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Jodi Arias Trial's Dismissed Juror Breaks Her Silence

7:29 AM, Apr 7, 2013   |    comments
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Phoenix, AZ --  The juror who was mysteriously booted from the Jodi Arias trial reveals her identity and addresses the spectacle surrounding her surprising return to the courtroom.

Juror 5 in the Jodi Arias trial was dismissed Tuesday after Judge Sherry Stephens of Maricopa County Superior Court took her off the case.

The decision came after defense lawyers claimed the woman had made prejudicial comments in front of other jurors; the judge denied a defense request for a mistrial.

The trial picked up again after Stephens met with defense and prosecution lawyers for two hours behind closed doors. The sisters of Travis Alexander, Arias' lover whom she killed in June 2008, also were in the meeting in the judge's chamber.

Stephens announced the dismissal of Juror 5 as soon as the meeting was over. She told the rest of the jurors they should not speculate or guess the reason for her decision to dismiss Juror 5.

Arias lawyer Kirk Nurmi had asked Monday that the woman be let go.

"Ms. Arias takes the position that the statements Juror 5 made in front of her fellow jurors amounts to misconduct that inserted partiality in what is supposed to be an impartial body," Nurmi wrote. "In this regard, it is even more obvious that Juror 5 is neither fair or impartial."

The exact nature of the statements remains under seal.

The trial resumed with defense witness and domestic-violence expert Alyce LaViolette, who analyzed e-mails between Arias and Alexander, and e-mails to the two of them from Alexander's friends, Chris and Sky Hughes.

LaViolette testified that the Hugheses warned Arias of Alexander's history of abusing women, calling him "the biggest flirt this side of the Mississippi." Sky Hughes also e-mailed Alexander expressing the "serious concerns" she had with their relationship, LaViolette testified.

The judge's move leaves five alternate jurors in addition to the 12 who will decide the case.

Arias, now 32, admits killing Alexander, 30. Nurmi and his co-counsel, Jennifer Willmott, are trying to build a case that Alexander was physically and sexually abusive to Arias and that she killed him in self-defense. Arias, charged with murder, claims she recalls shooting Alexander but cannot remember stabbing him nearly 30 times and then slitting his throat.

USA TODAY

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