(PHOENIX) — Jodi Arias dissolved into tears Thursday, unable to answer pointed questions when shown a photo of her dead ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, prompting prosecutor Juan Martinez to ask mockingly whether she cried as she killed him.
In one of the most dramatic moments of the Phoenix murder trial, Martinez, who has been aggressively questioning Arias over the last four days, directed Arias to point out on a photo of the crime scene where she stood when Alexander was lying dead in his shower. Alexander’s body was visibly crumpled at the bottom of the stall shower.
“Where were you? Why don’t you put a mark on there?” Martinez said as Arias began to cry, which agitated the prosecutor.
After a short pause, Martinez asked dryly, “Were you crying when you were shooting him?”
“I don’t remember,” Arias moaned.
“Were you crying when you stabbed him?” he said. “How about when you slashed his throat?”
“I don’t remember, I don’t know.”
Martinez pressed on, “You’re the one that did this right? And lied about all this right?”
“So then take a look at it,” he barked.
Arias, 32, is accused of killing Alexander on June 4, 2008 out of jealousy. He was stabbed 27 times, his throat was slashed and he was shot in the head twice.
Arias claims she killed in self defense after Alexander had become increasingly violent with her. She could face the death penalty if convicted.
Arias did not answer Martinez’s question, crying into her hands instead. Judge Sherry Stephens, after a moment, called for the lunch recess to take a break from the testimony. Arias’ attorney walked over and consoled her, telling her to “take a moment.”
Until that moment, Arias had given vague answers to Martinez as he asked about the hours leading up to the murder. Arias, 32, has testified that she drove to Alexander’s house on June 4, 2008, for a sexual liaison, that she had sex with Alexander and the pair took nude photos before an explosive confrontation ended with her killing him. She claims she doesn’t remember stabbing Alexander, but insists it was in self-defense.
Martinez questioned her claims, asking exactly what they argued about and who encouraged whom to take the nude photos. He pointed out that Arias told Detective Esteban Flores of the Mesa police department that she had to convince Alexander to take the nude photos in the shower, but that she testified on the stand that Alexander had wanted them.
“So which is it, ma’am? Pick one,” Alexander said.
Arias said that both her statements were true.
Martinez also questioned Arias about the sexual photos and the sex that she and Alexander engaged in that day, getting her to admit that she consented and participated willingly in both. Arias said during her testimony that she often succumbed to Alexander’s fantasies to make him happy.
Arias and Martinez have sparred frequently during the cross-examination, with Martinez asking Arias repeatedly if she has trouble understanding the questions or has memory problems when she fails to answer directly.
“The only photos on the camera that day were of the sex, right?” Martinez asked at one point Thursday.
“No, there were others, in the shower,” Arias answered.
“We’re not there yet, are we?” Martinez boomed.
“I don’t know, you go all over the place,” she replied.
“You keep trying to be critical without answering. If you’re having problems with the questioning let me know,” he said, adding later, “Why is it you have trouble following these questions when they are in conflict with what you are telling us?”
Martinez has attempted to point out numerous inconsistencies and gaps in Arias’ version of events that she gave during her direct examination. He has also tried to paint a picture of Arias as a liar with no regret for what she had done to Alexander.
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