(MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz.) — Jodi Arias was manipulative and deceitful to the ex-boyfriend she killed and to the jury when she testified, prosecutor Juan Martinez said during the closing remarks at her murder trial Thursday.
Martinez paced the Maricopa County, Ariz., courtroom telling jurors that Arias “looked at each and every one of you in the eye and lied” about her relationship with Travis Alexander, whom she claimed abused and menaced her and pressured her into sex.
In reality, Martinez said, Arias was the one who manipulated and abused Alexander. Their relationship ended when she drove to his Mesa, Ariz., home in 2008 and killed him in what Martinez alleges was premeditated murder.
“Even after stabbing him over and over again,” Martinez said of the brutal attack that killed Alexander, “even after taking a gun and shooting him in the face, she will not let him rest in peace. Now instead of a gun, instead of a knife, she uses lies. She uses these lies in court when she testified to stage the scene for you like she did for the police.”
Arias, 32, has admitted to killing Alexander but claims it was in self-defense. Arias’ attorney will give his closing remarks following Martinez. The prosecutor will then have the last word to the jury before they begin their deliberations in the case.
Before the summations began, Judge Sherry Stephens told the jury that they could consider three charges against Arias: first-degree murder, marked by premeditation; second-degree murder; and manslaughter, based on the existence of a sudden quarrel or “heat of passion.”
Arias could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder, but the judge’s directions allow the jury to convict Arias without invoking the possibility of the death penalty.
Arias’s attorneys have tried to prove the killing was not premeditated, but Martinez drove home his allegation again and again during his closing remarks. At one point he focused on evidence that she brought extra gasoline and gas cans on her trip from her home in California to Arizona so she would not have to stop and use her credit card near Alexander’s home.
He noted that she dyed her hair shortly before the trip, rented a car and that the license plate was upside down, which he said were attempts to avoid being tracked.
Arias claimed during her own testimony that the June 4, 2008, trip to Arizona was spontaneous, a claim Martinez dismissed.
“She knew. She absolutely knew and had already planned that she was going to kill him,” Martinez thundered.
The prosecutor, who often shouted at witnesses and grew irritated and combative during questioning, was soft-spoken to the jury throughout his statement, his voice rising only occasionally.
Arias shook her head and at times smiled in disagreement with much of Martinez’s statement, writing notes to her attorney seated next to her.
Relatives and friends of Alexander filled the courtroom’s gallery Thursday, taking three rows, while Arias’s mother, aunt, grandmother, and friends filled her side of the room. Many of the relatives have sat through four months of testimony in the case.
Martinez is expected to finish his closing remarks later Thursday afternoon.
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