Jodi Arias‘ defense attorneys want a change of venue for her sentencing retrial. They cited the notorious publicity surrounding the case as their reasoning.
Arias was convicted in May of first-degree murder in the death of her former boyfriend, Travis Alexander. Alexander was found dead in June 2008 of multiple stab wounds, a bullet wound, and a slit throat.
The 33-year-old’s defense team are also asking for live TV coverage to be prohibited in the retrial, reports USA Today. Arias’ initial trial was held in Maricopa County Superior Court in Arizona.
While Judge Sherry Stephens was expected to set a date for the retrial on Tuesday, she instead set a date of September 16 to hear arguments on motions in the case, including possibly moving the venue.
Fox News notes that Arias attorney Kirk Nurmi explained in the motion, “Both the nature and extent of the publicity surrounding Ms. Arias’ case render it impossible that the accused will receive a fair trial in this capital case if it is tried in Maricopa County.”
He added that the Jodi Arias case has also received “widespread, unfair and prejudicial coverage” by the local media outlets. A second sentencing trial is needed, because the jury that initially convicted Arias was unable to decide on her sentencing. Their choice was either life in prison or the death penalty.
However, the verdict had to be unanimous, and the jurors could not come to that agreement. The conviction stands, along with the finding that her crime was cruel enough to warrant the death penalty. Stephens was hoping to set a new sentencing rial start date by the end of September.
But it is more likely the new sentencing phase will begin in October in light of the new motions. Along with a new venue and no live TV coverage, Jodi Arias’ lawyers are also asking for the twitter accounts of all jurors while the trial is going on.