(PHOENIX) — Jodi Arias lied about her relationship with Travis Alexander, where she was when Alexander was killed, and even where she worked as a bartender, according to the case laid out by prosecutors in her murder trial.
Prosecutors opened the fifth day of her trial by using Arias’ receipts for food, gas and a car rental that essentially tracked her movements in the days before and after Alexander’s murder on June 4, 2008.
The testimony Thursday also showed that Arias had lied to her new boyfriend Ryan Burns about working at a bar called Margaritaville in her hometown of Yreka, Calif.
“Is there any restaurant in Yreka called Margaritaville? Has there ever been?” prosecutor Juan Martinez asked Nathaniel Mendes, a former detective with the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office in California.
“No, sir,” Mendes replied.
The testimony is apparently intended to bolster the prosecution’s portrayal of Arias as a serial liar who continually denied her involvement in Alexander’s death until she eventually confessed to killing him months after his bloody body was found at his home in Mesa, Ariz.
Arias, now 32, is accused of murdering Alexander, a former lover, by stabbing him 27 times, slashing his throat and shooting him in the head in June 2008. She could face the death penalty if convicted of a “heinous and depraved” crime.
Arias claims Alexander was a controlling and abusive “sexual deviant” who she was forced to kill in self-defense.
But in testimony this week, prosecutors pointed out several lies Arias told around the time she killed Alexander.
Mendes testified that Arias worked at a restaurant called Casa Ramos in Yreka, not a Margaritaville bar that she told Burns. Mendes also went over receipts showing that Arias rented a car the day before she killed Alexander, and noted that she went to a rental outfit 90 miles from her hometown despite two businesses that rented cars in Yreka.
Arias told friends and investigators that she rented a car to go on a road trip to visit Burns, in West Jordan, Utah, on June 3, 2008. She showed up to Burns’ house a day late with cuts on her hands, but told Burns that she got lost driving and that the cuts were from broken glass at her Margaritaville bar tending job, according to Burn’s testimony Wednesday.
The trail of receipts showed that Arias drove from California to Alexander’s hometown of Mesa on Tuesday, June 4, 2008.
There, the pair had sex and took sexually graphic photos of one another, according to photographs and the opening statement of Arias’ lawyer. Shortly after the tryst, Arias killed Alexander, both sides agree.
Burns testified that Arias never mentioned going to Alexander’s house when she arrived at his home in Utah. He said he did not know that Arias and Alexander were still sexually involved, and that she told him they had broken up.
When she arrived at his home, just 24 hours after killing Alexander, she seemed “normal,” he said. The pair kissed and cuddled, and went out with Burns’ friends, where she laughed and made conversation.
Prosecutors have also played recorded phone conversations between detectives and Arias in the weeks after Alexander’s body was found. She can be heard lying multiple times to investigators as they ask about the last time she spoke with Alexander and her trip to Utah.
During the phone conversations played in court, Arias can be heard telling Mesa detective Esteban Flores that she last talked to Alexander on Tuesday night, June 3, 2008, around 10 p.m. She had been in Los Angeles, about to leave to go to Utah, she said.
After June 3, he stopped calling her back, she said.
“On Tuesday night (I talked to him), it was brief though, 10 o’clock maybe. I’d say 10 p.m. or 9 – 9:30. I was calling people because I was bored on the road. He was nice and cordial, but kind of acting like he had hurt feelings,” she said.
“I may have called him Wednesday, from the road, and I sent him a couple of text messages, and a couple of pictures,” she said, though Alexander didn’t pick up and his voice mailbox was full. “That’s unusual. He deletes all of his messages. I didn’t want to be obsessive about it because we’re not together anymore and I didn’t like to call too much.”
She told Flores that she was surprised to learn of Alexander’s death from one of his friends, and thought it must be a mistake.
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