HLN's Nancy Grace taping from Jodi Arias trial

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- As court-watchers wait to see whether Jodi Arias will take the stand this week in her high-profile murder trial, the hype outside the courtroom continues to grow.

“I was sitting in my studio in Atlanta and New York, watching the trial, and I couldn’t understand the magic that Arias seems to work on people.  I wanted to come see it for myself,” said HLN anchor and legal analyst Nancy Grace who is taping her show in Phoenix this week. 

Grace toured Estrella Jail where Arias is being held and spoke with a fellow inmate who described Arias as “nice" and said Arias told her she killed Travis Alexander in self-defense.

“Remember, Jodi Arias has a mojo about her,” Grace said.  “She can get you to believe just about anything.”

Although her story has changed three times, Arias and her defense team now claim self defense in the Mesa murder of her former boyfriend.

“It’s almost as if the mind is tricking the eye because when you look at Arias looking so pitiful and frail in the courtroom, it’s hard to imagine she could have stabbed Alexander 29 times and shot him in the head,” Grace said.

While defense attorneys argue Arias was abused, intimidated and controlled by Alexander, legal analysts on both sides agree her conflicting statements and actions after 2008 killing may come back to haunt her.

“It’s going to be tough; it doesn’t look good for her right now,” said Colleen Burke-Myers, who stopped by  Grace’s taping Tuesday afternoon.

While ultimately the decision will be up to the jury, Grace weighed in with her opinion.

“I think it will end in a conviction,” she said.  “Arias will be convicted. I can’t call it on the death penalty; it’s pretty hard to get the death penalty on a woman.