Jodi Arias as guilty verdict was read on Wednesday. (Source: KPHO-TV)
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -
The jury in the Jodi Arias trial decided Arias is eligible for the death penalty after they convicted her last week of first-degree murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend.
The jury spent part of Wednesday afternoon deliberating whether the murder of Arias' former boyfriend, Travis Alexander, was cruel enough to warrant the death penalty.
They announced the verdict at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, deciding that there were aggravating factors in the case.
The jury got the case after a morning of testimony Wednesday during which prosecutors tried to prove the murder was committed in an especially cruel and heinous manner.
Defense lawyer Kirk Nurmi maintained the state can't prove its argument beyond a reasonable doubt.
Last week, the Arias defense team filed a motion to try prevent the victim's family statements from being read live in the courtroom, requesting instead that they be pre-taped to "prevent outbursts," they said.
Judge Sherry Stephens denied the request. Also, Arias won't be talking to reporters again anytime soon.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office was slapped with a court order Tuesday, prohibiting it from approaching Arias with requests for media interviews.
Sheriff's officials said they would comply.
On Monday, Arias was taken off suicide watch and transferred back to the all-female Estrella Jail.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Arias will remain there "on closed custody status." She is alone in a cell and is being allowed out one hour each day to access phone calls and showers.
Minutes after her conviction last Wednesday for killing Alexander, Arias told KSAZ-TV she would "prefer to die sooner than later," complicating matters for defense lawyers who hope to spare her life during the penalty phase of the trial.
The case was scheduled to resume May 9, but court officials postponed the penalty phase until Wednesday without explanation.
Despite Arias' comments that she would rather die than be in prison for life, she cannot choose the death penalty. It's up to the jury to recommend a sentence.
The judge will then make the final decision.
Arias was charged in the June 2008 killing of Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. Authorities said she planned the attack in a jealous rage.
Arias initially denied involvement, then blamed it on two masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she said she killed Alexander in self-defense.
[Text BREAKING to 23765 to get breaking news alerts on your mobile phone]
Tuesday, March 11 2014 7:46 AM EDT2014-03-11 11:46:38 GMT
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – No charges will be filed against the people responsible for hanging a dog by a harness at Olga's Dog Spa. A photograph began circulating around social media last week of a dogMore >
No charges will be filed against the people responsible for hanging a dog by a harness at Olga's Dog Spa.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 6:04 PM EDT2014-03-11 22:04:32 GMT
Police identified the two women found dead in a running motor vehicle in Lebanon Monday morning. Troopers were called to Smith Road near Route 207 around 8:50 a.m. after a person reported seeing two peopleMore >
Police identified the couple found dead in a running motor vehicle in Lebanon Monday morning.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-03-11 23:05:09 GMT
Firefighters in West Haven are on the scene of an early morning fire. Officials said the fire was called in at 89 Coleman Street shortly after 4:30 a.m. There is no word on if anyone has been injured. WFSBMore >
Officials said a couple and their grown daughter were killed in an early morning fire Tuesday at a West Haven condominium complex.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 1:30 PM EDT2014-03-11 17:30:08 GMT
Three Connecticut towns made the list of the best places to visit in New England. Guilford, Washington and Wethersfield were listed on Buzz Feed's 24 Small New England Towns You Absolutely Need To Visit.GuilfordMore >
Three Connecticut towns made the list of the best places to visit in New England. More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 8:28 AM EDT2014-03-11 12:28:24 GMT
A Hartford police sergeant was in the hot seat following a high speed chase that was caught on camera. A few weeks ago, Sgt. Eric Smith barreled through a red light on a city street, hit speeds of 80 milesMore >
A Hartford police sergeant was in the hot seat following a high speed chase that was caught on camera.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 12:18 PM EDT2014-03-11 16:18:44 GMT
Hundreds of tickets have been handed out by state police since they started targeting tailgating motorists on highways in an effort to reduce accidents and what they call "aggressive driving habits."TheMore >
Hundreds of tickets have been handed out by state police since they started targeting tailgating motorists on highways in an effort to reduce accidents and what they call "aggressive driving habits."More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 4:13 PM EDT2014-03-11 20:13:53 GMT
Customers with Verizon Wireless have been the target of scammers, officials said.The scammers were promising people $54 dollars based on an overpaid bill. They even make it look like it's coming from Verizon'sMore >
Customers with Verizon Wireless have been the target of scammers, officials said.More >