Killer given a life term, no parole
Jodi Arias shot and stabbed her former boyfriend to death, leading to a salacious, drawn-out court case.
Jodi Arias, at the center of a long-running saga of murder and sex, apologized for killing her former boyfriend and was then sentenced Monday to spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“I am very, very sorry for the enormous pain I caused,” Arias said in court in Phoenix after relatives of the victim urged the harshest possible penalty. “To this day I can’t believe I was capable of doing something that terrible. I am horrified by what I did, and I wish there was some way I could take it back.”
Arias, now 34, shot and stabbed Travis Alexander in a jealous rage in June 2008, prosecutors said.
A jury convicted her of murder in 2013 and agreed that the case could qualify for the death penalty but could not decide on whether to impose it.
Arias, whose murder trial drew nationwide attention, had been in a state of legal limbo since then.
In October, a new jury began hearing the prosecutors’ case for a death sentence. The sentencing trial ran five months, about the length of the original trial, and became a media sensation, inspiring quickly published e-books and prompting online arguments between her supporters and detractors.
The second jury was deadlocked 11 to 1 on the death penalty, meaning that Arias could receive only life in prison with or without the possibility of parole.
On Monday, she received the harsher alternative.
For the Alexander family, there was no question of the punishment they wanted. With the death penalty off the table, they asked for the toughest prison sentence possible in memory of Travis.
“It hurts too much to remember him alive because if I remember him, I remember
too much about how he was brutally taken from us and I can’t handle it,” Alexander’s sister, Hillary Wilcox, said amid tears during the televised court proceedings Monday. “This is what I’ve had to do so I can cope.”
Tanisha Sorenson, another sister of Alexander, directly addressed Arias, citing Arias’ earlier claims in a journal that the person who killed Alexander deserved to die.
“What happened to that, Jodi?” a tearful Sorenson asked as she faced Arias.
Alexander’s relatives and friends wore blue in solidarity.
Prosecutor Juan Martinez said Alexander’s relatives had hoped that Arias was sentenced to serve life without the possibility of parole “not because they want to be vindictive, but [because] as you have also seen, what happened ... was a butchering.”
The story of Arias and Alexander was made for the digital era.
The young couple were outwardly devout Mormons with a tempestuous life behind closed doors that was revealed to the first jury in graphic detail, including testimony about their sex life.
Arias claimed self-defense and said Alexander had subjected her to physical and sexual abuse.
“I AM very, very sorry for the enormous pain I caused,” Jodi Arias said in court in Phoenix.