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Arias grilled with questions by jurors

NEED TO KNOW
  • HLN is covering the Jodi Arias trial live gavel-to-gavel
  • Arias is accused of killing Travis Alexander, but she says she did it in self-defense
Arias grilled with questions by jurors

HLN is covering the Jodi Arias trial live gavel-to-gavel. You can follow the action, starting at 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Jodi Arias took the stand Wednesday to answer questions directly from the jurors themselves. Arizona is among a handful of states that allow jurors to question defendants on trial -- and the panel has plenty of questions. This next stage of the trial may provide a glimpse into Arias’ guilt or innocence. 

Arias is accused of shooting her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in the head, stabbing him multiple times and slitting his throat from ear to ear. She says she killed Alexander in self-defense after he attacked her. Arias is facing the death penalty if convicted.

HLN live-blogged Wednesday's proceedings. Read below for minute-by-minute updates from her testimony Monday (best read from the bottom):

6:27 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens has recessed court for the evening. The live blog will continue tomorrow when testimony begins at 12:30 p.m. ET.

6:24 p.m. ET: Juror question: What is your eye prescription?

Arias gave what she believed to be her prescription.

6:23 p.m. ET: Juror question: Have you ever taken medication for your memory issue?

Arias said, "No."

6:21 p.m. ET: Juror question: If you didn't know the gun was loaded why did you grab it instead of trying to run away?

Arias said she thought even if the gun was not loaded she thought Alexander would stop if she pointed it at him.

6:20 p.m. ET: Juror question: Did you ever see a doctor for your memory issues?

Arias said she doesn't think she has memory problems, because it only happens in stressful situations. She never sought medical treatment for these issues.

6:14 p.m. ET: Juror question: Would a screwdriver be required to take off the license plates on her rental car?

Arias said she believes so.

6:13 p.m. ET: Juror question: How do you determine when you will tell truth?

Arias said she tried to cover up things about her involvement with Alexander, and anything that made him look bad after his death.

6:11 p.m. ET: Juror question: How is it that you remember so many of your sexual encounters, including your ex-boyfriends, but you do not remember stabbing Travis and dragging his body?

"Well, as far as what happened on June 4, I don’t know how the mind works necessarily, but I know that that was the most traumatic experience of my life. And outside of those blanks, and the ones that I’ve mentioned as far as that were alcohol related when I was a teenager, I don’t have other blackouts that I can recall, when memories get foggy when I get stressful. I think that I actually have a very good memory. I can remember tons of things. But when I’m under a stressful situation, it’s as if my mind, if you can imagine a computer that freezes, it’s turned on but it’s not functioning. You can hit the keys, but nothing’s happening, just like the sound waves are hitting my ears, but the brain is not computing… so I don’t black out during those times, but my mind is not processing the English words that are being sent to me, or screamed at me, or whichever," said Arias.

6:07 p.m. ET: Juror question: Would she call her relationship with Alexander a love/hate relationship?

Arias said it had all of those emotions, but she never felt like she hated Alexander.

6:04 p.m. ET: Juror question: "Why did it take you two years after killing to tell the truth?"

Arias said she was deeply ashamed, and it was a gradual process where she realized she wanted to tell the truth.

6:01 p.m. ET: Juror question: "If you were not going to marry Travis because of the Jan. 21, 2008/Jan. 22, 2008, events, why stay with him at all?"

"It was difficult to stay away from him. It was difficult to break away from him, and when he would invite me over… it was very hard to say no. He was persuasive and he still had an effect on me that when I came over, when he was in a good mood, it made me feel good and I enjoyed being with him during those times. And that’s something I was familiar with," said Arias.

6:00 p.m. ET: Juror question: You bought a gun to commit suicide, what stopped you?

Arias said she was arrested before she could do it.

5:58 p.m. ET: Do you feel the guys in your life cheated on you because you were controlling?

Arias said she thinks it was the opposite, because she was too trusting and gave them too much freedom.

5:56 p.m. ET:

5:55 p.m. ET: The attorneys are now at a sidebar with judge Stephens.

5:54 p.m. ET: Juror questions: Did you call men you were not romantically interested in "hottie biscotti?"

Arias said yes she did.

5:53 p.m. ET: Arias is back on the stand, and her testimony should continue shortly.

5:33 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens has recessed court for 15 minutes.

5:32 p.m. ET:

5:31 p.m. ET: Juror question: Did you ever receive pleasure from sex with Alexander?

She said yes, they were compatible.

5:29 p.m. ET: Juror question: Did you ever tell Alexander you were uncomfortable with his sexual fantasies?

Arias said yes she did not want to have sex on an airplane, because she was afraid they would get caught.

5:28 p.m. ET: Juror question: If you didn't want to be tied to a tree then why did you look for a tree in the forest for him to do that?

Arias said did that not specifically for that fantasy.

5:25 p.m. ET: Juror question: Why were you so calm in the TV interviews?

Arias said she had a lot of practice at pretending everything was ok, when it wasn't.

5:24 p.m. ET: Juror question: Why did you delete photos off of Alexander's camera after killing him?

Arias said she does remember why she deleted the photos.

5:23 p.m. ET: Juror question: During the attack, why didn't you just run out of the house?

Arias said she didn't think she could make it, because he had caught her in the past.

5:22 p.m. ET:

Juror question: “Why didn’t you call 911?”

“I was very scared of what would happen to me. I was scared at that point of what was going to happen. I knew that… well I felt that I had done something wrong. I don’t have really an adequate explanation for my state of mind following that. I just know that I knew something really bad had happened and I was scared,” said Arias.

5:18 p.m. ET: Juror question: Why didn't you read the Book of Mormon to see what you were and weren't allowed to do?

Arias said she did read the Book of Mormon, but she needed to read other documents to truly understand what was allowed under Mormon Law.

5:17 p.m. ET: Juror question: “Why did you send his grandmother flowers?”

“In retrospect, it probably wasn’t a good idea,” said Arias. “But I felt that it would be more insensitive to not do anything at all."

5:16 p.m. ET: Juror question: What is your understanding of the word, "skank?"

“I don’t know an official definition but it’s a very negative and pejorative, derogative term against women," said Arias.

5:15 p.m. ET: Juror question: “Would it be fair to say you were upset he was taking another woman to Cancun?”

“No, I was not upset. I wasn’t upset at all actually. Cancun was announced a year before. He was taking a babysitter, I thought. I didn’t learn he was taking Mimi Hall until well afterward,” said Arias.

5:14 p.m. ET: Juror question: Why were you willing to be involved with two men at the same time?

Arias said if things had progressed with Ryan Burns she would have ended her contact with Alexander.

5:12 p.m. ET: Juror question: “You say Travis had attacked you before June 4, 2008 but would apologize to you after he did it. So why was the June 4, 2008 incident so different?”

“On prior occasions I never feared for my life,” said Arias. “And even when he was choking me out and I was losing consciousness, I never had enough time to fear for my life. I passed out. It wasn’t until after that incident, when I reflected back on it, that I realized that I could have died. And if he could take it that far, and if he was as angry as he was, and I perceived very clearly that he was trying to get back on top of me again, that freaked me out. I was scared out of my mind,” said Arias.

5:11 p.m. ET: Juror question: Did you have an attorney before you gave TV interviews?

Arias said, "Yes sort of."

5:09  p.m. ET: Juror question: Were you forced to answer questions during your TV interviews?

Arias replied no she was not forced to answer any questions.

5:07 p.m. ET:

Juror question: “Why would you continue to stay with someone who had sex with you while you were sleeping?”

“I was in love with Travis,” Arias said. “I knew I was in love with him and it didn’t make a difference to me, honestly. My only concern was that I believed from a religious and spiritual perspective that our relationship would not be blessed if we acted that way," said Arias.

5:06 p.m. ET: Jury question: If Alexander attacked you, why didn't you just tell the truth to the police from the start?

Arias said she didn't want to have to explain everything they had been through, and she also hinted at that she didn't want to tell anyone about how she caught him masturbating to an image of a young boy.

5:02 p.m. ET: Jury question: If you shot Alexander first how did the bullet casing land on blood?

Arias said she doesn't know if landed on blood, and hints that the struggle she had with moved the bullet casing.

5:01 p.m. ET: Jury question: Why did you take the gun with you?

Arias said she doesn't remember, but she does remember disposing of it.

4:57 p.m. ET: Jury question: Why did you put Alexander's back into the shower?

Arias said she doesn't remember.

4:56 p.m. ET: Jury question: Did you use rope in another sexual encounter? Explain this situation.

Arias said they used twine, and it was not a successful sexual encounter.

4:54 p.m. ET:

4:52 p.m. ET: Jury question: Have you taken other long trips by yourself like the one you took to Mesa, Arizona in June 2008?

Arias said she has taken long trips in the past with roads she had been on before.

Jury question: Did you take gas cans with on these other long trips?

Arias said she learned to take gas cans on road trips in the desert as a safety precaution.

"We began to carry cases of water in our trunk and if we were going long distances we’d carry a gas can just in case. He would be like, ‘You could die out here. If something happens, if you car runs out of gas, you can’t turn the air conditioning on, you could literally die of heat stroke.’ And so that was a fear,” said Arias.

4:49 p.m. ET:

4:47 p.m. ET: Jury question: Were you paid for any media interview?

Arias said no she received no compensation.

4:46 p.m. ET:

4:45 p.m. ET: Alexander allegedly threatened her life after the gun went off, and Arias said after that her memory goes blank.

“The moment I broke away, that’s when he threatened my life. I have no clear memories after that, at all. Things began to get really foggy after the gun went off," said Arias.

4:44 p.m. ET: Arias said she ran for Alexander's closet, got the gun, and turned it around and aimed at him.

4:43 p.m. ET: Juror question: Can Arias walk through the killing with a floor plan of Alexander's home?

Arias is now discussing how she dropped the camera, and how he attacked her.

4:41 p.m. ET: Juror question: Describe your relationships with your parents?

Arias said she loves her mom, but her relationship with dad is distant. She also she still loves her dad.

4:40 p.m. ET: Juror question: Describe why your father slapped you twice?

Arias said she had snuck out of the house, and he caught her when she came back. Her father allegedly slapped her when she didn't answer the questions correctly.

4:37 p.m. ET:

 

4:36 p.m. ET: Jury question: Who initiated contact after you broke up with your other boyfriends?

Arias is going through her past relationships and breakups.

4:31 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens is back on the bench, and Arias is taking the witness stand.

4:25 p.m. ET: Our producer in the courtroom says testimony should pick back up soon.

4:17 p.m. ET:

4:13 p.m. ET: Testimony should pick back up any moment.

4:00 p.m. ET:

3:58 p.m. ET:

Juror question: “Travis stated on the phone sex conversation that he did not like Spider-Man. Why did he buy you Spider-Man underwear if he did not like that character?”

“I don’t know why but they were Spider-Man. I do know however that the year prior he… there’s a child he was close with that really liked Spider-Man. I don’t know if that had anything to do with it. He was very much into Spider-Man. He would dress up as Spider-Man,” replied Arias.

3:56 p.m. ET:  Form our producer in the courtroom:

One of the jurors wears court provided headphones to enhance the audio in the courtroom. He says he is having difficulty hearing, a replacement headset has not resolved the issue, so the judge is taking a break to have techs address the problem.

3:55 p.m. ET:

3:53 p.m. ET: One if the jurors is having trouble hearing, so judge Stephens is taking a five minute recess to resolve the issue.

3:51 p.m. ET:

Juror question: “You took pictures of the shirt and shorts. Did you take pictures of the Spider-Man underwear? If no, why not?

“I did not take pictures of those because that is embarrassing. As opposed to the shorts and shirt, which were sentimental to me. I didn’t want to memorialize boys’ underwear. And I didn’t want people to know that was a preference of his and that I was dumb enough to go along with that preference,” said Arias.

3:49 p.m. ET: Jury question: Did you read the Book of Mormon?

Arias said she has read it several times.

Jury question: Does it mention the Law of Chastity?

Arias said it does not explicitly mention the Law of Chastity.

3:47 p.m. ET: Jury question: “How did you have time to get the gun down if he was right behind you?”

“I don’t know if he was right behind me or not. I just had the sense that he was chasing after me,” said Arias.

3:46 p.m. ET:

Jury question: If you are so nearsighted then how could you drive?

“I never had a problem driving. When I was on the freeway, I could see objects. They weren’t very sharp but they were sharp enough where I could see whether or not I was in danger or driving safely or not. Freeway signs I had to get closer to them to actually see what they said. But as far as I knew that was normal vision. I had never had glasses my entire life. And in 2010 I put on someone else’s just for fun and I didn’t even know you could see the world that way, everything was sharp. So that’s when I realized I need glasses,” replied Arias.

3:45 p.m. ET:

3:44 p.m. ET:

Jury question: “Did you ever take pictures of yourself after he hit you?”

“No I did not,” said Arias.

Juror question: “Why did you call the cops on your ex who shook you but you never called the cops on Travis?”

“That was when he tried to break my forearm,” she said. “We were wrestling, I was trying to get to the phone, it seemed logical to call 911. I never did with Travis because of that prior experience with calling 911, he grabbed the phone out of my hand and hung it up. It was a very negative experience. He told me to, ‘Shut up, they’re going to call back.’ They did call back, he created an excuse as to why 911 is accidentally dialed and so, after that, I mean this was years and years later. As far as June 4th, there were no phones upstairs to my knowledge. And for previous reasons, he would make up for it in ways that Bobby didn’t,” said Arias.

3:42 p.m. ET: Why did you feel so uncomfortable having anal sex with Travis, because you had done it before? Arias said Alexander wanted to have anal sex on a regular basis, and it hurt.

3:40 p.m. ET: Jury question: Did you record other phone sex conversations?

Arias said, "Yes."

3:39 p.m. ET: Jury question: Why did you continue to sleep with Travis after you found out his attraction to children? Arias said she understood that Alexander felt normal when he had sex with her. She also said he had beautiful qualities, and wanted to change.

3:37 p.m. ET: Jury question: Why did you put the camera in the washing machine? Arias said she doesn't remember putting the camera in the wash.

3:36 p.m. ET: First question: Did Alexander pay for all of your trips? Arias said all the trips were split "50/50."

3:35 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens is reading a jury instruction to the jurors. She is explaining how this process will work.

3:34 p.m. ET: The jury is walking into the courtroom.

3:31 p.m. ET: Arias is taking the stand, and her testimony should begin any moment.

3:26 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with Judge Stephens.

3:22 p.m. ET: The judge is back on the bench, and testimony should be starting shortly.

3:15 p.m. ET: Court is now in recess until the issue is resolved.

3:14 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens said the court is having a technical problem with the microphones. They are trying to fix it.

3:12 p.m. ET:

3:09 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with Judge Stephens.

3:08 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens is back on the stand. Testimony should pick back up shortly.

1:58 p.m. ET: Judge Stephens said she needs to speak with the attorneys in her chambers about an unknown issue. She has left the bench.

1:50 p.m. ET: There is nothing new to report. The attorneys are still discussing issues at a sidebar.

1:47 p.m. ET: It seems as if the rest of the objections will be handled at a sidebar with Judge Stephens.

1:40 p.m. ET: The attorneys are still reviewing questions with the judge at a sidebar.

1:32 p.m. ET: Question 97 will be asked as it is written. The attorneys are at another sidebar with judge Stephens.

1:31 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with judge Stephens.

1:29 p.m. ET: Arias is sitting quietly at the defense table taking notes as her attorney objects to the jurors' questions.

1:26 p.m. ET: Nurmi objected to question 66, and the attorneys are now at a sidebar with the judge.

1:25 p.m. ET: Question 89 was thrown out.

1:24 p.m. ET: Question 61 will be asked despite Nurmi's objections.

1:23 p.m. ET:

1:22 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with judge Stephens.

1:20 p.m. ET: Question 55 will be asked, despite the defense's objections.

1:19 p.m. ET: The attorneys are at a sidebar with judge Stephens.

1:18 p.m. ET: Question 50 was just thrown out.

1:16 p.m. ET: The judge has thrown out questions 43, 60, 75 and 90. No one is reading the questions, they are just being referred to by numbers.

1:15 p.m. ET: The judge is on the bench, and she is taking the attorneys objections to the jurors' questions.

12:56 p.m. ET: From our producer in the courtroom:

Both sides are holed up in their respective meeting rooms in the back of the courtroom reviewing the questions submitted by the jury. The judge had scheduled the hearing for 1:00 ET. Today's proceedings are unlikely to start promptly, no court reporter or bailiff is in the court room.

12:44 p.m. ET: Today's proceedings will begin at one, so check back with the live blog for updates! 

 

Read more: HLN's live blog of Tuesday's testimony

On Tuesday, judge Sherry Stephens announced the jurors had 100 questions for Arias after defense attorney Kirk Nurmi finished his redirect examination of her.

The jurors’ questions could be a bellwether moment in the trial. That questioning could indicate whether Arias will be convicted or acquitted of killing Alexander.

Read more: Flustered & floundering: The day Arias cracked

The focus of their questions could give insight into the evidence, testimony and issues they are struggling to reconcile or understand.

Juror questions: How it works

On Wednesday, attorneys will review the questions in court without the jury present. They will object to questions when they feel necessary. If the question survives all legal objections, it will eventually be read to Arias for her to answer. If not, the question will be discarded. Once all the questions have been vetted, Arias will take the stand and answer them. Some of the jurors' questions could be moot if they have been answered during testimony. At the end of the questioning, the attorneys will have an opportunity to do follow-up questioning, based on the questions that were asked by the jurors.

After the jurors’ questions are answered, the defense has a chance to rest its case. However, they are expected to call a couple of expert witnesses, possibly a psychologist and a domestic violence expert.

Once the defense rests, Martinez will have a chance to call rebuttal witnesses. Alexander's friend Dave Hall is expected to testify that Alexander did not own a gun, contradicting Arias’ testimony about how the slaying took place.

After the prosecution wraps its rebuttal case, attorneys will give their closing arguments. The jury will then deliberate on Arias’ guilt or innocence.

 

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