How much will her own words be worth, after repeatedly lying to police about her involvement in the brutal murder of Travis Alexander?
Murder defendant Jodi Arias took the witness stand yesterday afternoon, surprising many court watchers and the jury. As the jurors returned from their afternoon break, Arias was already in the witness chair. It’s unclear why Jodi Arias was seated outside the presence of the jury, but she was sworn in after the jury was seated and court resumed. This is the moment many people have been waiting for. Arias faces a potential death penalty if convicted of the 6/4/08 1st degree murder of her former boyfriend Travis Alexander.
Arias has some serious credibility issues to overcome if she stands any chance of avoiding becoming the 4th woman on Arizona’s death row. During the State’s case, the jury was shown the interrogation tapes in which Arias lies repeatedly to Detective Esteban Flores before and after her 7/15/08 arrest, as well as interviews Arias gave to the media while incarcerated at the Estrella jail in Phoenix, AZ. Arias initially denied any involvement in the murder, telling investigators “if I had killed Travis, I’d BEG for the death penalty”. She continued to deny she was in Mesa until being confronted with a mountain of physical evidence to the contrary, including her bloody palm print at the crime scene and photos recovered by police technicians that Arias deleted from Travis Alexander’s digital camera.
Arias was arrested on 7/15/08 and when she met with Detective Flores on 7/16/08, she changed her story and told him she was in fact with Travis on 6/4/08 when he was killed, but he was killed by two masked and armed intruders who for some unknown reason decided to release Jodi Arias. During a media interview, she boldly predicted that “no jury will convict me”, and when asked why she answered “because I am innocent, you can mark my words on that”. The jury has viewed these interviews. Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi attempted to take some of the sting out of his client’s statement and asked her yesterday why she made that comment. Arias claims that at the time she made that comment, she planned on killing herself – and therefore there would be no trial, and no conviction. She’s had almost 5 years to think about these answers, but they still seem far fetched and she still lacks credibility.
Although she was only on the witness stand for a short time yesterday, she brought us through her childhood with claims of physical abuse at the hands of both her mother and her father – claiming her mother beat her often with a wooden spoon and her father slapped her and pushed her around frequently. She described her father as a large and imposing figure, standing 5′11 and able to bench press 520 pounds. As she described one boyfriend named “Bobby”, I noted something familar with her story. She stated that after she broke up with him, he threatened to kill her family members – telling the jury that Bobby knew where they lived and it frightened her. Sound familiar? It should – she told Detective Flores that the reason she failed to call 911 or any authorities after escaping the two armed intruders on 6/4/08 at Travis Alexander’s house was because one of the intruders had found her car registration in her purse and wrote down her address – they threatened to kill her family if she told anybody what happened in Mesa that night. Wow – what are the chances of one person having their families lives threatened at such a young age? Arias was 28 at the time of the intruder story.