Defense attorneys for Jodi Arias filed a motion Tuesday asking that her retrial for sentencing be moved to another venue because of the prejudicial publicity surrounding the televised non-guilt/guilt phase and original sentencing phase.  Arias’ defense team said research indicates that 70 percent of the media coverage in Arizona took place in Maricopa County.

“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,” Arias attorney Kirk Nurmi said in the motion.

Nurmi also said the case has received “widespread, unfair and prejudicial coverage” from the Maricopa County-focused media outlets.

In May, Arias was convicted of first-degree murder in the June 2008 death of her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander.  Arias admitted killing him, but claimed she acted in self-defense.  A hearing on pending motions is set for September 16th.  No date has been set for the re-sentencing phase.  The defense attorneys, Kirk Nurmi and Jennifer Willmott, have three other motions before the court, all of which have to do with media coverage and undue publicity, which they feel denies Arias her Constitutional rights.  Coverage of the trial went viral, through live and streamed broadcasts of day-to-day hearings and an aggressive national TV media and social media, which brought interest and rabid obsession.

One of the defense motions asks that the attorneys be provided the Twitter handles of any future juror because Alternate Juror Tara Kelley was in contact with a journalist during the trial and had talked about Arias on Twitter at one point saying that Arias had a bad temper because she was part Hispanic.  Nurmi and Willmott also filed motions to allow them individualized questioning of prospective jurors to assess how much they have already been influenced by media coverage.  This includes the loosely based-on-a-true-story Lifetime movie, which included such inaccuracies as:  she sent Alexander photos of herself having sex with another man and that she killed Alexander out of jealousy over another woman (this “theory” was suggested by the media).  Sadly, some prospective jurors may take these inaccuracies as facts as some movie viewers have.  The defense attorneys also asked that live television coverage be prohibited during the retrial, citing the fact that the defense attorneys and some defense witnesses were harassed and threatened by people.  This has caused two prospective witnesses, Alyce LaViolette and Patti Womack, to refuse to return to trial for any testimony, corrupting our system of justice and truth with absurd witness intimidation.

Due to the veracity of coverage and the horrible reaction by the general public to certain bits of testimony, other cases are already being affected in that same area.  The judge in the Jonathan Doody retrial banned TV cameras in the courtroom last week after one local station broadcast the faces of jurors, which is both unethical and illegal.  The judge in the Debra Milke retrial does not allow the use of electronic devices in her courtroom, which will prevent any trial watchers from using social media during proceedings.


  1. JanCorey says:

    The conviction will clearly be overturned in the Appeal process, Jodi defended herself, and Thank God she successfully stopped the attack…


  2. Lon Spector says:

    No matter where you go, you can’t evade God. If He so wanted, He could free Jodi NOW. God love Jodi, but this is another difference between Casey Anthony and Jodi. It was God’s will that Casey Anthony be acquitted-for His own mysterious reasons-and God’s desire that Jodi do time, However, I DON’T believe that God wants Jodi killed. THAT brutality comes from the OLD Testament. Jesus says “God will have MERCY not sacrifice.”


    • marty says:

      I, like most of you, watched this trial. This woman is obviously a smart person. In saying that, what made her think she could actually get away with this? I will never understand that aspect of this whole thing. She had to know she’d be the prime suspect, so maybe she’s not so smart, maybe Dr. DeMarte has it right. A person with BPD would think she could do this and get away with it. Very interesting case,


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