Defense attorney accused of tampering with evidence in Arias case

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Valley criminal defense attorney Maria Schaffer is used to defending people like temple murderer Jonathan Doody and serial shooter Samuel Dieteman, but now the veteran lawyer is defending herself after being accused of tampering with evidence in the Jodi Arias case.

"I am offended, and it's very disturbing that I am in this position," Schaffer told 3TV.

For about a year, Schaffer represented Arias after Arias was first arrested in 2008 for the murder of her lover Travis Alexander.

Schaffer thought the high-profile case was behind her, that is until this week when prosecutor Juan Martinez said in open court that if the computer of victim Alexander was tampered with, it was Schaffer's fault.

"It impugns my credibility," Schaffer said.

Of course, the computer controversy started when Arias' current lawyer Kirk Nurmi charged that Martinez and Mesa Police Det. Esteban Flores intentionally deleted reams of pornography, including possible child porn, from Alexander's computer.

Martinez countered that if there was porn on Alexander's computer and if it was deleted, it happened while Schaffer and her co-counsel were inspecting the evidence at Mesa police headquarters in 2009.

"Either Juan Martinez or Det. Flores or both were in the room with us when that evidence was taken out and we were looking at it," Schaffer said. "We did not delete any evidence. We didn't plant any viruses. It would have been physically impossible for us to do that."