People gather to watch the Jodi Arias trial at a park in downtown Phoenix, May 2, 2013.

Jodi Arias Guilty of Murder, Jury Finds

Yearslong saga is almost over as jurors refuse to believe self-defense claim.

People gather to watch the Jodi Arias trial at a park in downtown Phoenix, May 2, 2013.

People gather to watch the Jodi Arias trial at a park in downtown Phoenix, May 2, 2013.

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Jodi Arias was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder in the June 2008 killing of Travis Alexander, an Arizona man with whom she had a sexual relationship.

Arias is eligible for the death penalty in Arizona. Her punishment has not yet been determined.

Alexander's mangled body was discovered on June 9, 2008, with 27 stab wounds, a gunshot blast to the head and a near-decapitating slice to his neck.

Jurors began deliberations on Friday after a four-month trial that attracted national attention for the barbarity of the deadly attack and Arias's assertion that she was merely defending herself.

Lurid sexual details were recounted during the trial. In February jurors were played an audio recording produced by Arias of Alexander talking dirty to her during a phone conversation.

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Arias initially denied killing Alexander, but during the trial said she did so in self-defense. Prosecutors disagreed.

"She rewarded that love from Travis Alexander by sticking a knife in his chest," said prosecutor Juan Martinez in his opening statement, CNN reports. "[H]e was a good man, according to her. And with regard to being a good man, well, she slit his throat as a reward for being a good man. And in terms of these blessings, well, she knocked the blessings out of him by putting a bullet in his head."

A timeline of the couple's relationship compiled by Fox News notes that the two met in September 2006, with Arias converting to Mormonism with Alexander that November. For much of their rocky relationship they lived in different cities.

Arias's case was greeted with a similar public reception as Casey Anthony's 2011 trial for the alleged murder of her daughter. Arias supporters set up a website that advocates her innocence and sells her artwork. Unlike Arias, Anthony was found not guilty.

 

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