PHOENIX (Reuters) – Defense lawyers for a California woman accused of murdering her lover in Arizona scrambled on Tuesday to counter the prosecution’s contention that the killing was premeditated and to cast doubt on speculation that she may have stolen a gun from her grandparents to use in the crime.
Jodi Arias could face the death penalty if convicted of murdering Travis Alexander, who was found at his upscale home in the Phoenix suburbs in June 2008 shot in the face, stabbed 27 times and with his throat slashed.
She has admitted the killing but said she shot Alexander in self defense with his own pistol, after he attacked her in a rage. The prosecution has said the killing was premeditated, and prosecutor Juan Martinez accused her of bringing the gun with her from California. The gun used in the killing has not been recovered.
On Tuesday, defense attorneys questioned Arias on a redirect, trying to rebuild their self-defense argument after the suspect underwent five days of blistering cross examination in which prosecutors tried to poke holes in her story.
Shortly before the killing, in late May 2008, a .25 caliber handgun – the same caliber of weapon used in Alexander’s killing – was stolen along with other items in a robbery from her grandparents’ California home. But Arias testified on Tuesday that she became aware of that theft only after the fact.