Posted: Feb 27, 2013 12:47 PM by Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) - Jodi Arias insisted Wednesday that despite repeatedly lying to authorities, friends and family in the days after she killed her lover, she is telling the truth on the witness stand in her death penalty trial.
"So you're now telling the truth, right?" prosecutor Juan Martinez asked pointedly, almost sarcastically.
"Yes," Arias said.
Martinez has been grilling Arias for three days over her numerous stories, first claiming to know nothing of Travis Alexander's death, then later blaming it on masked intruders before eventually settling on self-defense. She was too ashamed and frightened of the consequences to be truthful, she told jurors.
Alexander, she has said, was a cheating womanizer, an angry man with a violent temper who once choked her into unconsciousness, while simultaneously a caring, loving boyfriend who bought her surprise gifts, took her on trips and loaned her his car.
Her testimony resumed Wednesday in Phoenix, as Martinez continued his aggressive cross-examination. He has worked to poke holes in her stories and noted the duplicity of her portrayal of Alexander, trying to show jurors she is lying, as he works for a first-degree murder conviction and the death penalty.
Arias has said throughout the trial that Alexander coerced her into performing raunchy sex acts, noting she felt like a prostitute, while phone recordings played for jurors and text messages shown in court seem to indicate that she enjoyed participating.
"So when you tell us you felt like a prostitute it seems to be contradictory?" Martinez noted.
Arias said he is misunderstanding the context of the text messages and calls, during which one segment played for jurors has Arias telling Alexander, "You are amazing. Seriously, you made me feel like a goddess."
Martinez noted the call, which Arias recorded, came shortly after one of the sexual encounters Arias claimed made her feel like Alexander was using her for sex.
On Tuesday, Martinez kept hammering at her, repeatedly mentioning how she began planning an alibi immediately after killing Alexander, even attending his memorial service about 10 days later. She previously testified she had been working on an alibi to throw off suspicion and avoid being charged, and she was too scared and ashamed to tell the truth.
Testimony at times has turned into a one-sided shouting match between Arias and Martinez over memory problems, with Arias calmly saying his aggressive demeanor was causing her to forget crucial details.
It was a stark contrast to her testimony under questioning by her own lawyers, during which she alternated between poise and tears and recalled precise details of her life dating back to being abused by her parents at the age of 7.
Arias recalls very little under questioning by Martinez.
Their barbs have led to private conferences between attorneys and the judge as defense lawyers repeatedly objected to Martinez's aggressiveness, accusing him of badgering the witness.
Arias is charged in the June 2008 death of Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. She says she dated him for about five months before breaking up but continued to see him for sex up until the day she killed him. She was forced to fight for her life after Alexander attacked her, she said, but police say she planned the killing in a jealous rage.
Arias has said Alexander invited her to his Mesa home on the day of the killing for sex. His body was found about five days later. He had been shot in the head, suffered 27 stab and slash wounds and his throat was slit.
Of the day of Alexander's death, Arias says he was in a rage, body-slamming her and chasing her around his home.
She said she grabbed a gun from his closet, and fired it as they tussled, but doesn't recall stabbing him. She said she remembers putting a knife in the dishwasher and disposing of the gun in the desert as she drove from Arizona to see a man in Utah, where she spent the night in his bed as she worked to create an alibi and avoid suspicion.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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