PHOENIX — It was almost over.
A little more than an hour into deliberations Wednesday, the jury in the Jodi Arias murder trial told the judge that it had a question: If they couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on whether to sentence Arias to death or to life in prison for the 2008 murder of her lover, Travis Alexander, should they write it on a jury question form or just tell her?
They were at an impasse.
Judge Sherry Stephens called them into the courtroom and read them a standard “impasse instruction,” asking them to go back to try again.
Arias was visibly relieved.
But when 4:30 p.m. rolled around, the jurors still had not reached any decision and went home for the night. They will return Thursday at 10 a.m. MST.
Arias, 32, has been on trial since Jan. 2. On May 8, the jury decided that she was guilty of first-degree murder, and the next week determined that the murder had been committed in an especially cruel manner, making her eligible for the death penalty. The prosecution and defense attorneys finished their arguments Tuesday over whether Arias deserved life or death, and it went to the jury at 3 p.m. that day.
Although it was a lengthy trial, the jury reached rapid conclusions on guilt and the single aggravating factor, and it was widely expected that they would quickly bring…
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