Jodi Arias drove to the home of her new romantic interest, kissed him, and laughed with his friends just 24 hours after she stabbed and shot her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander to death, according to court testimony today.
Ryan Burns, whom Arias met in the spring of 2008, took the stand today at the start of the fourth day of testimony in the trial.
Arias, 32, is accused of murdering Alexander, 30, her one-time boyfriend whom she continued to sleep with occasionally. She claims he was abusive and she stabbed and shot him in self-defense. Alexander's body was riddled with 27 knife wounds including a slashed throat and a bullet wound to the head.
Burns, who met Arias at a business conference, exchanged frequent long phone calls and online conversations with Arias before inviting her to come visit him in West Jordan, Utah, in June. Arias lived in California at the time.
Arias has confessed to driving to Alexander's home in Mesa, Ariz., where she killed him, and then to Burns' home in Utah. She arrived at Burns's home 24 hours after she was expected there, telling him that she got lost, drove the wrong way on a freeway for a few hours, fell asleep for awhile, and then got lost again, Burns testified today.
She never told him that she had confronted Alexander with a knife or gun and ended up killing him just hours before their date.
When she arrived, the pair quickly got physical, he testified.
"We went back to my house. We talked for awhile, and agreed that we were going to watch a movie. At some point we were talking and we kissed. Every time we started kissing it got a little more escalated. Our clothes never came off, but at some point she was kissing my neck, I was kissing hers, but our clothes never came off," he said.
Burns said that both he and Arias stopped kissing at the time, though they again became physically involved later in the evening when Arias climbed on top of Burns and began kissing him. Burns said that they stopped kissing because he did not want her to "regret the visit" because of her Mormon beliefs about sex.
He also told prosecutors upon questioning that Arias was physically strong.
"She's very fit," he said, describing their encounter when she climbed on top of him. "She's very strong. She has close to a six pack (of abs)."
Prosecutors likely asked about the strength of Arias because in testimony Tuesday Maricopa County medical examiner Kevin Horn said Alexander was stabbed so forcefully that the blade chipped his skull and his neck was cut all the way back to the spinal cord.
Burns, who is also a Mormon, said he noticed two bandages on Arias's hand when she arrived at his house, which she told him she got when a glass broke at her place of employment, Margaritaville.
During her visit, the pair also went to a business meeting and went out with Burns' friends where Burns described Arias as acting "shy" and a "little awkward."
"She was fine, she was laughing about simple little things like any other person. I never once felt like anything was wrong during the day. With a crowd she was a little awkward in social areas, but one on one she was very talkative and excitable," he said.
Prosecutors in the case allege that Arias was jealous that Alexander was dating other women and killed him at his home in Mesa, Ariz. In earlier testimony, they presented photos showing blood-splattered walls and floors in the bathroom and bedroom of Alexander's home, and photos of Alexander's wounds.
Arias's attorney has argued that Alexander was a controlling and abusive boyfriend whom she described as a "sexual deviant." Arias claims she killed Alexander in self-defense.
Burns, who knew of Alexander but did not know him well, said that he had no idea Arias was still seeing Alexander when the two began talking frequently on the phone and online and planning visits to see each other.
The prosecution presented parts of their online conversations, in which Arias tells Burns about being "cheated on twice" before and having "trust issues" with Alexander.
She also told Burns that she had converted to Mormonism because of Alexander.
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