Jodi Arias was convicted of first-degree murder today in the gruesome killing of her one-time boyfriend in Arizona after a four-month trial that captured headlines with lurid tales of sex, lies, religion, and a salacious relationship that ended in a bloodbath. Arias was charged with first-degree murder in the June 2008 death of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. Authorities said the 32-year-old waitress planned the attack in a jealous rage after being rejected by the victim while he pursued other women. Arias initially denied involvement, then later blamed the killing on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she said it was self-defense.
The trial will now move into a phase during which prosecutors will argue the killing was committed in an especially cruel, heinous, and depraved manner. Both sides may call witnesses and show evidence during a mini trial of sorts that could result in the death penalty for Arias. Alexander suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, was shot in the forehead, and had his throat slit before Arias dragged his body into his shower. He was found by friends about five days later. Adding to the spectacle, Arias sold drawings from jail throughout the trial on a website operated by a third party, said her mother, Sandra Arias. According to the site, some pieces were fetching more than a $1,000.