody. Take Nancy Seaman, a 52 year old elementary school teacher who was arrested and convicted of hacking husband Robert 15 times with a hatchet before stabbing him 21 times. She claimed self defense a la battered women's syndrome. Seaman took steps to wrap and conceal her husbands body in the back of their SUV, clean up the garage where the killing occurred and she went to teach  classes the following day. She was arrested three days later after a relative reported Robert Seaman missing and his body was found wrapped in plastic in the back of the couples SUV at their home.

Lenore Walker, who coined the phrase "battered women's syndrome" was called to testify at Nancy Seaman's trial, even know she had never interviewed Seaman. Her belief that Seaman did suffer abuse at the hands of her husband was based on reports from another psychologist (sound like Geffner?). She was not allowed to tell the jury she believed Seaman was a battered woman because Michigan law precludes the testimony because it's not classified as a mental illness. Under cross examination, Dr. Walker admitted that battered women's syndrome alone, less the self defense component is not a justification for killing.  Nancy Seaman was convicted and is now serving a life sentence.

The jury who heard the trial against the Menendez brothers deliberated for 4 days before finding them guilty of killing their wealthy parents. The Susan Wright jury deliberated for 5 1/2 hours before finding her guilty of 2nd degree murder for stabbing her husband to death. As far as jury deliberations go, it's anyone's guess. The jury sets their deliberation schedule, and this jury will deliberate during normal court hours according to reports from HLN News last Friday. We are now officially on verdict watch. The clock is ticking. Wanna know what Jodi Arias has been up to? Her latest tweets have been to garner support for "other victims of domestic violence" (monetary support!), in another recent tweet she complained that her commissary order didn't arrive. Poor thing! Is that grounds for an appeal or lawsuit against Maricopa County? And the most appalling of all tweets - on 5/3 she tweeted "Just the friendly FYI, I am NOT profiting from my artwork, but it seems like everyone else is".  There were several other tweets announcing new and old art pieces that will be for sale on her website, which is run by a friend out here in the free world.
Yeah, she's not profiting - who is?



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