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Jodi Arias Mistrial Denied, Juror Excused

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  • Jodi Arias talks about the text messages with Travis Alexander from March through May 2008, as she testifies during her murder trial in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona February 19, 2013. Arias is accused of murdering Alexander, in the s
    (Photo: Reuters/Charlie Leight)
    Jodi Arias talks about the text messages with Travis Alexander from March through May 2008, as she testifies during her murder trial in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona February 19, 2013. Arias is accused of murdering Alexander, in the shower of his Mesa home in 2008.
By Sami K. Martin, Christian Post Reporter
April 2, 2013|2:52 pm

Jodi Arias' trial will continue on as planned, and Juror 5 has been excused by Judge Sherry Stephens. The defense was hoping that comments made by Juror 5 would lead to a mistrial for their client, but were denied their motion.

"Statements Juror 5 made in front of her fellow jurors amounts to misconduct that inserted partiality in what is supposed to be an impartial body," read the statement by defense attorney Kirk Nurmi released by AZCentral.com.

Nurmi argued that Juror 5 can no longer be impartial towards Arias and may have influenced her fellow jurors, making "her removal from the jury essential" to Arias' right to a fair trial. It's unclear exactly what was said, as the case has been sealed and will unlikely be revealed.

The defense has also asked for a mistrial after alleging that jurors saw lead prosecutor Juan Martinez outside the courthouse signing autographs and taking photographs with fans. His misconduct, reported the defense, also goes against Arias' rights to a speedy and fair trial.

Judge Sherry Stephens questioned each juror individually to hear what she or he saw or heard. It was during that time that Nurmi learned of Juror 5's alleged misconduct, leading him to file another claim for misconduct.

"During that hearing, information came out that Juror 5 had engaged in misconduct that affected more than one juror," Nurmi wrote in his motion.

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Arias has been on trial since January, and it's likely that the case will soon go to a jury, which will then rule on whether Arias is guilty of first-degree murder. If she is found guilty, Arias could be sentenced to the death penalty.

Her case has been incredibly popular to watch and is often compared to the sensationalism of the Casey Anthony trial.

 

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