Jurors’ Questions Betray Suspicions About Jodi Arias
(PHOENIX) -- Questions posed by jurors to accused murderer Jodi Arias Wednesday showed skepticism toward many of Arias' claims about her relationship with ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander and the alleged confrontation that resulted in his death.
Members of the jury submitted more than 100 questions to Judge Sherry Stephens after Arias finished testifying in direct and cross examination. Arias, 32, is charged with murder in Alexander's death and could face the death penalty if convicted.
Arizona is one of three states that allow the jury to ask questions of witnesses on the stand.
The jurors asked Arias why she never took photos of the bruising she claims she suffered at the hands of Alexander, never reported his allegedly abusive behavior to police, and carried on a relationship with him despite her claim that he was sexually interested in young boys.
They also asked specific questions about the incident in which Arias killed Alexander during a violent confrontation at his Mesa, Ariz., home in June 2008. She stabbed him, slashed his throat, and shot him in what she claims was self-defense.
"Did Travis' closet doors have locks? If not, how did you get the gun down from the shelf if he was right behind you?" Stephens read from the question card.
"I don't recall there being locks. I don't know if he was right behind me, I just had the sense he was chasing me," Arias responded.
Arias was then asked to explain the confrontation using a map of Alexander's bathroom and bedroom.
The questions, which are expected to continue Thursday, are the final part of Arias' time on the stand. She has been testifying for 16 days.
The questions offer a glimpse into the thinking of the jury as the case winds toward its conclusion and jurors are forced to weigh the evidence in what could be a death penalty case.
She is accused of premeditated murder for the death of Alexander. The pair had dated for a year and then continued to sleep together for another year until Alexander's death, according to testimony.
During her testimony, Arias has claimed that she was forced to kill Alexander after he flew into a violent rage during an argument and allegedly threatened to kill her. During her days on the stand, Arias portrayed Alexander as increasingly demanding, abusive, and sexually deviant. The prosecution countered with photographic -- sometimes pornographic -- evidence Arias was apparently a very willing participant.
The jury is currently made up of 18 people, four of whom are alternates, in case one of the official 12 jurors falls ill or has to be excused from the jury ahead of deliberations.
The jury is made up of seven women, all in their thirties and forties, and 11 men, nine of whom are over the age of 40.
The jurors have been outspoken in asking questions of previous witnesses, submitting them on written cards that are then read aloud by the judge.
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