A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that Jodi Arias, 34, who is serving a life without parole sentence for the murder of Travis Alexander, must pay $32,000 in restitution to Alexander’s siblings for their travel expenses to attend the trial.  It is possible for Arias, if allowed or offered as each prison’s policies and programs are different, to obtain a job while in prison that will pay just a few cents to a few dollars a day.

However, there are questions about donations that supporters, trial watchers, and others gave to the family specifically to pay for these expenses, including lodging.  Others donated to promote the legacy of Travis Alexander and for discretionary spending.

The family had asked for about $96,000.  Most of the siblings lived in California, the trial took place in Arizona.

Jennifer Willmott, one of Arias’ defense attorneys during the trial, reviewed the receipts submitted by the family to come to the amount awarded.  Willmott requested that the family disclose the amount of donations received by supporters.  The family declined to publicly reveal the amount.

The family did not attend any restitution proceedings.  Sky Hughes, described as a family friend, told HLN in the summer of 2013 after Arias was convicted, but before she was sentenced that the Alexander siblings have been able to use donated money to pay for their expenses during the trial.

“Any money left over after travel and trial expenses are paid for, will go to pay for any counseling, medical needs and other needs that will help the Alexander family,” said Hughes, “All funds donated to the Travis Alexander Legacy Fund are the property of the Alexander family, and are to be used by the Alexander Family as they deem appropriate.”

Judge Sherry Stephens awarded Samantha Alexander $15,530.73, Tanisha Sorenson $10,754.99, Hilary Wilcox $4,232.11, Stephen Alexander $1,372, and Dennis Alexander $225.60.

Arias and Alexander were in an on-again-off-again toxic relationship, that some have said bordered on abusive, which culminated in Alexander’s death.  Alexander was found dead in the shower of his Mesa, AZ home in the summer of 2008.  Arias was convicted of 1st degree murder in 2013 in a very sensationalized circus of a trial that made celebrities out of Arias and the prosecutor Juan Martinez.  The original jury could not agree on an appropriate sentence, so a second jury was impaneled in October of 2014.  They also could not agree on an appropriate sentence.  Under Arizona law, prosecutors get two chances, if they so choose, to try to get a defendant who is charged with a capital crime the death penalty.  Judge Stephens opted to sentence Arias to natural life (life without the possibility of parole).

  1. small comfort for this family. she should do hard physical labor everyday for the rest of her life.


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