Mistrial denied, juror excused in Arias trial

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The judge in Jodi Arias' murder trial denied the defense's request for a mistrial and excused a juror Tuesday morning.

Arias' defense lawyers had asked the judge to declare a mistrial due to juror misconduct. Specifics were not disclosed.

Her attorneys claimed the misconduct was discovered during closed proceedings last week.

After about an hour in chambers with the defense lawyers and prosecutors, Judge Sherry Stephens announced, "The court has denied the motion for mistrial. Juror No. 5 has been excused."

Stephens said there should be no speculation as to why the juror was dismissed.

The trial resumed with the continuation of testimony from domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette.

Arias faces a possible death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder in the 2008 death of her lover. Travis Alexander was found dead in the shower of his Mesa home.

Alexander was shot in the head, stabbed and his throat was slit.

Arias claims she killed him in self-defense.