Jodi Arias Murder Trial

Jodi Arias. To some, the name brings shivers. I was in a coma for the past seven years until last month when I heard she’d been given a life sentence without parole. Two different juries couldn’t decide if she should receive the death penalty. However, life without parole—it might as well have been a death sentence. She will die in prison.

Jodi Arias

Jodi Arias

ADC 281129. That’s Jodi’s inmate number in the Arizona Department of Corrections. Arizona State Prison Complex – Perryville is now her home. She spends twenty-three hours a day in a 12×7 cell. She can enjoy one hour a day of fresh air—caged. Her bed is hard. Her windows are small. Her toilet is cold and made of metal. Contact with other prisoners is non-existent.

Travis Alexander’s friends found him behind a locked bedroom door rotting in a shower stall, stabbed 27 times, his throat cut from ear to ear, and shot in the face. In court testimony, Mesa Detective Esteban Flores later described the murder as one of the most brutal scenes he has had to investigate in his career.

According to trial prosecutor Juan Martinez, in order to deflect suspicion, Arias not only took meticulous care to stage the scene, wiping the blood from the floor with bathroom towels, but she also attempted to destroy evidence by throwing a digital camera in the washing machine and running it through a cycle.

When questioned by Det. Flores, Arias initially stated she wasn’t at Alexander’s house June 4, 2008, the day of the murder, but had spun a wild tale of being lost in the desert. The next day, after having spent the night in jail, she said two assailants, a man and a woman, killed Alexander. She said she managed to escape with her life.

In 2011, in preparation of her own defense, Arias introduced letters from Alexander depicting him as a pedophile, an accusation the court quickly dismissed after having analyzed the letters as forgeries.

During the trial, she had also accused Alexander of domestic violence, which prosecutor Martinez later disproved with photographic evidence to the contrary.

Other than matching her DNA to the crime scene, including hair follicle and blood sample matches,  the bombshell to the prosecution’s case against Arias was the digital camera she thought she had destroyed in the washing machine. Using EnCase software, Forensics was able to retrieve the SD card and restore deleted photos of Arias dragging Alexander’s bloody body down the hall into the shower.

Arias claimed to have killed Alexander in self-defense because she had dropped his camera on the floor. She said he had lunged at her.

Self-defense. Twenty-seven stab wounds. A slit throat. A shot to the face.

Travis Alexander

Travis Alexander [Photo credit: myspace]

On April 13, 2015, Judge Sherry K. Stephens asked the defendant, Jodi Ann Arias, if she had anything else she wanted to say before sentencing.

“I do remember the moment the knife went into Travis’ throat and he was still conscious. He was still trying to attack me.” Arias said.

To the very end, Arias did not admit to killing Alexander in a jealous rage as the prosecution had proven with the evidence presented. Instead, she used her moment in front of the judge to attack Alexander’s family one last time.

The last word, however, belonged to the state of Arizona. Judge Stephens sentenced Jodi Arias to natural life in prison without the possibility of parole.

At age 34, Jodi Arias is a prisoner of the state. She no longer can sleep in on a Sunday morning as the birds sing their mating calls outside her window, take a walk in the middle of the woods just when it is about to rain, lay on a hill on a cool spring day to watch the clouds change shapes, curl her toes in the sand on the beach as the tide rolls in, sit by the fire with her favorite drink, enjoy a breath of fresh mountain air, celebrate holidays with family, play catch with her siblings, cook a meal for guests, take a plane ride, shop for clothes, go to the movies, cut the grass, drive a car or feel the tender touch of another human being.

Neither can Travis Alexander.

Ever.

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12 Comments

  1. The Knitting Cinephile

     /  May 18, 2015

    And now, as a resident of Arizona, I hope to no longer have to hear this woman continue to demand her days in court, using taxpayer’s money to assuage us of her guilt in her definitive use of “overkill”. I am sorry that she was abused by a man who was more than likely a complete jackass, but her method of removing herself from the situation that she found unbearable was beyond the pale. The resources and the coverage that was wasted on this murderess could have helped so many other people in need of their proper day in court. Between her and “Sheriff” Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County taxpayers have lost so much money that could have benefitted this county in so many ways.

    Reply
  2. Jack, as always this is beautifully written. My favorite part about your article was the poetic perspective you took here at the end:
    “At age 34, Jodi Arias is a prisoner of the state. She no longer can sleep in on a Sunday morning as the birds sing their mating calls outside her window, take a walk in the middle of the woods just when it is about to rain, lay on a hill on a cool spring day to watch the clouds change shapes, curl her toes in the sand on the beach as the tide rolls in, sit by the fire with her favorite drink, enjoy a breath of fresh mountain air, celebrate holidays with family, play catch with her siblings, cook a meal for guests, take a plane ride, shop for clothes, go to the movies, cut the grass, drive a car or feel the tender touch of another human being.

    Neither can Travis Alexander.

    Ever.”
    Simply put. Elegant. Tragic. And brutally honest. Bravo, Jack.

    Reply
  3. Here’s a question a friend asked the other day, in regards to a different, unhappy-lover murder trial: If you don’t like your partner, how difficult is it not to kill him or her? Why can’t people just leave?

    Reply
  4. vishalicious

     /  May 15, 2015

    I hated this trial. There were quite a few in the past few years that I really found revolting, and this was one of them. I think she’s a psychopath, or apparently suffers from antisocial personality disorder. Here’s an interesting link about psychopathy vs sociopathy:

    http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/02/12/differences-between-a-psychopath-vs-sociopath/

    Reply
    • I thought I would mention this to make this article complete.

      One of the witnesses prosecutor Juan Martinez called for the state was Dr. Janeen DeMarte. In her court testimony she testified Arias was diagnosed with BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder). Those diagnosed with the disorder must demonstrate they are suffering from at least five of the nine traits below.

      – Extreme reactions—including panic, depression, rage, or frantic actions—to abandonment, whether real or perceived
      – A pattern of intense and stormy relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often veering from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
      – Distorted and unstable self-image or sense of self, which can result in sudden changes in feelings, opinions, values, or plans and goals for the future (such as school or career choices)
      – Impulsive and often dangerous behaviors, such as spending sprees, unsafe sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, and binge eating
      – Recurring suicidal behaviors or threats or self-harming behavior, such as cutting
      – Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
      – Chronic feelings of emptiness and/or boredom
      – Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
      – Having stress-related paranoid thoughts or severe disassociate symptoms, such as feeling cut off from oneself, observing oneself from outside the body, or losing touch with reality.

      http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml

      Reply
  5. I clicked ‘like,’ but I’m not sure what I’m actually ‘liking.’ It sounds to me like guilt is beyond doubt, but what is not beyond doubt is why a human being goes to that limit of anger and rage to do that to another human being. If anyone says ‘oh, they’re insane,’ then they’re not responsible for their actions. The old ‘evil’ excuse belongs to the middle ages (responsibility can’t just be passed on to a supernatural influence), so what are these people experiencing when they commit these crimes? How can anger run unfettered like that?

    Chris

    Reply
  6. Punishment to fit the crime. I hope she lives a very long time.

    Reply
  7. I watched this trial on TV. I was very upset at her cavalier attitude towards her fate and what she was accused and eventually convicted of doing.

    It’s true we’ll never know the full story because the only person who does is Jodi and she’s proven herself to be an unreliable narrator.But I’m satisfied that the system did exactly what it was supposed to do in her case. Convict.

    Reply
  8. This is sad. I mean she deserves to live a life continually. I bet she experienced all the shades of hurt and pain. I know what she did isn’t worth forgiveness but she is still human she deserves to feel and protect her emotions, which in this case, has been stoned to death by the public. Time is important, but with her case, people from her state never knew time. They will never really know the real story about this anyway.

    Reply

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