JURORS: IT WAS MURDER

NEED TO KNOW
  • Jodi Arias found guilty of first-degree murder for killing her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander
  • Arias is facing the death penalty or a lengthy prison sentence
  • Watch 'HLN After Dark: The Jodi Arias Trial' at 10 p.m. on HLN
JURORS: IT WAS MURDER

After 15 hours of deliberating, an Arizona jury has convicted Jodi Arias of first-degree murder for killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008.

Arias almost cried as she heard the clerk of court read the guilty verdict, but she quickly composed herself and began whispering in her attorney's ear.

Updating now: HLN's live blog of the Arias verdict, reaction

Someone in the court let out an loud audible gasp immediately after the verdict was read, but it was not clear who it was.

However, Alexander's sister Tanisha Sorenson cried uncontrollably after the verdict was read and fell into the arms of her husband.

"We the jury duly impaneled and sworn in the above and entitled action. Upon our oath do find the defendant as to count one, first degree murder guilty," read the Clerk of Court Christina McCain.

Read more: The twists and turns of the Arias trial

A first-degree murder conviction means the jury will have to decide if Arias will die via lethal injection for the brutal killing of Alexander. He was shot in the head, stabbed multiple times, and his throat was slit from ear to ear.

Read more:  Arias’ attorneys says she ‘simply snapped’

Aggravation phase

Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. ET, the case will move on to the aggravation phase, which will be like a miniature trial.

The prosecution will have a chance to present additional evidence in an attempt to prove Alexander’s death was caused in a cruel manner. Arizona law defines this as when the victim suffers physical pain or mental anguish, and the defendant knew or should have known that the victim would suffer.

The jury would then deliberate for a second time to determine if the aggravating factor of cruelty is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The jurors must agree unanimously about whether Arias is guilty of cruelty. 

Sentencing phase

If the jury does not find Arias guilty of cruelty, the case ends and the judge will set a sentencing date within 30 to 60 days. At the sentencing, the judge will decide whether to sentence Arias to life in prison without parole, or life with parole eligibility after 25 years.

Watch: Emotions run high as Arias trial nears end

If the jury decides cruelty is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the case moves to the sentencing phase.

This is the defense’s opportunity to ask the jury for leniency and present evidence supporting why Arias should be spared from the death penalty. Witnesses may include Arias’ friends and family. Arias could also make a statement to the jury pleading for her life to be spared.

The jury then deliberates for a third time to determine whether Arias should be sentenced to life or death. Their decision must be unanimous. In the case of a deadlock, a mistrial would be granted and a new jury would be chosen for this phase only.

If the jury votes for the death penalty, Arias would be sentenced immediately, and she is likely to be sent to death row within hours.

Read more: How long did the juries of other big trials deliberate?

If the jury chooses a life sentence instead, the judge will set a sentencing date within 30 to 60 days and, at that time, will sentence Arias to life in prison without parole or life with eligibility for parole after 25 years.

No matter what the verdict is, if Arias is sentenced to jail time she will get credit for the four-and-a-half years she has been incarcerated awaiting trial.

Join the conversation...

HLNtv.com welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.
Jodi Arias: Does an impartial jury exist?
Jodi Arias | See all 1165 items Jodi Arias: Does an impartial jury exist?

Advertisement