The Jodi Arias Murder Trial: Everything You Need to Know About the Case

Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander

Jodi Arias is on trial for the first-degree murder of her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander, who was found dead at age 30 in his shower over four years ago. Arias, who has been locked up since her arrest in July 2008, has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

“I didn’t hurt Travis. I would never hurt Travis,” Arias said in a jailhouse interview after her arrest. “I would be shaking in my boots right now if I had to answer to God for such a heinous crime.”

Since her arrest, Arias has gone from denying any involvement in the crime, implicating others, to eventually claiming she was forced to kill Alexander in self-defense after years of abuse.

But in the trial that began on Jan. 2, Arizona prosecutors are painting Arias, a 32-year-old photographer from Yreka, Calif., as a jealous ex-girlfriend who should face the death penalty for what they deem a cold-blooded murder of a good man.

If Arias is convicted of first-degree murder, she could become the fourth woman on Arizona’s death row.

Here’s a breakdown of all the need-to-know facts in the Arias murder trial.

How did Alexander and Arias meet?
Arias and Alexander came into each other’s lives at a Las Vegas work conference in September 2006. Arias says they fell in love, traveled the country together, and that she even converted to Mormonism for Alexander. But Alexander’s friends maintain that after they dated for a few months, he tried to break it off. One pal said Arias was Alexander’s stalker.

How long were Alexander and Arias dating?
Arias told authorities that she dated Alexander for just five months before splitting in June 2007, though they maintained a sexual relationship thereafter. In a conversation with a detective the day after Alexander was discovered dead, Arias described herself as a “good friend” of Alexander.

How did Alexander die?
Alexander was found dead on June 9, 2008, inside his standup shower in his locked room. Investigators determined Alexander was stabbed 27 times, had his throat slit from ear-to-ear and was shot in the head at his Mesa, Ariz.

What’s the prosecution’s case?
Prosecutors argue that this was a case of fatal attraction, in which Arias was a jealous ex-girlfriend who brutally attacked Alexander after he tried to end their relationship. “This is not a case of whodunit,” prosecutor Juan Martinez said in his opening statement. “The whodunit sits in court today.”

What’s the defense’s case?
Arias’ attorney, Jennifer Willmott, has claimed Arias was a victim of domestic violence and killed Alexander — who Willmott labeled a sexual deviant — in self-defense.

What evidence was collected from the crime scene?
After Alexander’s body was discovered, police recovered a camera from his washing machine, which contained a memory card with pictures of Alexander and Arias’ last sexual encounter, of Alexander in the shower just before his death and of accidental shots seemingly taken when the camera was dropped. One snap features Alexander’s bloody body, while another shows Arias dragging his body across the floor.

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