For the second day, the direction of the Jodi Arias death row murder trial was in the hands of the jury as they bombarded the defendant with hundreds of questions about the violent death of Travis Alexander, RadarOnline.com is reporting.
There has been much speculation about Arias' convenient memory lapses on June 4, 2008, when she stabbed her Mormon lover 29 times, slit his throat and shot him in the face — and on Thursday one jury member asked point blank about an earlier occasion where he allegedly choked her, "Why do you recall the events so clearly?"
"I recall up to the point where he was choking me and passing out, I had disorientation after I woke up, I had to get my bearings, I wasn't sure where I was… then I recognized Travis' bedroom," Jodi said calmly. "I wasn't thinking, 'Gosh, Travis just choked me out.'
"It is not completely clear, I just remember he had his hands around my neck and he was banging my head on the carpet. I tried to push him off and then I blacked out," she said, while explaining why some details of the actual killing are fuzzy: "The fog only begins when he starts screaming."
For more on the choking incident, check out KPNX Channel 12 News here.
Another point of contention that is clearly on the jury members' minds is that Jodi claims to be the victim of domestic violence but then didn't call the police after she killed Travis, and when she was finally questioned – made up not one, but two bogus stories!
"Why were you afraid of the consequences if you killed Travis in self defense?" Judge Sherry Stevens asked at the jury's request.
"I was… I believed," said Arias, choosing her words carefully. "That it is not okay in any circumstance to take someone's life, even if you are defending your own life. I never really stopped to consider how society would view it if someone is defending themselves. I felt like I had done something wrong and I was afraid of what the consequences would be."
The unusual proceedings in the Maricopa County Courtroom with the jury fielding questions to the accused – which is only allowed in a small number of states including Arizona and California – continued with yet more probings about the gun that Jodi claims Travis kept in his closet and she found while cleaning the year before.
Arias could not remember if the firearm was in a holster, or if she cocked it as she had "never fired a gun before," instead claiming, "It all seemed to happen all at once."
One unusual question probed whether Alexander chased her after she shot him, perhaps in the hope that she would slip up with her answer, revealed Arizona Republic reporter Michael Kiefer from inside the Phoenix courtroom.
"After all the lies you told, why should we believe you now?" asked one suspicious juror, which prompted groans from those present.
While the verdict is still a highly debated topic, Phoenix criminal defense attorney Julio Laboy told the Silicon Valley Mercury News that the jury's questions so far don't bode well for the defense.
"I think the message here is, 'I think you're lying and I want to have you answer my questions directly,'" he explained. "They're asking very specific questions, like when do you lie and when do you tell the truth. Obviously, at least one juror doesn't believe a word she is saying."
Once the juror questions conclude, attorneys on both sides will have the opportunity to re-question Arias only on the specific points raised by the panel, but Laboy recommends a hasty conclusion to the suspect's testimony.
"Her lawyer should try to be the good guy, ending it for everyone, for the jury and the spectators," he said. "Jurors may not be happy if they don't have the last word."