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Jodi Aries receives new trial in capital murder case

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Today in the United States city of Phoenix, three Arizona Court of Appeals judges unanimously agreed the trial of Jodi Aries in early 2013 was not fair due to Juan Martinez alleged prosecutorial misconduct in the high profile first degree capital murder of Travis Alexander in 2008. Arias's conviction qualified her for the death penalty, which is legal in Arizona, however she was sentenced to life in prison at the Arizona State Prison Complex near Goodyear, Arizona.

Aries was charged in early July 2008 for the death of Alexander by 29 stab wounds and a gunshot to the head. Alexander and Aries did have a romantic relationship over a year and a half described as tumultuous. After the relationship ended there were several sexual encounters, inferring the motive for Alexander's murder was an act of jealousy.

Given the brutal death and sexual aspects of the case, a large international media response harassed attorneys, family members, witnesses, experts, and jurors. Prior to Maricopa County's Superior Court before Judge Sherry K. Stephens sequestering the jury, Phoenix SWAT teams provided security to each juror. The response has been characterized by Aries's legal team as a "Carnival-like atmosphere" and the Arizona Bar Association (ABA) believed that Martinez's eccentric statements further complicated the already challenging trial.

Martinez could face charges over the prosecutorial misconduct, however the ABA has a lower criteria for misconduct and can determine him unfit to practice law stripping him of his license to practice law.