Jodi Arias: Boyfriend Murderer or Helpless Victim?
Jodi Arias’ trial is probably one of the biggest scandals of the 21st century. But who is Jodi Arias, what was her life like before she went to prison, and what is life like for her now? In this timeline of events, we’ll discover what her life was like, how she met Travis Alexander, the details of his murder, and what life has been like for her since she went to prison.
Jodi’s early life wasn’t easy. She was born in Salinas, California on July 9, 1980. According to her, starting at the age of 7, her parents used a belt and wooden spoons to beat her. When she was 10, she got interested in photography. This interest led her to strive for a career as a professional photographer. She held several part-time jobs as a professional photographer during her life.
Jodi Meets Darryl Brewer
In the fall of 2001, she applied for a job as a waitress at the Ventana Inn and Spa in California at Ventana Inn and Spa. While working there, she got acquainted with Darryl Brewer, who worked as the food and beverage manager. They dated in 2003 and bought a house together. Each paid $2800 a month on the mortgage.
Her Introduction to the Mormon Church
She also started working at Prepaid Legal Services, now called LegalShield, in February 2006 while she was still working at Ventana Inn. While she worked there, she started getting interested in the Mormon church. As her associations with Prepaid Legal increased, her relationship with Darryl Brewer deteriorated. She defaulted on financial obligations she had agreed upon with him. They separated in 2006 but remained friends.
Jodi Meets Travis Alexander
In September, she went to a conference for Prepaid Legal. It was there that she met Travis Alexander, a salesperson and speaker for the company. He was also a Mormon, and their relationship became sexual a week after they met. They were immediately drawn to one another. They traveled to many different places together. When they were apart, they called and emailed each other daily.
Jodi Becomes a Mormon
On November 26, 2006, in an effort to be closer to Travis, she was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Jodi Moves to Mesa
In February 2007, she left California and moved to Mesa, AZ to be closer to Travis. Moving to Mesa did not work out well though; Jodi and Travis ended their relationship in June, but still had sex occasionally.
Later, she accused Travis of being physically and sexually abusive to her.
However, he had said she was stalking him. He claimed she even went as far as emailing him and the women he dated. Despite these allegations, they still kept in touch, continued to see each other sexually, and traveled together in March 2008. In April 2008, Jodi moved into her grandparents’ house in Yreka, California.
Travis is Murdered
On June 4, 2008, Travis missed an important meeting about a trip to Cancun, Mexico he and his friends were taking. They became worried about him and decided to visit his house in Mesa on June 9, 2008. They found him there lying dead in his shower. His murdered body had been stabbed 27 to 29 times, he had a gunshot wound to the head, and his throat was cut from one ear to the other.
Investigations revealed that Arias and Alexander’s relationship was strained.
This led investigators to suspect Arias might be involved in the murder. When questioned, she told police two different stories. In one story, she said she was not in Mesa on June 4; she had seen him for the last time in April. The second story she gave was that two intruders had broken into Travis’ house who killed him and attacked her.
The Police Find Convincing Evidence
The police were able to retrieve deleted images from a digital camera. These images, taken on June 4, showed Jodi and Travis in erotic positions. Another photo showed him on the floor bleeding profusely. There was also a bloody handprint in the hallway. Lab tests revealed it contained both Alexander’s and Arias’s DNA.
The prosecution maintained that Arias staged a burglary a week earlier at her grandparents’ home, where a .25 caliber gun went missing.
Police found the shell casing of a used .25 caliber bullet at the scene of Alexander’s murder. Arias was charged with first-degree murder and arrested on July 15. at her grandparents’ home. She was extradited to Arizona on September 5, and pleaded not guilty on September 11.
While she was in jail waiting for her trial, police investigated further and found she rented a car from Budget Rent a Car on June 2, 2008, and drove south.
She visited with friends on June 3, and then drove to Alexander’s home in Mesa, where they used the digital camera to take pictures while they had sex.
She admitted to killing Alexander only two years after her arrest.
She cited self-defense as the reason and claimed she endured domestic violence while she was with him.
Her trial began December 10, 2012, in Maricopa County Superior Court. It lasted four months, and she testified for 18 days. The jury decided she was guilty of first-degree murder on May 8, 2012, but had a hard time unanimously deciding whether she should serve life in prison or receive the death penalty.
She was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole on April 13, 2015.
She’s currently held in maximum security at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Perryville, AZ, where she’s considered a high-risk prisoner.
Jodi Endures Harassment in Prison
Since she went to prison, Arias’ life has changed. She started in maximum custody, but after two years she was transferred to close custody. She now has a cellmate and can spend time with other inmates outside her cell. Despite these improvements, her life has not been easy. She’s had her life threatened, and discipline problems.
People still continue to communicate with her too.
Corrections officials found one letter that indicated possible trouble. It read there was “No cause for alarm as of yet, but you do need a heads up.”
A year later, Arias told a corrections officer that harassment was getting worse every day, and she asked for her recreation time to be changed to avoid it.
She also has a disciplinary infraction in her file for disrespecting staff. In February 2016, she got upset because a barber declined to give her a haircut. She called the corrections officer who said “no” in an offensive way.
Jodi’s Tweets to the Outside World
Her files also shed light on her communications with the outside world. During one phone call, she asked a friend to put out a tweet saying she had no water for several days at Perryville.
Clearly, life wasn’t great for Jodi before she went to prison, and hasn’t been since she got there either. Will life improve for her? Who knows. All we can do is speculate. Her difficult childhood probably didn’t lead her to make great choices. Though she’s sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, hopefully, she can make her life in prison livable.
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