Accused murdererJodi Arias tore out pages of her diary in which she complained about her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, and said she wanted to commit suicide, she testified today. She said she was afraid he would snoop and read them.
Arias showed the court the torn pages of her journal and read the full excerpts to the jury, just a week after prosecutor Juan Martinez used her partial diary entries to show that she never wrote about the alleged abuse he inflicted on her.
Martinez has accused Arias of making up the allegations that Alexander was abusive. She is charged with murdering her ex-boyfriend at his home in Mesa, Ariz., on June 4, 2008.
Arias, 32, claims she was forced to kill Alexander in self-defense during a violent confrontation. She could face the death penalty if convicted.
"Who besides yourself had access to your journals?" lead defense attorney Kirk Nurmi asked Arias today, on the first day of redirect.
"Well, Travis would read them," she testified. "There was the potential that Travis could read something in there, and also the biggest reason was the law of attraction, which was a huge philosophy at that time in my life."
Arias said that she believed thinking positive thoughts would bring positive change to her life, and thinking negative thoughts would bring about negativity.
"How would writing about Travis being violent in your journal violate this law of attraction?" Nurmi asked.
"One thing it encourages is that if you're in a relationship to focus only on their good qualities, as opposed to harping on somebody's faults," Arias said.
Martinez pointed out last week that Arias never detailed in her diary the violent fight the couple had in which Alexander allegedly threw Arias to the ground in January, 2007, and kicked her in the ribs and hand. She also never wrote about an alleged incident in which she saw him masturbating while looking at pictures of young boys.
Today, however, she did read an entry in which she said Alexander made her "sick," after an incident in which she went to Alexander's house and saw him kissing another woman.
"I don't understand it and at times have a hard time believing it. He makes me sick and happy, makes me feel sad and miserable, and makes me feel uplifted and beautiful. I shouldn't be wording it as if he makes me feel those things. It all originates from within. All of my darkness if fruit of my own creation, it originates within," she wrote.
Arias said that she was referring to the law of attraction when she said that negative thoughts were her own fault. She also read an entry about suicide, one of what she claimed were many entries she wrote about wanting to die and later tore out of the journal.
"I just wish I could die. I wish that suicide was a way out but it is no escape. I wouldn't feel any more pain," she wrote.
The testimony came as Arias and Nurmi tried to counteract some of Martinez's claims from cross-examination, including his accusation that she planned to murder Alexander and then lied without remorse to dozens of people after the killing in order to cover up what she had done.
Arias took the stand to mount her final defense to the jury today, after nine days of direct testimony and four days of withering cross-examination by Martinez. She began the day by insisting that she killed Alexander because "he was trying to kill me."
He was stabbed 27 times, his throat was slashed and he was shot in the head twice. Martinez argues it was premeditated murder, an aggravating factor that could carry the death penalty.
Nurmi began the day by going through some of Martinez's claims from cross-examination, giving Arias a chance to explain what appeared to be lies or contradictions.
"Last week you were asked several questions about how you blame everybody else and don't take responsibility for things yourself," Nurmi said. "In terms of admitting certain things, I recall days ago, one of first questions I asked you was whether you killed Travis Alexander. Do you recall your answer?
"Yes," Arias said.
"Your answer was you did kill him and you also told us why you were forced to do that didn't you?" he asked.
"Yes, well, he was trying to kill me, so I was defending myself," she said.
"And did you go to Mr. Alexander's home on June 4 with the intent of killing him? At any point that day did you make the conscious decision, I want to kill Travis Alexander?"
"No," she said. "That was never a thought."
Arias and her attorneys have attempted to prove that the killing was not premeditated, an aggravating factor that could be grounds for the death penalty.
Nurmi also circled back to a hand injury that Arias had said she had suffered when Alexander kicked her in the ribs and in her left hand in January 2008. She claimed that her left ring finger was broken and now permanently crooked from the blow.
Martinez, however, showed a photo of Arias from May 2008 in which the injury is not visible. Arias is shown with her arm casually flung around the shoulder of her sister, with her fingers bent slightly around the girl's shoulder.
Today, Arias admitted that her crooked finger did not look particularly bent in the picture, but then demonstrated on defense attorney Jennifer Wilmott that it appeared that way because of the position of her hand. Arias stepped down from the witness stand and placed her arm around Wilmott as they faced the jury box, posing so the jury could see that Arias' finger did not appear crooked when it hung in the same position now.
Nurmi then gave Arias the chance to explain that though she killed Alexander, she still loved him, even on the day of the attack.
Martinez had previously referenced a loving note Arias wrote in the memorial book at Alexander's funeral, saying that it showed her lack of remorse and her willingness to lie to cover up her alleged crime.
"You finish this note to him by saying, 'I love you.' Did you still feel that same unconditional love?" Nurmi asked.
"Well I still had love for him, yes, and, I was thinking now more in terms of eternity," Arias said.
"Looking at that quote -- I love you -- would that be a true statement on June 3, 2008 (the day before the attack)?" he said.
"Yes," she answered.
"And June 4?"
"And how about today?" Nurmi asked.
"Yes, it's still true," Arias said.