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.

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION - By Michael Muskal michael.muskal@la­ Twit­ter: @la­times­muskal

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.

Mark Henle Ari­zona Repub­lic

“I AM very, very sorry for the enor­mous pain I caused,” Jodi Arias said in court in Phoenix.

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