Lawyer: Behind the Mask, Arias Is Smiley, Smart

Jennifer Willmott describes Arias' hopes for the future
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2015 9:57 AM CDT
Lawyer: Behind the Mask, Arias Is Smiley, Smart
This undated booking photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows Jodi Arias.   (Arizona Department of Corrections via AP)

The jurors who sent Jodi Arias to prison for life didn't get to see the true Jodi, her lawyer now says. "The hard part about that is if you were to see the Jodi that we see, she's very chit-chatty and smiley and she's very funny and smart, but she could never do that in court because that's completely inappropriate to be in such a serious proceeding," Jennifer Willmott tells KNXV. She adds Arias is remorseful and broke down in private, but she hid her emotion well. Though "you guys only saw the back of her head" on a live stream during sentencing, "she was starting to cry ... and swallowed it back," Willmott says.

As for Arias' seemingly sudden recollection of cutting Travis Alexander's throat, which she for the first time admitted to doing at sentencing, Willmott tells the Arizona Republic, "All along she did not remember anything. Shortly after the trial ... is when she started to remember more." Now that she's been sentenced to life, Arias is "focused on her future" and hopes to one day be "able to have a contact visit and hug her mom. She hasn't been able to do that in seven years. She'd like to be able to hug her niece." KTAR reports Arias will, at first, spend 23 hours a day in a 12-by-7-foot cell at Arizona's Perryville prison for women with only a bed, mattress, sink, and toilet. She may eventually be allowed visitors, a television, and a radio. The one thing she'll never be able to do: cash in on her story. Arizona statute forbids her from selling it for profit. (Read more Jodi Arias stories.)

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