Jury sent home until Thursday in Jodi Arias retrial

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- There was another surprise in the Jodi Arias retrial Monday, as court proceedings came to an abrupt stop.

Superior Court judge Sherry Stevens returned from the afternoon recess, and announced that there had been an emergency situation, and she was sending the jury home until Thursday.

Legal expert Beth Karas said these kinds of things happen. "It could be something in the personal life of one of the defense attorneys, or Juan Martinez, or the judge," said Karas. "How unusual is it for the Jodi Arias case? It is very typical. This case moves at a snail's pace."

The trial entered its 11th day Monday after a three-day break. Last week's testimony included a clinical psychologist who is an expert in twisted sexual behavior.

Psychologist Micia Fonseca was back on the witness stand Monday morning, where he talked about murder victim Travis Alexander's issues with his Mormon faith and sexual desires.

Fonseca said that Alexander had a "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" personality. Defense attorneys are trying to show that Arias was the victim of emotional abuse.

"This is a good witness for the defense," says Karas.

In yet another twist, prosecutor Juan Martinez filed a motion to have sanctions against Arias' attorneys.

The motion claims that one of the defense team's expert witnesses damaged a laptop computer, that could be a key piece of evidence in the case. The defense witness was expected to testify that he found thousands of pornographic images on Alexander's computer.

However, the prosecution's motion alleges that the computer was damaged, so that the state's computer expert could not re-examine it.

The motion also claims that Arias' attorneys handed over computer files that belonged, "to an individual named Tony," that had nothing to do with the case.

As for a defense motion to throw the murder conviction out, a hearing will likely be held later this week to discuss the thousands of pornographic images the defense claims were deleted from Alexander's computer while in the custody of Mesa police.

Arias, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Alexander, her ex-lover, is fighting for her life, as jurors determine whether she should spend the rest of her life in prison, or should be executed.

The body of  30-year-old Alexander was found in his Mesa apartment. He had been stabbed, his throat was slit and he had a gunshot wound to his forehead.

Arias, who initially denied she killed Alexander, would eventually admit that she killed him in self-defense, but jurors didn't buy into that claim.

The jury convicted Arias on May 8, 2013, But jurors were unable to reach a verdict in her sentencing and a mistrial was declared on May 23, 2013.

Members of the current jury, which was selected from more than 400 potential jurors over several weeks, have been shown graphic photos of the crime scene, listened to interrogation tapes in which Arias produced a number of lies, and had a juror dismissed for asking a woman journalist in attendance if she was TV journalist Nancy Grace since the retrial began on Oct. 21.

The trial, which has generated an online and cable news audience nationwide, is expected to last until early or mid-December.