Convicted murderer Jodi Arias was in tears on Thursday as the family of victim Travis Alexander told the jury of their “horrific loss.” Arias’ trial is in the final stage as the panel decides between life in prison and the death penalty. (Live streaming video of the courtroom will be available again when the case resumes on Monday.)
Arias broke down as two of Travis’ seven siblings, Stephen and Samantha Alexander, told jurors about their brother, often stopping to hold back their own tears. The statements were meant to express who Travis was as a person and how his death has affected them.
Stephen told the courtroom, "I thought my brother was bulletproof. I thought he was stronger than anything, that he couldn't be cut down or knocked down. He was unbreakable. Who would want to do this to him? For what reasons? Unfortunately, I won't ever get the answers to most of my questions."
He added that the murder left him with nightmares. "I've had dreams of my brother curled up in the shower, groaning and left to wait for days," he said. "I don't want to have to see my brother's murderer anymore."
Samantha spoke of the financial hardships of traveling from California to Arizona for the trial, which started in January. She continued, "We have heard every detail about the crime and the injuries Travis suffered. I am a police officer, and some of these photos are more gruesome than what I've seen in 11 years of law enforcement."
Speaking of the tragedy, she added, "To have Travis taken so barbarically is beyond any words we can find to describe our horrific loss." For more of the testimony, watch the video above.
Jodi’s attorney, Kirk Nurmi, reportedly asked the judge if he could step down from the case after Jodi told a reporter she preferred the death penalty. His request was denied.
On Thursday, Nurmi urged the jury to take the 32-year-old’s age, lack of criminal history, abusive family and talents as an artist into consideration when deciding her fate.
The choice between life and death is no longer “hypothetical,” because “she’s right here. This is the girl right here,” he said.
On May 8, Jodi was convicted of murdering ex boyfriend Travis in June 2008. She admitted to stabbing him 27 times and shooting him in the face, but claimed it was done in self-defense. After the verdict, Arias spoke with FOX affiliate KSAZ and said she would "prefer to die sooner than later" and that "death is the ultimate freedom."
Arias will have the option to speak to the jury next week. Two of her friends are expected to give statements on her behalf as well.