Battle over media coverage puts Jodi Arias retrial on hold

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- The attorneys were back in court Tuesday in the Jodi Arias sentencing retrial, arguing over what direction this trial will take next.

On Monday, an Arizona appeals court ruled that the public and the media can not be excluded from hearing testimony of certain witnesses. But on Tuesday, Arias' attorney said that if the public and the media are allowed back in, the defense can not go forward.

"The position of Ms. Arias is a stern one," says her attorney, Kirk Nurmi. "We do not intend to go forward until she has the opportunity to litigate these rights in front of the court of appeals."

On a rare day when Judge Sherry Stephens allowed the media to record and broadcast a Jodi Arias hearing, her defense attorney stated that if the public and the media are allowed in the courtroom during the testimony of certain witnesses, the defense will not go forward.

"Ms. Arias should not be held to suffer because of what the media has done," says Nurmi. "If the media cause a mistrial, if we have mistrial by media, so be it."

Nurmi told the judge that he needs time to appeal Monday's ruling that once again opened the door to the public and the media.

"They are not going to go forward just because they received a ruling they did not like," says prosecutor Juan Martinez.

Martinez accuses the defense of holding the proceeding "hostage." And he adamantly opposes any delay in Jodi Arias' retrial.

"The victims have a right to continue with the proceeding," says Martinez. "Somehow their constitutional rights have not been addressed by the defense council's request."

Judge Stephens is putting everything on hold until next Wednesday, Nov. 12. Jurors will not hear any more testimony until then. That allows Nurmi to file an emergency appeal later this week. Nurmi also says he doesn't think the trial will end in December but instead go through January.