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Arias trial: self-defense or murder?

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Jodi Arias Jodi Arias
Travis Alexander & Jodi Arias Travis Alexander & Jodi Arias
Arias in court 1/3/12 Arias in court 1/3/12
PHOENIX -

The much anticipated trial of Jodi Arias started on Wednesday. The prosecution says she's a cold blooded killer while the defense says she was a victim of abuse -- fighting to protect herself.

Arias is charged with murdering her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008.

This case is four years in the making.

Arias is accused of stabbing Travis 27 times, slitting his throat and shooting him in the head while he showered.

She did several jail house interviews since her arrest in 2008 -- constantly changing her story. First, she denied being at Alexander's house when he was killed, then later said she was there.

Her mug shot looked more like a glamour shot, but this is this beauty actually a murdering beast?

When asked if she killed Travis Alexander, Arias replied, "Absolutely not..I would be shaking in my boots right now if I had to answer to such a heinous crime."

That was her story back in 2008.

But as her trial began, her story changed.  Now she admits to killing Alexander, but in self-defense, because she was abused by him -- claiming the devout Mormon was really a sexual deviant with an explosive temper.

Prosecutors say Arias lashed out in a jealous rage after Alexander broke off their relationship and began dating another woman.

In court Thursday, Arias wore a green blouse and slim black slacks. Prosecutors played a taped conversation between Mesa Police Detective Estaban Flores and Arias.

Detective on tape: "When we first arrived on scene and started talking to people, some of his closest friends began mentioning your name as, you need to call her because she probably knows what happened to him or she probably had something to do with it."

Arias: "Oh gosh."

Detective: "I needed to talk to you to find out why they would say something like that, why they would start pointing fingers in your direction right away?"

Arias: "We started fighting because I got into his phone because I had a suspicion that he was not being faithful and I found a bunch of text messages that were no good and rather than being an adult and confront him I kept it in... he was really apologetic but we just both realized we both could not be in an adult relationship."

She told the detective she had nothing to do with the killing and had not seen Travis for months. Arias said they were intimate but not romantic.

Arias on recording: "We kept our dating lives from each other, like a don't ask don't tell policy sort of, and I think it worked out more conveniently. If he doesn't have a girlfriend I can come over and if he doesn't think I am with anybody then he was fine too."

On the recording, Arias said she couldn't understand how her weightlifting boyfriend could be murdered.

Arias on tape: "He is so strong, I mean there are a couple times we wrestled, I do not see how anyone unless there were two people could overpower him."

Also in the conversation, Det. Flores told Arias the police were looking into her social media accounts.

The cross-examination focused on rope fibers found in the bathroom where Alexander was killed. The defense suggested those fibers came from a rope used to tie Arias down during sex -- but later the detective told prosecutors the fibers were not linked to that rope.

Some are already comparing this case to the murder trial of Casey Anthony, so it's getting a lot of attention. The trial resumes next Tuesday.

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FOX 10's Steve Krafft is covering this story from the courtroom and you can follow his tweets during the trial: @stevekrafft

 

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