Convicted murderer Jodi Arias to file appeal just after 10th anniversary of gruesome killing

(Source: Arizona's Family file photos) (Source: Arizona's Family file photos)
(Source: Arizona's Family file photo) (Source: Arizona's Family file photo)
Travis Alexander (Arizona's Family file photo) Travis Alexander (Arizona's Family file photo)

Monday marks the 10th anniversary of the murder that led to one of the most notorious trials this state and this country have ever seen.

Serving a life sentence for killing her on-again-off-again boyfriend Travis Alexander, Jodi Arias is in the process of appealing her first-degree murder conviction.

On May 17, a judge granted her a three-week extension to file the appeal. That makes the new deadline this week, just days after the 10th anniversary of Alexander’s murder. Arias wanted to file under seal, but the court denied the requester.

[RELATED: Court rejects request to file Jodi Arias appeal under seal]

[RELATED: Jodi Arias gets more time to file appeal in murder case]

When Alexander’s body was found in his Mesa home on June 9, 2008, nobody could have predicted the global media blitz that would accompany Arias’ trial.

For better or worse, the quest for justice for Alexander changed the way the public sees high-profile trials forever.

But let’s go back to the beginning of the tumultuous and ultimately doomed relationship.

The start of a stormy relationship

Arias and Alexander met in September 2006 during a work convention in Las Vegas.

She was an aspiring saleswoman and photographer who lived in California.

He was a salesman and motivational speaker.

In November, Arias was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Alexander was Mormon and his faith, according to his family and friends, was important to him. They believed him to be devout.

The couple dated for about five months in early 2007 but continued to have sex after they broke up.

Arias, who moved to Arizona for a time in summer 2007, actually said she went to Alexander’s house – at his request – for what she called “makeup sex” the day he died. She had moved back to California by then but was on her way to see a friend in Utah and had detoured to Mesa to see Alexander.

Prosecutors argued that the visit was unannounced, but Arias insisted she was invited.

June 4, 2008, was the last time Alexander was seen alive.

I looked at my husband and said, 'It's Jodi.' I just knew it. But not just me. Everybody knew it.

~ Julie Christopher, Co-worker of Travis Alexander

Julie Christopher, who said she worked with Alexander for years, told CBS 5 that Arias and Alexander never held hands together or came off as a couple.

Christopher said she, Alexander and Arias were part of a small group having dinner together after a business conference several weeks before the murder.

"When she was sitting next to me at that event, she goes, 'He changed my life, he changed my life. He's so amazing,' and then she keeps on taking pictures," Christopher said. "She (Arias) was, like, totally obsessed with Travis."

Christopher also said Alexander had told her he had broken things off with Arias.

"He said, 'No, no. I'm done with her. This is not my girlfriend. This is not the kind of girlfriend I want,'" Christopher said.

When she heard Alexander had been murdered, Christopher's first thought was of Arias.

"I looked at my husband and said, 'It's Jodi.' I just knew it. But not just me. Everybody knew it," she said.

Arias had known Alexander less than two years.

[RELATED: Friend recalls last meeting of Alexander, Arias in public (Feb. 21, 2013)]

After the murder

On June 5, 2008, the day after the murder but before Alexander's friends found his body, Arias continued on her way to Utah.

On June 9, Alexander’s friends found his naked body in the shower of his Mesa home. He had been stabbed nearly 30 times and shot in the head with a .25 caliber gun, the same type of weapon that allegedly was stolen the California home of Arias’ grandparents – where she was staying – just days earlier.

Detective found hair from Arias and a bloody palm print at the scene. They also found provocative photos of Arias and Alexander on a camera that had been tossed into the washing machine. The pictures were time-stamped.

A grand jury indicted Arias on first-degree murder a month after Alexander’s body was discovered. It was July 9, 2008, Arias’ 28th birthday. Police arrested her at her grandparents’ home a few days later.

At first, Arias told police she had no idea what happened to Alexander.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Convicted killer Jodi Arias]

She changed her story a few months later, telling the media and anybody who would listen that two masked intruders attacked her and killed Alexander.

"No jury is going to convict me,” she said in a jailhouse interview with “Inside Edition.” “I am innocent, and you can mark my words on that."

Arguing that Arias killed Alexander in a jealous rage after he tried to end their ongoing affair, prosecutors filed notice of their intent to speak the death penalty.

No long after the second anniversary of Alexander’s death, Arias changed her story again. She admitted that she killed Alexander, but insisted that it was self-defense.

He was a very giving person, and thoughtful, and always wanted to make sure he left people better than when he met them.

~ Clancy Talbot, Travis Alexander's friend

The trial

Arias’ trial finally started on Jan. 2, 2013. More than four years had gone by since Alexander was killed.

Interest in the trial was unprecedented. Not only was there daily coverage, but it was the early days of live streaming. People were glued to their computers and devices.

During her 18 days on the stand, Arias told the jury Alexander was physically and emotionally abusive and that he turned violent their last time together. She said she had no choice but to fight for her life.

"Travis flipped out. He picked me up, called me a 'stupid idiot,' and body-slammed me on the tile," Arias said on the stand.

"Who knows [what he was going to do]? He'd already almost killed me," she said, referring to a day several weeks earlier in which she said Alexander choked her until she blacked out.

"I remembered where he kept a gun, and I grabbed it. He ran chasing me. I pointed it at him so he'd stop chasing me," she continued, "I turned around and pointed it at him with both hands. I thought it'd stop him."

Arias said her memory was hazy after that, claiming she did not remember stabbing him more than two dozen times or dragging his body across the floor.

Closing arguments began on May 2, 2013. The defensive stuck with its argument that Arias killed Alexander in self-defense. The prosecution painted her a manipulative liar who planned the attack and killed Alexander in cold blood.

While the jury was deliberating, Alexander’s family and friends held a candlelight vigil for him. Much of the focus during the trial was on Arias and her life. They wanted to change that and shed light on Alexander’s life and the potential he would never fulfill.

"He was a very giving person, and thoughtful, and always wanted to make sure he left people better than when he met them," Clancy Talbot, a friend of Alexander's, said at that vigil. " Just remember Travis for who he is."

"He was just full of energy and enthusiasm and adventuresome spirit," said Dave Hall, who had been friends with Alexander for about seven years. "And, ya know, we lost a great person."

After deliberating for a few days, the jury convicted Arias of first-degree murder on May 8, a month shy of the fifth anniversary of Alexander’s death. That jury, however, could not come to a unanimous decision on the sentence – life in prison or death.

On the fifth anniversary of Alexander’s murder, still waiting for Arias to be sentenced, Alexander’s family came together to honor him.

"June 4th will forever be a dark reminder of who has been ripped from our lives. June 4th will always be the day we stop and think this is the day Travis was murdered. You will think about all the horrible pain and suffering he went through. That day will always come,” Alexander’s brother Steven wrote on a Facebook page that is still updated today. (We reached out to the admins of this page but never heard back.)

[RELATED: Travis Alexander's family honors him on anniversary of his death (June 4, 2013)]

More than a year after the conviction, a new jury was selected and a second trial for the penalty phase began on Oct. 21, 2014.

Alexander's siblings told that jury how they were still traumatized by his killing six earlier (at the time), recounting a litany of nightmares, ulcers and family troubles brought on by the loss of their beloved family member.

"When I lay down at night, all I can think about is my brother's murder," Steven Alexander said as other family members could be heard crying in the gallery.

But just like the first penalty phase, the second trial ended in a deadlock.

In the end, a judge on April 14, 2015 -- 2,506 days after Alexander was murdered -- sentenced Arias to life in prison with no possibility of parole. 

[RELATED: Jodi Arias saga comes to a close with life prison sentence (April 14, 2015)]

Alexander’s family was furious. Describing Arias as "evil" and an "unrepentant murderer" who told "atrocious lies," they had pushed for the death penalty.

As Arias was led out of the courtroom that day, one of Alexander’s sibling yelled, "Burn in hell," prompting her sister to try to quiet her down.

Alexander would have been 40 now and lives on the in the hearts and minds of those who knew him best, many of whom likely despise the fact that he is known more for how he died and at whose hand than for how he lived.

June 4th will forever be a dark reminder of who has been ripped from our lives. June 4th will always be the day we stop and think this is the day Travis was murdered. 

~ Steven Alexander, Travis Alexander's brother (via Facebook on June 4, 2013)

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