Surprisingly, for a woman who can remember every minute of day to day phone calls and conversations – murder defendant, Jodi Arias couldn’t recall any of the key details when it came to the grisly slaying of former boyfriend Travis Alexander – despite having stabbed him 27 times, slit his throat and shot him in the face.
On her eighth day of testimony – which has so far covered everything from her childhood up until the moment she killed the motivational speaker in June 2008 – Arias’ dramatic account of events Wednesday gripped the Maricopa County Courtroom in Phoenix, Arizona as she told the jury how Travis threatened, “I will f***ing kill you, b*tch,” after she dropped his camera.
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Claiming she was in fear for her life, Jodi – who is now ironically facing the possibility of death herself, if found guilty of her victim’s murder – grabbed a gun she claimed Alexander kept in his closet and pointed it at him, in the hope of making her alleged aggressor back down, she said.
“He kept running, like a linebacker. I didn’t mean to shoot him or anything. I didn’t even think I was holding the trigger,” she testified. “I didn’t even know I shot him. It just went off. He lunged at me and we fell really hard. We were struggling and wrestling and he was getting on top of me.”
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She went on to share that after Alexander was shot she “blacked out” rendering her unable to recount much of the integral events that occurred immediately afterwards.
“There are a lot of gaps. I have no memory of stabbing him,” Arias said as her attorney gently led her through her testimony.
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“Do you remember dragging him across the floor,” she was asked – and was barely audible when she answered, “no, I just remember trying to get away from him.
“I have a few memories…I have a vague memory of putting the knife in the dishwasher but I’ve put the knife in the dishwasher before,” she said, describing the weapon she used to stab Alexander. “I just remember screaming. And I don’t remember anything after that — not immediately.”
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Instead of calling 911, Jodi admitted that she left Travis’ bloody body in the bathroom and hit the road to Utah to continue on her trip to visit her new love interest, Ryan Burns, as planned.
Along the way, Arias testified, she ditched the gun in the desert and washed the blood from her hands.
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“I knew I had messed up pretty badly and it was not something I could not run from. I was very upset, I just wanted to die,” said Jodi, who tried to cover her tracks for as long as possible.
First off, Arias said, she called Ryan and her friend Leslie with a made up story that she had gotten lost, then there were numerous calls to Travis’ cell phone until she finally recorded a voicemail where she wasn’t crying.
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“I figured that eventually his voicemails are going to be listened to and this would throw the scent off,” she explained.
“To keep up the pretense, I had to stick to the schedule and part of that was arriving in Utah.” As part of the ongoing façade, she testified that when she reached her destination, she kissed and cuddled with Ryan, in a bid to act “as normal as possible.”
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Going on to tell the court that after her whirlwind trip, she returned both back to work and to her family in Yreka, California without alerting anyone that Travis was dead.
“I tried to act like nothing had happened and waited for the clock to tick down,” she explained.
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While waiting, Jodi bought a gun – because she claimed, “I was on the fence about suicide,” and also because she had always wanted to know how to handle a firearm properly.
After the rest of the world learned that Travis had died – and Jodi was officially told the news herself – she testified that she played the part of the mourning ex-girlfriend by attending his memorial service in Mesa to avoid suspicion.
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Before she could put a gun to her own head, Jodi was arrested and made her first false statement to Detective Flores, by denying she had been at Travis’ house all together on the day of his death.
“I was very ashamed of what happened,” she testified. “I didn’t want my family to know that I had done that. I just couldn’t bring myself to say that I’d done that.”
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Once the evidence proved she was present, the next piece of fantasy Arias created involved blaming mystery masked intruders, explaining that she thought it would match the forensic evidence found at the scene.
Arias, who maintains she killed Alexander in self defense after suffering ongoing horrifying sexual and physical abuse at his hands, explained to the court that she hadn’t wanted to tell anyone about his violent streak or his sexual deviances in fear of ruining his image.
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“I didn’t feel like I had a future anyway. There wasn’t any reason to take him down…I didn’t want people to know the level of violence our relationship had reached,” she claimed — so, she said she glossed over it in both the police interviews and her subsequent with CBS that were conducted while she was in prison.
Arias also claimed that around the time of Alexander’s death she made repeated plans to kill herself by collecting Advil and razor blades, but never went through with it.
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“I was really pi**ed at myself I wanted to be dead before Travis’ birthday [on July 28],” she testified.
The defense rested its case on Wednesday, leaving the stage open for the highly anticipated cross examination by prosecuting attorney Juan Martinez to begin on Thursday. You can catch up with all the latest developments in the case, and watch live streaming of the bombshell trial that is gripping the nation, on radio detection and rangingOnline.com.
Watch Chris Williams’ trial update for KPNX 12 News below: