The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 8, 2013

BREAKING: Jury finds Arias guilty of 1st-degree murder

(Continued)

After all, there was no dispute that Arias killed Alexander.

It was the first thing Arias' defense acknowledged as the trial began.

"Jodi Arias killed Travis Alexander," Arias attorney Jennifer Willmott told jurors in opening statements. "There is no question about it. The million dollar question is what would have forced her to do it?"

Martinez worked feverishly to attack the credibility of the defense experts, accusing them of having sympathy for Arias and offering biased opinions.

He later called his own expert, clinical psychologist Janeen DeMarte, who told jurors Arias didn't suffer from PTSD or amnesia, and that she found no evidence that the defendant was a battered woman. Instead, DeMarte said Arias suffered from borderline personality disorder, showing signs of immaturity and an "unstable sense of identity."

People who suffer from such a disorder "have a terrified feeling of being abandoned by others," DeMarte told jurors.

The case had devolved into dueling expert witnesses.

Aside from her lies, Arias had another formidable obstacle to overcome.

Her grandparents had reported a .25-caliber handgun stolen from their Northern California home about a week before Alexander's death — the same caliber used to shoot him — but Arias insisted she didn't take it. Authorities believe she brought it with her to kill him. The coincidence of the same caliber gun stolen from the home also being used to shoot Alexander was never resolved. It would be left up to the jury to decide if it made sense.

Then there was Arias' account of Alexander's killing. She said she shot him first, but he kept coming, forcing her to grab a knife and defend herself.

However, Dr. Kevin Horn, a Maricopa County medical examiner, testified it would have been highly unlikely that Alexander could have sustained so many defensive wounds from the knife attack had he been shot in the head first. Horn said the gunshot would have rendered the victim incapable of fighting back.

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