PHOENIX (AP) — Jodi Arias spent 18 days on the stand sharing intimate, emotional and oftentimes X-rated details of her life before a rapt television and online audience. She had hoped it all might convince a jury that she killed her one-time boyfriend in self-defense.
But the eight men and four women on the panel didn't buy it, convicting Arias of first-degree murder after only about 15 hours of deliberations. Jurors will return to court Thursday to begin the next phase of the trial that could set the stage for Arias receiving a death sentence — a penalty she, herself, said she now desires in a stunning interview following her conviction.
Arias talked to Fox affiliate KSAZ in the courthouse minutes after she was convicted. With tears in her eyes, she said she was overwhelmed and surprised because she didn't believe she committed first-degree murder.
"It was unexpected for me, yes, because there was no premeditation on my part," she said.
Arias also told the station she would "prefer to die sooner than later" and that "death is the ultimate freedom."