JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Tonight, beautiful but deadly Jodi Arias, charged with the gruesome murder of her ex-boyfriend, appears in court as lawyers try to suppress evidence they say could make her appear like a cold-blooded killer. Will this seductive murder defendant be able to charm a jury into believing that she`s innocent? That story, next.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, did this beauty kill her ex-boyfriend when he tried to tell her it`s over? Jodi Arias, accused of shooting and slitting her former flame`s throat and stabbing him 27 times. She says it was self-defense. Now will some last-minute courtroom maneuvers make it more difficult for the state to prove its case?

And we`re taking your calls for the hour.

JODI ARIAS, ACCUSED OF MURDER: Sorry. Don`t roll the tape yet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jodi Ann Arias puts on her makeups right before the cameras went on. The soft-spoken 28-year-old remained calm and composed during this jailhouse interview. Jodi Arias is behind bars on a charge of first-degree murder.

The petite 28-year-old from Yreka, California, is accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander. His body was discovered June 9 in his basement home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Motivational speaker Travis Alexander was viciously murdered at his Mesa home back in June, stabbed 27 times, his throat slit. He was also shot in the head. Police say DNA evidence, including a bloody palm print found at the scene, links Jodi Arias to the murder.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, toxic secrets inside a truly shocking murder case. It sounds too bizarre to be true, but it is.

Good evening. Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live.

It all centers around this woman, 31-year-old Jodi Arias. This petite angel-faced young woman is accused of the unthinkable: shooting and stabbing her ex-boyfriend to death inside his house. And now her attorneys are trying to suppress evidence that they say could make her — make her look like a cold-blooded killer with absolutely no remorse.

Prosecutors say Jodi went to the Arizona home of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in June of 2008, and shot him in the face, stabbed him 27 times, and slit his throat from ear to ear. Travis` friends found him, and here`s what they immediately told the 911 operator. Listen.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s — he`s dead. He`s in his bedroom in the shower.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. How did this happen? Do you have any idea?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have no idea. Everyone has been wondering about him for a few days.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. You said that there`s blood. So is it coming from his head? Did he cut his wrists?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s all over the place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jodi`s explanations have been all over the place, too. She told police that two people broke into the house and attacked both of them. Jodi claims she escaped and drove off without telling anyone.

But now court documents reveal Jodi may be claiming she did kill him but in self-defense. That her ex was violent towards her. But then at other times, Jodi has insisted she did not kill him.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did you kill Travis Alexander?

ARIAS: Absolutely not. No, I had no part in it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who do you think killed him?

ARIAS: I have no idea. I`ve done many things that — that are shameful. But this is not one of them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is a jury going to do with all these changing stories? And what about when you add this: police found a camera in Travis` washing machine, and cops found secret photos, a series of naked shots of Jodi and Travis together in sexually provocative poses and photos of a bloody Travis as he lay dying?

And I forgot to mention: Jodi`s profession? She is a photographer.

The trial set to start in just a few weeks. What do you think? Is this the face of a calculated sadistic murder? Call me: 1-877-JVM-SAYS, 1- 877-586-7297.

Straight out to — we`re delighted to have with us tonight former prosecutor Marcia Clark, author of the fantastic book, “Guilt by Degrees,” and famous, of course, for prosecuting the O.J. Simpson case.

Could the trial, Marcia, of Jodi Arias potentially be as big as that case? Some are saying it`s going to be the biggest case since Casey Anthony.

MARCIA CLARK, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I think it`s going to be very big; there`s no question about it. It has all of the elements, Jane. It`s got the young girl who doesn`t look like a murderer. You have the young man who is an upstanding citizen, and you have a very heinous crime that is a shocking thing to happen among people of that nature, of that type. So it`s all possible. A very dramatic case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, it sure is. And I`ve got to say that the thing that has created so much attention is Jodi herself. Her demeanor, her behavior. She`s acting like it`s a big party. She`s not acting like her life is hanging in the balance. This is a death penalty case.

Take a look at her smiling mug shot. Exhibit A. Look at this. This looks like — well, it kind of looks like a high-school yearbook photo or a photo you`d put on Linked In when you want to get a job. She`s just been arrested for allegedly murdering her ex-boyfriend, and this is what she looks like?

Here`s how she explained that smile to CBS News` “48 Hours.”

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ARIAS: And I thought to myself, you know, what would Travis do if he were in this situation? This is why I`m here. And, you know, barring the fact that he would likely not get himself into such circumstances, he would — he would be smiling. He would be like, hey, you know. He would just flash this grin that he always does, and so there was part of that. And then also part of the fact that I knew it would be all over the Internet. So why not?

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Walsh, we`ll show you in a bit. She engaged in a singing test behind bars. This woman`s behavior has brought a lot of attention to this case. Is she a sociopath, do you think? Is she a psychopath or is she just in complete denial about the level of trouble she`s in?

WENDY WALSH: Let me tell you, Jane, I am fascinated by this young woman`s psychology. I mean, I don`t know enough about it yet, but we`re sure going to see more of it as the trial continues.

But I would say a certain degree of narcissism. She`s smiling because she knows already it`s going to be all over the Internet and maybe she could get famous from this. This young woman definitely has some mental issues. It`s going to be interesting to see as they come out in court.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s go to the phone lines. Cathy, I believe you`re from Florida. Cathy, your question or thought?

CALLER: Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, how you doing?

CALLER: Hi. I watch your show every day. I love everything about it. My — I`m sorry. My comment is, I don`t understand how this lady, this girl is saying she`s taking revenge, but to slice his throat, shoot him and stab him multiple times? That`s more than revenge.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, it could — it could also be revenge.

Prosecutors are describing her as a scorned woman, a woman who is out for revenge, and she did a lot of bizarre things. Exhibit A on the bizarro factor, the photos she allegedly took, according to prosecutors. Secret photos found on a camera inside Travis` washing machine. There were naked photos of the two of them, photos of sexually-provocative positions, and then photos of Travis naked in the shower, and then photos of him bleeding. It`s an unbelievable series of photos. Something, if you saw it in a horror movie, you`d say, “My God, this is over the top.”

Remember, Jodi is a professional photographer by trade. Listen to this.

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ARIAS: They`re just photos that we took, and that we deleted with the intention of — that wasn`t — that wasn`t a one-time incident. I mean, there were many times where, you know, we took pictures, whatever, and any kind of media. And it was deleted because it`s just — it`s just something that we didn`t intend to ever keep.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Shannon Hogan, journalist, true crime author, who was there in Phoenix, Arizona. She`s writing a book on this case; she knows it inside out.

What were some of the bizarre things that Jodi, according to Travis` friends, did leading up to this? Apparently, she broke into his e-mail, was stalking other women that he dated. Tell us about that.

SHANNON HOGAN, JOURNALIST/AUTHOR (via phone): Yes, she hacked his Facebook account. If he befriended a girl and she heard about it, she would friend that girl on Facebook or MySpace. She allegedly sent harassing e-mails to women he was dating, which invoked heavy religious undertones, and she allegedly slashed his tires, not once, but twice.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, and I understand that she actually would find out if he was dating another girl, allegedly, and then she at one time snuck into the house and watched them sleeping?

HOGAN: That is one of the things that his friends are saying, that he was at the house with his new girlfriend, and they woke up to her standing over them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable. But the truth is that — does anybody dispute that they were still having a sexual relationship? In other words, the victim had broken up with the defendant, but they were still having sex?

HOGAN: That is according to Jodi. There isn`t — the victim can`t speak for himself in this case. He can`t say that — you know, whether the sexual relationship continued. As far as his friends knew, he was still a virgin.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to have to examine that on the other side, given those photographs. Stay right there.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you in love with Travis?

ARIAS: I think that being in love and loving someone are two different things. And there was a point in time where we were in love, but it was short-lived.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why did you guys break up?

ARIAS: There was sort of a breach of trust in our relationship.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On your part or his part?

ARIAS: Both.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. That woman, and the murder victim, met and began dating in February of 2007. We`re told in reports that they did about five months, broke up in around June of `07, and he was dead by June of `08, a year later.

But Shannon Hogan, I have to go back to you. You know the story inside out. They had broken up, but they were allegedly still having sexual relations secretly, because I`m connecting that to the digital camera that supposedly takes pictures of them naked at the same time, or shortly before there`s a photo of him dead.

HOGAN: Yes, their sexual relationship isn`t really in dispute. It was the amount of time it happened after they broke up. You know, obviously, from the photos it`s very clear that they did have a sexual relationship. But it was something that he kept a secret, because it was something that`s against his religion. He was a Mormon.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jon Lieberman, HLN contributor, let`s listen to the victim`s best friends say that, when he found out that Travis was dead, he initially, immediately pointed to Jodi and said Jodi was involved. Listen to this.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There was one instance where he called me up and told me that he had caught her breaking into his Facebook account. Four days, five days later, he goes missing, and then we find him dead. And I – – that was the first thing to my mind is that, oh, my gosh, Jodi actually killed him.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: So a lot of people think, this is an open and shut case. You`ve got all the evidence, Jodi`s bloody palm print in the room. The photo — the camera with these bizarre photos on it.

But then again, Jon Lieberman, everybody thought the Casey Anthony murder trial was an open and shut case. And the thing is, there`s a lot of similarities between these two cases. Each involves a very pretty defendant and a defendant with a tendency toward sort of acting out sexually.

LIEBERMAN: Well, look, Jane, as you very well know, it only takes one juror. It only takes that one person and reasonable doubt, and this woman walks.

But I will tell you, the difference in this case is there is just a plethora of physical evidence. You mentioned it. The bloody palm print on the wall. There`s fibers, hair fibers, her hair fibers at the scene. There`s DNA.

There`s also the fact that she changed her story three different times, finally landing with this self-defense theory. Well, Jane, I`ve never seen a case where the victim is shot first and then stabbed 27 times and then almost decapitated, cut ear to ear, in a self-defense case. I mean, the shot itself would have, you know, kept — kept the attacker away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney, this is a death penalty case. Why don`t her attorneys insist, if this evidence is so overwhelming, that she take some kind of plea deal to get the death penalty off the table, if possible?

WEINTRAUB: Well, first of all, we don`t know that those kind of discussions have not taken place. We don`t know what the prosecutor`s point is, whether or not they`re willing to waive the death penalty or not. That`s No. 1.

No. 2, interestingly enough, first of all, she`s been in that place before many, many times. So the hair fibers, the DNA, none of that matters. The only piece of evidence so far that matters to me would be the bloody hand print, and that could have happened if she came onto the scene after he was already dead, and that is a possibility, Marcia.

CLARK: Oh, please. Please.

WEINTRAUB: Hold on, hold on. It could happen. Remember, he`s not discovered for five days, Jane. This is not where she — you know, she is at the scene and the bloody fingerprint or palm print and then they come in and find the dead body. The dead body is not discovered for five days. That`s No. 1.

No. 2, along the lines that you were talking before, they are trying to introduce the lack of remorse as part of the, I guess, proof that she`s guilty, when that hearing will take place in the next week. And I just think that`s absurd. It`s like for maintaining her innocence, the state is going to blame her and say find her guilty?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: On the other side of the break I want to get Marcia Clark`s reaction to that, because the evidence that is overwhelming that you didn`t mention is in the camera. It`s in the camera. On the other side.

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ARIAS: There`s a lot of forensics suggesting that I was, you know, in his house. The evidence is very compelling. But none of it proves that I committed a murder. None of it proves I committed a crime. What it does substantiate is what I did tell detectives.

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: Marcia Clark, she`s told three different stories, and there`s this camera that has them, first naked in sexually provocative positions. Then him in the shower naked, then him dying in the shower. Isn`t that — well, do you think — what is the defense going to do with that?

CLARK: I don`t think there`s any, any possibility that the defense is actually going to actually try to sell the story that she didn`t commit this crime. I think what they`re going to have to do is focus — or they`ll lose all credibility with the jury. I mean, because this is — this is really overwhelming evidence that she committed it.

But the question will be not who done it but what they done. And that`s where I think the defense is wise to focus their attention. What is it that she did? Was this an act done in self-defense and then she kind of lost her mind and had a psychotic break and went crazy on him, or was this a rash impulse kind of thing? Was there some kind of provocation that she can claim he did to make her act out in this way and had some form of temporary insanity that had her overkill him, basically: 27 stab pounds, and a throat cut as well as a gunshot to the face. That`s really overkill, and that`s the kind of thing you see in rage killings.

I`m sure they could get a forensic psychiatrist to talk about a state of mind that is less culpable, not “not guilty,” but less culpable than someone who, A, deserves the death penalty; or B, maybe even less culpable than someone who deserves a first-degree conviction. So I think that`s where the defense would be smart to focus their attention.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Walsh, psychiatrist, got to show you this clip. It`s Jodi`s winning performance in a prison-wide caroling competition. She beat 50 other prisoners to — you`ve got to check this out. This is beyond comprehension.

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ARIAS (singing): Oh, holy night, the stars are brightly shining. It is the dawn of a new…

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VELEZ-MITCHELL: OK. Wendy, she told three different stories. She seems to think that this is literally going to be a walk in the park. What does that say about her psychology?

WALSH: OK, she`s a smart, manipulative, misguided and distorted young woman. So here she is performing, and she knows once again this is going to go all over the world on the Internet, so she`s singing a religious song. She`s singing a Christmas song. She`s trying to portray this innocent, religious little girl here.

The truth is, if you believe all the evidence so far that she was breaking into his Facebook account, that she broke into his house and was watching him sleeping with his new girlfriend, that she was a stalker with an obsession.

Unfortunately for this young man, and Jane, this is so common, because the difference in men`s and women`s sexualities is so different. He probably thought, she`s my ex-girlfriend who says it`s OK, that we can now be friends with benefits. But he doesn`t understand that the sexual act has huge emotional impact on women. So it was probably fueling her feelings of obsession and jealousy.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I like your analysis. I agree. Obsession. What is that old tag line, “between love and madness lies obsession”? It applies here, I think.

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If you would like to help Jodi by way of a financial donation to the official JAA APPELLATE FUND, click the Team Jodi link below for further details. All donations via Justice4Jodi.com go directly to the fund for assisting with the legal fees associated with appealing Jodi’s wrongful conviction. Justice4Jodi.com is the ONLY website authorized to collect donations.

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1 Comment

  1. I can completely understand and sympathize in this situation. I’m captivated by it and am so lucky I was able to get out of the grips of an emotionally abusive relationship wiht my ex. There were times I felt compelled to end his abuse. I totally understand the helplessness when your completelly in love with somebody who lies to you and keeps you around and continues to emotionally abuse you. It does feel like you can’t live with that person and your willing to accept this horrible behavior. All i can say is teach your boys not to be that way and girls not to accept it. I also am a mormon and they really mess with your head and most are very nice. But, underneath they keep secrets and lies.

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