CRIME

Jodi Arias Sentenced To Life For Travis Alexander's Murder

04/13/2015 01:20 pm ET | Updated Apr 15, 2015

Jodi Arias, the vengeful ex-girlfriend of Travis Alexander who brutally took his life nearly eight years ago, has been sentenced to life in prison.

"The court finds, as the jury found, that the crime was especially cruel," judge Sherry Stephens said in court.

Arias, 34, will spend the remainder of her life behind bars, without the possibility of parole.

Prior to sentencing, several of Alexander's relatives were given the opportunity to address the court. Among them were Alexander's sisters, Tanisha Sorenson and Samantha Alexander.

"This person who decided to play the role of God needs to suffer the consequences of her own actions," Sorenson said.

Samantha Alexander said her brother's slaying was "one of the worst possible things" she could imagine. She also said she was sickened that Arias had not only initially denied killing her brother, but had gone as far as to attend a memorial service that was held for him prior to her arrest.

"Not only did she act as if she had no idea, she had the audacity to go to his memorial with a smirk," said Samantha Alexander.

When Samantha Alexander stepped down, prosecutor Juan Martinez called Alexander's murder "a butchering" and asked that the judge not show Arias leniency.

"I ask you to take a look at this case and make a decision based on what you saw in this courtroom," Martinez said.

The bespectacled murderess was convicted of first-degree murder in May 2013 for Alexander's death. However, the same panel of jurors that convicted her was deadlocked over whether to spare her life or give her the death penalty.

The indecision by the trial jury prompted a penalty phase retrial, which began in September 2014 and again ended in a hung jury after 26 hours of deliberations.

Under Arizona law, the prosecution was not allowed to present the case to a third jury. As a result, Stephens was tasked with deciding whether to put Arias in prison for life or make her eligible for parole in 25 years. The judge did not have the option of sentencing Arias to death.

Arias' mother, Sandy Arias, asked the court during Monday's sentencing hearing not to sentence her daughter to natural life. She said she believed her daughter was the victim of an abusive relationship, and said she felt her daughter had been falsely incarcerated.

"Our lives have been forever changed. … We will stand by her always," Sandy Arias said.

A defiant Jodi Arias spoke next.

From the start, Arias took a defensive stance and denied statements made by the Alexander family that she had refused to enter into a plea agreement before the penalty retrial.

"My legal team and I tried to settle this case on four different occasions," Arias said. "I was not the one who refused to settle this trial. It was Travis' family who not only refused to settle … but bragged about it all over social media."

Arias also said she now remembers stabbing Travis Alexander -- something she claimed during her first-degree murder trial that she was unable to do.

"I do remember the moment the knife went into Travis' throat," Arias said. "He was still conscious. He was trying to attack me."

After maintaining she was a victim of domestic abuse, Arias said she regretted killing Alexander.

"I live every day wishing I could undo what I did to Travis," she said.

Arias has been behind bars since her 2008 arrest.

Arias initially denied any involvement in killing Alexander, whose body was discovered June 10, 2008, in his Mesa, Arizona, home. Alexander, 30, had been shot in the head and stabbed nearly 30 times. His throat had been cut from ear to ear. When DNA proved she was lying, Arias changed her story, claiming there had been a home invasion by two unknown killers. It was not until years later that she admitted to killing Alexander.

Throughout the trial, Arias' lawyers attacked Alexander’s character in an attempt to show he was a violent womanizer. They claimed Arias killed Alexander in self-defense during an argument over a dropped camera that followed his escalating sexual demands.

Martinez balked at the defense team's allegations, which were never corroborated. He alleged Arias was left scorned when Alexander broke up with her.

"She's the one that used the knife," Martinez said during the penalty retrial. "She's the one that used the gun."

Arias will serve her sentence at Perryville Prison near Goodyear, Arizona.

Earlier on HuffPost:

Suggest a correction
312 Comments

CONVERSATIONS