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Patricia Womack, Key Witness In Jodi Arias Trial, Withdraws Amid Death Threats

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A former friend of convicted killer Jodi Arias will not testify on her behalf during the penalty phase of her trial Monday.

According to a defense motion for a mistrial filed Sunday and obtained by, Patricia Womack has been receiving threats and has indicated she will not take the witness stand on Arias' behalf.

"Threats that included threats on her life if she were to testify on Ms. Arias' behalf," Arias' defense attorney, Kirk Nurmi, wrote in the motion.


Nurmi said Womack notified the defense Sunday that the threats had influenced her decision not to testify.

Womack is not the first defense witness to be harassed and receive death threats in this case.

Dr. Richard Samuels, a psychologist who testified Arias suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, received so many threatening communications that he refused to answer his cellphone. Alyce LaViolette, a domestic violence expert who said Arias was an abused woman, was also threatened.

The defense announced last week they planned to call two people to testify on behalf of Arias – Womack and Darryl Brewer, Arias' ex-boyfriend. However, Brewer may now be the only one testifying for Arias if the defense cannot convince another friend or family member to take the stand.

Arias, 32, was convicted May 8 of first-degree murder in Alexander's slaying. The capital murder verdict, reached after more than 15 hours of deliberations, was a clear rejection of both Arias' self-defense claim as well as defense psychologist Samuels' contention that she suffered from PTSD and acute stress disorder.

Last week, the same jury that convicted Arias declared she was eligible for the death penalty. The jury made their decision after less than three hours of deliberation.

On Thursday, Alexander's siblings stood in open court and sobbed as they described the emotional devastation caused by his murder.

"I cannot sleep alone in the dark anymore. I've had dreams of my brother all curled up in the shower -- thrown in there to rot for days ... I don't want these nightmares anymore. I don't want to see my brother's murderer anymore," Steven Alexander said.

Travis Alexander's sister, Samantha, spoke of the brutality of the killing in her heartrending statement.

"To have Travis taken so barbarically is beyond any words we can find to describe our loss," she said.

Arias is expected to take the stand Monday to address the jury. Her words could determine if she receives the death penalty or life in prison. The trial resumes at 1 p.m. EDT.

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Filed by David Lohr