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Quick Facts About Jodi
- Full Name: Jodi Arias
- Place of Birth: Salinas, California
- Birthday: July 9, 1980
- Bio: convicted murderer
- Star sign: Cancer
- Net Worth: $1-3 million
- Instagram: N/A
- Twitter: NA
Jodi Arias is a convicted murderer who made headlines in 2008 when her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander was found killed in his home in Mesa, Arizona.
Arias was charged and found guilty of first-degree murder after the gruesome and scandalous details of the killing were revealed. In 2013, the woman was sentenced to life in prison following two consecutive jury deadlocks regarding whether she should be imposed a death penalty.
The Background of Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander
Jodi Arias was born on July 9th, 1980, in Salinas, California. She became a photographer and went on to live in Palm Desert, California, and met Travis Alexander at a PPL conference in Las Vegas, Nevada in September 2006. Travis Alexander was a Mormon who worked as an insurance salesman and motivational speaker for PPL (Pre-paid Legal Services). He was born on July 28th, 1977, in Riverside, California.
After their initial meeting at the conference, Arias converted to the Mormon faith and was baptized in the LDS Church in Southern California on November 26th, 2006. The two became dating in February 2007, and Jodi Arias moved to Mesa to be closer to her boyfriend. She moved to Yreka, California in March 2007 to live with her grandparents.
But their relationship ended only after five months in 2007. The two though continued maintaining a casual sexual relationship following the breakup.
Later on, it became clear that Alexander’s friends were aware of his relationship with Arias, and knew her, and had a negative opinion of the young woman due to her worrying behavior and the tumultuous relationship between the two. In fact, he had told some of his friends that they shouldn’t be surprised if they find him dead someday referring to Arias’ obsession with him.
Travis Alexander was killed on June 4th, 2008. He was found dead by his worried friends five days later on June 9th. The victim was lying in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds, a slit throat and a gunshot wound in the shower of his home in Mesa, California.
According to Medical Examiner Kevin Horn, he had up to 29 stab wounds and his trachea and jugular vein and carotid artery were slashed. He also was found to have defensive wounds on his hands. According to the Medical Examiner, the gunshot could have been inflicted after the victim had already died from blood loss.
The death of Travis Alexander was ruled as a homicide. He was buried at the Riverside Olivewood Cemetery.
The timeline of the murder
On May 28th, 2008, a burglary at the home of Arias’ grandparents was reported, and a .25 caliber Colt pistol was declared stolen. A shell case from the same caliber was found on the murder scene.
Arias had rented a car on June 2nd, 2008 at Budget Rent a Car in Redding California, and visited some friends in southern California on her way to another PPL conference in Utah, where she was set with another co-worker Ryan Burns. On June 3rd. the woman set off for Salt Lake City.
On June 4th Alexander failed to take part in an important conference call. On June 5th, Arias met her colleague Burns in Utah, where he noticed that she had dyed her formerly blind hair brown and that she had visible cuts on her hands.
Evidence shows that the woman had made multiple calls and left voice messages for Alexander, as well as accessed his cellphone voice mail on June 6th.
On June 7th Arias returned the rented car which according to the documents and the rental clerk had driven 2,800 miles, and also had missing floor mats and red stains on the seats, but because the car had been cleaned, the police could not examine it for evidence.
On June 9th, Alexander’s friends who were unable to reach him for days went to his home, where they found him dead in the shower. During the 911 call, it is clearly stated by one of the man’s friends that Arias could be a possible suspect and that Alexander had expressed worries about Arias stalking him, sneaking into his Facebook account, and had even slashed his car tires.
During the investigation of the crime scene, the police found a digital camera in the washing machine. They were later able to retrieve the deleted photos, which included sexual photos of Arias and Alexander taken around 1:40 p.m. on June 4th. The last photograph of Alexander alive was taken at 5:29 p.m. in the shower. The photos after that showed a person bleeding on the floor, and Arias dragging the body across the bathroom.
A bloody handprint was found in the bathroom hallway which was found to contain DNA from both Alexander and Arias.
The start of the murder investigation
The investigation quickly led to Jodi Arias as the prime suspect. On July 9th, 2008, she was indicted for first-degree murder and was arrested in California on July 15th. She was extradited to Arizona where she pled not guilty on September 11th.
The woman initially denied having anything to do with the murder, but the investigators had already found her DNA in the blood of the victim on the crime scene.
Later on, Arias changed her version and claimed that Alexander had been attacked and assaulted by masked intruders, who had killed him but spared her life. She claimed she failed to alert the police about the crime due to fear of revenge.
It was two years after she was arrested that Arias confessed on killing Alexander, in what she claimed was an act of self-defense, because as she also claimed she had been a victim of domestic violence.
On May 18th, the court in Maricopa County, Arizona ordered Arias to submit to competency and IQ testing. The defense attorneys requested that all e-mails and text messages received or sent by Alexander. Detective Esteban Flores informed the defense attorneys that the emails and messages did not contain anything “out of the ordinary” when they were turned over to the defense in June 2009.
The jury selection
The trial started on December 10th, 2011 in the Maricopa County Superior Court before Judge Sherry Stephens.
The jury selection started a year later, on December 10th, 2012. The defense attorneys argued that the prosecution had systematically excluded African-Americans and women from the jury, but Judge Stephens ruled that there was no bias in the selection of jurors by the prosecution.
The case and the media attention
The case began in January 2013, and in February, Arias was called to testify, which continued for 18 days. It was aired live to the public and quickly became a media sensation.
She had already given several different accounts about her involvement in the crime, but this time she stated that she had killed Alexander in an act of self-defense.
She testified that her ex-boyfriend had abused her frequently and that he had gotten into another fit of rage after she accidentally dropped his camera on the night of the murder.
Arias also claimed that she suffered memory loss of the incident due to the emotional trauma. A psychological expert confirmed that she was suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
The woman claimed from the witness stand that “lying isn’t typically something I do”, and that she had told the previous lies out of shame and in order to protect her and Alexander’s reputation.
The conviction and the retrial
Nearly five years after the crime, Jodi Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder on May 8th, 2013. Seven of the jurors found her guilty of premeditated and felony murder and five found her guilty of premeditated murder. There was a deadlock among the jurors about whether she deserved the death penalty, which is why the judge declared a mistrial in the penalty phase.
The penalty retrial started again in October 2014. The new jury was presented with the same evidence from the first trial, but this time the defense focused on portraying Arias as vulnerable and her victim as an abuser.
The second jury too was unable to reach an agreement on the sentence, and thus the option for the death penalty was removed in March 2015. The punishment terms were left for Judge Stephens to decide.
On April 13th, 2015 after expressing remorse for her actions, Arias received a life sentence without parole after 25 years. She started serving her time at the Arizona State Prison Complex – Perryville.
Arias after the sentencing
Since she started serving her time in prison, Arias has been trying to appeal the conviction and her sentence. She also reportedly has alleged one of her lawyers of breaking client-attorney privilege by disclosing information in a tell-all book about the case.
Meanwhile, Arias has managed to find herself a new boyfriend while she is serving her life sentence in prison.
Reportedly, she has been having a relationship with Benjamin Ernst, who had started visiting her and supporting her during the trial and her stay in prison.
She has even contemplated marrying him in order to be granted privileged visits by her new boyfriend.
On the other hand, some of the inmates claim that Jodi flirts with the guards of the prison in order to get special treatment.