Jodi Arias, the woman accused of killing her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in self-defense, took the stand in Phoenix Monday, HLN reports.
Arias first told police she was not involved in Alexander’s death when his body was found in Arizona during 2008, HLN said. Then she changed her story, telling authorities that she saw two intruders break in and kill Alexander, before ultimately admitting that she killed him — but in self-defense.
For the first time since the trial started, the nation is hearing her side. It’s worth noting that it’s very rare for high-profile defendants like Arias to take the stand during their trial.
When defense attorney Kirk Nurmi asked her if she killed Alexander, she said yes, and it was because he attacked her.
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The defense lawyer also asked Arias why she told “Inside Edition” that no jury would ever find her guilty, and she explained that she had planned to kill herself before the trial began.
While she was on the stand, Arias and her lawyer painted a gruesome tale of how she was allegedly abused as a child. Her mother, whom she blamed, was in the courtroom throughout Arias’ testimony.
“I felt betrayed and confused by my mom. I understood I was being punished, but it made me mad. But I still loved her,” she said when taking the stand on Monday.
Arias said both her mother and father abused her and her siblings, added that her brother broke one of his legs when he was trying to escape a blow from their mother.
“My mom hitting me ranged from four times a week to once every two weeks. Her beatings became more frequent as I aged,” she said.
Arias also shared details about her father and the abuse he committed on the children:
“My dad was scary to begin with. He didn't hit us as much with the belt. My mom's blows felt a lot worse than my dad's.”
But the Twitterverse was not buying Arias' defense, saying child abuse does not provide a legitimate reason for killing Alexander in self-defense.
“I had a rough childhood myself but I HAVE NEVER MURDERED anyone because if it #jodiarias is a pathological liar. Off with her head!” @Xmindbodyspirit wrote.
“#JVM many children get disciplined but not all children brutally kill an innocent person #JodiArias #liar”
@KBlairIII brought attention to the fact that Arias’ mother was present while she was accusing her of child abuse:
“#JodiArias nice testifying that you were abused right in front of your own mother ! Great defense all over the map!”
“I find #jodiarias absolutely creepy. How is it self defense when the man is taking a shower?” @tmbecena wondered, pointing out how Alexander was killed while in the shower.
Twitter users have also been taking note of Arias’ choice in hairstyle. The defendant seems to have tried to make herself less attractive, not wearing any make-up to her court proceedings and getting wispy bangs since being accused of murder.
On the day Arias took the stand to claim she was abused as a child, she had a “child-like” hairstyle, which many people believed was done since she was talking about when she was brutalized as a young girl.