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Jodi Arias returns to court to set retrial date

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   Aug. 26, 2013 at 10:42 AM   |   Comments

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Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Jodi Arias, the Arizona woman convicted in May of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, will return to court Monday afternoon to set a date for her penalty phase retrial.

A new jury and trial was made necessary after the original jury was unable to decide whether to give Arias, 33, the death sentence for the brutal killing.

Defense attorneys are expected to ask Maricopa County Judge Sherry Stephens to forbid cameras in the courtroom, or at least prohibit the live broadcasting, in an effort to limit the circus-like atmosphere of the spring proceedings. Several witnesses for the defense said they received death threats after testifying on Arias's behalf.

The defense team also filed a motion asking Stephens to force jurors to disclose information about their personal Twitter accounts, claiming social media interaction may influence their deliberations and prevent a fair trial.

Arias initially denied killing Alexander, but later said she acted in self-defense after he attacked her, but failed to convince the jury. They found her to have acted in a "cruel manner" in the 2008 slaying, slitting Alexander's throat from ear to ear, stabbing him multiple times and shooting him in the head.

Eight jurors wanted to give Arias the death penalty, while four voted for life in prison. All twelve agreed she acted in a pre-mediated manner.

If a new jury fails to come to a unanimous decision on Arias's sentencing, she will automatically receive a life sentence, and the judge will determine if she is eligible for parole after 25 years.

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