PHOENIX: After five years, a jury of 8 men and 4 women found Jodi Arias guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Travis Alexander. Not since the trial of Casey Anthony has a case drawn so much media attention and mob mentality. The trial was a tabloid sensation.
High profile cases have become the theatrical stomping ground of lawyers and a revered spectator sport for the world. Spectators willingly travel long distances to stand outside courthouses to cheer for justice. We stuck close to our news stations, twitter, and computer feeds to soak up every detail of how a love affair between ordinary people had gone wrong and ended in a grizzly slaying.
Prosecutors said the killing was cold-blooded murder and called for the death penalty. Arias said she was emotionally, physically and sexually abused by Alexander. Gawkers and tourists wanted to know who was right. Cold blooded killer or sexually abused victim?
Here’s why I believe this case drew so much attention:
1. The odd relationship leading up to Alexander’s death:
Alexander had told friends that Arias was a stalker hacking into his Facebook account and slashing his tires. Yet, he still maintained a sexual relationship with her and invited her on vacations. Salacious details came out in an audio tape in which Arias and Alexander talked about their travels, their trysts and then indulged in loud and lurid phone sex. Alexander said he wanted to zip-tie her to a tree and commit a deviant sex act on her. Arias said she searched for a suitable spot in the forest near her grandparents’ home to act out that fantasy and that Alexander wanted her to dress as Little Red Riding Hood.
2. The mounting evidence of guilt:
A staged burglary at the home of Arias’s grandparents and a missing .25 caliber handgun. A .25 caliber spent round found in the master bath. A digital camera found in the washing machine – the last photograph of Alexander alive, then images of Alexander bleeding on the floor. A bloody palm print with a mixture of Arias’s and Alexander’s blood. Arias’s inconsistent statements: First, she was not in the home, then intruders broke into the home and then finally, she admitted killing Alexander but claimed it was self defense.
3. The mutilation of the body:
Alexander’s decomposed body was found in a shower with multiple stab wounds, gunshot wounds and a slit throat. Alexander’s jugular vein, common carotid artery and windpipe had been slashed. He was nearly decapitated.
4. Arias’s bizarre behavior in the interrogation room:
Arias was caught on video tape doing a head stand, stuffing paper in her pants, digging through the trash and singing songs.
5. Arias took the witness stand giving three weeks of testimony:
An unprecedented event, considering that defendants rarely testify at all. Additionally, Arizona is a state that allows jurors in criminal trials to question witnesses. By the time Arias stepped down from the stand she had answered more than 200 questions from the jury.
After all was said and done, the jury declared Arias a cold-blooded killer. The prosecutor had won. It was a victory of justice for Travis Alexander. Now, on to the sentencing phase.
“No jury is going to convict me … because I am innocent and you can mark my words on that. No jury is going to convict me.” – Jodi Arias
(Source: The Huffington Post, CNN News)