By Brad Poole
TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) - A woman accused of killing her ex-boyfriend after alleged abuse testified on Wednesday that she continued to have sex with him after they broke up, even though he had found a new girlfriend.
Jodi Arias, whose broadcast testimony in the capital murder trial has riveted U.S. television viewers, said it upset her continue having sex with former lover Travis Alexander after their breakup. "Old habits die hard," she said.
Arias, 32, told the jury she was concerned about being the girl on the side, while Alexander, 30, was dating another woman, Lisa Andrews.
"I knew it was unhealthy, but I wasn't making healthy choices at that time, so I just continued sleeping with him."
Alexander's body was found the shower of his Phoenix valley home in 2008. He had been stabbed 27 times, shot in the face and his throat was slit.
Prosecutors say Arias killed Alexander in a jealous rage, and her lawyers claim the killing was in self-defense.
The trial in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix has included graphic testimony about the couple's sex life and allegations that Alexander was a pedophile.
Wednesday morning's testimony centered on Arias' actions and feelings when she left Mesa, Arizona, after the couple's breakup. Arias moved to California, where she started a photography business.
She testified that she and Alexander had made love and then had a "serious" argument on the morning she left Mesa. She had spent the night at Alexander's house, but did not remember details of the argument.
As she was driving away in a rental truck, towing her car, Alexander flipped both middle fingers at her from his front porch, she testified.
"I just remember I left crying," she said. "It hurt my feelings. I didn't want to leave things like that."
Arias told the jury on Monday that Alexander had become increasingly violent. At one point he pushed her to the ground, kicked her in the ribs and broke one of her fingers, she said.
Alexander's body was found five days after his death. Arias was linked to the crime after sexually explicit photos were found in Alexander's cell phone.
Testimony is expected to continue Wednesday afternoon in Arias' sixth day on the witness stand.
Judge Sherry Stephens on Wednesday denied a defense motion for mistrial based on prosecutorial misconduct.
Arias' lawyers had claimed prosecutors violated a court order by contacting witnesses who were scheduled to appear in the trial. Prosecutors admitted contacting the potential witness, but claimed no wrongdoing.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Alden Bentley)