Juan Martinez hammered Jodi Arias so hard on the stand that she broke down in uncontrollable sobs, but the seasoned prosecutor has confessed that she came close to going free! According to Martinez, her fate was sealed by one huge mistake.
Arias was convicted by a jury of the first degree murder of Travis Alexander, who she left with a slit throat, 29 stab wounds, and a gunshot to the face. Despite the brutal nature of her rampage, Arias and her defense team tried to claim that it was self-defense against his alleged physical abuse.
But Martinez told a different story to the jury when he revealed that he knew that Arias had planned the crime for months. The author of the new book Conviction: The Untold Story of Putting Jodi Arias Behind Bars describes that he learned from the detectives who were focusing on Arias that she had borrowed two gas cans, and that triggered his deeper investigation.
"With that information, I started to take a look at some of the receipts that were taken during an execution of a search warrant on her house, and I saw there was a receipt for a five-gallon gas can. So now I knew that I had three five-gallon gas cans – a total of 15 gallons," Martinez told Dr. Phil.
"And I also knew that in an interview with the police, her mother said, 'Jodi told me that she wasn't anywhere in Mesa and she had the receipts to prove it.' So it was clear she was planning to keep certain receipts, but she was also planning not to stop in Arizona for gas, because the 15 gallons allowed her to go through the state of Arizona without stopping for gas."
Martinez said the gas cans were the key evidence that helped him prove to the jury that Arias had planned the trip to murder Alexander, prior to her claims of just receiving a phone call from him that convinced her to go visit him.
"Even in opening statements, the defense attorney indicated it was a trip she hadn't planned… but the gas cans spoke otherwise," Martinez said.
He also explained that changing her hair from platinum blonde to drab brown and removing the license plates from the car were both indicators of pre-meditation.
"She went to great lengths to make sure that no one could tell she was there. And, by in large, she was successful," he said. "Except for that one mistake, she probably would've gotten away with it."
Conviction: The Untold Story of Putting Jodi Arias Behind Bars hits stores February 16, 2016.