Accused murderer Jodi Arias was forced to recount today each detail of how she killed her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, including re-enacting how he allegedly tackled her when she shot him, leaving her crying in her hands on the witness stand.
During hours of dramatic cross-examination by prosecutor Juan Martinez, Arias bawled as he asked her about stabbing, slashing and shooting Alexander on June 4, 2008.
"You would acknowledge that Mr. Alexander was stabbed, and that the stabbing was with the knife, and it was after the shooting according to you, right?" Martinez said in rapid succession.
"Yes, I don't remember," Arias said, covering her face with her hands.
"Do you acknowledge the stab wounds, and we can count them together, were to the back of the head and the torso?" Martinez said, flashing a photo of Alexander's bloodied body onto the courtroom projector. " Do you want to take a look at the photo?"
Arias, burying her face in her hands and shutting her eyes on the stand, mumbled, "No."
Alexander's sisters, seated in the front row of the gallery, also looked away, crying.
Arias, 32, is accused of killing Alexander on June 4, 2008 out of jealousy. He was stabbed 27 times, his throat was slashed and he was shot in the head twice.
Arias claims she killed in self-defense after Alexander had become increasingly violent with her. She could face the death penalty if convicted.
Martinez also forced Arias to demonstrate in court today how she claims Alexander lunged at her "like a linebacker," causing her to fire the gun at him. The pair argued over how exactly Alexander was positioned, and Martinez pushed her to explain what she meant.
"He lunges at me like a linebacker," Arias said.
"Like a linebacker, what does that mean?" Martinez asked.
"He was low. It was almost like he dove," she said, and trying to explain it further, added, "He was like a linebacker is the only way I can describe it unless I get up to act it out which I'd rather not do."
"Go ahead and do it," Martinez said. "Just stand. Go ahead."
Judge Sherry Stephens initially cleared the court as Arias demonstrated and then Martinez had her do it again after the jury and spectators were allowed back into the courtroom.
Standing and moving away from the witness box, Arias bent at the waist and spread out her arms and meekly made a slight lunging motion.
According to her testimony, Arias fired the gun as Alexander rushed at her, tackling her to the ground. She said she does not remember how she stabbed or slashed him.
It was a day of dramatics and anger as the prosecution pressed Arias on the details of the killing, with Martinez ending the afternoon of questioning by accusing Arias of lying throughout her direct testimony.
At one point Arias dissolved into tears, unable to answer pointed questions when shown a photo of Alexander's body lying crumpled in the bottom of the stall shower.
After a short pause, Martinez asked dryly, "Were you crying when you were shooting him?"
"I don't remember," Arias moaned.
"Were you crying when you stabbed him?" he said. "How about when you slashed his throat?"
"I don't remember, I don't know."
Martinez pressed on, "You're the one that did this right? And lied about all this right?"
"So then take a look at it," he barked.
Arias did not answer Martinez's question, crying into her hands instead. The judge, after a moment, called for the lunch recess to take a break from the testimony. Arias' attorney walked over and consoled her, telling her to "take a moment."
Until that moment, Arias had given vague answers to Martinez as he asked about the hours leading up to the murder. Arias, 32, has testified that she drove to Alexander's house on June 4, 2008, for a sexual liaison, that she had sex with Alexander and the pair took nude photos before an explosive confrontation ended with her killing him. She claims she doesn't remember stabbing Alexander, but insists it was in self-defense.
Martinez questioned her claims, asking exactly what they argued about and who encouraged whom to take the nude photos. He pointed out that Arias told Detective Esteban Flores of the Mesa police department that she had to convince Alexander to take the nude photos in the shower, but that she testified on the stand that Alexander had wanted them.
"So which is it, ma'am? Pick one," Alexander said.
Arias said that both her statements were true.
Martinez tried to walk Arias through the moments when she claims Alexander erupted in a fury when she dropped his camera while taking nude pictures of him in the shower and then body-slammed her onto the bathroom floor.
Arias claims she fled into a walkthrough closet where she grabbed a gun that Alexander kept on a shelf. Martinez suggested that if she left the closet and ran down stairs on her right, she would have been safe.
"No, I would have been dead," Arias replied.
When Martinez pressed the point by repeating the question, Arias said, "Only if I was suicidal."
The prosecutor also suggested that the closet was so small that things must have happened faster than Arias was indicating.
"It's a very small closet, isn't it," Martinez asked.
"No, it's bigger than the cell I live in," she answered.
A clearly angered Martinez said, "Take that attitude… Is there an issue here?"