Jodi Arias Trial: Defense Claims Evidence Was Destroyed

Jodi Arias’ trial is set to continue after a two-week break. However, her defense team has made startling allegations. On Monday, Arias’ attorneys filed a motion to dismiss all charges. If nothing else, they have asked the court to spare their client’s life.

In their motion for dismissal, the defense team accuses prosecutors and law enforcement officials of destroying evidence — which may have changed the outcome of the original trial.

Arias was charged with first-degree murder in the 2008 death of Travis Alexander. Although she admits stabbing and shooting her former lover, Arias contends she was acting in self-defense.

Prosecutors argued that evidence found at the scene, coupled with Arias’ behavior before and after the murder, suggests otherwise.

According to official reports, Jodi Arias stabbed Travis Alexander nearly 30 times. She then fired a single bullet into the young man’s head. Although Arias claims she killed Alexander in self-defense, she fled the scene without reporting his death.

Jodi Arias’ trial ended on May 18, 2013. She was found guilty of first-degree premeditated murder and felony murder. The jury later determined that Alexander’s murder was “cruel, heinous, or depraved.” Therefore, according to Arizona law, Arias is eligible for the death penalty.

Although Arias was convicted of first-degree murder, the sentencing phase ended in mistrial. As her sentencing retrial continues, Jodi’s attorneys have accused prosecutors and law enforcement officials of destroying evidence.

During Jodi Arias’ original trial and sentencing phase, she testified that Alexander forced her to perform sexual favors against her will. She further claims that Alexander had a disturbing collection of child pornography.

As reported by AZ Central, Arias’ defense team alleges “thousands of pornographic files on victim Travis Alexander’s personal computer were destroyed while the computer was in possession of Mesa police.”

If the allegations are true, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens could overturn Jodi Arias’ conviction. Additionally, prosecutors and law enforcement officials could face criminal charges.

Although a mistrial is entirely possible, the defense team is tasked with proving their allegations. As reported by KPHO, the attorneys provided specific dates that the Mesa Police Department has possession of Alexander’s computer and the documents in question.

Attorney Scott Maasen, who is “an expert on the Arias Saga,” said if the defense team is able to prove their allegations, Judge Stephens will “most likely… have to grant a new trial.”

Jodi Arias’ trial is scheduled to continue this week. However, Judge Stephens will likely address Monday’s motion before allowing the sentencing phase to resume.

[Image via Huffington Post]