CRIME

Jodi Arias Guilty Of First-Degree Murder In Killing Of Travis Alexander

PHOENIX –- Jodi Ann Arias, a California native who testified she killed her ex-boyfriend in self-defense, was found guilty Wednesday of murder.

The eight-man, four-woman jury, which heard four months of testimony and final arguments, deliberated over four days before returning the verdict of first-degree murder. Arias, 32, could receive the death penalty.

Arias, wearing a black blazer and shirt, appeared to hold back tears as the guilty verdict was read. At one point, she turned to look at the gallery, where the family and friends of murder victim Travis Alexander were seated.

Five jurors voted Arias was guilty of premeditated murder and seven voted that she was guilty of premeditated felony murder.

The defense, which rested its case without producing a shred of evidence that Arias was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of Alexander, will now scramble to present evidence in the penalty phase of the trial, set to begin Thursday.

During his three hours of closing arguments last week, prosecutor Juan Martinez' description of the brutal murder was so vivid that members of the victim’s family were reduced to tears. In the moments leading up to the verdict, people chanted "Justice for Travis" outside the courthouse.

Arias stood accused of stabbing 30-year-old Alexander nearly 30 times, shooting him in the head and cutting his throat from ear to ear in his Mesa home on June 4, 2008.

"She killed him three times over," Martinez said in closing statements.

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