-- Jodi Arias may be in jail on a murder conviction, but she still was able spent nine hours talking to 27 supporters via video conference this weekend, according to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The specific identities of the people who video-conferenced with Arias after her second sentencing trial resulted in a hung jury last week will not be released, but Arpaio confirmed that two 15-year-old girls called from Ohio and one man called from Greece.
The 15-year-old girls, who broke the program’s rules by lying about their age, called Arias at the Maricopa County Jail in Arizona “for no reason other than their fixation with the high profile inmate,” Arpaio said in a news release.
When their age came up during the conversation, Arias allegedly told the girls to steal an older person’s identification so that they could call back again, according to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
Arpaio, who gained national attention for his outspoken take on immigration law and his investigation into President Obama’s birth certificate, said Arias “hasn’t been a bad inmate” and had just minor infractions -- but he may be re-evaluating her access to video conferences following her popularity this weekend.
“Right now, I’m banning the visitors,” he said, before noting that he may have to ban her from the service moving forward.
“She’s tried to play the system,” Arpaio said, alleging Arias calls a friend to dictate tweets from her personalized account even though she is not allowed to be on social media.
Some of the callers apparently recorded their sessions with Arias, which is not allowed. At least one caller, who has not been identified, took pictures of Arias during their call and shared those images, which is against the rules of the 20-minute "video visits," Arpaio said.
Arias faced a possible death sentence for the 2008 murder of her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Travis Alexander, but after the first jury could not decide how to sentence her, a second jury was assembled for a second crack at the sentencing phase. That second sentencing trial resulted in a hung jury after one holdout would not agree to sentence her to death.
Now, the judge is tasked with deciding whether Arias will be sentenced to life in prison with or without the possibility of parole in 25 years.