Jodi Arias tried to cover her tracks after killing her ex-boyfriend, Travis Alexander, by making a flurry of phone calls to his cell phone and hacking into his voice mailbox, prosecutors alleged today.
Phone records presented in court today showed Arias persistently calling Alexander in the days before the killing. Ten calls were made from Arias' cell phone to Alexander's cell phone in the days leading up to his death, Verizon Wireless records expert Jody Citizen testified. Many of the calls were forwarded by Alexander straight to voice mail, Citizen said.
After Arias killed Alexander around 5:30 p.m. on June 4, 2008. , Arias called his phone four more times. The first call was made just hours after the killing at 11:37 p.m., the records showed. At least one of the calls was made as late as June 15, nearly a week after Alexander's body was found by friends.
At one point, Arias dialed into his voice mail system for 16 minutes, which indicated she was accessing his voice mail messages, Citizen said.
"If a person is in his phone for 16 minutes and they're not leaving a message what is going on?" prosecutor Juan Martinez asked.
"Somebody is listening to messages," Citizen answered.
Arias' attorneys, who argue that she killed her ex-boyfriend out of self-defense, said that she could have been recording a message, and then listening to it and deleting it before recording again, accounting for the 16 minutes spent on the voice mail system.
"On Verizon, is it possible to change your voice mail, to erase it and do it over again?" defense attorney Kirk Nurmi asked Citizen. "Could someone have been doing that for a 16 minute phone call?"
"Yes," Citizen said.
Nurmi pointed out that phone records showed that two days before his death Alexander also called Arias, initiating two phone calls that lasted nearly 20 minutes and more than 40 minutes in the middle of the night.
The defense has said that Alexander was controlling and abusive toward Arias and was a "sexual deviant" whom she had to kill in self defense.
The prosecution, however, alleges that Arias was obsessed with Alexander, stalked him, and killed him out of jealousy after spending the afternoon having sex with him and taking naked photos of one another. She is accused of stabbing Alexander 27 times, slashing his throat, and shooting him in the head.
Arias could face the death penalty if convicted.
The jury returned to court today for the seventh day of testimony in the murder trial, after watching a series of graphic sexual photos of Arias and Alexander displayed on Monday, including the last photos of Alexander alive. The photos show both individuals lying naked on Alexander's bed, separately, and then Alexander naked in the shower.
The final photo shows a body part covered in blood around 5:30 p.m., which the prosecution alleges is when the attack on Alexander began and the camera fell to the floor.