Contrasting portraits of alleged killer

Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:11 PM
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MESA, Ariz., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Prosecutors in Arizona Thursday presented evidence they said showed Jodi Arias, accused of killing her boyfriend, is a serial liar.

On the fifth day of Arias' trial for allegedly killing Travis Alexander in June 2008, prosecutors pressed their contention Arias, 32, stalked Alexander before stabbing him 27 times, cutting his throat and shooting him in the head, ABC News reported.

Arias initially denied killing Alexander but confessed months after he was found dead in his Mesa, Ariz., home that she had killed him. She claims she acted in self-defense after he had been abusive to her.

Arias has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

The prosecution presented receipts indicating Arias traveled 90 miles to rent a car the day before she killed her former lover, even though there were car rental offices closer to where she was living in Yreka, Calif.

And, although Arias had told friends and investigators she used the car to visit her boyfriend, Ryan Burns, in West Jordan, Utah, June 3, 2008, a paper trail of receipts showed she traveled to Mesa June 4. Arias arrived in Utah a day later than expected, with cuts on her hands.

Burns testified Wednesday she told him the cuts were from broken glass at a bar where she worked called Margaritaville, but testimony Wednesday indicated there is no such bar, ABC reported.

Prosecutors had argued Wednesday Arias stalked Alexander before killing him, but her attorney said she is a pious Mormon who was sexually abused by him.

Prosecutors said she seduced Alexander, photographed herself having sex with him and then killed him.

Burns previously testified his time with Arias was almost chaste.

"Part of our conversations with each other were about her religious views, and my religious views, and I didn't want her to regret her trip, I didn't want to go any further," he said, adding that his religious conversations with Arias renewed his interest in his own faith.

Arias' attorney, Jennifer Willmott, said Alexander was a "sexual deviant" who abused Arias and pressured her to have oral and anal sex because they were less sinful than intercourse.

Alexander's friends and family said he tried to break off his relationship with Arias, which began six years ago when they met at a work conference. Alexander's friend Dave Hall said Arias was stalking him in the months before the slaying.

Arias originally said she wasn't at Alexander's home the day of his killing but later changed her story and said she saw two men attack him. She now says she killed Alexander in self-defense.

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