Jodi Arias Trial Update: Attorneys Seek to Postpone Retrial Until 2014
Two days after Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced that the state still planned on going through with a sentencing retrial for Jodi Arias attorneys for the convicted murder asked for the retrial to be delayed until January 2014, according to The Arizona Republic.
In a motion that was delivered on Thursday attorneys Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott requested the delay because they will be out of the office for parts of July and because Willmott is participating in five other trials during the summer. The attorneys also said that they needed more time "to find alternative means of painting the picture" of Arias' life for jurors, according to CBS News.
Judge Stephens ordered that transcripts of bench conferences and in-chambers discussions that had been released to the media be resealed. Stephens feared that the information would make seating a jury in the sentencing retrial difficult, according to The Arizona Republic.
Arias was convicted of murdering her former boyfriend Travis Alexander in early May. The jury decided that the manner in which Alexander was killed, Alexander was stabbed 30 times and shot, was heinous enough that Arias was eligible for the death penalty. During the penalty phase of the trial the jury was unable to decide if Arias should be sent to death row or receive life imprisonment and Judge Sherry Stephens declared a mistrial.
In most states the case would have ended and Arias would have been sentenced to life in prison; in Arizona a new jury can be called to retry the penalty phase of the case. If the retrial takes place it is thought that it will take weeks, in part due to the difficulty of finding a jury who didn't already know the details of the lurid case that has saturated the media in recent months.
If jurors are unable to reach a decision in the second attempt at sentencing Arias will be given a life sentence.
Lifetime couldn't wait until the sentencing portion of the trial was completed before cashing in on the media exposure with a movie based on the case. "Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret" will premiere on the cable channel June 22.