A US jury convicted a 32-year-old woman, Jodi Arias, of first degree murder Wednesday after a trial which gripped US media attention with lurid details of sex, lies and graphic violence.

Arias had been on trial since January accused of murdering her 30-year-old ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in June 2008 in a frenzied attack in which he was stabbed 27 times, shot in the head and had his throat slit.

Arias claimed she was acting in self-defense, but a jury found her guilty of first degree murder, in a case watched by crowds outside the court in Phoenix, Arizona and carried live on US television.

Members of Alexander's family could be seen smiling and hugging each other in court after the verdict was read, prompting a gasp from Arias, who could face the death penalty.

During the trial the jury heard graphic details about the couple's intense sexual relationship. Arias said she drove to Alexander's house on June 4, 2008, to have sex, but they argued and the dispute ended up with the fatal attack.

The jury must now decide whether to punish her with the death sentence or grant leniency in which case she would be jailed for life with no possibility of parole for at least 25 years.

[Crime scene via Shutterstock]