Tags: Jodi Arias, Travis Alexander, Juan Martinez, Alyce LaViolette, Murder Trial, Jennifer Willmott, Kirk Nurmi, Judge Sherry Stephens, Jodi Arias Murder Trial, Esteban Flores, Evidence, Jodi Arias Roadtrip, Domestic violence, Martinez, Murder, Cross-examination, Jury, LaViolette, DeMarte, Borderline personality disorder, 48 Hours Jodi Arias, Unraveling the lies of Jodi Arias 48 Hours
CASE TIMELINESeptember 2006 – Travis Alexander met Jodi Arias at a conference in Las Vegas. At the time, Alexander was a 30-year-old motivational speaker and legal-insurance salesman. Arias, then 28, was living in Palm Desert, Calif., and was trying to make it as a saleswoman and an independent photographer. The two had an instant connection and spoke on the phone every day. Court records indicate that the couple exchanged 82,000 emails.
November 26, 2006 – Because Alexander was a Mormon, Arias chose to be baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
February 2, 2007 – Alexander and Arias began dating.
June 29, 2007 – Alexander and Arias broke up. Although they were no longer dating, the couple maintained a physical relationship.
December 2007 – Alexander began dating another woman. He allegedly told friends that Arias was so jealous that she slashed the tires on his vehicle twice. After those incidents, his new girlfriend received a harassing email from a “John Doe.” Alexander suspected that Arias was responsible.
January 8, 2008 – Arias, according to prosecutors, sent this text to Alexander: “Ahhh!! I fell asleep! But to answer your question, yes I want to grind you. And I want to be LOUD. And I want to give you a nice, warm ‘mouth hug’ too. :)”
January 18, 2008 – Arias, according to prosecutors, sent this text to Alexander: “My p—y is SO WET.”
March 2008 – Arias and Alexander visited several states together, including Oklahoma and Texas.
April 2008 – Arias moved from Arizona to California. That same month, Alexanderposted a blog entry stating, “This Year will be the Best year of my life. This is the year that will eclipse all others. I will earn more, learn more, travel more, serve more, love more, give more and be more than all the other years of my life combined.”
April 20, 2008 – Alexander, according to prosecutors, sent this text to Arias: “I am at a night club right now and it helped me to come to the conclusion that you are one of the prettiest girls on the planet.”
April 21, 2008 – Alexander, according to prosecutors, sent this text to Arias: “Send me a naughty picture.”
May 10, 2008 – Arias posted the last entry to her online blog. It reads, in part: “I cannot ignore that there is an ever-present yearning and desire that pulses within me. It throbs for gratification and fulfillment.”
That same day, according to prosecutors, Alexander sent this text to Arias: “Why don’t you have him come and f–k you in the woods, I can only imagine you are so worried about me reading. You are paranoid because you have no respect for people privacy and you dare insult me of all people. Someone you should through your actions you hate more than love by denying me a human right of privacy countless times. You have a lot of freaking nerve. We are all not like you in that aspect.”
May 18, 2008 – Alexander posted the last entry, titled “Why I want to marry a Gold Digger,” to his online blog. It reads, in part: “I did a little soul searching and realized that I was lonely … I realized it was time to adjust my priorities and date with marriage in mind … This type of dating to me is like a very long job interview and can be exponentially more mentally taxing. Desperately trying to find out if my date has an axe murderer penned up inside of her.”
June 2008 – During the first week of June 2008, Alexander told friends that he suspected Arias had hacked into his Facebook account. He allegedly said that he told her to stay out of his life forever.
June 2, 2008 – Arias, according to police, picked up a vehicle from Budget Rent-a-Car in Redding, Calif.
June 4, 2008 – Arias allegedly went to Alexander’s home in Mesa, Ariz. They had sex and took explicit photos of each other, according to court records. That same afternoon the last outgoing call was made from Alexander’s phone. That evening he missed an important business call.
June 5, 2008 – Arias went to visit Ryan Burns, a once-budding love interest and co-worker at PrePaid Legal Services, at his home in West Jordan, Utah.
June 7, 2008 – Arias, according to police, returned her rental car to Budget Rent-a-Car in Redding.
June 9, 2008 – Alexander’s friends, concerned because they had not heard from him for several days, went to his home in the 11,400 block of East Queensborough Ave. and found him dead inside his standup shower. A state of advanced decomposition suggested that he had been dead for several days. Large amounts of blood were discovered throughout the master bathroom, including on the floors, walls and sink area.
It was ultimately determined that Alexander had been shot in the right brow with a .25-caliber gun — the bullet was found lodged in his left cheek — and that he had been stabbed 27 times. Someone had also cut his throat from ear to ear.
Investigators found several vital clues inside Alexander’s bedroom and bathroom. A spent .25-caliber shell casing was located on the floor near the sink, and a hair and a small latent print in blood were found near the entrance to the bathroom hall. Also, a digital camera was found in the washing machine in the downstairs laundry room. The camera appeared to have been run through the wash cycle.
When questioned by police, Alexander’s friends and family members indicated that Arias should be questioned.
“[Arias] was totally obsessed with him,” Alexander’s close friend Sky Hughes told The Huffington Post. “She wouldn’t let him go. Whenever he would try to sever all ties, she would threaten to kill herself … He would tell her he didn’t want anything to do with her, and she would show up at his house. We knew it was her. We didn’t want it to be her, but [we] just knew it was.”
June 13, 2008 – Arias posted a photo gallery on her MySpace page titled “In Loving Memory of Travis.”
June 17, 2008 – Arias went to the Mesa Police Headquarters and was voluntarily fingerprinted. She also gave investigators a sample of her saliva for DNA testing. While waiting for the lab test results to come back, investigators were notified that several shocking images, some of which had been deleted, were recovered from the memory card of the camera found in Alexander’s washing machine. The deleted pictures were of Alexander, naked in the shower, just before his death. He appeared to be posing in some of the photographs. However, other photos, which were dark and grainy, “were of a subject on the floor of the bathroom bleeding profusely,” police said.
Six other photos, time-stamped that same day, allegedly showed Arias on Alexander’s bed. According to police, “all were nude pictures,” and in some she was in “provocative sexual poses.”
Based on the photos, an investigator wrote: “Jodi was lying about not seeing Travis since April of 2008. This also proves that Jodi was the last person I can prove had contact with Travis prior to his death.”
June 19, 2008 – Police contacted Arias and questioned her about Alexander’s murder. “Jodi stated she last saw Travis in April of 2008,” a police officer wrote in a document to establish probable cause. “She admitted they had been seeing each other as boyfriend and girlfriend for over five months but had officially broken up in June of 2007, after some jealously issues on the part of both of them. After they broke up, they continued to have a sexual relationship, but kept it quiet from people they knew. She said she last spoke to Travis on Tuesday 6-03-08.”
Later that day, at 10:54 p.m., Arias posted this message to her MySpace page: “misses Travis. See you soon, my friend, but not soon enough.”
June 21, 2008 – Travis Alexander was laid to rest in Olivewood Memorial Park in Riverside, Calif.
June 26, 2008 – Investigators were notified that hair and a bloody print found inside Alexander’s home belonged to Arias. DNA typing results also indicated that the bloody print was a mixture of Arias’ and Alexander’s DNA.
The same day, Arias attended a memorial service for Alexander.
July 9, 2008 – Arias celebrated her 29th birthday. That same day, a grand jury in California indicted her on first-degree murder charges in the death of Alexander.
July 15, 2008 – Mesa police detectives and Siskiyou County sheriff’s deputies arrested Arias at her Northern California home. Arias was booked in the Siskiyou County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder.
September 5, 2008 – Arias wasextradited to Arizona.
September 9, 2008 – A public defender was assigned to represent Arias.
September 11, 2008 – Arias entered a not-guilty plea at her arraignment.
September 12, 2008 – In ajailhouse interview with The Arizona Republic, Arias denied killing Alexander but refused to discuss how she would refute the DNA and photographic evidence that police claimed linked her to the crime. “God knows I’m innocent. I know I’m innocent,” said Arias. “I had nothing to do with his murder. I would never hurt him. He was my friend.”
September 24, 2008 – Arias was interviewed by the TV show “Inside Edition” and said publicly for the first time that she was present when Alexander was attacked by two intruders.
October 31, 2008 – The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Arias. The notice, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, accused Arias of committing first-degree murder “in an especially cruel, heinous or depraved manner.”
June 23, 2009 – Following her arrest, Arias expanded on her second story about the day of Alexander’s death. In an interview with “48 Hours,” she admitted that she was present when he was murdered, but she said that his death occurred during a home invasion. Arias reported that the two were having fun playing with his new camera when things took a sudden turn.
“I heard a really loud pop. And the next thing I remember, I was lying next to the bathtub and Travis was screaming,” Arias told “48 Hours.” “At that point, I sort of was just trying to come around and kind of orientate myself to what was going on,” she continued. “And I looked up and I just — I saw two other individuals in the bathroom. And they were both coming toward us.”
The intruders, whom she described as a man and a woman dressed in black, were armed with a knife and a gun. At one point, she said, the man pointed the gun at her, but she was miraculously spared.
“He pulled the trigger. And nothing happened with the gun. And so I just grabbed my purse, which was on the floor at that point, and I ran down the stairs and out of there and I left [Travis] there … I pushed past him and — and his gun. And I just didn’t look back.”
Arias said that she kept driving and never called the police.
“It was — I was terrified. And I was scared for my life. And I think there was a naive belief that I could pretend like it didn’t really happen,” Arias said.
VIDEO: (Timeline Continues Below)
December 2010 – Arias beat out 50 other inmates to win an “American Idol”-style caroling contest for inmates held by “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” Joe Arpaio, at the Maricopa County jail. Her prize was a Christmas stocking full of goodies and a turkey dinner for herself and her cellmates.
August 8, 2011 – Arias told Judge Sherry Stephens of Maricopa County Superior Court that she wanted to represent herself. Stephens granted the request but had Arias’ public defenders, Victoria Washington and Kirk Nurmi, remain on as advisory counsel.
August 16, 2011 – A request to admit letters that Arias claimed Alexander sent her prior to his death was denied. In the letters, Alexander allegedly admitted to being a pedophile. Prosecutor Juan Martinez told the court that the letters were tested and found to be forgeries. After the ruling, Arias told Judge Stephens that she was “over her head.” The judge then reinstated her defense counsel.
Arias’ third story about Alexander’s death was detailed in court documents as part of the request that she made to admit electronic copies of Alexander’s alleged letters.
“Defendant had previously attributed the crime to intruders. She now argues that all of the letters must be admitted to support her domestic violence defense,” prosecutors wrote in a motion to preclude the letters. “Defendant argues that the letters are relevant to her claim of self-defense and that she was a victim of previous ‘sexual and physical abuse’ by Mr. Alexander.”
Arias, according to prosecutors, claimed that Alexander “became angry when she dropped his camera” and that she was forced to kill him in self-defense.
December 16, 2011 – Washington filed a motion to withdraw from Arias’ defense.
December 21, 2011 – Washington’s motion was granted.
December 27, 2011 – Arias’ younger sister, Angela Arias, said that her sister’s statements during the “48 Hours” interview were lies and that Alexander’s death was an act of self-defense on her sister’s part during an incidence of domestic violence.
“She was not under oath when she spoke on TV and yes, she lied,” Angela Arias wrote on Facebook after The Huffington Post sent her a request for comment. “But, it was because she was so in love with that man she did not want people to know what a monster he really was. She wanted everyone to believe that he was as amazing as they thought he was … My sister is innocent of the crime they are accusing her of … She did kill Travis but it was not in cold blood, it was not for revenge, it was because she was afraid for her life.”
January 2012 – Jennifer Willmott, a death penalty-qualified defense attorney, was assigned to represent Arias.
February 9, 2012 – Judge Stephens denied a motion by Arias’ defense lawyers to remove the death penalty as a punishment option. The defense argued that Arias should not face death because she had not planned to kill Alexander. His death was an act of self-defense, her attorneys argued.
December 10, 2012 – Jury selection for Arias’ trial began. The court summoned 375 potential jurors.
December 20, 2012 – A panel of 12 jurors and six alternates — seven women and 11 men — were sworn in for Jodi Arias’ trial.
January 2, 2013 – Opening arguments began in Arias’ trial.
Maricopa County Prosecutor Juan Martinez cited the various stories that Arias had told law enforcement before she finally settled on a self-defense motive. Martinez described Alexander’s murder as violent and said there were three different ways Alexander could have received a death blow: He was shot, he was stabbed in the heart, and his throat was slit from ear to ear. Alexander also had defensive wounds on his hands, according to Martinez. In wrapping up his opening argument, Martinez played part of a media interview conducted after Arias’ arrest, in which she said, “Mark my words, no jury will convict me.” Martinez asked the jury to mark Arias’ words and concluded his opening statement.
During the defense team’s opening argument, lawyer Jennifer Willmott acknowledged that Arias had killed Alexander, but said that the key questions is what motivated her to do it. Willmott alleged Alexander had pressured Arias into having vaginal, anal and oral sex with him. Willmott also said she planned to call to the stand an expert who would testify about how Arias’ relationship with Alexander fit the mold of domestic violence. Willmott concluded her opening argument by saying that Alexander had become enraged when Arias dropped his camera and that she had had to defend herself or she would not be alive today.
At the close of the opening arguments, the prosecution called their first witness, Maria Hall, to the stand. Hall testified she had attended church with Alexander and had gone on a few dates with him. Hall said she felt safe in Alexander’s company and never saw his temper.
Prosecutors then called their next witness, Sterling Williams. A patrol officer with the Mesa Police Department, Williams described what he witnessed when he responded to the crime scene, as well as the condition of Alexander’s body. Shortly afterward, court was recessed for the day.
January 3, 2013 – At the start of day two of Arias’ murder trial, the prosecution called Esteban Flores, a Mesa homicide detective to the stand. Flores had investigated the crime scene and mentioned a phone call he had with Arias on June 10, 2008. The prosecution then played an audio recording of the conversation in court.
During the recorded call, Arias described herself as a good friend of Alexander’s and said she wanted to help police in any way that she could. She told Flores she had heard that Alexander had passed away and that there was a lot of blood at the crime scene. She asked what type of weapon was used or recovered at the scene, but Flores told her he was unable to discuss that information with her.
Asked about her relationship with Alexander, Arias said that they had not dated long.
“We dated for like five months, and we broke up and actually did not see each other for quite a bit,” Arias said. “[We] tried to remain friends, more like buddies. We were intimate but I would not say romantic as far as a relationship goes.”
In regard to the couple’s breakup, Arias said she had a suspicion Alexander was cheating on her. She said she could not trust him and claimed he would get “upset real easily.”
During the phone interview, Flores told Arias that Alexander’s friends had alleged that she had hacked into Alexander’s email. Arias denied the allegation.
“People felt you were taking advantage of him or hanging out when you weren’t wanted,” Flores said.
Arias dismissed the opinion of Alexander’s friends and said she felt they talked about her because she was an ex-girlfriend.
“We need to know who had some type of beef with him or why they would want to do this to him. It was an angry situation. Somebody went in there to hurt him, and they did –- hurt him really bad,” Flores said at one point in the recording.
Arias said Alexander was quite strong and she could not understand how anyone could overpower him. She also said she was concerned because “he never locked his doors.”
When the recording ended in the courtroom, Martinez turned the witness over to defense attorney Kirk Nurmi for cross-examination.
Nurmi asked Flores if he had ever seen a picture of a French maid outfit that Alexander allegedly wanted Arias to wear when she would clean his home. Flores testified that Arias told him she had cleaned Alexander’s house, but said he had never seen a picture of the French maid outfit.
The defense attorney then questioned Flores about emails Alexander allegedly sent to Arias. Nurmi asked Flores if Alexander had called Arias names in the emails, like “slut” and “whore.” Martinez objected, citing hearsay and speculation, but Judge Stephens allowed the question. Flores then confirmed that Alexander had sent messages to Arias calling her those names.
After a short recess, Flores read from a Facebook message that he said Alexander sent to Arias. “I was nothing more than a dildo with a heartbeat for you,” the message read.
Later, a fingerprint examiner with the Mesa police, Heather Connor, took the stand and unveiled evidence found at the crime scene.
Forensic teams took a total of three days to complete processing the scene at Alexander’s house and found evidence in his washing machine, Connor said. The contents included clothing and a broken digital camera, which contained a SIM card. The clothing items, as well as a towel, appeared to have bleach stains, she said. Shortly afterward, court was recessed until January 8.
January 8, 2013 – Connor, the Mesa Police Department fingerprint examiner, continued her testimony on day three. Connor took the court through photos of Alexander’s hallway, master bedroom and bathroom. The jury was also shown a photo of a bloody handprint on a wall. Prosecutors said the handprint contained a mixture of Alexander’s and Arias’ DNA.
When Connor finished her testimony, the prosecution called Dr. Kevin Horn, of the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s office, to the stand.
Horn described how Alexander was stabbed 27 times, shot in the right brow with a .25-caliber gun, and nearly decapitated when his throat, voice box and arteries were cut. As Horn spoke, jurors looked at photos of the dead man, whose body, Horn said, was decomposing and starting to mummify by the time it was found.
According to Horn, Alexander’s stab wounds were very deep and inflicted with major force. It was, Horn testified, impossible to determine if Alexander was dead before he was shot due to the amount of decomposition. The cause of death was excessive blood loss from the victim’s body, he said, and Alexander had multiple self-defense wounds to his palms and fingers.
Elizabeth Northcutt, a forensic firearms examiner with the Mesa police, was called to the stand next. Northcutt testified that she had examined a cartridge casing found at the crime scene and identified it as a Winchester .25-caliber casing. She said she also examined the bullet removed from Alexander’s cheek. During cross-examination, Northcutt said she was not able to match the casing or the bullet to a specific gun because no weapon has been recovered. Shortly afterward, court was recessed for the evening.
January 9, 2013 – Ryan Burns, a once-budding love interest of Arias’ and her co-worker at PrePaid Legal Services, was called to the stand by prosecutors on day fourof the trial.
Burns testified he had a heated make-out session with Arias just a day after Alexander was murdered.
“We were talking and we kissed … Every time we started kissing, it got a little more escalated,” Burns said.
He said that the couple never removed their clothes during the encounter and that he “never touched her breasts or anything.”
Burns testified that he first met Arias at a PrePaid Legal convention in Oklahoma in April 2008. A few weeks after that initial meeting, Burns and Arias were chatting on the phone three to five times a week. Toward the end of May 2008, he and Arias had made plans for her to visit his home in West Jordan, Utah, Burns testified.
According to Burns, Arias was several hours late arriving at his home on June 5, 2008. She told him that she had gotten lost and had stopped to rest. Arias had apparently dyed hair since the last time he had met with her and had cuts on her hands when she arrived, Burns said. “She had two small bandages on a couple of her fingers,” he testified.
Arias explained away the injuries by saying that while working at a Margaritaville restaurant, she had broken a glass and cut her finger, Burns said.
The prosecution questioned Burns about Arias’ strength. Burns said she was fit and had “close to a six-pack.”
“[She’s] a lot stronger than she looks,” Burns testified.
Burns was followed on the stand by two latent-print examiners for Mesa police, Maureen Smith and Kevin Biggs. The two witnesses described taking Arias’ fingerprints and a DNA sample.
Latent-print examiner Heather Connor was called back to the stand to testify about a palm impression found on a wall at the crime scene, as well as items recovered from the drying machine inside Alexander’s apartment and a bloody carpet stain.
Police detective Esteban Flores was also called back to the stand during day four. A recording of a June 25, 2008, phone interview he conducted with Arias was played for the court.
During the interview, Arias told Flores she was afraid of guns. “That is one of the things I am scared of. [Guns and] public speaking,” Arias said. “That was one of the things [Alexander] was trying to get me to do — get out of my comfort zone.”
Arias’ comments about guns arose during a discussion with Flores about the trip she took to visit Burns in Utah on June 5, 2008. Arias said she slept in her car during the lengthy drive from Yreka, Calif., to West Jordan, Utah.
“I am not shy about sleeping in my car,” Arias told the detective.
Flores mentioned the practice could be dangerous and suggested she needed protection.
“I was thinking of that,” Aria said before detailing her fear of guns. But, she added, “Handguns are expensive [and] not in my price range.”
After discussing her thoughts on guns, Arias said she wanted to know if Alexander had cashed a check for $200 that she had given him for a car payment before he died. She said she had emailed his sister to ask about the check and to offer her condolences after she found out about Alexander’s death. His sister had never replied, Arias told the detective.
Court was adjourned for the day shortly after that excerpt of the audio recording was played.
January 10, 2013 – Day five of Arias’ trial began with testimony by Nathaniel Mendes, a former detective with the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office in California.
Mendes testified that there is no restaurant called Margaritaville in Yreka — a fact that suggested Arias had lied about her place of employment, which undermined her explanation of how she had injured her fingers around the time Alexander was murdered.
Mendes also testified about receipts found in Arias’ bedroom, which show that she had rented a car in Redding, Calif., on June 2, 2008, and returned it six days later, after she put 2,834 miles on the car.
Lisa Perry, a forensic scientist for Mesa police, was called to testify after Mendes. Perry said that over two days at the crime scene, she had collected blood evidence for DNA analysis. She spent a significant amount of time on the stand detailing the blood splatter and stains that were found throughout Alexander’s apartment. She also testified that a .25-caliber bullet casing was lying in a pool of congealed blood, suggesting that the bullet inside the casing had been fired after the blood was on the floor.
Mesa detective Esteban Flores returned to the stand after Perry completed her testimony.
Flores testified that he had a conversation with Arias in which she acknowledged she had Alexander’s ATM personal identification number and the security code to enter the garage of his apartment. Flores also testified he was aware of the interview Arias had given to “Inside Edition.”
“No jury is going to convict me … because I’m innocent, and you can mark my words on that one: No jury will convict me,” Arias had told “Inside Edition.”
The interview was conducted in 2008 after Arias was indicted for murdering Alexander.
“I understand all the evidence is really compelling,” Arias said in the interview. She added, “I’ve never even shot a gun. That’s heinous. I can’t imagine slitting anyone’s throat.”
During cross-examination, Flores acknowledged that testimony he had given at a hearing on August, 6, 2009, was incorrect. During that hearing, Flores had testified that Alexander was shot before he was stabbed.
“So your testimony that the gunshot occurred first was inaccurate … Your testimony was a mistake,” defense attorney Kirk Nurmi said.
“No, my testimony wasn’t a mistake. It was a misunderstanding of what [the medical examiner] said,” Flores replied.
The final witness called by the prosecution on January 10 was Jodi Legg, a DNA analyst with the Mesa police crime lab.
Legg testified she had analyzed a piece of wall cut out of Alexander’s apartment and found DNA belonging to both Alexander and Arias.
After Legg’s short testimony, court was recessed until January 14.
NOTICE – New details are being released everyday, requiring The Huffington Post to revise the initial timeline that was posted in the case. At the following link you will find an up-to-date slideshow with key details and photos from the case. The slideshow will be updated on a regular basis. Readers are warned that some images in the slideshow are graphic: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/01/jodi-arias-timeline-revised_n_2598662.html
CORRECTION: A previous version of this timeline indicated that Arias was living in Yreka, Calif., when she met Alexander. She was in fact living in Palm Desert.