(PHOENIX) — Jodi Arias’s attorney said Friday that the “sex, lies, and dirty little secrets” that filled the four months-long murder trial would help jurors understand the tumultuous relationship between Arias and her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander and explain his death.
Kirk Nurmi said during his closing statements that the state’s theory of premeditated murder was “nonsense,” saying that prosecutors were trying to set up a “house of cards” in portraying Arias as a cold-blooded killer who plotted the death of her ex-boyfriend.
“Was it what the state said it was yesterday, this plan [to kill]? Or was it an act of self-defense forced upon Miss Arias by the actions of Mr. Alexander? Or was it something else?” Nurmi asked the jury.
“That is ultimately your job to determine, and fear, love, sex, lies, and dirty little secrets will help you understand, I think, what happened in those three minutes,” Nurmi said.
Nurmi referenced the three minutes between the first and last photo in a series of photos taken by Arias on the day that Alexander was killed in June 2008. At the beginning, Alexander is seen alive, posing naked for Arias in the shower. By the end, he is lying on the floor in blood.
Arias is accused of murdering Alexander and could face the death penalty if the jury believes the killing was premeditated.
On Thursday, Prosecutor Juan Martinez laid out his closing argument for the jury, suggesting that Arias decided to kill Alexander because he was trying to break up with her and move on with his life.
Martinez argued that Arias tried to cover her tracks when she drove to Alexander’s home in Mesa, Ariz., and killed him and then lied about it for months to avoid being caught.
Friday, Nurmi dismissed Martinez’s claims. He admitted that Arias lied, but told jurors that the criminal charge was murder, not lying.
“One thing the state has done is pile on, to set up a house of cards to say Jodi is lying about everything, then knock it down,” he said.
“Did she lie? Of course she did, but that’s not in your verdict instructions. The crime is premeditated murder,” he said.
Nurmi focused his argument on discrediting what Martinez called her “covert mission” to kill Alexander.
The prosecution has alleged that Arias staged a break-in at her grandparents’ home to steal their gun and use it to shoot Alexander. But Nurmi asked the jury why Arias wouldn’t have simply gone into the cabinet and taken the gun without her grandparents ever realizing it.
He pointed out that Arias left an obvious paper trail on her trip to Mesa, with a car rental that required her license and credit card information, money transfers between banks, and stops to visit people along the way.
“Keep in mind the state conceded yesterday that Jodi Arias is a smart woman. Is that behavior consistent with a smart woman who is planning this covert mission to go to Mesa and kill Travis Alexander?”
Similarly, he pointed out at a half-dozen times that Arias could have killed Alexander easily when she arrived at his home, when she walked in and he was seated at the computer with his back to her, or in the shower when he posed looking away from her.
“Wouldn’t you think if somebody was on this covert mission, they’ve done all these things to prepare themselves for the moment in time when she could kill Travis Alexander, does she shoot him right then and there?” Nurmi asked. “She had the gun and she had the knife. Why wouldn’t she do that?”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Laura Koran, CNN
Megan McNulty, Deseret News