(PHOENIX) — Prosecutors in the Jodi Arias murder trial showed jurors a photograph of her former lover, Travis Alexander, lying slashed and lifeless in a pool of blood in his shower.
The gruesome scene was introduced on the second day of Arias’ trial, along with a slew of evidence, including a man’s bloodied T-shirt.
Defense attorneys for Arias portrayed Alexander as a controlling and abusive lover to the Arizona woman who killed Alexander in self-defense.
Evidence emerged Thursday showing they exchanged electronic messages filled with sexually crude references about each other, and the jury heard a recorded phone call between Arias and Police Det. Esteban Flores where Arias said the couple was so distrustful of each other that they shared their online passwords.
“He gave me his Facebook password and MySpace and I gave him my Facebook and Gmail account. Reason we did that [is] because we thought, ‘What can we do to reestablish trust?'” she said. “It didn’t work.”
In a case that is already being compared to the dramatic 2010 murder trial of Casey Anthony, Arias, 32, is facing the death penalty if convicted in the capital murder case.
She is accused of stabbing Alexander 27 times, slitting his throat and shooting him in the head in the shower of his Mesa, Ariz., home in June 2008. A jury will have to decide if she is a cold-blooded murderer or was a victim of domestic violence, as she claims, who was forced to kill.
In the most dramatic moment Thursday, prosecutors showed the jury a graphic photo of Alexander’s face and body where he was found.
Earlier, the prosecution introduced emails between the couple. On cross-examination, a defense lawyer asked Flores whether Alexander referred to Arias in those emails with a crude sexual term as well as other insulting words.
“Do you recall her saying he had said several mean things to her?” defense lawyer Kirk Nurmi asked.
“Yes,” Flores answered.
Nurmi asked if Alexander referred to Arias “as a slut.” “Yes,” the detective said.
“As a whore?” the lawyer asked. “Yes,” he replied.
Bags of evidence from Alexander’s apartment were displayed in court Thursday, including a men’s T-shirt soaked in blood that was held up for the jury to see.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez provided jurors with a look inside Alexander’s home, presenting pictures of the garage, laundry room, hallway and where Alexander kept his punching bag in his bedroom.
Appearing in court Wednesday as the trial opened, Arias cried through much of the opening arguments. Prosecutor Juan Martinez told the court that it’s clear that Arias murdered Alexander.
“This is not a case of whodunit,” he said. “The whodunit sits in court today.”
Prosecutors told the jury Wednesday that Alexander was a devout Mormon who was seduced and then stalked by Arias, and killed by her in a jealous rage when she learned he was dating other women.
The couple only dated a few months after meeting in 2006 at a work convention in Las Vegas. They broke up in June 2007 but continued a sexual relationship that continued until the day of the crime.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire