Jury isn't buying her story: Arias day 17 on the stand

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by Carey Peña

Bio | Email | Follow: @careypenatv

azfamily.com

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 7 at 7:19 PM

PHOENIX -- The jury is not buying her story.

In the final questions submitted by jurors to accused murderer Jodi Arias Thursday, the jury showed that they were not convinced that Arias killed her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in self-defense. 

"After all the lies you told," asked one juror, "why should we believe you now?"

"You claim everything happened so fast you didn't have time to think, so how could you think of grabbing a gun?" asked another. "How can you say you don't have memory issues when you can't remember how you stabbed him so many times and slashed his throat?"

The questions provided a rare glimpse into how the jurors may view the case against Arias, who is charged with first degree murder and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Arizona is one of only three states that allows jurors to ask questions of witnesses.

“What the jury is doing now is attempting to fill in the empty spaces in the narrative of the defense and the prosecution’s narrative so they can feel more comfortable in the weighty task of deciding whether a young woman should die or not,” says Psychologist and Jury Consultant Dr. Dennis Elias of Phoenix based Litigation Strategies. “They want to figure out what her motives are.”

Initially, jurors submitted more than 100 questions for Arias based on her direct testimony and cross examination. As she answered those questions, jurors submitted additional questions to Judge Sherry Stephens to be answered Thursday.

The final questions focused on Arias' lies and her claim that she could not remember killing Alexander.

“Why is it that you have no memory of stabbing Travis?” asked one juror.  To which Arias, in her 17th day on the stand, answered, “I can’t really explain why my mind did what it did.”

“Why did you place Travis’ body back in the shower,” asked another juror. 

Arias, rotating to face the jurors as she answered each question responded, “I could only speculate because I don’t remember.”

“The defense has a problem – no question,” said Dr. Elias, who has consulted on hundreds of jury trials.

He said Arias reminds him of an ‘overly clever and rebellious adolescent’ who seems emotionally detached.

“She risks alienating jurors who are trying to understand what kind of person she really is," Dr. Elias explained.

“They are not really interested in what she remembers and what she doesn’t – they already have opinions about that,” Dr. Elias told 3TV. “What they want to know is, is she a liar. Branding her as a liar goes to her character and therefore her motive.”

Arias is facing charges for killing Alexander during what she claims was a violent argument at his home in Mesa on June 4, 2008. She claims she killed him in self-defense.

The prosecution claims she killed Alexander out of jealousy.

Testimony ended Thursday at 4:30 p.m. and will resume on Wednesday, March 13th at 10 a.m.

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