Jodi Arias verdict: FIRST DEGREE MURDER - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

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Jodi Arias verdict: FIRST DEGREE MURDER

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Arias' face after verdict Arias' face after verdict
PHOENIX -

She shot and stabbed ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in 2008, and her trial has captivated people across the nation for five months. Is Jodi Arias a cold, calculating killer, or a victim of PTSD who was defending herself?

Arias spent 18 days on the stand. She described the sordid details of their love affair, and maintained she killed Travis Alexander in self-defense -- that he had come after her in a rage. But as she recalled the day of the killing, pockets of her memory were missing. Prosecutor Juan Martinez said it was all manipulation and lies.

The defense, however, explained that in a battered woman who was suffering from PTSD, memory loss is common. And Arias may have just snapped. They asked the jury to consider the lesser of the three possible verdicts.

And the jury has come to a unanimous decision.

After a 15-hour deliberation, at 1:45 p.m. Wednesday (Arizona time) the verdict was read. A huge crowd gathered in front of the courthouse. People were cheering "Justice for Travis" as they waited for the news. The expectation was that she would get first degree murder.

Everyone entered the courtroom about 1:45. There was a full minute of complete silence just before the verdict was read. The jury decided: GUILTY OF FIRST DEGREE MURDER. Five jurors found her guilty of premeditated murder, zero found her guilty of felony murder, and 7 found her guilty of both premeditated and felony murder.

When everyone filed into the courtroom for the reading, Jodi Arias seemed very calm. But she exhaled deeply, blinked, and teared up when the first degree murder verdict was read. Alexander's family and friends gasped, wept and hugged each other, and looked relieved.

Arias looked back and exchanged a look with her mother, who met her eyes but didn't change her expression. Arias' grandmother shook her head from side to side in sadness. Arias' mother, Sandra, then started crying.

The judge then announced that the jury will convene Thursday at 1 p.m. to begin the aggravation and penalty phase. First, the jurors will decide if the crime was committed with "extreme cruelty." If the jury says yes, the penalty phase comes next.

Jurors would then decide whether or not to sentence Jodi Arias to death. If a death sentence is taken off the table, the judge will sentence Arias to either life in prison, or life with the chance of parole after 25 years.

In the meantime, until sentencing, Arias will remain housed in MCSO's Estrella Jail.

Full statement by the family of Travis Alexander

Travis Alexander's surviving brothers and sisters Samantha Alexander, Gary Alexander, Dennis "Greg" Alexander, Tanisha Sorenson, Hillary Wilcox, Steven Alexander, and Allie Iglesias are in agreement with the jury's verdict of the guilt against Jodi Arias.

They would like to thank county attorney Juan Martinez and Detective Steve Flores for their hard and professionalism in this case. The siblings appreciate the outpouring of support they have received from the public.

Buesing, Hernacki & Beckstead PLLC will be filing a civil wrongful death suit on behalf of the siblings against Jodi Arias in the near future.

The siblings request that their privacy be respected. They will not be making any further statements or participating in any interviews until the sentencing phase is complete.

After the verdict came out, the immediate family of Travis Alexander announced they're filing a wrongful death civil suit against Arias. The Alexander family added that they were pleased by the verdict, but will refrain from speaking out until sentencing.

Outside the courthouse and on social media, the consensus also seemed to be relief that "justice was served." There was some fear that there could've been a surprise verdict in what was supposed to be a slam dunk case.

People in the crowd cheered and chanted, and even cried, holding signs that expressed support for Travis.

If Jodi Arias receives the death penalty, (which will be decided during the penalty phase) this would make her the third woman on Arizona's death row. The other two are Wendi Andriano and Shawna Forde. Another woman, Debra Milke, was on death row but had her conviction overthrown in March of 2013.

Now that Jodi Arias is a convicted murderer, any aspirations she had of lucrative book and movie deals vanished with her freedom. Once the verdict came down, the "Son of Sam" law went into effect.

The law, named for Son of Sam Killer David Berkowitz, bans convicted felons from profiting off their notoriety. That means proceeds from the online sales of Arias' artwork and the TV movie about the case will go to the Arizona Industrial Commission. Travis Alexander's family can then file a claim to get it -- which may have something to do with their aforementioned civil suit.

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