Prosecution expected to start questioning Jodi Arias Thursday

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by Brian Skoloff, Associated Press writer and Catherine Holland

GMAZ interview by Kaley O'Kelley and Scott Pasmore

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 9:25 AM

PHOENIX -- When the trial of accused murderer Jodi Arias picks up Thursday, the prosecution will finally have its chance to ask her questions about the night she admittedly killed her ex-boyfriend.

Arias' lawyers wrapped up their questioning Wednesday. After eight days on the stand laying out a case for self-defense in the killing, Arias told the jury she did not remember stabbing Travis Alexander and slitting his throat after the couple got into a fight at his Mesa home in June 2008.

"I have no memory of stabbing him," Arias said. "I remember dropping the knife and it clinked on the tile ... And I just remember screaming. I don't remember anything after that."

Jodi Arias murder trial stories

Arias said the fight started after a day of raunchy sex when she accidentally dropped Alexander's new digital camera while taking provocative photos of him in the shower of his Mesa home. She said he flew into a rage, body-slammed her and chased her around the house, coming at her "like a linebacker."

Arias said she grabbed a gun from his closet, and that it went off while they tussled. She wasn't sure if it hit him.

"I didn't mean to shoot him or anything," she said.

"He was angry at me and he wasn't going to stop," Arias added. "It was like mortal terror."

While the Arias' lawyers are arguing that she acted in self-defense, killing Alexander to save her own life, the prosecution is painting a very different picture, saying Arias planned the killing in a jealous rage.

"I think the defense is counting on maybe one or two people being emotionally invested to the point that they're buying into what Jodi is saying and that they're going to make some kind of a connection with her," criminal defense attorney Julio Laboy (right) told 3TV's Kaley O'Kalley and Scott Pasmore Thursday morning, just hours before the trial was set to resume.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez is known as an aggressive cross-examiner, but it's not yet clear how he will handle Arias.

"I think fireworks are looming," Laboy said. "Juan Martinez is a very, very experience prosecutor and he's very aggressive. He's going to out, in my view, and just fire away. There are so many inconsistencies for him to work with -- selective memory, the changing of the stories over and over again."

Still, some legal experts say Martinez will be walking a very fine line.

"[H]e has to be careful because if he is too aggressive, if he is too powerful, that one juror could get the sympathy because he may even liken himself to the men that have abused her [Arias] over the years by pushing her around too much," Phoenix defense attorney Jason Lamm said earlier this month. "He's walking a real fine line. He can get the job done, but, you know, be careful."

Whichever way it goes, the jury will have to be unanimous in its decision. A first-degree murder conviction could mean the death penalty for Arias. If the jury opts to convict on the lesser charge of second-degree murder, the maximum sentence is 22 years in prison.

You can watch the court proceedings live on azfamily.com and on the 3TV News App for iPhone and iPad.

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