The murder trial of Jodi Arias took a unexpected turn Monday afternoon when the accused killer was called to the witness stand to testify in her own defense. Arias claims she stabbed her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, 27 times, shot him in the face, and slit his throat from ear to ear in self-defense. If convicted, she faces a possible death sentence. We want to warn you that the testimony detailed in this article is extremely graphic, but it is central to the defense’s case as they are attempting to portray the victim as an abusive sexual deviant.
Allegations of abuse
Within minutes of taking the witness stand in a Phoenix courtroom Monday, Jodi Arias admitted she killed her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, on June 4, 2008.
“The simple answer is he attacked me and I defended myself,” Arias testified.
When asked why she made the comment, “No jury will ever convict me,” during her interview with Inside Edition in September 2008, Arias replied, “Because I planned to be dead…the most bitter words I’ll ever eat.”
Arias spent much of the day describing her childhood and how, at the age of 7, she allegedly became a victim of physical abuse at the hands of her own parents.
Arias went on to described her relationship with her boyfriend, Bobby Juarez, whom she met at a state fair when she was 15 years old. They dated briefly, broke up, and got back together again when she was 17.
When she was three months shy of her 18th birthday, Arias testified she moved in with Juarez. By then, Arias said she had dropped out of high school and was supporting herself by working at a restaurant in Yreka, California.
During one of their break-ups, Arias testified she began dating Victor Arias (no relation), a boy she met while studying Spanish in Costa Rica.
While her relationship with Juarez helped her escape from her parents, Arias said Juarez was unfaithful and she recalled one incident where she claimed he choked her so violently that she collapsed.
After she and Juarez split, Arias moved in with her grandparents and Juarez went to live with his friend, Matthew McCartney, in Medford, Oregon.
Impressed by his chivalry and kindness, Arias said she began dating McCartney and they eventually moved in together.
First sexual encounter
During her second day of testimony, Arias continued to detail her relationships with past boyfriends leading up to her romance with Alexander.
“It felt like too much too soon,” Arias told the jury as she described her first sexual encounter with Alexander, which happened less than a week after they first met.
Arias said she broke up with her live-in boyfriend, Darryl Brewer, less than four days after returning from the Prepaid Legal convention where she met Alexander for the first time.
The following weekend, Arias said she visited Alexander at his friend’s house in Murrieta, California. Despite her apprehensions, Arias testified she and Alexander engaged in oral sex after everyone went to bed.
A few days later, Arias and Alexander met at a Starbucks while he was driving back to Arizona from California. During their visit, Arias said Alexander handed her the Book of Mormon and expressed his desire for oral sex.
They both decided to drive to a park and Arias performed oral sex on Alexander in a car, she testified.
“I wanted to do what he wanted to do,” Arias told the jury.
Arias said she felt “a little deflated” afterwards. “He refused to kiss me…he said it was gross. He kissed me on the cheek and left,” she added.
Arias said she and Alexander continued to keep in touch, and spoke every day on the phone.
Intimate details revealed
Testifying for the third straight day, Arias described more personal and intimate details about her relationship with Alexander.
Despite having questions about their relationship, Arias said she wanted to embrace the Mormon faith, and she asked Alexander to baptize her once she was approved by the Church’s elders.
After her baptism on November 26, 2006, Arias said she and Alexander engaged in anal sex at her home, an act she said she did not take pleasure in, yet did not object to.
“I felt like a used piece of toilet paper” after the encounter, Arias told the jury.
While premarital sex was banned by the Mormon faith, Arias said Alexander told her anything other than vaginal intercourse was “okay.”
By February 2007, Arias said she and Alexander had officially become boyfriend and girlfriend. However, Alexander was only affectionate with her in private, she said.
Arias went on to describe an incident at a Prepaid Legal convention in Oklahoma City where Alexander openly flirted with an inebriated associate. She was so hurt that she went to the bathroom to cry, she told the jury.
Jodi Arias will be back on the witness stand Monday. Live coverage of her testimony begins at 12:30 p.m. ET on HLN.