Defense attorney begins calling witnesses in Arias trial


Defense attorney begins calling witnesses in Arias trial

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Jodi Arias in court (file) Jodi Arias in court (file)
Jodi Arias in court 1/29/13 Jodi Arias in court 1/29/13
Gus Searcy Gus Searcy

Tuesday, defense attorneys began making their case in the trial of a woman accused of murdering her motivational speaker ex-boyfriend in Arizona more than four years ago in a jealous rage.

Jodi Arias could become the fourth woman on Arizona's death row if she's convicted of killing Travis Alexander and sentenced to death.

Prosecutors say Arias shot Alexander in the face, stabbed him 27 times, slit his throat and left him inside a shower at his suburban Phoenix home in 2008 after he tried to end their relationship.

Arias changed her stories about the killing. At first, she denied involvement, but later blamed it on masked intruders before confessing.

Now, she claims Alexander was abusive and that the killing was in self-defense. 

This morning, the defense called Gus Searcy to the stand -- a man who knew Arias.  When it was the prosecution's turn, it got heated when the prosecutor tired to pin down how well he knew her and where he saw her at various business conventions.

Searcy was an executive at a multi-level marketing company selling legal insurance and Jodi was just starting there. Searcy said Jodi struck him as pleasant, professional, well-dressed.

He grew close to her, but said it was not a sexual relationship.

Searcy testified at one point he say Jodi talking to her boyfriend Travis Alexander, and she was upset.

"Well once it got heated, she excused herself and talked to him for about a half an hour outside and once she came back in, she was shaking and crying," testified Searcy.

On cross-examination, the prosecutor first suggested the multi-level company was shady and Searcy was making money on a pyramid scheme.

Tuesday afternoon, Jodi's former boyfriend Darryl Brewer took the stand. He described their relationship as a normal, sweet one. They dated for four years and bought a house together. When their relationship ended, there was no violence or jealousy.

The defense also asked some pretty graphic questions about the couple's sex life -- comparing it to the sex life we've learned she had with Travis.

On cross-examination, the prosecutor tried to portray it as volatile, marked by kinky sex.

Defense: "This sex you had with Jodi. Did it entail wearing little boys underwear? ...Did it involve putting her in school girl outfits and pig tails? ...Did it involve bending her over a desk?"

To each, Brewer answered, "No."

On cross-examination, Darryl Brewer conceded Jodi took a nude picture of him in the shower. Of course, she also took a nude photo of Travis Alexander in the shower -- before (she admits) she killed him.

Will Jodi Arias testify in her own defense? That's the big question hanging over this trial.

You can watch the live streaming video of the trial when it's in session here:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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