After four-and-a-half years, Travis Alexander’s family may be just weeks away from closing a painful chapter in their lives.
Jodi Arias. Alexander’s ex-girlfriend, is accused of shooting him in the face, stabbing him 29 times, and slitting his throat from ear to ear.
Tuesday, Judge Sherry Stephens said opening statements in the trial will start January 2.
Tanisha Sorenson, Alexander’s sister, said in an email to HLN, “Great News!!! No More Delays, It’s final!! We are super excited to start the New Year with getting this out of the way and to get some closure and justice after four-and-a-half years. A conviction is coming soon and hopefully she gets what she deserves, the death penalty. Justice for Travis is coming real soon.”
Read more: Victim’s sister: Arias deserves death
Arias appeared at the hearing Tuesday wearing a prison uniform and handcuffs. She wore square black-rimmed glasses, her long brown hair, which was waist length in September, has been trimmed to fall neatly below her shoulders. Two of her supporters were also at the hearing where attorneys hashed out the questionnaire that potential jurors will have to fill out next week. Stephens also set another status hearing in the case for December 7.
In June 2008, Alexander's roommates found his mutilated body in the shower at his Mesa, Arizona, home. Alexander was known among his friends as a strong Mormon and a motivational speaker, and prosecutors say Arias killed Alexander after he decided to break off their sexual relationship.
Authorities say Arias has given several stories about Alexander's death. Initially, Arias told police she wasn't with him when he was killed. Then, she said two intruders killed Alexander.
Police say they found a camera at the scene showing Arias and Alexander in suggestive poses, along with photos of Alexander's dead body.
Now, Arias is saying she killed Alexander in self-defense because he got violent with her. She faces the death penalty if she’s convicted.
The defense says it should not be a death penalty case because Arias didn’t plan to kill Alexander.
Read more: Complete HLNtv.com coverage of Jodi Arias