Second juror dismissed in Jodi Arias retrial

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX --  A second juror has been excused from the Jodi Arias penalty retrial. This is the second juror dismissed in just two days.

Judge Sherry Stephens excused juror No. 9 Wednesday, after that juror reportedly ignored the judge's warnings, and made contact with a reporter.

Journalist and legal analyst Beth Karas told the judge she was approached outside the courtroom by the juror. Karas told the judge that the female juror came up to her during the morning break and asked her if she was Nancy Grace.

"I was just getting my bags and she turned to me and said, 'Are you Nancy Grace?'" Karas said. "I said, 'No, but I used to work with her.' And she said, "Well, you look familiar.' And that was it."

Karas reported the incident to the judge, and it was enough to get that juror sent home.

"They're going to run out of alternates if this happens every day," says Karas.

Karas also told the judge the juror was not wearing her juror badge, which jurors are required to have on at all times at the courthouse.

There were also questions about why that juror had been picked in the first place, since she had admitted that a relative of hers knew Jodi Arias.

Inside the courtroom Wednesday, prosecutor Juan Martinez unleashed a barrage of grisly photos showing the autopsy of victim Travis Alexander.

The body of 30-year-old Alexander was found on June 9, 2008, in the shower of his Mesa apartment.  In 2013, a jury found Arias guilty of first-degree murder in the killing, but was deadlocked during the sentencing phase, prompting the penalty retrial..

On Wednesday, the medical examiner testified in graphic detail about the brutal attack that resulted in Alexander's death.

He described how Alexander was stabbed 27 times, shot with a .25-caliber gun, and nearly decapitated when his throat, voice box and arteries were cut.

"Shocking," says Courtroom analyst and blogger Jen Wood, who writes for thetrialdiaries.com. "Even though we've seen the photos before, seeing them again is so shocking."

The photos showed close-up images of Alexander's slashed, shot and brutalized body, including his nearly-severed neck.

"It really brings it all together to the jury what a brutal crime this really was,' Wood says.