News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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May 21, 2013

What Arias will do if allowed to live

PHOENIX — Jodi Arias asked jurors Tuesday to give her life in prison, arguing she "lacked perspective" when she told a local reporter in an interview after she was convicted of murder that she preferred execution to spending the rest of her days in jail.

Standing confidently but at times her voice breaking, she told the same eight men and four women who found her guilty of first-degree murder that she planned to use her time in prison to bring about positive changes, including donating her hair to be made into wigs for cancer victims, helping recycle trash and designing T-shirts that would raise money for victims of domestic abuse.

Arias admitted killing boyfriend Travis Alexander and said it was the "worst thing" she had ever done. But she stuck to her story that the brutal attack — which included stabbing Alexander more than 30 times, shooting him in the head and nearly decapitating him — was her defense against abuse.

Her testimony came a day after her attorneys asked to be removed from the case because the five-month trial had become a witch hunt that prompted death threats against a key witness in the penalty phase of the trial. They also argued for a mistrial. The judge denied both requests.

Arias acknowledged the pain and suffering she caused Alexander's family, and said she hoped her conviction brought them peace.

"I loved Travis, and I looked up to him," Arias said. "At one point he was the world to me. This is the worst mistake of my life. It's the worst thing I've ever done."

She said she considered suicide, but didn't kill herself after Alexander's death because of her love for her own family. She displayed dozens of pictures from her childhood, including photos of her family and former boyfriends. She described the relationship she had with the son of one her boyfriends, and said she hadn't seen him since the day before she killed Alexander but was told he was taller than she now.

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