Jodi Arias Trial’s Focus Is Graphic Sex, Not Killing
(PHOENIX) — It has been a trial filled with smut: hours of phone sex conversations, emails and text messages containing pictures of genitals, and testimony filled with the sexual fantasies and preferred sex acts of accused murderer Jodi Arias and the man she killed, Travis Alexander.
Though Arias’ fate hinges on whether the jury believes she killed Alexander in self-defense or murdered him out of jealousy, the trial has spent relatively little time on the actual incident in which Arias stabbed, slashed, and shot her ex-boyfriend.
Instead, Arias, 32, has spent 15 days on the witness stand describing in minute detail — much of which is too raunchy to print in this report — the sex life she shared with Alexander. In fact, she testified for nine days without mentioning the killing at all.
“What other fantasies did you have?” lead defense attorney Kirk Nurmi asked Arias on her third day of testifying, on Feb. 6.
Arias rattled off a list of fantasies that Alexander had shared with her, typical of the testimony from much of the trial ranging from a reference to the “mile high club” to having her wear boy’s underwear and have sex in his office.
California defense attorney Michael Cardoza, who has been following the trial, said that with both sides focusing so heavily on the sex, the jury may be fed up hearing graphic details over and over again.
“I’m sure if they could stand up they would say enough already, knock it off, we’ve got it, we get it, we’re not stupid. If you ask that question one more time we’re going to convict you [the lawyer asking the question],” Cardoza said.
On Tuesday, Nurmi again trod well-worn ground in the case during the second day of redirect, asking Arias to read diary entries and explain her accusation that Alexander was sexually attracted to young boys.
“Something is just off with that boy,” she wrote after allegedly seeing him masturbate to pictures of children.
Nurmi has used his second round of questioning to try and dispel the prosecution’s claims that Arias made up her complaints about Alexander after she killed him.
During the trial, the jury has heard at least three times a recorded phone conversations in which both Alexander and Arias describe plans to make a pornographic movie, and detail the various ways in which they enjoy being pleasured.
During one of the times the recording was played, a transcript of Alexander’s words flashed on a black screen facing the jury, in case they were having trouble hearing what was being said. Arias can be heard giggling and cooing on the tape.
Cardoza said that he didn’t understand why prosecutor Juan Martinez spent three days going through all of the details of the sex, details that had already been pored over on direct testimony.
“That tape is going to be shocking to a lot of people, but when you play it that many times to a jury, it’s going to lose its sting,” Cardoza said. “Martinez wants that sting, to show, you know, you [Arias] liked to play the game, you were a willing player, you initiated it sometimes.”
Nurmi’s questioning on Tuesday echoed his earlier claims that Alexander was a “sexual deviant” who became increasingly abusive and demanding of Arias sexually, allegedly culminating in the violent confrontation in which she killed him.
As Arias answered his questions about feeling pressure to accede to Alexander’s sexual demands, Nurmi attempted to portray Arias as a naive victim to a man with a nearly-predatory sex drive.
Martinez, during cross-examination, pointed out that Arias had previous sexual relationships that also included various types of sex and that she was encouraging and gave consent in all of her sexual interactions with Alexander.
“That all to me was, ‘why are you doing this?’ Get to the damn murder, let’s go,” Cardoza said of the prosecution. “You can prove the sex, and he’s going to agree with you, but by going through painstaking detail you’re playing the defense’s game…So they were sex partners and had crazy sex, so what?”
Judge Sherry Stephens has not excluded any of the graphic sexual testimony from being entered into court, including nude photos of a sexual nature that have been shown to the jury and courtroom gallery.
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