| Crime |

Jodi Arias' Mitigation Specialist, Maria De La Rosa, to Be Allowed Back in Jail, Says Lawyer

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

A key member of Jodi Arias' defense team who was banned from the Maricopa County Jail for questionable reasons will be allowed back as early as today, her lawyer says.

Dan Raynak, lawyer for mitigation specialist Maria De La Rosa, tells New Times that an agreement was reached between Arias' defense team and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office today, but it still has to be approved by a judge.

See also: -Jodi Arias' Defense Wrecked by "Outlandish Actions" of Sheriff's Office, Lawyers Say

De La Rosa, an East Valley legal expert, was targeted by detectives at her home and then banned formally from the jail after she allegedly tried to smuggle out a colored-pencil drawing by Arias during a February 26 visit.

However, as we detailed in a story Wednesday, a motion filed Tuesday by Arias' lawyers states that the drawing was in a sealed envelope addressed to lawyer Jennifer Willmott when De La Rosa took it, and that the drawing inside was accompanied by a note that stated it was to be used as evidence in Arias' upcoming penalty-phase trial.

It's unclear why the Sheriff's Office wanted to stop Arias from giving artwork to her lawyers, who have previously argued that Arias' artistry is one of several mitigating factors that show she doesn't deserve the death penalty.

The motion also describes how Sheriff's office detectives sent to De La Rosa's home a couple of weeks later "snooped" around, peering in windows and chatting with her neighbors before contacting her the next day. In the filing, Arias' lawyers argue that the specialist's banning means they can no longer provide the convicted murderer an adequate defense, and therefore she should not receive the death penalty.

The Sheriff's Office apparently "realized their position was untenable," Raynak says.

A voice-mail message left with the Sheriff's Office wasn't returned immediately, but we'll let you know if we hear back.

Raynak says he expects Superior Court Presiding Judge Joseph Welty to approve the agreement that will allow De La Rosa to continue her work in the jail.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX. Follow Ray Stern on Twitter at @RayStern.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.