Jodi Arias biography
Born in 1980 in Salinas, California, Jodi Arias made headlines when she was charged with murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008. Alexander's body was found in the shower of his Mesa, Arizona, apartment by friends on June 9, 2008, five days after he was brutally murdered—he had been shot in the head and stabbed 27 times, and his throat had been slit from ear to ear. Testimony in Arias's trial began in January 2013. Four months later, after spending 18 days on the witness stand, Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder.
Meeting Travis Alexander
Convicted killer Jodi Ann Arias was born on July 9, 1980, in Salinas, California. In the summer of 2008, Arias made national headlines when she was charged with murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, a 30-year-old insurance salesman and Riverside native. Arias and Alexander had met at a conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2006, while he was living in Arizona and she was a resident of Palm Desert, California. By the following year, they were in a commited relationship. After only five months as a couple, however, the two went their separate ways in late June 2007.
Murder Investigation Begins
On June 9, 2008, Travis Alexander's body was found in a pool of blood in the shower of his Mesa, Arizona, apartment by friends who had become increasingly worried about his whereabouts after not being able to contact him for several days. Almost immediately after entering the residence, the young men began taking in the heinous crime scene. In the bathroom, Alexander's corpse displayed a number of inflictions: a gunshot wound to the head, 27 stab wounds, and a deeply and widely slit throat. Investigators later determined that the murder had occurred five days before his body was found, on June 4, 2008.
Arias quickly became the focus of the sensational case. She was charged with Alexander's murder on July 9, 2008, and was arrested soon after. Initially, Arias denied any involvement in his death. Then, after investigators found her DNA mixed with Alexander's blood at the crime scene, she changed her story: She claimed that she and her ex had been attacked by two masked intruders. After killing Alexander, the criminals decided to let her live, she told police, adding that she chose not to alert police at the time because she feared the intruders might seek revenge. At trial, she would revise her story for the third time.
Testimony in Arias's trial began in early January 2013. The following month, the alleged killer took the witness stand, where she would remain for 18 consecutive days. Already infamously known for her different accounts of Alexander's murder over the past several years, Arias testified that she had killed her ex in an impassioned act of self-defense. She stated that Alexander had frequently abused her, and that she killed him after he came at her in a fit of rage when she dropped his camera. She also claimed to have suffered memory loss as the result of emotional trauma she had experienced during the incident.
"Lying isn't typically something I just do," Arias stated during the trial. "The lies I've told in this case can be tied directly back to either protecting Travis' reputation or my involvement in his death ... because I was very ashamed."
Whether she truly had difficulty remembering details of that day in 2008 or was simply having trouble keeping her story straight—or it was something else altogether—Arias's testimony was wrought with inconsistency and confusion, piecemealed, and ultimately botched.
Jurors reached a unanimous decision in the case on May 8, 2013: Jodi Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder. Five jurors found her guilty of premeditated murder, zero found her guilty of felony murder, and seven found her guilty of both premeditated and felony murder. The verdict sparked elation among Travis Alexander's family members as well as the general public. Arias now awaits sentencing, which could mean the death penalty. Should she receive capital punishment for her murder conviction, Arias would become only the third female death-row inmate in Arizona history.