CRIME
03/18/2014 06:27 pm ET | Updated Mar 18, 2014

Member of Jodia Arias' Defense Team Gets Banned From Seeing Convicted Murderer In Jail

ASSOCIATED PRESS

An Arizona sheriff's office barred a member of Jodi Arias' defense team from visiting her in jail, because the aide allegedly tried to smuggle a drawing made by the convicted murderer.

Mitigation consultant Maria De La Rosa, who's working to spare Arias from the death penalty, may no longer see Arias or other clients in the Maricopa County jails, the Arizona Republic reports.

An official in the sheriff's office contends that the pinwheel drawing made by the 33-year-old inmate is contraband and that De La Rosa wrongly took it from a county lockup.

But Arias' lawyer said the artwork would be used in court during the upcoming penalty phase, just as Arias' art was shown to jurors when she was convicted last year of murdering ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.

The lawyer for De La Rosa accused the sheriff's office of a "publicity stunt" by forbidding the mitigation specialist from seeing inmates in county jails, Reuters reports.

The first jury deadlocked on what sentence to impose so a second jury will convene in September to retry the penalty phase portion.

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