Jodi Arias isn’t a name that most people are unfamiliar with. If you aren’t sure who she is, you might remember the woman remembered as a delusional ex that murdered her boyfriend named Travis Alexander. This case was so gruesome, most crime reporters headed over to get a story. There’s a lot that can be said about this case because of the extent of investigation and reporting that went into it.
In the end, Jodi Arias is serving a sentence of life imprisonment. You can find many documentaries regarding her case. A detailed explanation of how she ended up in jail can be found below.
Who is Jodi Arias?
Jodi Ann Arias was born on 9th July 1980, in Salinas, CA. Her parents are William Arias and Sandra (née Allen) Arias. Jodi dropped out of college after 11th grade to pursue her dream of photography. However, that didn’t prove to be quite successful for her. In February 2006, she started her new job as a salesperson for Pre-paid Legal Services Inc.
Travis Victor Alexander was born on 28th July 1977, in Riverside, California. His parents were Gary David Alexander (1948–1997) and Pamela Elizabeth Morgan Alexander (1953–2005). Travis moved in with his paternal grandparents at the age of 11. His father’s death in 1997 caused his seven siblings to be taken in by their paternal grandmother. During this time, he was introduced to the Latter-Day Saints of Jesus Christ and became a Mormon. Travis was a salesman and motivational speaker for Pre-Paid Legal Services (PPL) which is a multilevel marketing company based in Mesa, Arizona.
Jodi Meets Travis
It was through PPL that Jodi and Travis met in September 2006 at a conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jodi converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was baptized by Travis on 26th November 2006 in a ceremony in Southern California. Travis and Jodi began dating in February 2007. However, only five months later the two broke up despite Jodi’s feelings toward Travis. Jodi then moved to Mesa to live closer to Travis. In April 2008, she moved to Yreka, California, and started living there with her grandparents.
Jodi and Travis exchanged messages every day and a total of 8000 emails were sent during the five months they were dating.
Relationship After Break up
Even though Travis and Jodi had officially broken up and continued their complex relationship as a friendship, they still kept a romantic relationship going behind the scenes even though the tensions remained. Travis’s friends described Jodi as his crazy stalker ex. Travis told his friends that she had been obsessed with him, at one point slashing his car tires and hacking his Facebook account.
The Murder of Travis Alexander
On 4th June 2008, Travis missed a conference call and wasn’t returning any calls to his friends or colleagues. His friends went to check up on him five days later on 9th June 2008. Travis’s roommate told them he had been out of town since his room was locked for a few days. Upon entry, Travis Alexander’s body was found in his bathroom. He had been slashed 27 times and shot in the head with a 25-caliber bullet and his throat had been lacerated, severing his trachea, common carotid artery, and jugular vein.
His friends called the police upon this discovery and reported that his ex-girlfriend had been bothering him “and following him and flashing tires and things like that.”
Jodi appeared devastated by the news and told police that she hadn’t met Travis since April of that year.
The police discovered a digital camera that Travis had recently brought into the washing machine downstairs. Some pictures had been deleted from it which the police managed to recover. The pictures contained obscene and inappropriate pictures of Jodi and Travis together and the time stamp on the photos was 1:40 pm. The last photo of Travis Alexander was taken in the shower at approximately 5:29 pm. The next image was accidentally taken which revealed a heavily bleeding Travis, the shoes of the assailant were also captured in the image.
The shoes were later confirmed to match Jodi’s. The assailant attempted to clean up the crime scene by removing any incriminating objects. However, they forgot to remove a bloodstained handprint on the wall that contained DNA which was later confirmed to be of both Travis and Jodi.
Jodi has used a rental car to visit Travis and borrowed and bought a massive amount of fuel to cover the road trip. After the murder, she then drove off to West Jordan, Utah to meet her new boyfriend, Ryan Burns, and create an alibi. Ryan noticed her odd behavior and bandages on her arms which she claimed were from her job as a pizza chef at a restaurant which was later confirmed as non-existent.
Jodi drove back to California and handed her rental car in on 7th June 2008. Despite massive evidence in the car, from stains that she claimed to be from Koolaid to missing floor mats and a huge mileage, unfortunately, the car was deep cleaned before the police could investigate it.
Jodi’s grandparents reported a burglary that had occurred several days earlier. Among the things that were taken, the most notable was a 25-caliber pistol that was never recovered.
A 25 caliber bullet round had been found at the crime scene, matching the pistol stolen back in California.
Based on all the evidence against her, Jodi was charged with first-degree murder by a grand jury on 9th July 2008. She was arrested at her grandparents' home on 15th July in California.
Jodi assumed innocence during most of the interview but eventually made slip-ups before the trial. She dropped her defense team and submitted letters to the court that she claimed to be from Travis. The letters were eventually discovered to be forgeries. Upon this failure, Jodi reinstated her defense team.
Jodi’s trial commenced on 12th December 2012 in Maricopa County Superior Court before Judge Sherry K. Stephens. In opening arguments, prosecutor Juan Martinez sought the death penalty. Jodi was represented by appointed counsel L. Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott who argued that Jodi’s actions were in self-defense. The trial went on for five months and on 8th May 2012, Jody was found guilty and was charged with first-degree murder with seven judges agreeing on the crime as being pre-meditated and a felony.
Through 2013 and 2014, the jury was unable to reach the death penalty, however on 13th April 2015, Jodi was formally sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. She is now serving her life sentence at the maximum level of security.
Sentencing was originally scheduled for April 7, 2015, with Judge Stephens having the option to sentence Jodi to either life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, or with the possibility of parole after 25 years. Judge Stephens sentenced Jodi to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. By 5th March 2015, Jodi’s trials cost an estimated $3 million.
In June 2015, following a restitution hearing, Jodi was ordered to pay more than $32,000 to Travis’s siblings. Her attorney stated this was about one-third of the amount requested by the court.
As of 2022, Jodi is imprisoned at the Arizona Department of Corrections #281129, which is located at Arizona State Prison Complex - Perryville. She started her sentence in the complex's maximum security Lumley Uni which was later downgraded to the medium security level.
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