Jodi Arias Testifies for Five Days Without Mentioning Killing Ex-Boyfriend

PHOTO: Jodi Arias on the stand during her trial, Feb. 13, 2013.
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Jurors have spent five days listening to Jodi Arias detail the ups and downs, the erotic sex and religious secrets and alleged violence in her relationship with ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.

But they have yet to hear her version of the crime she's accused of committing: murdering Alexander.

Experts say that Arias' drawn-out testimony about the events leading up to the June 4, 2008 death of Alexander, 27, could backfire on Arias and her defense team, who are hoping to paint a sympathetic portrayal of the self-admitted killer by keeping her on the stand.

"When she goes on the stand, her attorneys are saying to her, 'Don't be afraid to serve up the emotion.' People look at her right now as a monster.We have got to put a human face on the monster," said Mel McDonald, a high profile defense attorney from Phoenix, Ariz., where the trial is taking place.

"I would probably try the same thing, to win sympathy, have her viewed as this poor little girl, detail her abuse, the guys that dumped on her, that sort of thing," he said. "But my read is the jury has to be getting frustrated because they're going day after day and they're not addressing the death. They've discussed everything but."

Her lengthy testimony also leaves her vulnerable to cross examination, said Steven Pitt, a forensic psychiatrist who often testifies as an expert witness in court.

"When you talk as long as she has, for as many days as she did, she is leaving a trail of crumbs for the prosecutor to just pounce on. He is going to turn her into puree, and it is not going to be pretty," Pitt said.

Arias has spent the past week of testimony describing her abusive childhood and failed relationships with men who cheated on her and treated her poorly, and eventually her long romance with Alexander. She has said she lacked the confidence to stand up to Alexander when he became abusive and showed signs of being a "sexual deviant" with her.

"If there's not some eye-rolling at this point I'd be surprised," said Pitt. "They're putting all of this on, and she is presenting herself as the victim. In the cases I've been involved in when the defendant portrays herself as a victim, most jurors see right through that."

Arias claims she killed Alexander in self-defense because he was an aggressive "sexual deviant" who was controlling and violent toward her. Prosecutors say she murdered him in cold blood out of jealousy.

Arias, 32, could face the death penalty if convicted.

Catching Up on the Trial? Check Out ABC News' Jodi Arias Trial Coverage

Timeline of the Jodi Arias Trial

On the stand, Arias has been articulate and confident answering questions about her relationship, speaking softly and directly to the jury when answering.

"When you're preparing the witness to testify, you're not there to convince the defense attorney. You're there to convince the jury," McDonald said. "That's very common."

"That's a good witness. The audience is the jury, and it's obvious that she's been well-coached in terms of how to present this story," said Pitt. "It's clear that she was well-schooled, that she's done a lot of practicing and coaching in terms of stylistically in front of the jury."

Arias has sounded calm and even-keeled when speaking to the jury, but on audio recordings played in court of a phone conversation between Arias and Alexander, she sounds markedly different. Her voice when talking to Travis is higher-pitched, with frequent giggling and cooing at Alexander.

"They played that audio phone call where she's giggling and everything, the affectation, the change in her affect from this me-as-victim thing in court to giddy excited little girl, the jury is going to figure it out pretty quickly that a lot of this is just a charade," Pitt said.

"This woman is Casey Anthony on steroids, and the big difference is pigs will fly before this woman walks out of the courtroom," he said. Casey Anthony was accused of killing her daughter Caylee, but was acquitted by a Florida jury after claiming the girl drowned and said she had been trained to lie through years of sexual abuse by her father. Her father denied the accusation.

Arias, dressed conservatively in long-sleeved shirts, wearing glasses, and leaving her hair hanging long with bangs in her face, has seemed meek and timid on the stand, but experts say that the defense may be laying it on too thickly.

"When you have someone with verbal confidence, who is used to using that to get her way, I really think she thinks she can pull the wool over the eyes of jurors," Pitt said. "But she's not that smart and she's just not that good. She left a lot of physical evidence behind following the commission of this offense,' Pitt said.

The jurors will be tasked with sorting through Arias' claims, some of which make her out to be the victim and portray Alexander as an abusive, sex-obsessed and controlling boyfriend who refused to publicly acknowledge his relationship with her.

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