Home > Crime > Jodi Arias Murder Trial Opening Arguments

Jodi Arias Murder Trial Opening Arguments

Alexander & Arias in happier times

Alexander & Arias in happier times

Being referred to as the ‘Fatal Attraction’ murder, the much-anticipated trial finally begins, after numerous delays.

Arias is accused of viciously murdering ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.

As per usual in Arizona, court begins 1/2 hour late.

Before the jury is brought in, Kirk Nurmi for the defense is asking for reports on the hard drive, Judge Stephens denies the motion.

1:04pm (MST) jury is brought in.

Judges gives some ground rules and the indictment is read.

Deputy County Attorney Juan Martinez takes the jury through the beginning of the relationship and how Jodi became a Mormon like Travis.

They had a very active sex life, which in the scheme of things in the Mormon religion, is a major sin and it became a conflict for them.

He also says she is a snoop and couldn’t help herself and looked at Travis’ cell phone to see who Travis has been calling.

Shortly after, they breakup, but the sexual relations continued.

Travis met another woman, Marie Hall, and they had a few dates, but the woman told him she wasn’t interested romantically.  She did however agree to go to Cancun with him just as a friend.

She hadn’t heard from Travis in several days and went to the house and banged on the door, but got no answer.

She called some friends and they entered the house.  They noticed a foul smell and attributed it to Travis dog.

They found Travis dead in the shower and called police.

Investigators noticed the scene had been manipulated.  There was blood all over and they felt Travis didn’t die in the shower, he was moved there.  Travis’ body had been washed.

There was no gun or knife found at the scene.

The bath mat and scale had blood underneath, so they had been moved.

He moves on to the bed linens being in the laundry as well as the camera.

He tells the jury about the stabbing injuries and says several cuts were defensive wounds, so he fighting for his life.

Camera just panned to Jodi and she’s sniffling and dabbing with a tissue…no tears though…just like someone else we know!

Martinez describes how investigators were able to retrieve photos from the card.

Several photos are of Travis and Jodi going at it, they were nude, which isn’t a crime.

The 2nd set of photos are of Travis in the shower so it would appear they were taken by Jodi.

One shows Travis sitting in the shower.

The 3rd set of photos shows movement and are inadvertent captures the attack.  One shows Jodi’s foot and the actual moving of Travis’ body!

Martinez says Jodi, knowing what was on the camera, took the time to delete all the photos and throw it in the wash.

Martinez goes into the robbery at Jodi’s grandparent’s house in Yreka where Jodi is now staying.  A .25 caliber handgun was missing.  A .25 caliber casing was found in Travis’ bathroom.

Jodi dove 90 miles south and rented a car from Budget rental.  The agent picked Jodi out of a photo lineup, but told police she now had black hair, not blond!

WOW!  12 noon MST, they stop the prosecution’s opening so the jury can have lunch…never saw that before!

Martinez continues his opening argument.

Jodi says she rented the car to visit a friend in Utah.  She arrived a day late.  She was stopped by police because one of the license plates was missing and the other plate was on the car upside down.  Seems to me, Jodi was pulling a fast one!

She met her friend and they immediately got romantic, however the man, being Mormon, wouldn’t let it go as far as intercourse.

Arias is insisting to police she wasn’t in Mesa AZ on June 4th.

Next day she admits to police she was there and she was the one taking the photos.  She hears a loud noise and she may have been unconscious, but she sees Travis is hurt and he’s saying help me.

This is the story about a man and woman intruder who broke in.  She claims the man pointed the gun at her face but it misfired.  She claims the guy went in her purse and saw her address on her car registration so he knew her address and she was scared for herself and family.

Then she starts doing interviews.

Martinez plays some of the Inside Edition interview where she said no jury would convict her!

Now Arias changes it up again and admits she did kill Travis, but in self-defense.

Martinez is done and Judge calls break.

Jennifer Willmott for the defense.

She admits the Jodi killed Travis.

But she was scared and had to make a split decision whether to live or die.

(Remember, this was 2 minutes after the sexy photos)

Willmott tells about a relationship she had before Travis.  She and Darryl were going to buy a house together and Jodi was looking for financial stability, but the housing market fell apart.

She then went to a 2006 Pre Paid Legal (PPL) convention where she met Travis.

She goes into Travis giving her the Book of Mormon and how he sent missionaries to her home for 2 months.  In November, Jodi became a Mormon.

Travis was a temple member, which is a respected, high position in the church.

Travis persuaded her that oral and anal sex was not a sin like vaginal sex.

Travis was manipulative; he had a temper and yelled at her, degraded and embarrassed her.

Jodi learned to be humble around Travis to avoid his temper.  It was Jodi broke up with Travis.

She tells the jury they will hear from a domestic violence expert who will explain the relationship.

Jodi had enough and moved back to Yreka, but Travis kept emailing and texting her.  He continued to use her for sex.  The jury will hear an explicit phone sex call that was made a few weeks before he died.

Now, supposedly Travis tied Jodi up and they had sex.  Travis had a new camera and wanted to take photos of Jodi.

Jodi sure as hell sold a bill of goods to this attorney!

Travis’ family is having a real hard time listening to this.

Jodi accidentally dropped Travis’ camera and Travis went into a rage.  A photo that shows the ceiling is obviously because the camera is upside down.  Willmott claims a photo that show Travis bleeding happened 1 minute later.

Willmott is done and Judge calls another break.

Marie Hall is called as the first witness.

She goes into a lengthy description of the working of the Mormon Church.  The singles were considered a separate ward from married wards.  They had meetings, church meetings, and social events.

She and Travis lived in the same neighborhood.  Travis asked her to dinner and then they went to Barnes and Nobles.

Martinez asks if Travis ever said anything sexual, tried to kiss her.  She says no and said there was no spark there for her.

She started dating someone else and Travis was very understanding.  She and Travis did email and text and he never exhibited and temper, or curse.  Hall said Travis was always respectful.

After a 3rd date she told Travis she just wanted to be friends and Travis was ok with that.

She agreed to go to Cancun as a friend in early May.

She hadn’t heard from Travis so she went to his house because she was getting really worried and she was concerned because she knew Travis had a stalker.

She called some friends over, one of whom had the code to the garage door.  They entered the house and noticed a bad smell.  They checked all the downstairs rooms and found them empty.

So they went upstairs and found the bedroom locked.  One of the roommates found a key to the bedroom and the guys entered.  They found blood all over and they found Travis’ body.  Hall called the police.

A few days later there was a memorial and Jodi showed up.  Jodi walked up to her and introduced herself and said she was upset.

Kirk Nurmi on cross.

Nurmi takes her through the structure of the church again and the various wards.  What the repentance process is, etc.

Other than being baptized, Jodi never said anything about the structure of the church or wards or any of this!

If you knew somebody was sinning, would you report it?

If somebody was in danger, but it really is up to the person to repent and talk to the bishop.

My good friend ritanita had a terrific point…Jodi was his devil, leading him into temptation.

Nurmi goes over her dating Travis and her dating someone else.  Her last date with Travis was March-April and Travis asked her to go to Cancun in early May.

Did he ever tell you he was dating Jodi Arias?  No.

Did he tell you he was having sexual relations with Jodi?  No.

But he did tell you he had a stalker?  Yes.  He told me the stalker had followed them on a date.  I told him I was scared and he should get a protective order.

Did he get a protective order?  I don’t know.

Martinez up.

Did you know the stalker was female?  Yes.  I knew his tires had been slashed and she had followed us.

If a single person is having sex with someone and doesn’t self-report?  It just that they aren’t repenting.

Is lying a sin?  Yes.

Jury has no questions for Hall and Stephens calls counsel to the bench.

State calls Sterling Williams.  Works for Mesa Police.

He was sent to Travis’ house at 10:30 pm.  Fire personnel was on the scene and they entered the bedroom.  Fire personnel decided the person was deceased.

He describes the knife wounds, particularly the lit throat wound.

He identifies photos of the body.

Jodi won’t even look at them as they are published to the jury.  She has her hand over her eyes.

He describes large amounts of blood around the room.

No cross…

Court is in recess.

Jodi Arias

Jodi Arias

Have to say, Jodi sure doesn’t look so cocky anymore!


Cast of characters:

Def. Jennifer Willmott

Def. Jennifer Willmott

Def. Kirk Nurmi

Def. Kirk Nurmi

Judge Sherry Stephens

Judge Sherry Stephens

Screen shot 2013-01-02 at 1.19.28 PM

Pros. Juan Martinez

  1. Trial Watcher
    01/02/2013 at 10:21 pm

    Thank you for the detailed report! I’m a bit confused about the photos, how does the camera capture someone moving the body? I can understand if it is running video but if it is laying on the floor what causes it to expose still images?

    • donchais
      01/03/2013 at 6:47 am

      Your welcome. I could be wrong, but I believe after the camera hit the floor it landed upside down, hence the shot of the ceiling as the shutter got depressed. Following that, I’m assuming that in all the commotion of moving the body and manipulating the crime scene, the camera was bumped around and took several more inadvertent shots. While we didn’t see it, one of the photos shown to the jury shows Jodi moving Travis…her leg was visible in the shot. That’s just my theory, I’m waiting to hear the media forensic person explain it!

  2. ritanita
    01/03/2013 at 7:32 am

    Ms. Wilmott, in her opening, stated that, based on the time differential between photographs… the one where the camera was dropped and the one showing Travis being bloody… was a total of TWO minutes where Jodi had to decide if she would live or die.

    It sure sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?

    The picture she painted sure sounds good until you take it apart. Jodi drops the camera, inadvertent picture of the top of the shower and the ceiling. Travis becomes enraged and viciously attacks her. Two minutes later, he has been stabbed in the heart and will go on to receive a total of 29 knife wounds. That would mean that she had to have the knife with her in the bathroom while she was taking the series of pictures of Travis in the shower. How would Travis not have noticed the knife?

    I watched JVM and NG’s programs last night which did their normal, sensationalized versions of the first day in court. Between the two, there was discussion of the autopsy report. The deepest stab wound was 5″ deep and the ear-ear slash was deep enough to sever his esophagus, jugular vein, and carotid artery on, IIRC, the right side. According to this expert, so much force and depth, width of the wound indicate that the knife was more than likely a butcher knife. In addition, the TEN stab wounds to his back were likely to have been received after the first thrust which penetrated the heart. Travis went to the sink, she stabbed him in the back then. The wound to the heart and neck were the ones primarily responsible for killing him.

    Come on! How does one conveniently hide a butcher knife in the bathroom where it is handy to kill someone just in case she inadvertently drops the camera and Travis becomes enraged?

    Then, there’s the gun shot to the head. Martinez argued it was the last part of the deadly assault. The reasoning is based on the fact that the gunshot began above the eyebrow and rested in the opposite cheek. He was obviously shot from above, possibly when he was already dead. I learned that the gunshot did not penetrate the brain. It was a survivable injury.

    So, we have a sudden “attack” in the bathroom, a knife close enough for Jodi to reach as she is being attacked. During the attack, she had enough space between herself and Travis to plunge the knife into his chest and pierce his heart. Then, there somehow is a gun, stolen from her grandparents’ house a few days before which is near enough for her to fetch and use after dragging the mortally wounded, probably dead man into the shower and shoot him.

    Premeditation anyone?

    • donchais
      01/03/2013 at 7:50 am

      All very good points! The ‘acting in self-defense’ claim is a bunch of hooey! Also, if Travis was so abusive to her, why the heck did she keep going to him? At times, she literally drove hundreds of miles to be with him. Yeah, she was afraid of him!

  3. ritanita
    01/03/2013 at 8:20 am

    Yup! And the LAST time, she drove a THOUSAND miles!

    Good morning!

    • donchais
      01/03/2013 at 8:57 am

      Good morning!

  4. Anonymous
    01/03/2013 at 12:09 pm

    is this trial being streamed anywhere?

  5. purrcila
    01/05/2013 at 12:26 am

    Your blog is great. I’m in a Jodi Arias trial group on FB and have given them a link to you. Keep up the great work. You have a great sense of humor too! Yeah, word for the day is “great”.

  6. donchais
    01/05/2013 at 5:13 am

    Thanks and welcome…glad you found your way here!

  7. 01/08/2013 at 3:44 pm

    Someone Else hid her eyes when photos of the deceased little girl were being shown… Someone Else dabbed at her eyes when she wanted to look as if she was crying… PUH-leez! My observation is that a knife is a very very ‘up close and personal’ attack and it would appear the attacker was in a red-hot fury with Amazonian strength… scary!

    • donchais
      01/08/2013 at 5:11 pm

      ayuh, exactly!

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