Jodi Arias trial could be winding down after 40 days; 2 more jurors excused

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The sentencing retrial of convicted murderer Jodi Arias continues Monday morning, and it could be the beginning of the end.

During the morning session, Judge Sherry Stephens announced that she had to excuse juror No. 5 and juror No. 12. No reason was given.

At this point, there are 14 jurors left on the panel.

The prosecution rested its case last week and mitigation is expected to begin this week.

Arias is trying to avoid the death penalty after being convicted of killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.

Testimony has lasted two months longer than projected. The sentencing retrial began Oct. 21.

The prosecution rested its case Feb. 12, and Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens told the jury that testimony from rebuttal witnesses could come as late as Feb. 26.

The jury has been off since Thursday.

The defense rested its case Jan. 27.

Arias was convicted of first-degree murder in the June 2008 death of the 30-year-old Alexander was found in his Mesa residence. He had been stabbed, his throat slit and he had a gunshot wound to his forehead.

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

Members of the current jury were selected from more than 400 potential jurors over several weeks. The trial has generated an online and cable news audience nationwide.