Jodi Arias trial: Prosecution questions Jodi Arias

PHOENIX - The prosecution came out swinging at accused murderer Jodi Arias during its first day of cross examination.

Arias, 32, faces the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in the June 2008 killing of her former boyfriend Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home

Prosecutor Juan Martinez worked hard to redeem Alexander from Arias' eight days of scathing testimony where Arias claimed she killed him in self-defense.

Martinez started by hammering Arias for her selective memory loss.

Arias has recalled what she ordered at Starbucks four years ago, and sexual details of her relationship with Alexander, but can't recall stabbing him 27 times, or slitting his throat.

"When I'm under stress, it affects my memory," Arias explained to jurors.

"I thought you said the relationship with Mr. Alexander was very stressful?" questioned Martinez.

"Some of the sex wasn't," Arias quickly replied.

"So you did enjoy the sex then? Is that what you're telling me?"  Martinez jabbed back.

"At times I did," confessed Arias, although she's testified before she was sexually abused by Alexander.

Martinez moved quick to address Arias' testimony that Alexander broke her finger during a fight in early 2008.

The prosecution admitted into evidence a photo of Arias and her sister taken four to five months later, and pointed to Arias' hand in another tight shot.

"You don't have a bent finger here in exhibit 453 do you?" slammed Martinez

"My finger is bent here," insisted Arias.

"You're saying that your finger is bent there (pointing to photo), hold it up your finger again -- sideways so we can also see it,"  demanded Martinez.

Arias held her finger up and you could visibly see it's crooked, but in the photo shown on the overhead monitor it appeared to be straight.

Martinez also played back Arias' police interview where she told Mesa police she broke her finger on the day Alexander was killed when one of two intruders attacked her (she now admits lying about the intruders).

"You gave him a different story," pointed out Martinez.

"Yes," replied Arias

"Then you testified about it in this court and you gave us another story of how this happened, right?" Martinez drilled.

"No," insisted Arias.

Martinez badgered Arias again over her memory, "Do you have memory problems ma'am?"

Arias thought for a moment then replied, "I don't even know if I would call it a problem."

"Well just tell me how far back it goes, you said you were going to tell me ---so tell me please," said Martinez

"How far back what goes?" asked Arias

"We're talking about your memory problem?" hammered Martinez once again.

"I don't really have a problem," insisted Arias who didn't seem to want to admit to any memory issues, even though she said she can't recall most of what happened when she killed Alexander.

Martinez then started questioning Arias' claims that she left Alexander's house on June 4, 2008, hoping Alexander was still alive.

"So at that point you didn't know Mr. Alexander was dead right?" questioned Martinez.

"I guess, I knew I wasn't accepting it," said Arias.

Martinez then questioned Arias' testimony that she was monogamous, by pointing out she drove to Ryan Burns' home in Utah, where the two cuddled and made out a day after killing Alexander.

"I wasn't really in my own mind, I was out of my mind sort of,"  Arias told jurors.

"So then if you didn't think he was dead, it was okay for you to roll around with Mr. Burns, and that was okay?" inquired Martinez

Arias pursed her lips then replied, "I'm single."

Arias remained poised through most of the cross examination, and at times, jabbed back at Martinez making her look more like a fighter than a victim.

"What factors influence your having a memory problem?" questioned Martinez.

"Usually when men like you are screaming at me, or grilling me or someone like Travis doing the same," Arias replied.

The cross examination became so heated at times, Judge Sherry Stephens had to instruct Martinez and Arias to stop talking over each other.  

The trial resumes on Monday, February 25 at 10:30 a.m. 

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