Jodi Arias escapes death penalty in Travis Alexander murder
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THE woman labelled the most hated in America has been spared the penalty with a jury deadlocked on her punishment for killing her lover.
Jodie Arias is convicted of killing her boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008 by shooting him in the head and slitting his throat so deeply he was nearly decapitated.
The 30-year-old was found dead in the bathroom of his Arizona home stabbed nearly 30 times with his throat cut ear to ear.
It is believed his body lay for five days before being discovered by friends.
Arias’ 2013 trial became a sensation with its tawdry revelations about her relationship with the victim.
It was broadcast live and TV audiences heard how Arias had stabbed and slashed Alexander then left his body in his shower.
Arias made headlines exhibiting bizarre behaviour, captured on film laughing, playing and doing a headstand in a police video shortly before being charged with murder.
While 11 out of 12 jurors were in favour of giving Arias the death penalty, one holdout meant the sentencing could not go ahead.
The jury’s deadlock means the judge will sentence Arias on April 13 to either life in prison or a life term with the possibility of release after 25 years.
Family members of victim Travis Alexander wept when the judge said jurors couldn’t reach a decision.
They sobbed as they left the courtroom, with one covering her eyes as she walked out.
Lawyer Jay Beckstead issued a statement from Alexander’s brothers and sisters that they “are saddened by the jury’s inability to reach a decision on the death penalty, however, we understand the difficulty of the decision, and have nothing but respect for the jury’s time”.
The siblings said they appreciated the outpouring of support from the public but requested privacy.
It marked the second time a jury was unable to reach a decision on Arias’ punishment — a disappointment for prosecutors who argued for the death penalty during the nearly seven-year legal battle.
The jury convicted her of first-degree murder but deadlocked on punishment, prompting the sentencing retrial that began in October.
Prosecutors say Arias killed Alexander as revenge because he wanted to date other women and was planning a trip to Mexico with his latest love interest.
Defence lawyer Kirk Nurmi told jurors that Arias deserves a second chance because she was the victim of verbal and physical abuse throughout her life.
At her trial Arias claimed she was acting in self-defence, but a jury found her guilty of premeditated murder.
Arias had said she would prefer death to life in prison, and repeated that in a television interview shortly after her 2013 conviction.
But she later begged the jury to spare her life, listing the good things she could achieve behind bars, including starting a book club and donating hair to make wigs for cancer patients.