PHOENIX (Reuters) - Jurors ended their first full day of deliberations without a verdict on Monday in the case of Jodi Arias, the California woman accused of killing her ex-boyfriend in a sensational case involving "sex, lies and dirty little secrets" that has snared media attention since January.
Arias, 32, could face the death penalty if convicted of murdering 30-year-old Travis Alexander, whose body was found in the shower of his Phoenix valley home in June 2008. He had been shot, stabbed multiple times and had his throat slashed.
She has admitted to shooting Alexander, but said it was in self-defense after he attacked her in a fury because she dropped his camera while taking snapshots of him in the shower.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens gave the case to the jurors on Friday afternoon before adjourning the court for the weekend. The jury left without a verdict on Monday and will resume deliberations on Tuesday, a court official said.
Stephens told jurors they could consider the charges of first- and second-degree murder or the lesser charge of manslaughter, and must reach a unanimous verdict. First-degree murder requires proof of premeditation.
The trial, which began in early January and included graphic testimony and evidence including a sex tape, was streamed live on the Internet and drew widespread media attention.
During tough cross-examination, prosecutor Juan Martinez painted a picture of Arias as manipulative and prone to jealousy. He said she had meticulously planned and carried out the killing.
"Nothing indicates that this is anything less than a slaughter," he told jurors in his summing up on Friday, asking them to return a verdict of felony first-degree murder.
Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi argued Arias suffered physical and emotional abuse by Alexander during a chaotic relationship defined by "sex, lies, and dirty little secrets."
He denied the killing was premeditated and said Arias snapped in the "sudden heat of passion" after Alexander attacked her. If she is "guilty of anything at all," he said, "it is the crime of manslaughter."
(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Mohammad Zargham)
Pizza Industry Vows to Continue Fight Against Obamacare’s Onerous Menu Labeling Regulation | Leah Barkoukis