Arias death penalty: Penalty phase begins in Jodi Arias murder trial

PHOENIX - Jodi Arias returns to court for the final phase of her trial as the same jury that convicted her of murder last week weighs whether the former waitress should be sentenced to life in prison or death.

Jurors on Wednesday took less than three hours to determine that Arias should be eligible for the death penalty in the killing of her one-time lover after prosecutors proved the murder was especially cruel and heinous.

The 32-year-old Arias acknowledged killing Travis Alexander on June 4, 2008, at his suburban Phoenix home. She initially denied involvement then later blamed the attack on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she settled on self-defense.

On Thursday, the penalty phase of her trial begins during which prosecutors will work to convince jurors Arias should face the ultimate punishment.

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