(PHOENIX) — Jodi Arias blatantly lied to police who asked her about Travis Alexander’s death, telling them in recorded phone calls that she kept trying to call and message Alexander the week of his death but never heard back from him.
The phone calls were played on Wednesday as evidence during the fourth day of Arias’ trial, in which she is charged with murder and could face the death penalty if convicted of killing Alexander in a “depraved and heinous” way. Arias has admitted to killing her former boyfriend, but claims it was self-defense.
During the phone conversations played in court, Arias can be heard telling Mesa, Ariz., detective Esteban Flores that she last talked to Alexander on Tuesday, June 3, 2008, around 10 p.m. She had been in Los Angeles, about to leave to go to Utah to visit a new love interest, she said.
After June 3, he stopped calling her back, she said.
“On Tuesday night (I talked to him), it was brief though, 10 o’clock maybe. I’d say 10 p.m. or 9-9:30. I was calling people because I was bored on the road. He was nice and cordial, but kind of acting like he had hurt feelings,” Arias said.
“I may have called him Wednesday, from the road, and I sent him a couple of text messages, and a couple of pictures,” she said, though Alexander didn’t pick up and his voice mailbox was full. “That’s unusual. He deletes all of his messages. I didn’t want to be obsessive about it because we’re not together anymore and I didn’t like to call too much.”
According to court records, Arias, 32, actually went to Alexander’s home in Mesa on Wednesday morning. There, the pair had sex and took graphic photos of one another with Alexander’s camera.
Then, Arias is believed to have killed Alexander, 30, in his shower by stabbing him, slashing his throat from ear to ear, and shooting him in the head.
In the phone conversations, Arias told Flores that she considered calling Alexander’s friends when he stopped returning her calls on Wednesday, but didn’t want to act like “his mother.”
Alexander’s friends found his body five days later with stab wounds and a bullet wound, lying in blood in his home.
Flores asked Arias if she ever considered buying a gun; she said she was too scared of handguns.
“I’ve looked into handguns. I have a list of things I’m scared of that I’m trying to overcome,” she said. “I got that from Travis, you know, to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and do things you’re afraid of. But handguns are expensive and not really in my price range right now.”
Arias is accused of stealing her grandmother’s handgun and using it to shoot Alexander in the head during the attack. The detective interviewed Arias by phone multiple times in June after Alexander’s body was discovered by his friends on June 9.
Arias was indicted on July 9, 2008, and changed her story again before her arraignment, telling a TV news station that she was at Alexander’s house when he was killed and witnessed two intruders kill him.
After she was arraigned, Arias told police she killed Alexander, but did it in self-defense. Arias’ attorneys have said that Alexander was controlling and abusive toward Arias, and described him as a “sexual deviant.”
In earlier testimony in court Wednesday, Arias’ new love interest, Ryan Burns, testified that Arias showed up to his house on the morning of Thursday, June 5, just 24 hours after she killed Alexander.
There, the pair cuddled, kissed and watched movies, according to Burns.
Burns, who met Arias at a business conference in the spring of 2008, said he exchanged frequent long phone calls and online conversations with Arias before inviting her to come visit him in West Jordan, Utah, in June. Arias lived in California at the time.
She arrived at Burns’ home 24 hours after she was expected there, telling him that she got lost, drove the wrong way on a freeway for a few hours, fell asleep for awhile, and then got lost again, Burns testified on Wednesday. Arias never told him that she had confronted Alexander with a knife or gun and ended up killing him just hours before their date.
When she arrived, the pair quickly got physical, he testified.
“We went back to my house. We talked for awhile, and agreed that we were going to watch a movie. At some point we were talking and we kissed. Every time we started kissing it got a little more escalated. Our clothes never came off, but at some point she was kissing my neck, I was kissing hers, but our clothes never came off,” he said.
Burns said that both he and Arias stopped kissing at the time, though they again became physically involved later in the evening when Arias climbed on top of Burns and began kissing him. Burns said that they stopped kissing because he did not want her to “regret the visit” because of her Mormon beliefs about sex.
He also told prosecutors upon questioning that Arias was physically strong.
“She’s very fit,” he said, describing their encounter when she climbed on top of him. “She’s very strong. She has close to a six pack (of abs).”
Prosecutors likely asked about the strength of Arias because in testimony Tuesday Maricopa County medical examiner Kevin Horn said Alexander was stabbed so forcefully that the blade chipped his skull and his neck was cut all the way back to the spinal cord.
Burns, who is also a Mormon, said he noticed two bandages on Arias’ hand when she arrived at his house, which she told him she got when a glass broke at her place of employment, Margaritaville.
During her visit, the pair also went to a business meeting and went out with Burns’ friends where Burns described Arias as acting “shy” and a “little awkward.”
“She was fine, she was laughing about simple little things like any other person. I never once felt like anything was wrong during the day. With a crowd she was a little awkward in social areas, but one on one she was very talkative and excitable,” he said.
Prosecutors in the case allege that Arias was jealous that Alexander was dating other women and killed him at his home in Mesa, Ariz. In earlier testimony, they presented photos showing blood-splattered walls and floors in the bathroom and bedroom of Alexander’s home, and photos of Alexander’s wounds.
Burns, who knew of Alexander but did not know him well, said that he had no idea Arias was still seeing Alexander when the two began talking frequently on the phone and online and planning visits to see each other.
The prosecution presented parts of their online conversations, in which Arias tells Burns about being “cheated on twice” before and having “trust issues” with Alexander.
She also told Burns that she had converted to Mormonism because of Alexander.
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