Jodi Arias as guilty verdict was read on Wednesday. (Source: KPHO-TV)
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -
The jury in the Jodi Arias trial decided Arias is eligible for the death penalty after they convicted her last week of first-degree murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend.
The jury spent part of Wednesday afternoon deliberating whether the murder of Arias' former boyfriend, Travis Alexander, was cruel enough to warrant the death penalty.
They announced the verdict at about 3 p.m. Wednesday, deciding that there were aggravating factors in the case.
The jury got the case after a morning of testimony Wednesday during which prosecutors tried to prove the murder was committed in an especially cruel and heinous manner.
Defense lawyer Kirk Nurmi maintained the state can't prove its argument beyond a reasonable doubt.
Last week, the Arias defense team filed a motion to try prevent the victim's family statements from being read live in the courtroom, requesting instead that they be pre-taped to "prevent outbursts," they said.
Judge Sherry Stephens denied the request. Also, Arias won't be talking to reporters again anytime soon.
The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office was slapped with a court order Tuesday, prohibiting it from approaching Arias with requests for media interviews.
Sheriff's officials said they would comply.
On Monday, Arias was taken off suicide watch and transferred back to the all-female Estrella Jail.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Arias will remain there "on closed custody status." She is alone in a cell and is being allowed out one hour each day to access phone calls and showers.
Minutes after her conviction last Wednesday for killing Alexander, Arias told KSAZ-TV she would "prefer to die sooner than later," complicating matters for defense lawyers who hope to spare her life during the penalty phase of the trial.
The case was scheduled to resume May 9, but court officials postponed the penalty phase until Wednesday without explanation.
Despite Arias' comments that she would rather die than be in prison for life, she cannot choose the death penalty. It's up to the jury to recommend a sentence.
The judge will then make the final decision.
Arias was charged in the June 2008 killing of Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. Authorities said she planned the attack in a jealous rage.
Arias initially denied involvement, then blamed it on two masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she said she killed Alexander in self-defense.
[Text BREAKING to 23765 to get breaking news alerts on your mobile phone]
Tuesday, December 3 2013 6:50 PM EST2013-12-03 23:50:26 GMT
A can of pistachios was hiding a profitable secret in Salem. Deborah Hayes said her husband went to Fred Meyer on Commercial Street Southeast Sunday night. He returned with a few items and Hayes saidMore >
A Salem woman said she found a $100 bill with the name "Benny" written on it under the plastic lid of a can of pistachios purchased at Fred Meyer.More >
Tuesday, December 3 2013 10:35 PM EST2013-12-04 03:35:42 GMT
A Stevenson man's vacation ended in tragedy, after he was attacked and killed by a shark in Hawaii. Patrick Briney, 57, was fishing in a kayak about a half-mile off the southwest coast of Maui on Monday.More >
A Stevenson man killed in a shark attack in Hawaii is remembered by friends and family as an adventure seeker who tried to live life to the fullest.More >
Wednesday, December 4 2013 8:06 PM EST2013-12-05 01:06:37 GMT
Karyna Douglass is on a mission. She dreamed of joining the army, but when she found out she didn't meet the weight requirements she decided to lose 100 pounds. It all started last year on her birthdayMore >
Karyna Douglass is on a mission. She dreamed of joining the army, but when she found out she didn't meet the weight requirements she decided to lose 100 pounds.More >
Wednesday, December 4 2013 2:35 AM EST2013-12-04 07:35:35 GMT
A local waitress thought she was just an ordinary customer. But that customer ended up giving her a check for $700 during a recent stop at the Mint Tea restaurant at 2014 Main Street in Vancouver. More >
A local waitress thought she was just an ordinary customer. But that customer gave her a check for $700 during a recent stop at the Mint Tea restaurant at 2014 Main Street in Vancouver.More >
Wednesday, December 4 2013 8:33 AM EST2013-12-04 13:33:27 GMT
We are going to start seeing the coldest temperatures in four years across the region. Though it is looking like snow is unlikely across the Portland Metro area later this week. The Fox 12 meteorologistsMore >
We are going to start seeing the coldest temperatures in four years across the region. More >
Wednesday, December 4 2013 10:54 AM EST2013-12-04 15:54:35 GMT
Portland Police say a local man was able to buy a police shirt at Goodwill, and store managers say that the shirt should have never been available for sale. The man bought the shirt at a Goodwill outletMore >
Portland police say a local man was able to buy a police shirt at Goodwill, and store managers say that the item should have never been available for sale.More >
Tuesday, December 3 2013 7:27 PM EST2013-12-04 00:27:55 GMT
A young woman is fighting for her life after her car was hit by a suspected drunk driver. Jessica Neffendorf, 21, is listed in critical condition at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis,More >
Two weeks after being hit by an alleged drunken driver, 21-year-old Jessica Neffendorf continues to fight for her life. More >
Tuesday, December 3 2013 7:52 PM EST2013-12-04 00:52:08 GMT
The family of a woman killed in a hit-and-run crash has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the driver, as well as Jeld-Wen Field and the Marathon Taverna. Nancy Schoeffler, 63, was hit by a car drivenMore >
Ashley Chavez pleaded guilty to hitting and killing Nancy Schoeffler on West Burnside in March 2012 after attending a Timbers match.More >