Arias evidentiary hearing gets heated; prosecutor, IT expert square off

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- Although the jury in the Jodi Arias sentencing retrial is off until Monday, the lawyers and the judge were still hard at work Thursday.

The jury was given the break while evidentiary hearings were held Thursday and Friday.

At issue Thursday was the alleged deletion of thousands of files, some of which reportedly were pornographic in nature, from Travis Alexander's computer.

The defense filed a motion to have Arias' murder conviction thrown out, claiming that the images were removed from Alexander's computer while it was in police custody.

Martinez is arguing that the defense's own IT expert is the one who erased the files in question.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez accused the expert of using special kind of program to destroy the files. That expert called Martinez a liar, saying he only removed malware and viruses from the machine.

The expert did not stop at accusing Martinez of lying.

Prosecutor: Isn't it true that you used an incinerator program to delete 70,000 files?

Expert: That is absolutely not true. You are absolutely lying. This is prosecutorial misconduct.

The expert also said that somebody accessed porn sites from Alexander's computer on June 10, 2008. Arias killed Alexander, she claims in self-defense, on June 4, several days earlier.

The Arias trial has garnered national - even worldwide - attention. A jury on May 8, 2013, convicted her of murdering her ex-lover, and while they found her eligible for the death penalty, they could not unanimously agree to hand down the sentence.

Because of that, Judge Sherry Stephens declared a mistrial in the penalty phase of the trial.

After months of legal wrangling, a new jury was eventually impaneled, and a retrial of the sentencing phase began on Oct. 21. It is expected to last until the middle of the month.

In the meantime, rumors that Arias herself will once again take the stand continue to swirl.