Jodi Arias Live Blog: Arias Describes How She Killed Travis Alexander in 2008; She Recalls Shooting Him, But Not Stabbing Him or Slashing His Throat
We're live-blogging this morning from the Jodi Arias trial. Be sure to check back frequently for updates.
The testimony is beginning right now as her attorney, Kirk Nurmi asks for Jodi to tell what happens when she gets in the shower. This follows yesterday's testimony, in which she described showing up at victim Travis Alexander's Mesa house while allegedly in the middle of a cross-country trip. After she got to his house, they went to sleep, woke up in the afternoon and had sex a couple of times. A photo shoot followed, but Arias claimed Alexander was angry that some pictures didn't come out. They had sex again and decided to do another photo shoot.
Here's what happened this morning:
Jodi Arias testifying on February 20.
Arias says that she dropped Alexander's camera. He called her a "stupid idiot," and body-slammed her on a counter.
"A 5-year-old can hold a camera better than you can," she says he yelled at her.
Arias started running down the hallway.
And now -- another detour. Numri, her attorney, asks her to describe an incident from the previous summer. Says she caught Travis with another woman on the couch at his house.
So far, on the justification meter, it appears that Arias may have justified in breaking up with Alexander. But that's about it.
This back-story is turning into another dead end. She says he screamed, hit the wall, and she was "stunned" because she'd "only seen his temper a few times at that point."
She claims Alexander, after being caught with the woman, began banging his head on a wall. He explained she was "just a girl he met in Phoenix" and probably wouldn't see her again.
Seems like this is supposed to bolster the idea that Alexander is a potentially violent hothead. Arias, a proven liar, has made this claim repeatedly throughout the trial. She's also impugned his reputation by claiming he was interested in having sex with children.
Nurmi now gets back to the fateful night of June 4, 2008. Arias took a few pictures of Alexander in the shower.
She says she was scared because he was getting mad.
There was a chase. She was scared he would grab her again.
He "almost killed me before," referring to an alleged choking incident. "So I ran into a closet and slammed the door."
The closet had an exit.
She remembered where he kept a gun.
He kept it on the top shelf.
"I turned around and pointed it at him, so he would stop chasing me," she says.
Nurmi asks how she knew the gun was there, after showing pictures of Alexander's closet. She claims she'd been asked by him to clean up in the closet previously, so she knew the location of the gun.
Jodi Arias sobs as she relates how she shot Travis Alexander before fleeing his home. She claims not to recall stabbing him numerous times or slashing his throat.
"When I grabbed the gun, I ran out of the closet. He was chasing me. I turned around .. and pointed it him with both of my hands," she says. "Like a linebacker, he got kind of low and grabbed my waist."
She says "the gun went off."
She didn't even know she shot him. He fell. They wrestled. "He's grabbing at my clothes, and we got up, and he's just screaming, angry."
He yelled, "Gonna fucking kill you, bitch," she claims.
"After the gun went off, I thought, crap, he's really going to be pissed now," she says.
Nurmi asks her to go on.
She says there are "a lot of gaps" in her memory from that day, and doesn't remember taking the pictures from the time of the murder.
She's not sure if she "blacked out or what" but remembers doing a lot of driving in the desert.
Nurmi asks if she remembers stabbing Alexander.
"I have no memory of stabbing him," she answers.
Nurmi asks what she does remember. She has a vague memory of putting the knife in the dishwasher.
He prods her: "What else do you remember?"
"Not much," she says.
But she describes her emotions as "mortal terror" after "pissing him off."
She remembers driving west only because the sun was in her eyes. "I didn't know where I was going."
Jodi Arias became emotional on the stand while describing the events on June 4, 2008.
"Eventually, I was in the desert. I don't know where. It got dark," she says.
As she's related some of this story, she occasionally sniffles or seems choked up with emotion. Still, she's pretty calm.
"I don't remember bringing the gun with me, but I remember throwing it," she says, responding to a question by Numri.
Where'd she throw it?
"In the desert."
What about the robe?
"Eventually, it went into a dumpster."
"It was behind a gas station. I think it was somewhere up near St. George, (Utah)."
As previous testimony related, Arias set out on the road trip from her hometown of Yreka, California, in order to see a romantic interest in Utah. Going to the home of Alexander, her ex-boyfriend, was a detour.
Arias she says she did have blood on her.
She rinsed her hands off with a water bottle from the car.
She says she knew her "life was done" at that point. She felt really bad.
Nurmi asks if she still loved him then, and still loves him now.
She says it's a "different' love now, but still does love him.
She's describing trying to get a phone signal while in the desert, saying people were probably wondering where she was.
By the way, if you want to watch this live, there are several media outlets broadcasting it. We've been occasionally using the Channel 5 (KPHO-TV) feed.
After crossing the Hoover Dam, she realized she as in "really deep trouble."
So, she started thinking about how to try to delay the inevitable.
In other words, how to get away with this as long as possible.
Numri asks her why she didn't call 911.
Arias says she was scared of what would happen to her and her family.
"I was thinking of having to explain that... How the day ended up unfolding. I was just really scared."
She was scared going through the Hoover Dam federal enforcement checkpoint, too, thinking she'd be caught right there and then.
(We imagine she had an "I just killed someone" look on her face, but the agents at the checkpoint are just looking out for terrorists...)
Arias says she contemplated killing herself.
Says she didn't want anybody to know that happened, or that she did it. She took several steps "to try and make it seem like I wasn't ever there."
(Of course, the evidence shows she took such steps even before arriving at Alexander's house. For instance, Arias apparently stole the gun from her grandparent's Yreka home, rented a car instead of taking hers, and used gas cans to avoid filling up her tank in Arizona, which would have left a record.)
Says she left a voice mail for Alexander -- she tried to sound cheery, but was crying. So she deleted that and several other recordings, listening to each one until she found one that was "good enough."
She says she figured someone would soon be listening to all of Alexander's voice mails, and she wanted to "throw the scent off" of her.
She kept driving.
"I realized that in order to keep up that pretense, I had to keep up the schedule" of her road trip. She decided to keep going to Utah.
Arias says -- and has testified previously -- that the main purpose for the trip was to see and get to know Ryan Burns, the guy from Utah she liked.
She knew the expectation of others when she got to Utah would be for her to be her normal, "happy-go-lucky" self.
Ryan Burns previously testified in the case that he and Arias had a make-out session the day after she brutally killed Alexander.
We're in the cafeteria right now, waiting for the afternoon recess to end so we can hear more from Arias. Before the break. there was some Q&A about the cuts on Arias hands -- amazingly, she seems to be sticking to the story that she cut her hand at a bar "at work," even though Arias said nothing today to refute the apparent fact that she's the one who stabbed him.
Police say she was the only one in the home at the time of the murder.
Arias denied being with Alexander at all when first contacted by police about two weeks after Alexander's body was found. She was arrested on July 15, 2008, after Mesa police found several key pieces of evidence -- including recovered pictures from a camera that had been put in a washing machine. The pictures show what happened in the minutes before and after the murder.
Arias then switched her story, claiming that two masked intruders had broken in and tried to kill Travis Alexander. In this version, she managed to escape the violent scene in Mesa -- and then had the make-out session with Burns in West Jordan, Utah, the next day.
She later came up with a third story, the one she's sticking to now: That she killed Alexander in self-defense, following a fight.
Arias testified today that the fight that directly preceded her first violent act toward him, the gunshot, began after he grew furious that she'd dropped his new camera. This just doesn't seem believable, either. They'd just had sex a couple of times, and the camera hadn't been damaged. Plus, Alexander was a successful businessman. A dropped camera isn't a big deal.
Arias is expected to resume her testimony at 1:20 p.m.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.