Court sketch artist reveals insight into Arias

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- She has come face to face with some of the most notorious killers. Now in an exclusive interview with 3TV, meet the woman who has a front-row seat in the murder case that's captivating the nation.

Freelance artist Maggie Keane has spent decades drawing everyone from accused killers to high-powered politicians.

"It's important for me to get as much as a camera would get," Keane said.

But in order to accurately convey courtoom drama, Keane explains, "It just takes a lot of observation of looking at people and studying their faces."

She does more than just sketch suspects, she scrutinizes their every move.

"How everybody is at the moment, in the moment, and if there is emotion, I try to put that in," she said.

Her latest subject, Jodi Arias, who is accused of stabbing her boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

"It's hard for me to read her, she's just so calm and collected," Keane said. "She's very demur and soft spoken."

Even Keane admits it's been a challenge not getting caught up in the case.

"You're trying not to feel the emotion so much that it will distract me from what I'm trying to do so I kind of need to detach a little bit from all the emotion that's going on otherwise I get, wow, I get caught up in it and next thing you know, whoops, give me the eraser," she said.

One case she wishes she could erase from her member involved Jared Loughner, the Tucson man who pleaded guilty to killing six people and shooting former Rep. Gabby Giffords.

"There was a sense of he's capable of doing anything in here, it's a good thing he's shackled and handcuffed," Keane said. 

She vividly remembers the moment Loughner entered the courtroom.

"That was the first, pretty much the first trial that ever made me freeze and try to collect myself and continue to draw," she said.

In the meantime, Keane will continue capturing key moments in the Arias case. In fact, she wasn't shy about sharing her shock over Arias' own artwork currently on sale.

"The fact that she stabbed somebody 27 times is going to make that picture worth a thousand dollars and if she gets a death penalty maybe it will be worth a million dollars," Keane said. "That's how things work. It's crazy."