Did Arizona prosecutor Juan Martinez act improperly during the investigation and subsequent 2013 trial of convicted killer Jodi Arias? According to Arias’ attorneys, he did, and they’re seeking a new trial for her.
Arizona Central reports that Arias’ attorneys filed an appeal in 2018, after accusing Martinez, in part, of leaking a juror’s name to a blogger who covered the Arias trial in 2013 and giving false testimony during the murder investigation.
Further, Martinez has been accused of making sexual comments to a Maricopa County Superior Court employee.
Martinez is also accused of asking a juror what the jury thought about the case. The same juror, who was removed from the case, is accused of sending photos of her “naked breasts to Martinez after he told her he was ‘a breast man.'”
According to NBC 4 in Tucson, the judges presiding over the case will seek specific answers to questions concerning how Martinez’s behavior could have possibly affected Arias’ verdict, including:
- Is Arias is entitled to a new trial if there was intentional prosecutorial misconduct?
- Would double jeopardy play a role?
- How could a judge control an attorney’s conduct?
- Was Arias deprived of the ability to present her defense to the jury?
- If there was prosecutorial misconduct, did it contribute to Arias’ guilty verdict?
- Should the publicity outside the courtroom be considered when deciding if the atmosphere of the trial was “circus-like?”
- Can publicity outside the courtroom grant a reversal?
As CrimeOnline previously reported, in 2008, 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 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 jealousy and anger. During her 2013 murder trial, prosecutors argued that Arias became increasingly upset after Travis broke up with her. He continued to decline her requests to get back together as a couple. She flew in a fit of rage when she learned Travis was dating someone else.
On May 7, 2013, a jury found Arias guilty of first-degree murder. During the sentencing phase of the trial, the 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 now up to the Arizona court of appeals to determine if Martinez’s conduct during Arias’ trial is worthy of the woman getting a new trial. The appeal hearing will be held on October 17.
Check back for further updates.
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[Feature Photo: Jodi Arias via Mark Henle/The Arizona Republic via AP, Pool, File]