The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

May 22, 2013

Arias speaks out about case in jailhouse interview

PHOENIX (AP) — In a surprise jailhouse interview just hours after a jury began deliberating her fate, Jodi Arias spoke out about her murder trial, her many fights with her legal team and her belief that she "deserves a second chance at freedom someday."

Arias spoke to The Associated Press as part of a series of interviews with media outlets Tuesday night. She repeated many of her claims from previous interviews, testimony on the witness stand and her statements to the jury earlier in the day as she pleaded for mercy.

But she provided some new information about her case and how she believed her lawyers let her down by not calling more witnesses who could have bolstered her claims that she was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of Travis Alexander.

Arias was convicted last week of first-degree murder in the June 2008 stabbing and shooting death of her one-time lover in what prosecutors described as a cold, calculated killing carried out in a jealous rage. Arias maintains it was self-defense.

The jury began deliberating Tuesday as they worked to determine whether she should live or die for her crime. They adjourned after about an hour and resumed Wednesday morning.

If the jury opts for a life sentence, the judge will have the option of determining whether she spends the rest of her days behind bars or is eligible for release after 25 years. Arias acknowledged it was unlikely she would ever be released, but believed she deserves a second chance.

Following her conviction last week, she told a local TV station that she preferred the death penalty. She said Tuesday night that she changed her mind after a tearful meeting with family members the same day, realizing her death would only cause them more pain.

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