In 2008, Arizona woman Jodi Arias drove to her former boyfriend’s home and murdered him in cold blood, leaving behind overwhelming pieces of evidence. Authorities found Mesa resident, Travis Alexander, 30, dead in his own shower with his throat slit, a gunshot wound to his head, and stabs across his back and body. A coroner later stated Travis had numerous defense wounds on his hands.
The primary motive, according to prosecutors, was of jealousy and anger. Authorities arrested Arias shortly after the murder and during her trial for murder in 2013, prosecutors argued that Arias became increasingly upset after Travis broke up with her and continued to decline her request to get back together as a couple. She flew in a fit of rage when she learned Travis was dating someone else.
Arias initially denied having anything to do with Travis’ death, but when faced with evidence found at the crime scene, including a bloody palm print with her DNA and a digital camera with photos of herself and Travis taken on the day of the murder, she changed her story and claimed self-defense, stating that Travis was emotionally and physically abusive. Authorities found no evidence that Travis ever abused Arias.
While testifying during her trial, Arias said she was also abused as a little girl, followed by abuse by Travis. She indicated that Travis was also secretly attracted to young boy and girls, something authorities again found no evidence of. She later began giving interviews while in jail, and in an interview with Inside Edition, she assured the public that she would never be found guilty of murdering her former boyfriend.
“No jury is going to convict me … because I am innocent. You can mark my words on that.”
During trial, prosecutor Juan Martinez argued that Travis suffered through excruciating pain and ultimately died when Arias slashed his throat, cutting his common carotid artery, jugular vein, and trachea.
“She made sure she killed him by stabbing him over and over and over again and then finishing him off by slicing his throat. It is also sure that during this attack Mr. Alexander suffered. Mr. Alexander suffered pain every time the knife went into his body, every time the knife blade struck the back of his head, and when the blade went down to his throat, it was certainly also extremely painful.”
“As he laid there, still seeing, still breathing…he could see up there this knife, this woman, this blade coming towards him,” Martinez continued. “Only death could relieve that pain. Only death could relieve that anguish. And that is especially cruel.”
Despite Arias’ efforts to paint a picture of a life of abuse at the hands of Travis, on May 7, 2013, a jury found her guilty of first-degree murder. During the sentencing phase of the trial, a jury couldn’t agree on whether Arias should serve life in prison or get death, resulting in a re-trial for sentencing. In 2015, when the jury again couldn’t decide on sentencing, a judge sentenced Arias to life in prison.
In 2014, following a restitution hearing, Arias was ordered to pay more than $32,000 to Travis’ family.
It’s been a decade since Arias brutally snuffed the life out of Travis, a Mormon whose faith helped him succeed in motivational speaking as as an author. Arias, who once lived freely and enjoyed traveling, now spends her time in maximum security unit of the Perryville prison in Goodyear, Arizona. During her time there, she’s complained about prison food, yet bragged that she had a lot of “love” in prison and watched premium television channels.
“It’s all good. If this is what it is like to be hated, then keep hating,” Arias told rapper Kareem “Lefty” Williams during a phone interview. “I’ve had so much love coming in my direction I can’t even respond to it now.”
Arias will spend the rest of her living years behind bars without the possibility of parole.
[Feature Photo: Jodi Arias via AP/The Arizona Republic, David Wallace, Pool]