(PHOENIX) — As Jodi Arias confidently answered question after question posed to her by jurors in her murder trial Wednesday, jury members scribbled follow up questions seeking a better explanation from Arias about killing her ex-boyfriend.
Jurors initially submitted more than 100 questions about the incident in which Arias stabbed, shot, and slashed the throat of Travis Alexander. The first day of questions Wednesday show the jury wrestling with Arias’ claim that she blacked out and could not remember the moments in which she killed Alexander.
“Were you mad at Travis while you were stabbing him? Why did you take the rope and gun with you? Why didn’t you call 911?” they asked.
“Did you ever see a doctor for your memory issues? Have you ever taken medication for your memory issue? How is it you remember so many of your sexual encounters, including your ex-boyfriends, but you do not remember stabbing Travis and dragging his body?”
“Well,” Arias answered from the stand, “as far as what happened on June 4, I don’t know how the mind works necessarily, but I know that was the most traumatic experience of my life.”
The questions from the jury allow her to answer more freely than the yes or no questions that were fired at her by the prosecutor, Juan Martinez.
But her answers to the jury, which came after three weeks of grilling by her lawyer and the prosecutor, apparently haven’t satisfied the jury because they could be seen Wednesday scribbling down fresh questions to be asked.
Arias is facing first degree murder charges for killing Alexander during what she claims was a violent argument at his home in Mesa, Ariz., on June 4, 2008. She has claimed she killed him in self-defense, but does not remember stabbing or slashing him.
Arizona is one of only three states in the country that allows jurors to ask questions of witnesses after they have finished testifying. Judge Sherry Stephens will continue asking jurors’ questions Thursday.
The jurors’ questions, which have largely focused on the details of the killing and gaps in Arias’ story, could offer a glimpse into the thinking of the jury as the case winds toward it close. They will be tasked with deciding whether Arias murdered Alexander, and if so, whether she is deserving of the death penalty.
The jury is made up of 18 adults, 11 men and seven women, who have sat through more than 30 days of testimony so far in the case. Before going into deliberations, the jury will be whittled to 12, and alternates will be dismissed.
According to her testimony, Arias and Alexander dated for a year, and then slept together for another year after breaking up, from 2006 to 2008. During that time, she alleges that he grew abusive after she found out he was sexually attracted to young boys.
The prosecutor claims Arias killed Alexander out of jealousy.
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Jackie Wattles, CNN
Kristina Tieken, FamilyShare
Sara Ganim and Eric Levenson, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN