05/20/2013 12:09 pm ET Updated May 20, 2013

Jodi Arias Death Penalty Phase: Will She Beg For Mercy?

Jodi Arias is expected to take the stand today in the penalty phase of her murder trial. Her testimony could determine whether the jury will impose the death sentence or life in prison for the slaying of her ex-boyfriend.

Throughout the four-month trial, Arias' defense team pointed the finger at the victim, Travis Alexander. They tried and failed to convince the jury that Alexander was a sexual deviant and womanizer who forced Arias to act in self-defense when she stabbed him nearly 30 times, shot him in the head and cut his throat in June 2008.


Will Arias apologize, accept responsibility and express remorse? Or will she remain defiant to the end, maintaining her innocence in the brutal slaying. Courtroom watchers have seen the many faces of Arias throughout the trial, so her next move is anyone's guess.

What we do know is the defense said they planned to call two people to testify on behalf of Arias -- Darryl Brewer, her ex-boyfriend, and Patricia Womack, a childhood friend. However, Womack has notified the defense that she is no longer willing to testify due to death threats. Brewer may 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. The capital murder verdict, reached after more than 15 hours of deliberations, was a clear rejection of defense psychologist Richard 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.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

Read below for minute-by-minute updates from court Monday:

The Huffington Post is live blogging Monday's testimony. Check back here for updates.