PHOENIX - The judge in the Jodi Arias murder trial on Tuesday excused Juror 5 after defense attorneys filed a motion for mistrial due to "juror misconduct".
Arias, Travis Alexander's family, the prosecutor, and attorneys were in the judge's chambers for nearly two hours Tuesday morning, causing a significant delay to the start of the proceedings.
The initial start time given for Tuesday was 9:15 a.m. The trial resumed around 11:20 a.m. with testimony from domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette.
Arias' defense team filed the motion Monday, asking for a mistrial or the release of Juror 5.
Juror 5 is a white woman who appears to be in her 30s. She sat in the front row of the box, close to the witness stand.
She appeared engaged throughout the trial and would actively take notes during testimony.
The defense had wanted a mistrial, but Judge Sherry Stephens denied the motion for mistrial and instead excused the juror.
Arias' attorneys claimed Juror 5 was neither fair nor impartial at this point, making "her removal from the jury essential" to ensure Arias' rights.
There are now 17 jurors left, 11 men and six women, which includes five alternates.
Only 12 will be picked to deliberate once closing arguments are finished.
A court spokesperson said the final jurors are chosen when the court clerk picks numbers, similar to a lottery.