Jodi Arias took the witness stand on Monday and told the jury she regrets saying her infamous words: “No jury will ever convict me.” She went on to explain that she said that because she planned to kill herself, and didn’t expect to be alive to stand trial.
For almost two-and-a-half hours, Arias answered questions about her childhood and teen years. Arias looked directly at the jury when describing what she said was her parents’ physical abuse and her teenage relationships.
Arias’ mother appeared calm in the gallery as her daughter told stories about how she and her brother were beaten with a wooden spoon and a belt.
“[My dad] didn’t leave welts as often as my mom, she also used a belt. My dad was very intimidating, so I don’t think he needed to hit as quite as hard to get the point across,” Arias told the jury.
Arias said when she was 17, she moved in with her boyfriend, Bobby Juarez, to escape the abuse and soon dropped out of high school so she could work to support herself.
Arias’ defense attorney, Kirk Nurmi, spent most of the afternoon questioning Arias about her tumultuous, teen relationships.
Juarez and Arias started dating when she was 15. They met at a fair. Arias says he had “wild ideas” about vampires and wanted to move to San Francisco to find them.
While Arias was still in high school and had broken up Juarez for the first time, Arias moved to Costa Rica as a foreign exchange student. There, she began dating the son of her host family.
Arias told the jury that she had feelings for him, but wasn't in love with him. "I wouldn’t say totally in love, but it was my first taste of being, like just feeling like warm about somebody,” Arias said.
After she returned to California, Arias and her Costa Rican boyfriend broke up. Arias and Juarez got back together, and she eventually moved in with him and his parents.
Arias discovered that Juarez was cheating on her. So, they broke up and Arias moved out. One day, Juarez showed up at Arias’ new home and they started fighting. "Our argument escalated, and he approached me and spun me around. And he was very much into martial arts and he had some kind of hold, I guess it was called a strangle hold. So he started strangling me. Just for a few seconds. And then he let go. I almost passed out. I fell on my knees,” said Arias.
Arias says that even after the abuse, she continued to hang out with him and even supported him financially. Arias says Juarez was her first love. Arias and Juarez broke up and got back together many times.
Arias moved to Medford, Oregon, to be near Juarez. Eventually, they broke up for the last time and Arias started dating Juarez’s friend whom she identified as Matt McCartney.
Arias is back on the stand Tuesday, and based on the telling of her life story so far, In Session’s legal experts believe Arias’ testimony could continue for another two to three days.