Jury Finds Jodi Arias Guilty in Boyfriend Slaying

1:56 PM PST 05/08/2013 by Associated Press
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Jodi Arias

The former waitress was convicted of first degree murder in the death of Travis Alexander, a motivational speaker and salesman, at his suburban Phoenix home in 2008.

PHOENIX (AP) — The jury has found Jodi Arias guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her one-time boyfriend in Arizona. Arias initially denied involvement and later blamed the killing on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she said she killed Travis Alexander in self-defense.

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A crowd of spectators gathered outside the courthouse to hear the verdict, while TV crews, media trucks and reporters lined nearby streets. Family and friends of Alexander wore blue ribbons and wristbands with the words "Justice For Travis."

Testimony began in early January, with Arias later spending 18 days on the witness stand. The trial quickly snowballed into a made-for-the-tabloids drama, garnering daily coverage from cable news networks, and spawning a virtual cottage industry for talk shows, legal experts and even Arias, who used her notoriety to sell artwork she made in jail.

Alexander suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, was shot in the forehead and had his throat slit before Arias dragged his body into his shower. He was found by friends about five days later.

Arias said she recalled Alexander attacking her in a fury after a day of sex. She said Alexander came at her "like a linebacker," body-slamming her to the tile floor. She managed to wriggle free and ran into his closet to retrieve a gun he kept on a shelf. She said she fired in self-defense but had no memory of stabbing him.

Arias acknowledged trying to clean the scene of the killing, dumping the gun in the desert and working on an alibi to avoid suspicion. She said she was too scared and ashamed to tell the truth at the time, but insisted at her trial she wasn't lying to jurors.

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