(PHOENIX) — Jodi Arias lulled her ex-boyfriend into a vulnerable position by having sex with him and taking sexy photos of him in the shower, catching him off-guard when she attacked him with a knife, prosecutors argued Thursday.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez said Thursday that Arias drove to Travis Alexander’s home with the intent of killing him, taking with her a gun and a knife and then sleeping with him before killing him.
“When she got there, she got engaged in whatever conduct she engaged him, and then began to attack him,” Martinez said, referring to earlier evidence that the pair had sex in Alexander’s home and took nude photos of one another.
“After she had, in a manner of speaking, lulled him to sleep, had him in a very vulnerable position kneeling down in that shower, it is the state’s position that she stabbed him first,” he said. “Once she began stabbing, it’s not a situation where she stopped. She killed him three times over.”
Martinez made the argument to prove that there was premeditation and aggravating factors attached to the felony murder charge Arias is facing, and to support the prosecution’s bid for the death penalty. The prosecution rested its case Thursday, on the ninth day of the trial in Maricopa County, Ariz.
The defense will begin presenting evidence on Jan. 29 to support its claim that Arias killed Alexander in self-defense. After the prosecution rested its case, the defense petitioned for the case to be dismissed, a common tactic for defense attorneys at the middle point of the trial.
In this case, defense attorney Kirk Nurmi focused his argument on having the felony murder charge tossed because, he argued, the prosecution did not prove aggravating factors such as premeditation or burglary. If Judge Sherry Stephens agrees, Arias may not face the death penalty if convicted.
The prosecution ended its case with testimony from a mutual friend of Arias and Alexander, Leslie Udy, a Mormon who worked at the same company as the pair and was friendly with both of them.
Udy testified that 24 hours after Arias is believed to have killed Alexander, Arias arrived in Utah and the two women had long talks about Arias’s relationship with Alexander.
“We actually sat in the parking lot for awhile, probably close to an hour. She was acting like Jodi, the same Jodi I’d always talked to and knew,” Udy said. ” We talked a little bit about photography, and we talked about Travis. She said that they weren’t together anymore which I kind of already knew, but that they would always be friends.”
Arias never mentioned going to Arizona the day before or having a confrontation with Alexander in which she ended up killing him. In fact, Udy said, Arias seemed perfectly normal.
“She said that Travis had tried to get her to come to Arizona and she had told him no because she was trying to create some separation there,” Udy said. “She indicated they would always be best friends.”
Arias, dressed in a green sweater in the courtroom and not wearing glasses for the first time during the trial, cried during Udy’s testimony. At one point, the prosecution showed Udy the photos that Arias and Alexander took of one another, naked on Alexander’s bed, in the hours before Alexander was killed. Udy said she had never known that side of Arias or Alexander.
Arias, 32, told police several stories before admitting that she killed Alexander and claimed self-defense. Her diary excerpts obtained by ABC News show that she also lied to herself in the weeks after the killing.
The page of diary entries, found in court motions, was seized by police from Arias’ bedroom in her grandparents’ California home. The entries are dated from June 10 through June 13, 2008, days after Alexander was shot and stabbed to death on June 4. His body was found by friends on June 9.
The page begins “… that Travis is dead. What happened?!? Travis, what is this?”
The next entry is dated June 11 and said in part, “Last night was so hard… I wanted so badly to call Travis, but knowing he wouldn’t answer was too much to bear. And knowing he wasn’t calling me anytime soon was just killing me. I broke down as I climbed into bed and just cried and cried and cried until I fell asleep.”
Testimony in her murder trial that cited her phone records showed that Arias did call Alexander four times after she killed him and as late as June 15. The first call was just hours after he died and one call lasted 16 minutes, which Verizon official Jody Citizen suggested indicated Arias was listening to Alexander’s messages and possibly deleting her own messages to him.
On June 12, Arias wrote to her diary, “It just feels like he hasn’t called me in too long. I hear him singing. I hear him laugh.”
And in the final entry on the page, Arias wrote on June 13 that she sent 13 white irises to Alexander’s grandmother, who she called “Mums.”
“Travis always told me he liked the name Iris for a girl…If I ever have a son I’ll name him Alexander,” she wrote.
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