PHOENIX, AZ - The next phase of the Jodi Arias murder trial gets underway Thursday. The death penalty is on the table. On Wednesday, the jury decided the murder of Arias' former boyfriend, Travis Alexander, was "Especially cruel." The defense must now try to convince the jury to spare her life.
Jodi Arias sat solemnly as the jury decided she is eligible for a death sentence. That after a mini-trial known as the aggravating factor phase of a process that will ultimately determine Arias's sentence. Even before prosecutor Juan Martinez called his first witness, the County Medical Examiner, family and friends of victim Travis Alexander, fought back tears in anticipation of what was to come.
Martinez displayed graphic images of Alexander's body on giant screens enveloping the courtroom. They showed dozens of stab wounds, including one so deep that it punctured a vein going into his heart that produced a gusher of blood, and several to the head that dented his skull.
Then came the most horrific image, a gaping wound to Alexander's throat, sliced open nearly ear-to-ear.
It remained on the screens for what seemed like an eternity, as many in court, alexander's sister, arias herself, even some jurors, averted their eyes.
Martinez argued that ALexander's murder was especially cruel, a requirement for the death penalty in Arizona.
He also asked the jury to sit in silence for two full minutes, the time he contends it took alexander to die.
Arias's defense team said that was an exaggeration, and argued that as Alexander fought for his life, adrenaline and rapid blood loss could have reduced his suffering.
Jurors rejected that argument and now will decide whether there are enough mitigating factors to spare Jodi Arias's life.
By: Casey Wian