Judge denies motion by Jodi Arias' defense for mistrial
(Source: CBS 5 News)
Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias
The judge in the Jodi Arias murder trial denied both the defense's motion on Monday morning for a mistrial and for a withdrawal in the case.
On Monday morning, the judge heard a motion by Arias' defense for a mistrial, claiming that Arias, who was convicted of murdering her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander, had not gotten a fair trial because their motions to sequester the jury and keep cameras out of the courtroom were denied.
Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi said one of Arias' friends, who was scheduled to be a witness on Monday, allegedly received death threats and is scared to testify.
After the request for a mistrial was denied, Nurmi immediately followed with the defense's request to withdraw from the case.
Once the judge denied the request to withdraw, Nurmi told the judge that the defense will not have any witnesses testify on Arias' behalf in the penalty phase of the trial.
Last week, jurors heard tearful comments from Alexander's brother and sister as they described how his killing has torn their lives apart.
Jurors convicted Arias on May 8 of first-degree murder. The panel later determined the killing was especially cruel, meaning the death penalty would be a consideration for sentencing.
The ongoing penalty proceedings will be the final phase of the trial. Jurors are expected to begin deliberating Arias' ultimate fate early this week.
Stay with cbs5az.com for updates on this developing story.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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