- Photo: Jodi Arias
Jodi Arias' trial for the brutal murder of her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, is set to begin today. The 32-year-old may face the death penalty if prosecutors have their way, given the gruesome nature of the crime and Arias' behavior afterwards.
Arias and Alexander met six years ago at a conference in Las Vegas, the Huffington Post reported. The two began talking and soon developed a serious relationship. Within two years, Arias was baptized into the Mormon Church, leading many to believe that they were planning to be together for quite some time.
The couple broke up soon after, and Alexander became fearful that Arias was stalking him and interfering with his new relationships. The following year, they reconnected in the physical sense, and took pictures of their relations, court records showed.
On June 9, 2008, Alexander's friends went to his home after not hearing from him for several days. They found their friend dead, having been shot in the head, stabbed 27 times, and having had his throat slit as well. Police found a digital camera in the washing machine and were able to retrieve the photos on it, which provided crucial evidence for prosecutors.
Friends told police that Arias should be at the top of their suspect list, and once the photos were retrieved, they had even more evidence. Not only were their photos of intimate relations, there were photos of Alexander's dead, naked body.
"Arias was totally obsessed with him," Alexander's friend Sky Hughes told The Huffington Post. "She wouldn't let him go. Whenever he would try to sever all ties, she would threaten to kill herself … He would tell her he didn't want anything to do with her, and she would show up at his house. We knew it was her. We didn't want it to be her, but we just knew it was."
Arias has maintained her innocence and, in at least one version of her story, she killed Alexander in self-defense. She has also said that the couple was broken up but "continued to have a sexual relationship but kept it quiet from people they knew," police wrote in a court document.
After she was arrested, Arias told "Inside Edition" that she "witnessed Travis being attacked by two other individuals. Who were they? I don't know. I couldn't pick them up in a police lineup. I didn't hurt Travis. I would never hurt Travis," she said..
Later in the show, she made a bold claim.
"No jury is going to convict me. Why not? Because I'm innocent. You can mark my words on that. No jury will convict me," Arias said.
Should she be found guilty of felony murder, which she is charged with, she could face the death penalty. Defense attorneys are hoping that she will be found guilty of second-degree murder and instead serve a life term.