Prosecution rests in high-profile Jodi Arias murder case

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX (AP) -- Prosecutors rested their case Thursday in the high-profile trial of an Arizona woman accused of killing her on-again-off-again boyfriend in 2008.

Jodi Arias, 32, could become the fourth woman on Arizona's death row if she's convicted in the high-profile case.

Prosecutors allege Arias shot Travis Alexander in the head, stabbed him 27 times and slit his throat, then left him in a shower inside his suburban Phoenix home. They argue the actions were those of a jealous woman who brutally attacked Alexander after he tried to end their relationship.

Arias claims Alexander was abusive and the killing was in self-defense.

Defense attorneys said prosecutors didn't present enough evidence to prove premeditated murder. Arias' attorneys are expected to begin presenting their case Jan. 29.

The prosecution's last witness Thursday was a female friend of Arias who had dinner with her 24 hours after Alexander was killed on June 4, 2008, at his Mesa home.

"She was acting like Jodi, the same Jodi I always talk to," Leslie Udy testified, adding she had been friends with Arias for about two years at that time.

Udy told jurors that she had a long talk that night with Arias, who called Alexander - a 30-year-old devout Mormon, businessman and motivational speaker - her best friend.

"She said that they weren't together anymore, which I kind of already knew," Udy said.

But Arias added that she and Alexander would "always be friends," she said.

Udy also said her husband noticed a cut on Arias' hand.

"She said that she had broken a glass at work and cut her fingers," Udy testified.

Days later, Udy said Arias called her in tears and told her Alexander had been found dead.

"She couldn't imagine why someone could do something like that to Travis, that he was such a wonderful person and why would anybody do that to him," Udy said.

According to authorities, Alexander was shot in the head with a .25-caliber handgun, the same caliber gun Arias and her grandparents reported stolen from their Northern California home about a week before the killing. Arias was staying with them at the time.

Mesa police said they found sexual photographs in a camera inside Alexander's home that place Arias there on the day he was killed.

The photos, displayed for jurors, show Arias nude in Alexander's home and Alexander alive in the shower, then dead in the bathroom. A police detective said the photos are time-stamped on the day Alexander was killed and Arias' bloody palm print and hair also were found at the scene.

Arias said she broke up with Alexander after about five months of dating, but the two continued to see each other sexually.

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