The first-degree murder trial of Jodi Arias, who is accused of the brutal killing of her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander, will outline the twists and turns in the investigation into his 2008 death, as well as Arias different versions of exactly what happened during their brief relationship.
Investigators say that in the June of 2008 Arias, 32, stabbed Alexander 27 times, slit his throat and shot him in the head at his Mesa, Ariz., home. Arias, who has been locked up since her arrest, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
Since her arrest later that summer, Arias has denied any involvement in the crime, implicated others, and eventually claimed self defense after years of abuse. Her trial, which began Jan. 2, will outline what prosecutors say was a fatal attraction that led to a young man's bloody death.
If convicted, Arias will become the fourth woman on Arizona's death row.
|Meeting Cute in Vegas|
In September 2006, Jodi Arias, 28, and Travis Alexander, 30, met at a work conference in Las Vegas. Arias, who had been living in Yreka, Calif., says they fell in love, traveled the country together, and to strengthen her ties to the devout Mormon, she converted to his religion. But Alexander's friends say that after dating a few months he tried to break it off.
As the trial opened on Jan, 2, prosecutors describing Alexander as a "good man," who was seduced and then stalked by Arias, and killed by her in a jealous rage when she learned he was dating other women.
|A Brief Dating Relationship|
The couple only dated a few months. In June 2007, Alexander and Arias split up, though they maintained a sexual relationship.
"There's nothing about her that I see in marriage material -- or wife material," Alexander said, according to his friend, Dave Hall.
Defense attorney Jennifer Wilmot said there was another reality – that Arias was Alexander's "dirty little secret." Despite his efforts to portray himself as a good man and good Mormon, he was secretly pushing her to have a sexual relationship with him, she said.
In April 2008 Arias had had enough, according her defense team, and moved back to California. Wilmot said it wasn't Arias who roped Alexander back in, it was actually Alexander who couldn't let her go, and he kept pressuring her to stay in contact with him.
|Attorneys Square Off|
Prosecutor Juan Martinez told the court that it's clear that Arias murdered Alexander.
"This is not a case of whodunit," Martinez told the court on Jan. 2. "The whodunit sits in court today … "She rewarded [his] love by sticking a knife in his chest. She slit his throat as a reward for being a good man."
Willmont maintains that her client 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.
|Evidence Found at the Crime Scene|
After his body was discovered, 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 actually dragging his body across the ground.
|Jodi Arias Accused of First-Degree Murder|
On July 9, 2008 -- her 29th birthday -- a grand jury in California indicted Arias on first-degree murder charges in Alexander's death. She entered a not guilty plea at her arraignment on Sept. 11, 2008.
In a series of jailhouse interviews since her 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.
|Alexander's Friend Testifies on Discovering His Body|
On Jan. 3, 2012, Marie "Mimi" Hall was the first witness to take the stand in Arias' trial. Hall met Alexander through their Mormon church ward. Though they went on one date, there was no spark. They remained friends.
Alexander invited Hall on one of his work retreats to Cancun, Mexico, and she agreed to go as friends. They were supposed to leave on the June 10, 2008, but when she had not heard from him in a few days, she told the court she got worried because she knew that he had a stalker -- Jodi Arias.
Hall testified that Alexander told her that he had had his tires slashed several times, had been sent threatening emails, followed on dates with other women, had his bank accounts broken into, and that Arias snuck through his doggy door and slept on his couch at night. None of these alleged incidents were reported to the police.
On June 9, 2008, Hall said that she decided to contact Melissa Lowery and Dallin Forres, who then went to Alexander's house, where they found his roommate home with his girlfriend.
The roommate and one of the friends entered Alexander's locked room while Mimi and another woman remained outside. She said that upon entering they said there was blood everywhere and then came running out saying he's dead, he's dead. She ran outside and called 911.