Authorities on Friday provided security to a juror who voted against 11 other jurors who had sought the death penalty for convicted murderer Jodi Arias. The woman later requested for security after her name was made public on social media, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
The name of the holdout juror was leaked through a Twitter account that also posted sympathetic messages about Travis Alexander, who was killed by Arias in Phoenix in 2008, AP reported. Arias was found guilty of first degree murder in 2013 for killing her ex-boyfriend. Arizona state law prohibits the public release of jurors' names, and an investigation is underway into the leak. Authorities said that there were no reports of threats against any of the 12 jurors in the sentencing retrial.
"I was a little nervous last night. But I'm feeling better now," Juror Emily Cova, who agreed to be named, told AP, adding that she was relieved after authorities began a probe.
Judge Sherry Stephens declared a mistrial on Thursday stating that, after the deadlock, a death penalty for Arias was no longer an option. The judge will decide whether to sentence Arias to life in prison or to life with the possibility of parole after 25 years. The decision is expected to be made during an April 13 hearing.
During the trial, Arias said that she killed Alexander, who physically and emotionally abused her, out of self defense, stabbing him nearly 30 times, slitting his throat and shooting him.
Aaron Nash, a spokesman for the clerk of Maricopa County Superior Court, told AP that there were no reports of any members of the clerk's office being contacted by anyone seeking the names of jurors.
"The office's primary concerns are the safety and privacy of these individuals who responded to this difficult and lengthy call to public service," Nash reportedly said, in a statement.
Meanwhile, a pro-Arias website published the names of 11 people it said were the jurors who voted in favor of a death penalty for Arias, AP reported.