Accused murderer Jodi Arias was confronted today with a barrage of lies she told after she killed her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, but she twice defiantly declared that she was innocent of first degree murder.
"It's the truth. I'm innocent of that charge," Arias said to prosecutor Juan Martinez, referring to the criminal charge that could carry the threat of the death sentence if she is found guilty.
Arias admitted on the stand that she lied for months and years after killing her ex-boyfriend, telling investigators and friends that she had nothing to do with Alexander's grisly death, in which he was stabbed 27 times, his throat was slashed, and he was shot in the head.
Eventually, Arias confessed to the killing, but claims it was in self-defense.
Today, prosecutors hammered Arias about her lying, getting her to admit to lies she told and playing video of her police interrogation and a TV interview in which she told stories that she has since conceded were not true.
In an interview with NBC's "48 Hours," Arias said she smiled for her mug shot partly because she knew she was innocent.
"You truly believe that you didn't do anything wrong here?" the prosecutor asked incredulously.
"I believed that I knew that I was not guilty of first-degree murder and I did plan to be dead," she replied, a reference to her claim that she planned to commit suicide.
During a day of contentious questions and answers between Martinez and Arias, the prosecutor used Arias' own diary entries and text messages to show contradictions of her claims that Alexander was abusive toward her, that he hit her and tried to choke her.
Arias said that in early 2008, Alexander hit her in the neck while they were riding in his car. Martinez showed a diary entry describing the day they rode in the car, and there was no mention of physical violence.
"This entry does not corroborate what you told us happened in the car," he said. "With regard to the (choking incident) you didn't call police. You didn't tell anyone about it. There is no corroboration anywhere in your journal. All we have is your word. Are there photos? Any other writings? Is there a police report? Is there a medical report?"
Arias said there was no evidence that the alleged abuse happened, except for her testimony in court.
"There's no evidence because it didn't happen, did it ma'am?" Martinez yelled.
Arias said that she had told one person about the abuse she claims she suffered at the hands of Alexander, and that it was another ex-boyfriend, Matthew McCartney. But when pressed for details about the conversation in which she told him, Arias became confused and changed her answers.
"I saw (Matt) a few days later, and he called me out on the bruises," Arias testified.
"Over the phone, just days after I think," she said.
"Isn't it true he wouldn't have been able to see your injuries because you were talking over the telephone?"
"No, I was in Yreka (California) by then. I stopped to see Matt after I left Arizona. Let's see, I believe it was two or three days after. I'm not saying there was no telephone call, (but) it was at his house. I went and saw Matt, and some make-up wore off, and he confronted me on (the bruises)."
Martinez said that McCartney has denied the conversation ever took place.