Judge sends Jodi Arias jurors home -- again

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- It might be a new year, but the stop-and-go nature of the Jodi Arias sentencing retrial is old habit.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens sent jurors home Monday morning, saying a petition had been filed by the Arias defense with the state Supreme Court regarding the transcript of Arias' testimony.

Stephens scheduled a hearing at 8:30 a.m. Thursday to discuss the release of the transcripts.

She was also scheduled to meet with attorneys on both sides at 4 p.m. Monday to determine whether the trial will continue Tuesday.

Attorneys for Arias, convicted of murdering her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, have already filed a motion asking that prosecutors hand over reports relating to the investigation of a computer belonging to Alexander.

Arias entered the courtroom about 10 a.m. Monday and Stephens was expected to have a hearing on the media's request to have the transcript of Arias' secret testimony of a few weeks ago released.

Stephens then called a five-minute recess before sending the jury home.

The Arias defense team continues to try and convince the jury that Arias was a victim and suffered from some type of mental illness in the hope jurors might give her life in prison and not the death penalty.

Defense witness Dr. Bob Geffner has evaluated Arias' journal entries and discussed emails and text messages between Arias and Alexander.

Legal experts believe the Arias defense team is trying to show that the convicted killer has a personality disorder that was brought on by a lifetime of physical and emotional abuse, which could be a mitigating factor in the jury's decision to sentence Arias to death or life in prison.

The Arias trial has garnered national - even worldwide - attention. On May 8, 2013, a jury convicted her of murdering her ex-lover Travis Alexander, 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 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.

Continuing coverage: Jodi Arias penalty phase retrial