August 20, 2014 / 7:15 PM / 5 years ago

Convicted Arizona killer Jodi Arias wins delay in penalty phase retrial

Jodi Arias, (R), looks at her defense attorney Jennifer Willmott during a hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona August 13, 2014. REUTERS/Tom Tingle/Pool

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Convicted killer Jodi Arias, who could face the death penalty for the murder of her ex-boyfriend at his Phoenix area home more than six years ago, won a three-week delay on Wednesday in the retrial of the penalty phase of the case.

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens granted a request by Arias, who is acting as her own attorney in the penalty phase retrial, to push back jury selection until Sept. 29, according to a court spokeswoman.

   Arias, 34, asked for the delay from Sept. 8 because of problems meeting with a potential witness, the spokeswoman said. The judge’s decision came after a closed-door hearing on Wednesday morning and was announced later by the court.

    A state jury convicted Arias in May 2013 of killing Travis Alexander in a headline-grabbing case that was broadcast live on the Internet and attracted thousands of avid trial watchers nationwide.

The trial, which began in December 2012 and lasted five months, was punctuated by graphic testimony, bloody photographs and sexual situations. Arias took the stand for 18 days and maintained throughout that the killing was in self-defense.

The jury also found Arias eligible for the death penalty but could not decide whether she should be executed.

A new jury will attempt to decide whether she will get life or death. If there is another deadlock, a judge would determine whether she gets natural life in prison or life with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

    Alexander was found dead in the shower of his home in a suburb of Phoenix in June 2008. He had been stabbed multiple times, had his throat slashed and was shot in the face.

Reporting by David Schwartz in Phoenix; Editing by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles and Steve Orlofsky in New York

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