PHOENIX (Reuters) - A jury in Phoenix debated on Thursday whether Jodi Arias should be put to death for murdering her ex-boyfriend in 2008, following a penalty phase retrial in a case that has drawn wide attention.
Arias, a 34-year-old former waitress from California, was found guilty of the murder in 2013 but jurors at the original trial deadlocked on whether to give her the death penalty. A new jury was seated in October.
That jury of eight women and four men did not reach a verdict in their first full day of deliberations on Thursday and will resume on Monday.
The defense pleaded with jurors for Arias’ life at closing arguments on Tuesday, saying she was remorseful, has had a long struggle with mental illness and was emotionally and physically abused as a child.
Prosecutors rejected that argument and said there were no mitigating factors in the case that should prevent a death sentence.
During 18 days on the witness stand at the original trial, Arias testified that she killed her former partner Travis Alexander in self-defense. The prosecution said that was a lie and that she murdered him in a jealous rage.
Alexander’s body was found slumped in a shower at his Phoenix-area home. He had been stabbed multiple times, shot in the face and his throat was slashed.
On Monday, Arias decided not to plead her case directly to the jury after the judge denied Arias’ request that the courtroom be closed to the public and media.
The original trial was broadcast live and drew tens of thousands of viewers with its gruesome crime scene photographs and sexually explicit testimony.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens subsequently turned down requests for the penalty phase retrial to be streamed live or broadcast the same day. She has ruled that the verdict itself can be shown live.
Reporting by David Schwartz; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Bill Trott and Eric Beech