(Reuters) – An Arizona jury found Jodi Arias guilty on Wednesday of first-degree murder in the death of her ex-boyfriend in a capital trial that riveted America for months with graphic sexual evidence and bizarre testimony.
Arias, who could face the death penalty as her case goes into the penalty phase of the trial, has admitted to shooting 30-year-old Travis Alexander, whose body was found in the shower of his Phoenix valley home in June 2008. He had been shot in the face, stabbed multiple times and his throat had been slashed.
Arias, 32, had said she acted in self-defense after Alexander attacked her because she had dropped his camera while taking photos of him in the shower.
Arias teared up as the jury’s decision was read, while a crowd erupted into cheers outside the court following the verdict.
“Five long years … of lying, manipulating. Now the citizens of Arizona have spoken,” Dave Hall, a friend of Alexander, told reporters as he left the court. He said a death sentence would be appropriate.
“If what she did to Travis does not justify the death penalty in America today, then what do we have one for?”
The trial, which began in early January and was punctuated by graphic testimony and evidence including a sex tape, was streamed live on the Internet and drew widespread media attention.