Jodi Arias’ lawyers asked to withdraw from the case after their client was convicted of first-degree murder. Court minutes show that a judge has denied the request.
Arias returned to court on Thursday, where she listened to Travis Alexander’s family speak about what life has been like without him. Their testimony brought tears to the courtroom.
The final phase of Arias’ trial is ongoing. She has been convicted and the jury has also decided she could face the death penalty. Now, Arias’ lawyers must convince the jurors to give their client life in prison instead of the death penalty.
Court minutes show that Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Wilmott asked a judge for permission to withdraw from Jodi Arias’ case. There is no information on why the two defense lawyers asked to withdraw, just that a judge denied the request.
Legal experts have explained that their attempt to withdraw could stem from an interview their client gave last week, right after she was convicted of first degree murder. Arias stated, “I believe death is the ultimate freedom, and I’d rather have my freedom as soon as I can get it.”
But Jodi Arias cannot choose her fate. Instead, the jury must be unanimous in their decision to execute the woman, otherwise she will spend life in prison. On Wednesday it took jurors less than three hours to determine Arias should be eligible for the death penalty, due to the murder being especially cruel and heinous.
Arias has acknowledged killing Alexander, but she claimed she did so in self-defense. Previously, Arias also claimed that she was not involved, then later blamed the attack on intruders. Two years after she was arrested, she admitted to the crime, claiming self-defense.
While Arias showed emotion during the initial conviction, she showed no emotion on Wednesday at the news she could face the death penalty. The decision was widely expected, given the violent nature of Travis Alexander’s death. Arias was convicted of slashing her ex-lover’s throat, stabbing him in the heart, and shooting him in the head. He also sustained more than 25 other knife wounds.
Are you surprised to hear that Jodi Arias’ lawyers asked to withdraw from the case?