Jodi Arias has taken the witness stand in her murder trial and America is watching, tweeting and completely transfixed.
If you just started following the trial or want a quick recap, it’s time to get caught up!
— Ryan Smith (@ryansmithtv) February 6, 2013
On June 9, 2008, Travis Alexander’s roommates and friends discovered his decomposing body in his shower in Mesa, Arizona. Alexander had been stabbed more than two dozen times, his throat was slit from ear to ear and he had been shot in the head. They immediately called 911.
Alexander’s friends immediately told investigators they believed Jodi Arias had done it.
One friend told the dispatcher, “He has an ex-girlfriend that has been bothering him and calling him and slashing tires and things like that -- her name is Jodi.”
Arias was arrested 11 days after Alexander’s death. She told police she was not involved in Alexander’s death and wasn’t anywhere near Mesa when it happened.
Then, she changed her story. She told police she was with Travis when two people broke in and killed Travis, but let her live.
Finally, she changed her story one last time and said she was the one who killed Alexander, but it was in self-defense.
GET THE BACKGROUND STORY: Jodi Arias: Cold-blooded killer or innocent victim?
Alexander’s family started to speak out to the media as the trial got closer. His sister, Tanisha Sorenson, said Arias deserves the death penalty for what she did.
After years of delays, on January 2, opening statements began in the Jodi Arias murder trial. Prosecutor Juan Martinez told the jury the story of Alexander’s murder and played part of Arias’ interview with “Inside Edition” where she says, “Mark my words, no jury will convict me.” Arias later testified that she she said that because she had planned to commit suicide.
One of Arias’ defense attorneys, Jennifer Wilmott, began her opening statement by telling the jurors they will hear about how Alexander kept Arias a “dirty little secret” and degraded her by calling her a “stalker” and a “slut.” Wilmott told the jury that if Arias had not defended herself against Alexander, she would not be here right now.
— In Session (@InSession) February 8, 2013
Martinez began his case against Arias on January 3 and called the lead investigator in the case and a fingerprint examiner to the witness stand. Arias and Alexander’s sisters were very emotional as the jury saw pictures of the numerous wounds on Alexander’s dead body.
Read more: Jodi Arias sobs as bloody details emerge
The medical examiner, Dr. Kevin Horn, took the witness stand to answer questions about Alexander’s wounds.
Read more: What really killed Travis Alexander?
Horn also discussed a photo that appears to have been taken accidentally during the killing.
Read more: Does photo show the killing in progress?
Read more: More testimony, tears for Jodi Arias
The prosecution also called Arias’ ex-lover, Ryan Burns. He told jurors that he saw Arias the day after she killed Alexander and she did not seem upset at all, but acted as she usually did.
Det. Michael Melendez took the witness stand to discuss the deleted photos from a camera found in the washing machine in Alexander’s home. The photos included Arias and Alexander in sexual poses. There were also pictures of Alexander’s dead body, including the one the medical examiner talked about in his testimony.
Then the defense began its case.
Arias’ ex-boyfriend, Darryl Brewer, was called to the witness stand. Brewer, who is 20 years older than Arias, testified about their relationship and the house they bought together.
Next, Arias’ mentor from Prepaid Legal, Gus Searcy, testified. During cross-examination, Searcy and prosecutor Martinez sparred over the Prepaid Legal business model.
Read more: Ex-boyfriend: Arias changed dramatically
Alexander’s ex-girlfriend took the witness stand and testified that Alexander cheated on her with Arias.
A mutual friend of Arias and Alexander testified that Arias might not have been worthy of becoming a Mormon.
— Vinnie Politan (@VinniePolitan) February 6, 2013
It was a surprise moment on Monday when Arias took the witness stand. Arias admitted killing Alexander and told the jury simply that she had to kill him because he attacked her.
She also explained why she told a reporter that she was sure no jury would convict her.
Arias testified that her parents beat her with a belt. She also answered questioned about her past relationships.
Read more: What we learned about Jodi Arias Monday
Arias’ testimony finally turned to Alexander. While speaking directly to the jurors, she told them how she met him and details of their relationship.
She said that she and Alexander had oral sex, and while Arias said she was not comfortable with it, she didn’t want to reject Alexander. She said he told her oral sex did not break the Mormon law of chastity.
Read more: Arias: I didn’t want to reject him
Arias’ testimony became more graphic as she told jurors about the day Alexander baptized her into the Mormon faith. She said they went back to her apartment and had anal sex.
Arias is back on the witness stand on Monday to answer more questions from her attorneys. When she’s done telling her story, the prosecutor will cross examine her.