CRIME
05/22/2013 12:15 pm ET | Updated May 24, 2013

JODI ARIAS DEATH PENALTY VERDICT WATCH: Jurors Mull Life vs. Death

AP

Jodi Arias pleaded for her life Tuesday, two weeks after proclaiming that she would prefer the death penalty over spending the rest of her days in prison.

Why the change of heart? Arias told The Associated Press that her family influenced her decision.

"I felt like by asking for death, it's like asking for assisted suicide and I didn't want to do that to my family," Arias said in a surprise jailhouse interview just hours after a jury began deliberating her fate.

CLICK HERE FOR LIVE UPDATES

Arias repeated many of her past claims and testimony to the AP. However, she did insist she was against having cameras in the courtroom for her murder trial.

"The prosecutor has accused me of wanting to be famous, which is not true," she said.

Arias has been convicted of first-degree murder in the slaying of her ex-lover, 30-year-old Travis Alexander. Arias stabbed Alexander nearly 30 times, shot him in the head and cut his throat from ear to ear in his Mesa home on June 4, 2008.

The jury heard 19 weeks of testimony and closing arguments in the case before reaching their guilty verdict on May 8.

The defendant, dressed in black on Tuesday, pleaded with the jury to spare her life. She referenced a statement she made to the media on May 8, that she would prefer the death penalty.

"I've made many statements I would prefer the death penalty over life in prison ... To me, life in prison was the most unappealing outcome ... but as I stand here now, I can't in good conscience ask you to give me death," Arias said.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER

Arias told the AP she changed her mind after a tearful meeting with family members. She said she realized her death would only serve to cause her loved ones additional heartache.

The Jodi Arias jury returns to court Wednesday for Day 2 of deliberations in the penalty phase of her capital murder trial.

The eight-man, four-woman panel, concluded their first hour of deliberations at about 7:30 p.m., Tuesday.

Deliberations resume at 12 p.m. Eastern time.

The jury will decide if Arias, 32, gets the death penalty or life imprisonment.

WEDNESDAY'S LIVE BLOG:

The Huffington Post is live blogging Wednesday's deliberations. Check back here for updates.

RELATED ON HUFFPOST:

CONVERSATIONS