Jodi Arias Grilled in Cross-Examination
(PHOENIX) — Jodi Arias remained calm and steady under cross-examination Thursday as the prosecutor attempted to show a pattern of jealousy and lies surrounding the death of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez paced the courtroom floor in front of Arias, yelling at her to answer his questions as he began his cross-examination.
On Wednesday, Arias finished presenting her version of events leading up to her killing Alexander on June 4, 2008 in his Mesa, Ariz., home. She told the jury she killed Alexander in self-defense, accidentally firing a gun when he was threatening to kill her and lunged at her.
Arias is charged with murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.
Martinez started his questioning by asking her to verify a diary entry she had written in January 2008 after Arias says she and Alexander had already been officially broken up for seven months but continued to sleep together.
“Well I guess it’s a good thing that nobody else reads this because I write right now that I love Travis Victor Alexander so completely that I don’t know any other way to be,” she wrote in the diary entry.
Martinez also asked her about an August 2007 incident in which she went to his house and saw him kissing another woman.
“Yesterday you told us that in August 2007 you went to Mr. Alexander’s house…and you saw Mr. Alexander and a female making out, and her bra was unhooked. And you took off, and got home, and you felt strongly enough about this that you called your father. You spoke to your father and were crying. You were upset about this,” Martinez said in rapid succession.
“You could have just left that situation alone, but you decided to confront him [Alexander] anyway, and the reason you did this was because you were jealous,” Martinez said.
“No,” Arias responded. She said she asked Alexander about the woman he was kissing “because he was still courting me.”
Martinez accused Arias of holding Alexander to a different standard than she held herself, becoming upset when he was dating other women but lying to him about dating other men. She lied to Alexander about a text message she sent a different man in 2008, according to earlier testimony.
“It just seems like it’s okay for you to lie about a guy, but when it comes to him being with a girl you decided to confront him,” Martinez said in court.
The prosecution has accused Arias of killing Alexander in a jealous rage after luring him into a vulnerable position by having sex with him and taking nude photos of him.
The questioning continued with Martinez suggesting that Arias lied when she testified that Alexander had broken the ring finger of her left hand during a fight in January 2008. Arias told the court that Alexander threw her to the floor, kicked her in the ribs, and then kicked her hand, permanently injuring her now-crooked finger.
The prosecutor showed a photo of Arias with her sister taken on May 15, 2008 with Arias’ hand on her sister’s shoulder. The fingers are slightly bent, but the ring finger does not appear to be different from her other fingers.
“This picture shows you and your sister, with your left hand, on May 15, 2008,” Martinez said, showing a photo to the jury. “Show us how bent it is again, higher so we can see the damage. (The fight) was five months before this picture, and you don’t have a bent finger (in this picture).”
Arias contended that her finger was bent in the photo.
Martinez pressed the point, arguing that she gave different versions of what happened to her finger to a new boyfriend, Ryan Burns, and to Detective Esteban Flores, who interrogated her.
“It seems a run of bad things happened to (your finger). You talked to Ryan Burns about it, told him that finger had been damaged on a broken glass at work,” Martinez said. “You told (Flores) that on June 4, 2008, at Mr. Alexander’s home, somebody broken in and… it was your left finger that had been damaged… And then you gave us another story here.”
Arias admitted on Wednesday that she lied to Burns and to Flores in the wake of Alexander’s death. She said she was ashamed of killing Alexander and didn’t want to get caught.
Before getting off the stand Wednesday, Arias testified that she was convinced by Alexander to go to his house for a tryst that day, that they were getting along and she was submitting to his sexual requests, but he became enraged when she accidentally dropped his camera on the bathroom floor while taking nude photos of him in the shower. She claimed that the outburst set off a burst of violence with Alexander allegedly body-slamming her to the floor, Arias running from him, grabbing a gun, pointing it at him, and then accidentally firing the weapon when he lunged at her.
She told the court that she did not remember stabbing or slashing Alexander, whose body was found with 27 stab wounds and his throat slit from one side to the other. He was also shot twice in the head.
Arias said on the stand Thursday that she sometimes had “memory problems” when under stress.
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