The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 17, 2013

Arias victim's family makes dramatic statement

PHOENIX (AP) — Steven Alexander stood before the jury, looked up at a family picture and grimaced and cried as he ticked off the list of problems that have befallen him in the five years since his brother was murdered: ulcers, depression, a separation from his wife, nightmares.

The dreams consist of someone coming at him with a knife then going after his wife and daughter. Other times, he has nightmares about his brother, "curled up in a shower, thrown in there, left to rot for days, all alone." He feels like a child, unable to sleep alone in the dark.

"I don't want these nightmares anymore. I don't want to see my brother's murderer anymore," he said.

The gut-wrenching comments came as jurors began considering whether Jodi Arias should get a life sentence or be executed for the 2008 stabbing death of Travis Alexander. Jurors became visibly shaken as Steven Alexander and his sister spoke on deeply emotional levels in arguing for the death penalty. Arias sobbed throughout the hearing, with tears streaming down her face and landing on her black shirt.

Alexander's two siblings were the only witnesses for the prosecution. Trial will resume Monday with statements from an ex-boyfriend of Arias and the defendant herself, among others.

The same jury listening to the statements convicted Arias of first-degree murder last week after about 15 hours of deliberations.

In opening statements Thursday, prosecutor Juan Martinez said there are no factors that should cause the jury to even consider a sentence other than death. The judge had instructed jurors that they could take into account certain things that might help them make a decision, such as Arias' lack of a prior criminal record and assertions that she was a good friend, had an abusive childhood and is a talented artist.

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