|Arias Jury Shown Photo of Victim's Body|
|By SHANA DRUCKERMAN and ALYSSA NEWCOMB (@alyssanewcomb)||Jan 3, 2013, 6:42 AM|
Prosecutors in the Jodi Arias murder trial showed jurors a photograph of her former lover, Travis Alexander, lying slashed and lifeless in his shower.
The gruesome scene was introduced on the second day of Arias' trial, along with a slew of evidence, including a man's bloodied T-shirt.
Defense attorneys for Arias portrayed Alexander as a controlling and abusive lover to the Arizona woman who killed Alexander in self defense.
Evidence emerged today showing they exchanged electronic messages filled with sexually crude references about each other, and the jury heard a recorded phone call between Arias and Police Det. Esteban Flores where Arias said the couple was so distrustful of each other that they shared their online passwords.
"He gave me his Facebook password and MySpace and I gave him my Facebook and Gmail account. Reason we did that [is] because we thought, 'What can we do to reestablish trust?'" she said. "It didn't work."
In a case that is already being compared to the dramatic 2010 murder trial of Casey Anthony, Arias, 32, is facing the death penalty if convicted in the capital murder case.
She is accused of stabbing Alexander 27 times, slitting his throat and shooting him in the head at his Mesa, Ariz., home in June 2008. A jury will have to decide if she is a cold-blooded murderer or was a victim of domestic violence, as she claims, who was forced to kill.
In the most dramatic moment today, prosecutors showed the jury a graphic photo of Alexander's face and body where he was found.
Earlier, the prosecution introduced emails between the couple. On cross examination, a defense lawyer asked Flores whether Alexander referred to Arias in those emails with a crude sexual term as well as other insulting words.
"Do you recall her saying he had said several mean things to her?" defense lawyer Kirk Nurmi asked.
"Yes," Flores answered.
Nurmi asked if Alexander referred to Arias "as a slut." "Yes," the detective said.
"As a whore?" the lawyer asked. "Yes," he replied.
Flores testified that the exchange included Alexander writing to Arias, "I think I was little more than a dildo with a heartbeat to you."
Bags of evidence from Alexander's apartment were displayed in court today, including a men's T-shirt soaked in blood that was held up for the jury to see.
Prosecutor Juan Martinzez provided jurors with a look inside Alexander's home, presenting pictures of the garage, laundry room, the den where Alexander kept his punching bag and his bedroom.
Appearing in court Wednesday as the trial opened, Arias cried through much of the opening arguments. Prosecutor Juan Martinez told the court that it's clear that Arias murdered Alexander.
"This is not a case of whodunit," he said. "The whodunit sits in court today."
Prosecutors told the jury Wednesday that Alexander was a devout Mormon who was seduced and then stalked by Arias, and killed by her in a jealous rage when she learned he was dating other women.
"She rewarded that love by sticking a knife in his chest," Martinez told the court. "She slit his throat as a reward for being a good man."
Arias' attorney Jennifer Willmott told the jury her client was forced to kill in self defense, saying that her client -- who recently won a Christmas caroling contest behind bars -- was abused and controlled by Alexander, who she claims was a sexual deviant. Willmott showed the jury a t-shirt she says he made Arias wear, with lettering that says 'Travis Alexander's.'
"That t-shirt is the perfect example of how Travis treated her," she said.
The couple only dated a few months after meeting in 2006 at a work convention in Las Vegas. They broke up in June 2007 but continued a sexual relationship that continued until the day of the crime.
Police found a camera in Alexander's washing machine. They say Arias was literally trying to wash away the evidence.
Found on the camera's memory card were pictures of their final sexual encounter, shots of Alexander in the shower -- seconds before he was killed -- and pictures that appeared to be taken accidently when the camera was dropped. One of the images shows Alexander's bloody body, and another shows Arias dragging his body across the ground.
In a series of jailhouse interviews since her 2008 arrest, Arias repeatedly changed her story. First she denied being at Alexander's house the night of the murder, but two weeks later, she told the TV show "Inside Edition" she was there.
"I witnessed Travis being attacked by two other individuals," she said, "Who were they? I don't know."
Now she admits to killing Alexander, but says she had to after he attacked her when she dropped his new camera.
"Jodi Arias killed Travis Alexander," Willmott said in court Wednesday. "The million-dollar question is what would have forced her to do it, and throughout this trial you will hear that Jodi was indeed forced."
Willmott told the court that Arias, who has remained in jail since her arrest, repeatedly lied about the killing because she was scared.