Convicted murderer Jodi Arias, left, shown Monday, is expected to address the jury Tuesday morning, bringing her first-degree murder trial closer to an end.
Jodi Arias as she addressed the jury on Tuesday (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Jodi Arias told the jury that she "never meant to cause Travis so much pain" and that she would contribute to society from prison if she is allowed to live.
Arias addressed the jury Tuesday morning in the penalty phase of her trial as the panel considers whether to sentence her to live in prison or give her the death penalty.
The penalty phase of Arias' trial was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday following Monday events that included another denial for a mistrial by Judge Sherry Stephens and a request to withdraw from the case by defense attorneys. The court session was delayed and Arias began addressing the jury just before 11 a.m.
Arias said if she lives, she'd like to start a book club in prison.
Arias also says she never meant to cause pain to the family of Travis Alexander and that her family kept her from committing suicide.
Arias showed pictures of herself as a child and photos of her family and friends.
Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi said one of Arias' friends, Patti Womack, who was scheduled to be a witness on Monday allegedly received death threats and was scared to testify. The judge reiterated on Tuesday that Womack would not be present to testify on Arias' behalf.
Nurmi's request for a mistrial was based on his claims that Arias had not gotten a fair trial because their motions to sequester the jury and keep cameras out of the courtroom were denied.
After Stephens denied the request, Nurmi immediately followed with the defense's request to withdraw from the case.
Stephens also denied the request to withdraw, and Nurmi told the judge that the defense will not have any witnesses testify on Arias' behalf in the penalty phase of the trial.
Arias has already told a local television station that she would prefer the death penalty over life in prison, but in court on Tuesday she asked the jurors to spare her life.
Following Arias' testimony, the judge read the final jury instructions. The jury began deliberating about 3 p.m. on Tuesday and wrapped for the day at 4:30 p.m. They are expected to return to court at 10 a.m. Wednesday to continue deliberating.
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