She's accused of stabbing victim 27 times, slitting his throat and shooting him
Trial began Wednesday for Jodi Arias, who's charged with murder in the death of Travis Alexander in his Mesa home in June, 2008.
Investigators say Alexander was stabbed 27 times. In addition, his throat was slit from ear to ear and he was shot in the head. They say the shooting most likely occurred after he was already dead.
In his opening statement, prosecutor Juan Martinez told jurors that Alexander and Arias met in Las Vegas and soon began a long-distance relationship. At the time, she lived in Palm Desert, California, and he lived in Mesa. As they visited each other, their relationship became sexual even though they were both Mormons.
Martinez said after friends discovered Alexander's body wedged into the bottom of his shower, detectives found his bedsheets and a towel in the washing machine along with his camera. Investigators were able to pull several pictures from the camera's memory card, including photos taken a couple of days earlier showing the couple engaged in sexual activity. There were also photos that appeared to have been taken "inadvertently" – one as the camera fell and the shutter button may have come into contact with a hard surface such as a countertop, and another taken as the camera hit the floor showing the victim gushing with blood and Arias' head also in the shot.
Arias' attorney told jurors it wasn't a case of premeditated murder, but rather self defense. She said while Alexander treated Arias well when the two of them were alone together, he disparaged her when talking to others. Jennifer Willmott said Alexander told people he had a stalker, and referred to Arias by words often used to describe a prostitute.
According to Willmott, during Arias' visit to Alexander's home in June of 2008, he asked her to use his new camera to take photos of his body which he had recently improved through workouts. During the photo shoot, Arias dropped the camera, at which point Willmott said Alexander "went ballistic" and attacked Arias. Willmott said Arias killed Alexander to preserve her own life.
Photo from INSESSION