Arizona jury to consider again death penalty for Jodi Arias in September

By Reuters
Monday, March 17, 2014 14:01 EDT
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By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) – An Arizona judge on Monday set a September court date to try again to determine whether convicted murderer Jodi Arias will be put to death for killing her ex-boyfriend nearly six years ago, court officials said.

Arias was convicted by a jury in May 2013 of murdering Travis Alexander, whose body was found slumped in the shower of his suburban Phoenix home in June 2008. He had been stabbed multiple times, shot in the face and had his throat slashed.

But the jury deadlocked on whether the former California waitress should be executed or face life in prison.

Judge Sherry Stephens ordered jury selection for a penalty phase retrial to begin on September 8. The high-profile case, watched live by tens of thousands of people over the Internet, has been frequently delayed amid a flurry of motions by defense attorneys. The latest sought to have the death penalty thrown out, a move that was rejected by Stephens last month.

State prosecutors had the option of retrying the sentencing phase of the trial. If there is another deadlock, a judge would sentence Arias to natural life in prison or life with the possibility of parole after 25 years.

The highly watched case, which began in January 2013 and lasted five months, was punctuated with graphic testimony, bloody photographs and sexual detail.

Arias took the stand for 18 days and maintained throughout that the killing was self defense.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman)

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