Jury reaches verdict in Jodi Arias trial in Ariz.; Watch live co - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Jodi Arias found guilty of first-degree murder; Watch live coverage

Posted: Updated:
FILE - In this May 1, 2013 file photo, defendant Jodi Arias sits in the courtroom during her trial at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Mark Henle, Pool, File). FILE - In this May 1, 2013 file photo, defendant Jodi Arias sits in the courtroom during her trial at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Mark Henle, Pool, File).
Arias reacts after hearing jurors announce a guilty verdict against her for first-degree murder. Arias reacts after hearing jurors announce a guilty verdict against her for first-degree murder.

PHOENIX (AP) — The jury has found Jodi Arias guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her one-time boyfriend in Arizona. Arias initially denied involvement and later blamed the killing on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she said she killed Travis Alexander in self-defense.

After a four-month trial that included graphic details of their sexual escapades and photos of Alexander just after his death, jurors began deliberating Friday afternoon.


Jodi Arias looks at her family after being found of guilty of first-degree murder in the gruesome killing of her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in their suburban Phoenix home, Wednesday, May 8, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Rob Schumacher, Pool)

This is what AP reporters on the scene Wednesday are learning about the events unfolding:

___

MEDIA COVERAGE, 3 p.m.

Coverage of the case escalated during the trial. One of those who covered it from beginning to end was Nancy Grace, host of a show on cable network HLN. Shortly after the jury returned, she cheered the guilty verdict on her show, saying: "This is not bloodthirsty revenge's cries of joy. It's not that. It's the fear that justice would be snatched out of our hands. It's the fear that Travis' murder would go un-avenged. It is the fear that our system would fail as it has in the past. But today, our system, Lady Justice, triumphs."

___

EXPERT OPINION, 2:57 p.m.

Phoenix defense attorney Julio Laboy said the aggravation phase could last a couple of days, consisting of arguments from the prosecutor and testimony by a medical examiner who might describe for the jury how Alexander died - shot, stabbed repeatedly, his throat slashed. Laboy expected the penalty phase could go on for about three weeks, with opening statements, closing arguments and testimony.

___

TWITTER TRENDS, 2:40 p.m.

Right after the verdict, the case dominated Twitter in the United States, with seven of the top 10 trending topics having to do with the trial and different terms sliding in and out of the list. Among the trends: "Justice for Travis," ''Juan Martinez," the prosecutor, and "(hashtag)JodyArias" — a misspelling of Arias' first name, Jodi.

___

"RELIEF", 2:32 p.m.

Julie Haslem, a close friend of the Alexander family, sobbed as she left the courtroom. She said: "I feel relief." Asked if Arias will receive the death penalty: "I hope so."

___

ARIAS' MOTHER, 2:29 p.m.

Sandra Arias, Jodi Arias' mother, declined to comment to reporters as she left the courtroom.

___

WRONGFUL DEATH, 2:24 p.m.

Attorney Jay Beckstead said Alexander's siblings will file a wrongful death lawsuit against Arias. He thanked the county attorney, the detective, and said the siblings "appreciate the outpouring of support they have received from the public."

___

EXPERT OPINION, 2:15 p.m.

Phoenix defense attorney Julio Laboy said he believed the prosecutor wouldn't have any trouble convincing the jury that the crime was "either cruel, heinous, or depraved." He said the jury sent clear messages in the questions during trial and in their speedy verdict. He points out the jury didn't ask any questions during deliberations.

___

JOY OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE, 2:10 p.m.

Sixty-year-old social worker Tish Guzman works downtown and came to the court building for the first time Wednesday to watch the trial. She had been hoping Arias would be convicted of first-degree murder. She said Alexander was "part of our community. We need to support our community." Elise Leon, a paralegal who is also 60, made four signs all calling for justice for Travis. One read "Travis you are in our hearts."

Spectators react in Phoenix, Wednesday, May 8, 2013 to a guilty verdict in the trial of Jodi Arias, a waitress and aspiring photographer charged with killing her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in Arizona in 2008. The four month trial included graphic details of their sexual escapades and photos of Alexander just after his death. (AP Photo/Matt York)

___

EXPERT OPINION, 2:02 p.m.

Phoenix defense attorney Julio Laboy said he was not surprised by the first-degree conviction, "given the speed — yes the speed — with which the jury returned its verdict. Fifteen hours, despite what the naysayers say, for a four-month trial and 600-plus exhibits with one witness on the stand for 18 days, is lightning fast."

___

WHAT'S NEXT?, 1:58 p.m.

The same jury will reconvene at 1 p.m. Thursday for the next phase of the trial, called the "aggravation" phase. Both sides may call witnesses and show evidence during a mini trial of sorts. If the panel doesn't find the presence of aggravating factors, the judge dismisses them and sentences Arias to either the rest of her life in prison or life in prison with the possibility of release after 25 years. If jurors find there were aggravating factors, the case moves into a penalty phase. The jury decides whether Arias should be executed or get life in prison. Additional witnesses could be called by both sides. If jurors don't reach a unanimous agreement on the death penalty, the judge sentences Arias to either the rest of her life in prison or life in prison with the possibility of release after 25 years.

___

REACTION, 1:53 p.m.

As the guilty verdict was read, Arias opened her mouth, licked her lips and swallowed hard, and then fought back tears with a look of disbelief. Alexander's family smiled and hugged each other. Outside, people cheered and hugged, then began chanting "USA, USA, USA."

___

ARIAS GUILTY OF 1ST-DEGREE MURDER, 1:49 p.m.

Jury finds Arias guilty of 1st-degree murder.

Defendant Jodi Arias looks to her family during closing arguments during her trial on Friday, May 3, 2013 at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. Arias is charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing and shooting death of Travis Alexander, 30, in his suburban Phoenix home in June 2008. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Rob Schumacher, Pool)

___

JUDGE ENTERS, JURY ENTERS, 1:48 p.m.

The judge and jury are in the courtroom.

___

ARIAS IN THE COURTROOM, 1:46 p.m.

Arias is in the courtroom.

___

WHISPERS INSIDE, SHOUTING OUTSIDE, 1:43 p.m.

As those in the courtroom wait for Arias to be brought in and things to start, people are whispering. Alexander's family is sitting and staring straight ahead. Outside, the crowd is chanting "Justice for Travis." The court had said the hearing would begin at 1:30 p.m. It's not clear what's causing the delay.

___

AP IN THE COURTROOM, 1:38 p.m.

AP Reporter Brian Skoloff is in the courtroom, which is packed. Some members of the media didn't get in. The families are in the front, and the proceedings should start any minute.

___

"SHHHH", 1:35 p.m.

Outside the courthouse, people are urging the crowd to be quiet as the time for the verdict approached. Reporters are being escorted into the courtroom.

___

TWITTER TRENDS, 1:30 p.m.

In the minutes before the reading of the verdict, four of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter in the United States had to do with the trial: Nancy Grace, Jodi Arias, (hashtag)justicefortravis and (hashtag)verdictwatch.

___

DIFFERING OPINIONS, 1:28 p.m.

The case has caused a rift between a Phoenix couple standing outside the courthouse. Forty-three-year-old Gilbert Morales, who thinks Arias is guilty, wants her put to death. His wife, 38-year-old Kassandra Morales has been trying to convince her husband that Arias was a victim. She says Arias was abused, and that "if it was premeditated she would have done things better and different."

___

FORMER JURORS, 1:25 p.m.

Two of the jurors removed from the case during the trial are in the courtroom to see the verdict.

___

FAMILIES ARRIVE, 1:20 p.m.

The families of Alexander and Arias have entered the courtroom, as has prosecutor Juan Martinez.

___

EXPERT OPINION, 1:15 p.m.

Phoenix defense attorney Julio Laboy is providing analysis to the AP about the case and the upcoming verdict. He said it's a fast verdict. He said deliberations mark the first-ever discussion about the evidence and testimony, since juries are admonished by the judge not talk about the case all through the trial.

___

SCENE OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE, 1:10 p.m.

The streets leading to the courthouse are lined with TV crews, media trucks and reporters. Outside the building entrance TV cameras are waiting. Spectators include families with kids in strollers. Margaret Fernandez, 68, retired, of Phoenix, has been following the case from home but came to catch sight of the prosecutor she admires and the other lawyers. "I just want to make sure the justice system works," said Fernandez, who wants Arias to get life in prison. "I'm a mother. I have a son. I don't know what I would do in that situation."

___

VICTIM'S FAMILY, 1:00 p.m.

Family and friends of Alexander are at courthouse wearing blue ribbons and wristbands with the words "Justice For Travis."

___

FIRST-DEGREE MURDER, 12:45 p.m.

If the jury convicts Arias of first-degree murder, the trial will move into what's called the "aggravation" phase. Both sides may call witnesses and show evidence during a mini trial of sorts. The jurors are the same. OPTION 1: The panel doesn't find the presence of aggravating factors, so the judge dismisses them and sentences Arias to either the rest of her life in prison or life in prison with the possibility of release after 25 years. OPTION 2: Jurors find there were aggravating factors, and the case moves into a penalty phase. The jury decides whether Arias should be executed or get life in prison. Additional witnesses could be called by both sides. If jurors don't reach a unanimous agreement on the death penalty, the judge sentences Arias to either the rest of her life in prison or life in prison with the possibility of release after 25 years.

___

POSSIBLE VERDICTS, 12:18 p.m.

If Arias is convicted of first-degree murder, she faces either life in prison or a death sentence. Jurors also have the option of convicting her of second-degree murder if they believe she didn't premeditate the killing but still intentionally caused Alexander's death. If convicted of that charge, she could be sentenced to 10 to 22 years in prison. Manslaughter is an option if the panel believes Arias didn't plan the killing in advance and the attack occurred in the heat of passion after "adequate" provocation from Alexander. A conviction on this charge carries a sentence of seven to 21 years in prison. If they believe she killed Alexander in self-defense, Arias would be acquitted and would walk out after being incarcerated for more than four years.

___

VERDICT REACHED, 11:30 a.m.

Court system sends out an email: "The jury has reached a verdict in the State v Jodi Arias. The verdict will be read today at 1:30 p.m." That triggered a flurry of people rushing to the courthouse and live TV shots and Web feeds by the numerous news outlets covering the trial.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • Judge delays decision on abortion law

    Judge delays decision on abortion law

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:54 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:54:07 GMT
    A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys in June that he hoped to rule by the end of July. But Thompson notified attorneys Thursday that he needs extra time and will have a ruling by Monday. Thompson said he needs time to consider a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that blocked a similar Mississippi law. Alabama's law requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit pa...More >>
    A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys in June that he hoped to rule by the end of July. But Thompson notified attorneys Thursday that he needs extra time and will have a ruling by Monday. Thompson said he needs time to consider a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that blocked a similar Mississippi law. Alabama's law requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit pa...More >>
  • Rainbow City woman, 56, killed in accident on I-59 near Argo Wednesday night

    Rainbow City woman, 56, killed in accident on I-59 near Argo Wednesday night

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:48:12 GMT
    A Rainbow City woman was killed and her husband was injured Wednesday in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 59 near Argo, Alabama State Troopers said.More >>
    A Rainbow City woman was killed and her husband was injured Wednesday in a single-vehicle crash on Interstate 59 near Argo, Alabama State Troopers said.More >>
  • 3 West Chilton County Volunteer Fire Department officials arrested on theft charges

    3 West Chilton County Volunteer Fire Department officials arrested on theft charges

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:07:24 GMT
    A continuing investigation into the theft of Fire Department funds in central Alabama has led to the arrest of three West Chilton County Volunteer Fire Department officials, the state fire marshal's office announced today.More >>
    A continuing investigation into the theft of Fire Department funds in central Alabama has led to the arrest of three West Chilton County Volunteer Fire Department officials, the state fire marshal's office announced today.
    More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Small plane crash in Helena sends 4 to hospital with serious injuries

    Small plane crash in Helena sends 4 to hospital with serious injuries

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:29 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:29:23 GMT
    Authorities are investigating a small plane crash in Helena Thursday afternoon, a fire spokesman said.More >>
    Authorities are investigating a small plane crash in Helena Thursday afternoon, a fire spokesman said.More >>
  • Car tag renewal locations opening Monday

    Car tag renewal locations opening Monday

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:29 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:29:21 GMT
    Being able to renew a car tag in Hoover begins Monday. And, it's available for any resident of Jefferson County. The temporary location for this new car tag renewal service will be at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. But, a permanent site is still in the works.The city is looking for space in Hoover. Hoover city councilman, John Lyda, says the finishing touches on the tag renewal project are taking place at the Hoover Met. "The county has been overseeing the project at the Met, to get the techno...More >>
    Being able to renew a car tag in Hoover begins Monday. And, it's available for any resident of Jefferson County. The temporary location for this new car tag renewal service will be at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. But, a permanent site is still in the works.The city is looking for space in Hoover. Hoover city councilman, John Lyda, says the finishing touches on the tag renewal project are taking place at the Hoover Met. "The county has been overseeing the project at the Met, to get the techno...More >>
  • Embattled Homewood hotel forced to close, guests left looking for new accommodations

    Embattled Homewood hotel forced to close, guests left looking for new accommodations

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:00:10 GMT
    Guests at America's Best Inn Suites packed up and left Thursday. The Homewood hotel lost its business license and an extension to keep it running was denied.More >>
    Guests at America's Best Inn Suites packed up and left Thursday. The Homewood hotel lost its business license and an extension to keep it running was denied.
    More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Repairing burst Los Angeles main could take days

    Repairing burst Los Angeles main could take days

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:40 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:40:51 GMT
    Hundreds of cars submerged below murky water. A landmark basketball court, newly refurbished, showing signs of buckling. Soaked and stained carpets. An athletic track coated in mud.More >>
    Repair crews on Thursday were shoring up a giant hole in the middle of Sunset Boulevard caused by a ruptured pipe, as officials at the water-logged University of California, Los Angeles, continued to assess damage from the...More >>
  • Pedestrian struck, killed by Amtrak train in Tuscaloosa

    Pedestrian struck, killed by Amtrak train in Tuscaloosa

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:39 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:39:07 GMT
    A pedestrian was struck and killed by a train departing Tuscaloosa Thursday afternoon, ABC 33/40 reporter Isaiah Harper has learned.More >>
    A pedestrian was struck and killed by a train departing Tuscaloosa Thursday afternoon, ABC 33/40 reporter Isaiah Harper has learned.More >>
  • Small plane crash in Helena sends 4 to hospital with serious injuries

    Small plane crash in Helena sends 4 to hospital with serious injuries

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:29 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:29:23 GMT
    Authorities are investigating a small plane crash in Helena Thursday afternoon, a fire spokesman said.More >>
    Authorities are investigating a small plane crash in Helena Thursday afternoon, a fire spokesman said.More >>
  • Car tag renewal locations opening Monday

    Car tag renewal locations opening Monday

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:29 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:29:21 GMT
    Being able to renew a car tag in Hoover begins Monday. And, it's available for any resident of Jefferson County. The temporary location for this new car tag renewal service will be at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. But, a permanent site is still in the works.The city is looking for space in Hoover. Hoover city councilman, John Lyda, says the finishing touches on the tag renewal project are taking place at the Hoover Met. "The county has been overseeing the project at the Met, to get the techno...More >>
    Being able to renew a car tag in Hoover begins Monday. And, it's available for any resident of Jefferson County. The temporary location for this new car tag renewal service will be at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. But, a permanent site is still in the works.The city is looking for space in Hoover. Hoover city councilman, John Lyda, says the finishing touches on the tag renewal project are taking place at the Hoover Met. "The county has been overseeing the project at the Met, to get the techno...More >>
  • Embattled Homewood hotel forced to close, guests left looking for new accommodations

    Embattled Homewood hotel forced to close, guests left looking for new accommodations

    Thursday, July 31 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-07-31 21:00:10 GMT
    Guests at America's Best Inn Suites packed up and left Thursday. The Homewood hotel lost its business license and an extension to keep it running was denied.More >>
    Guests at America's Best Inn Suites packed up and left Thursday. The Homewood hotel lost its business license and an extension to keep it running was denied.
    More >>
  • Lackey goes from Red Sox to Cards for Kelly, Craig

    Lackey goes from Red Sox to Cards for Kelly, Craig

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:04 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:04:28 GMT
    The Boston Red Sox have traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday's deadline, a person with knowledge of the deal said.More >>
    The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday's deadline.More >>
  • Judge delays decision on abortion law

    Judge delays decision on abortion law

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:54 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:54:07 GMT
    A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys in June that he hoped to rule by the end of July. But Thompson notified attorneys Thursday that he needs extra time and will have a ruling by Monday. Thompson said he needs time to consider a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that blocked a similar Mississippi law. Alabama's law requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit pa...More >>
    A federal judge is delaying his decision on an Alabama law that could close some abortion clinics. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson told attorneys in June that he hoped to rule by the end of July. But Thompson notified attorneys Thursday that he needs extra time and will have a ruling by Monday. Thompson said he needs time to consider a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday that blocked a similar Mississippi law. Alabama's law requires doctors at abortion clinics to have approval to admit pa...More >>
  • Demoted worker shoots CEO, kills self in Chicago

    Demoted worker shoots CEO, kills self in Chicago

    Thursday, July 31 2014 1:49 PM EDT2014-07-31 17:49:49 GMT
    A demoted worker shot and critically wounded his company's CEO before fatally shooting himself Thursday inside a downtown high-rise office building in Chicago's bustling financial district, police said. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said a worker at a technological company pulled a gun after entering the 17th-floor office to meet one-on-one with his CEO. There was a struggle for the gun, and the CEO was shot twice before the gunman fatally shot himself, McCarthy said. McCarthy said the...More >>
    A demoted worker shot and critically wounded his company's CEO before fatally shooting himself Thursday inside a downtown high-rise office building in Chicago's bustling financial district, police said. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said a worker at a technological company pulled a gun after entering the 17th-floor office to meet one-on-one with his CEO. There was a struggle for the gun, and the CEO was shot twice before the gunman fatally shot himself, McCarthy said. McCarthy said the...More >>