Desperately trying to save his client from death row, Kirk Nurmi told the Jodi Arias jury in his closing argument that his client killed Travis Alexander in self defense and urged them to put aside their dislike for her and focus on facts that prove there was no premeditation.
Following the stellar performance by prosecutor Juan Martinez, the pressure was on Nurmi on Friday in a final bid to save Arias from a conviction that could lead to death by lethal injection.
After four months of testimony, he went straight at the issue that many jurors may not like his client, with the surprising statement: “It’s not even about whether you like Jodi Arias. Nine days out of 10, I don’t like Jodi Arias.”
As he reminded the jury of their mission for the past 12 weeks, Nurmi explained, “You’re job will be to determine what happened.
“What happened in the minutes between what we see between here,” displaying the final living photo of Travis alive in the shower, and “What we see in this, Mr. Alexander’s body being dragged across the floor across the bathroom floor at 5.32 and 16 seconds” on June 4, 2008.
“What happened in those three minutes.? Is this a culmination of a plot, a plan that Jodi Arias hatched in May of 2008 in which she was going to go from her grandparents’ house in Yreka, California to Travis Alexander’s home so she could kill him.
“Was it what the state said it was yesterday? Was it this plan? Or was it an act of self defense forced upon Miss Arias by the acts of Mr Alexander? Or was it something else? That is ultimately what your job is to determine,” he said adamantly.
While Martinez had argued that the jury should move on from the slew of scandalous and often X-rated testimony that they had heard and focus on the the root of the issue – that Arias, 32, went to Alexander’s home with a knife, a gun, and intent to kill her ex-boyfriend – Nurmi directly asked them to consider the smutty side of the case.
“Fear, love, sex, lies, and dirty little secrets will help you understand what happened in those three minutes,” he told the Arizona jury, before continuing to dismantle the prosecutor’s case.
“If this was a ‘covert mission,’ would you say to your ex-boyfriend, ‘Can I borrow a couple of gas cans and I am going to Mesa’?” asked Nurmi.
“That doesn’t make any sense. Why if somebody is there to commit a murder, do you hang out and let the intended victim of the murder take pictures of you at what is soon going to be a crime scene. The question arises under this theory that the state has perpetrated to you. They are in bed together sleeping, she had got the gun, she has got the knife.
“He’s asleep, what better opportunity would anyone need? He’s asleep – you put the gun to his head and you do it, you put the knife to his throat and you do it. If that is what you are there to do, isn’t that what you do? No better time than when he was asleep!”
Countless witnesses have called Jodi a liar, and her lawyer faced that issue. “If Jodi Arias were accused of the crime of lying, I could not stand before you say she’s not guilty of that crime,” he admitted.
“But nowhere in your jury instructions are you asked to convict Jodi Arias of lying. There is no verdict from that you will have that says…is Jodi Arias guilty of the crime of lying or not? Well, of course she is…that’s not the crime she’s being charged with.
“This story of self-defense, that’s a great big lie, right? That’s what they say,” he went on to say. “But if it’s a great big lie you might do something else way smarter than what Jodi did, after this took place. She’s planned this out remember? And you’re saying this smart girl doesn’t think about what she’s going to do afterwards?” he asked, referring to his client’s high IQ score.
“And why if it’s this pre-planned murder do you create this crime scene of chaos? We had a relationship of chaos, and a crime scene of chaos.”
Just like during the prosecution’s closing arguments on Thursday, Jodi struggled to hold herself together with her life on the line, and often could be seen weeping quietly from her seat.
Once the defense concludes, Martinez will get one last chance to speak to the jury with his rebuttal argument. Stay with RadarOnline.com for regular updates and daily live-streaming.