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Did Arias prosecutor play by the rules?

  • Jodi Arias is accused of killing her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in Arizona
  • Arias says she killed Alexander in self-defense
  • HLN's Nancy Grace hosts from Phoenix, Arizona, where Arias is in jail
  • Tune in tonight at 8 & 10 p.m. ET on HLN for an exclusive look behind closed doors of the Estrella Women's Jail
Did Arias prosecutor play by the rules?

Jodi Arias’ defense attorneys say the prosecution is guilty of misconduct in the case against their client.

Monday, Arias’ attorneys presented evidence to try to prove it to the judge.

If the prosecution acted inappropriately or in an unfair manner, Arias could avoid criminal liability. At this point, it is unclear exactly what Nurmi is accusing Martinez of doing wrong.

Read more: Does Arias have a girlfriend behind bars?

During Monday’s hearing, Arias’ attorneys called Gus Searcy (pictured below) to the stand. He’s an executive with Legal Shield, which used to be known as Prepaid Legal, the company that employed both Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias.

Searcy testified that Chris Hughes, a friend of Arias and Alexander, talked to him before the trial about why he was on the defense's witness list. Hughes allegedly told Searcy that defense attorney Kirk Nurmi was a snake for all the sneaky things he had done in the Arias case. 

Read more: Is Searcy stealing the spotlight in the Arias trial?

In a heated exchange, prosecutor Juan Martinez asked Searcy if he is trying to use this situation to get attention. Searcy responded by asking Martinez where he had gotten that idea. Martinez yelled back at Searcy that he was the only one allowed to ask questions.  Eventually, Searcy said that he was not using this situation for attention.

After Searcy was done testifying, Martinez called Hughes (pictured below) to the stand to answer questions about his conversation with Searcy before the trial. Hughes testified he did text Searcy after his wife told him he was on Arias' witness list, and eventually talked to him on the phone. 

Hughes testified that during his pre-trial phone call with Searcy, Searcy told him that he had information that could either hurt or help Arias' case.

He also said Searcy loves the limelight, and has even appeared on the TV show "The People's Court."

The hearing will continue Tuesday morning, Nurmi will call another witness at 12:15 p.m. to support his argument that Martinez committed prosecutorial misconduct. Judge Sherry Stephens also ordered Hughes to return to court Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. ET for cross examination. In between these witnesses, the defense will begin its case.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard accusations of prosecutorial misconduct in this trial.  Earlier, Nurmi asked the judge to declare a mistrial, arguing that prosecutor Juan Martinez elicited false information during the testimony of Mesa, Arizona, police Det. Michael Melendez regarding the availability of text messages recovered from the victim’s cell phone. Stephens denied that motion for mistrial.

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