The halt comes after Arias demanded that the public and media be booted from court while a “mystery” witness testifies. The judge told jurors to report back to the Maricopa County Courthouse next Wednesday, when the controversy over making the trial secret should be resolved by higher courts.
Adding to the intrigue, Arias worse a black brace on one wrist as she watched lawyers and the judge meet in a series of secret sidebar conferences Wednesday morning.
Did the convicted killer get injured in a jail fight? Did Arias get hurt in a fall? A Maricopa County Sheriff’s spokesman told Radar exclusively that he can’t comment on anything related to Arias because of an order from the judge.
An appeals court ruled Monday that Judge Sherry Stephen was wrong to toss spectators and reporters from court during the testimony of a secret witness last Thursday. They issued a stay that halted that testimony.
The secret witness told the court keeping the courtroom private was required before he or she would testify. The appeals court concluded that Judge Stephens has less restrictive ways of achieving that, including turning courtroom cameras off and limiting journalists to the overflow room.
Arias defense lawyer Kirk Nurmi objected to the judge’s suggestion that the trial continue this week with other witnesses while the privacy decision makes its way through the appeals process. "Miss Arias should not be made to suffer because of what the media has done,” Nurmi argued.
The delay could extend the penalty trial which was expected to end in December, into early next year, Nurmi said.
Jurors must decide if Arias will be put to death or serve life in prison for killing ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander. The jury that originally convicted her of the murder couldn’t reach a verdict on her punishment.