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Recap: Week 2 of Jodi Arias trial

NEED TO KNOW
  • Jodi Arias is accused of shooting her ex-boyfriend in the face, stabbing him 29 times and slitting his throat from ear to ear
  • Catch yourself up with the key events from court this week
The jury heard more testimony this week in the Jodi Arias murder trial.

Jodi Arias trial: See bloody crime scene photos

Jurors in the Jodi Arias were shown photos of a bloody crime scene.

Former lover: I spoke with Arias night before arrest

Former lover: I spoke with Arias night before arrest

Defense asks for mistrial in Arias case

The Jodi Arias defense team dropped a bombshell in court on Thursday asking for a mistrial.

It was another dramatic week in a Phoenix courtroom -- filled with testimony of gore, sex and lies -- as Jodi Arias stands trial for the death of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. Arias claims she stabbed Alexander 29 times, shot in him the face, and slit his throat from ear to ear in self-defense.

Gore

Day three of Arias' trial kicked off with the direct questioning of Heather Conner, a crime scene technician and latent fingerprint expert with the Mesa Police Department. Conner documented more bloody photos taken of the crime scene, including photos of a blood- smeared wall in the hallway next to the master closet. The jury saw photos of a piece of hair recovered from the hallway, and section of carpet from the master bathroom with significant blood stains.

Dr. Kevin Horn, M.D., the medical examiner who autopsied Alexander, was the next witness called to the stand. Arias immediately began to cry as the jury saw a gruesome photo of Alexander's decomposing face.

The medical examiner suggested Alexander did not die calmly. Alexander fought for his life before succumbing to three fatal injuries, including two stab wounds and a gunshot to the head that the state said in their opening statement occurred after Alexander was already dead.

By displaying the picture that prosecutor Martinez described as capturing the killing in progress, Defense Attorney Jennifer Willmott challenged the sequence events in attempt to downplay the extent of Alexander's suffering.

Elizabeth Northcutt, a forensic firearm examiner, testified the casing recovered from the victim’s bathroom and the bullet retrieved from Travis Alexander's cheek were both .25 caliber in size.

Sex

During the fourth day of the trial, Ryan Burns, Arias' alleged love interest, was called to the stand.

Burns testified that he expected Arias to show up at his house on June 4, 2008, the same day Alexander died. However, she never arrived, and he got worried about her because she was driving overnight.

After a series of phone calls that went straight to Arias' voicemail, Burns said Arias finally called him around 10:30 p.m. on June 4 and told him that she had taken the wrong freeway, had gotten lost and had taken a nap in the car.

Burns said when Arias finally showed up at his house on June 5, he noticed Arias had dyed her hair from blonde to brown and had a couple of bandages on her fingers.

Arias claimed she cut her hand on a broken glass at a restaurant called Margaritaville where she worked, Burns said.

That night, Burns said the pair watched a movie and began to kiss, but they didn’t take it any further because of their shared Mormon faith.

On cross-examination, Defense Attorney Kirk Nurmi confronted Burns with his e-mails to Arias, suggesting that he pursued her in an attempt to counter testimony that Arias was sexually aggressive.

Through the testimony of lead investigator Esteban Flores, the jury heard clips of Flores' two-hour phone conversation with Arias on June 25, 2008.

Among those excerpts was Arias recounting how she found out about Alexander's death, expressing shock, disbelief and regret that she didn't live closer and wasn't able to go to Alexander's home after she heard about his death.

Arias also told Flores that she contacted Alexander's family about the debt she owed him for the purchase of his car, and asked them whether the check she had written Alexander would be deposited.

Lies

Day five began with questioning of Nathan Mendes, a former detective with the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s office who testified there were no restaurants called Margaritaville in the county.

Two forensic scientists with the Mesa Police Department offered testimony to support the State's theory that Alexander fought for his life.

Lisa Perry, a forensic scientist, testified a shell casing was found on top of blood in Alexander's bathroom, suggesting the fatal gunshot wound came later in the attack.

Jodi Legg, a DNA analyst with the Mesa Crime Lab, testified a latent palm print found on the wall of the hallway connecting the bathroom and bedroom, contained a mixture of DNA from Arias and Alexander.

Earlier in the day, jurors heard two excerpts from Arias' September 2008 interview with Inside Edition. In one of those clips, Arias said, "I can't imagine slitting anyone's throat."

In another clip, Arias said, "No jury will ever convict me, because I'm innocent. Mark my words. No jury will ever convict me."

At the end of day five, Arias' defense team asked for a mistrial, arguing that Detective Flores, the lead investigator, gave inaccurate information at a hearing in 2009.

Arias’ defense argued that a different judge in the 2009 probable cause hearing found there was enough evidence to suggest that Arias’ crime may have been cruel and determined Arias was qualified for the death penalty partially based on Flores’ testimony at the hearing.

The judge denied that motion, saying that Flores' "mistake" did not violate Arias' right to a fair trial.

Tonight at 8 & 11 p.m. ET on HLN, Nancy Grace Mysteries will go beyond the courtroom, recapping the key events in week two of Jodi Arias’ murder trial.

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