The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 9, 2013

Arias trial now turns to whether she lives or dies

(Continued)

Arias said she recalled Alexander attacking her in a fury after a day of sex. She said Alexander came at her "like a linebacker," body-slamming her to the tile floor. She managed to wriggle free and ran into his closet to retrieve a gun he kept on a shelf. She said she fired in self-defense but had no memory of stabbing him.

She acknowledged trying to clean the scene of the killing, dumping the gun in the desert and working on an alibi to avoid suspicion. She said she was too scared and ashamed to tell the truth. However, none of Arias' allegations that Alexander had physically abused her in the months before his death, that he owned a gun and had sexual desires for young boys were corroborated by witnesses or evidence during the trial. She acknowledged lying repeatedly before and after her arrest but insisted she was telling the truth in court.

During her 18 days on the witness stand, Arias described an abusive childhood, cheating boyfriends, dead-end jobs, a shocking sexual relationship with Alexander, and her contention that he had grown physically violent in hopes of gaining sympathy from jurors.

But aside from her admitted lies, Arias had yet 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.

Meanwhile, the entire case devolved into a circus-like spectacle attracting dozens of enthusiast each day to the courthouse as they lined up for a chance to score just a few open public seats in the gallery. One trial regular sold her spot in line to another person for $200. Both got reprimands from the court, and the money was returned.

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