Expert trial attorney analyzes Jodi Arias defense strategy

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- The trial of Jodi Arias resumed Tuesday with prosecutors set to try and make their case that she brutally stabbed and then shot her on-again/off-again boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in his Mesa home in 2008.

After first claiming she wasn't even there, Arias later changed her story to detectives, saying armed intruders stormed the apartment. During opening statements last week, Arias' attorneys made the claim that Arias killed Alexander, but only in self-defense.

Jason Lamm is a seasoned trial attorney who has worked as a prosecutor and a defense attorney. Lamm said claims of self-defense may be difficult for jurors to accept.

"Whether she's a prostitute or a princess, it really doesn't matter," he said. "What the jury is going to look at are the facts of the case, and what we know is that we have a horrible, horrible gruesome crime scene."

According to reports from the Maricopa County medical examiner, Alexander was stabbed 29 times, including 10 stab wounds to the back. His throat was slit from ear to ear and he had been shot in the head, which investigators believe may have happened post-mortem. Arias appeared to break down in tears last week as evidence photos of the crime scene and Alexander's lifeless body were shown during opening statements.

Lamm believes Arias will eventually have to take the stand in her own defense and explain her actions.

"In Arizona, the defense has to raise self-defense, and the prosecution has to come back and rebut it," Lamm said. "But... (there were) two people in that room and Travis Alexander is dead."

The prosecutor in the case, Juan Martinez, has handled one other high-profile case where a wife raised self-defense in a brutal murder. In 2004, Wendi Andriano was convicted for the October 2000 murder of her terminally ill husband in Ahwatukee. Andriano had testified on the stand for several days detailing years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of her husband, Joseph. But jurors agreed with prosecutors that Andriano was guilty of murder and sentenced her to death row.

The trial is expected to last several weeks.