(PHOENIX) — Jodi Arias and her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, had increasingly violent sex in which he tied her to his bed, twisted her arm and made sex videos with her in the hours leading up to the stabbing and shooting incident that left Alexander dead.
It was a day in which Arias, 32, inched closer to telling the court how the killing of Alexander took place, but after several hours of emotional testimony the court was adjourned until Wednesday.
In her sixth day on the stand, Arias tearfully described the sex-filled hours that led to Alexander’s death on June 4, 2008. She is charged with her former boyfriend’s murder, but she claims she was forced to kill him in self-defense.
“He tied me up, [on] the bed. It’s not my favorite but it’s not unbearable,” Arias told the court.
She said he used a kitchen knife in the bathroom to cut the rope to the proper length, but she didn’t remember whether he left the knife in the bathroom or brought it back to the nightstand in the bedroom.
“There are a lot gaps that day…a lot of things I don’t remember that day,” she said.
Arias and Alexander then took graphic sexual photos of one another and made a sex video, both of which Arias said were Alexander’s ideas.
But the mood of the afternoon turned, she said, when Alexander became angry over a scratched computer disk of photos she gave him. He threw the CD, and Arias said she became “apprehensive” of his rising temper.
“I don’t know that I was consciously thinking [of violence] but I was more tense. I stood up, went to walk over to him, to rub his back and make sure he was okay,” she said. “But he grabbed me on the upper arms, spun me around and grabbed my right arm and twisted it behind my back, and bent me over the desk, and pressed up against me.”
“I was scared he was going to throw me or something, kick me,” she continued. “He pressed his groin up against my butt, did a few thrusts and then started pulling my pants down.”
The pair then had sex, which Arias said pacified Alexander.
“I was very relieved. I felt like we had avoided catastrophe. It could have led to another fight,” she said.
Instead of a fight, Alexander, who was 27 and a devout Mormon, and Arias decide to go upstairs and take more nude photos of one another. Arias said she hoped the photos would satisfy Alexander over his frustration with the scratched CD. Evidence introduced earlier in the trial show that Alexander was killed while Arias was photographing Alexander in the shower.
Earlier, Arias explained that she wasn’t planning to visit Alexander during her road trip from her home in California, but was persuaded by him to spontaneously take a detour to his house for sex and to hang out. Arias’ attorney, Kirk Nurmi, asked her repeatedly on the stand if Arias brought a gun or knife with her on the road trip and to Alexander’s house. She said that she did not.
She also denied a series of allegations made by the prosecution that she dyed her hair, rented an inconspicuous car, borrowed gas cans, turned off her cell phone, and switched money around in her bank accounts as she left for Alexander’s house because she was planning to murder him when she got there.
Arias said that her hair remained the same color, auburn-brown, throughout May and June, that she rented a car because her own car was not stable enough for highway travel, that she requested a white car instead of a red one because police pull red ones over more often, and that she transferred money to a business banking account for a tax write-off to classify it as a business trip.
The testimony about the road trip and Arias’ planning could be key to the jury as they decide whether the killing was pre-meditated, as the prosecution claims. Arias could face the death penalty if convicted of murder with aggravating factors such as pre-meditation.
Arias said that she “didn’t sleep at all last night” before testifying about the dramatic incident Tuesday. Her comment was stricken from the record.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Sara Ganim and Eric Levenson, CNN
Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com
Morgan Loew, CNN
Emanuella Grinberg and Kwegyirba Croffie, CNN