Jodi Arias trial underway for 2008 death of Travis Alexander

PHOENIX - The trial of a Valley woman charged with brutally stabbing and shooting her former boyfriend in 2008 is underway.

Jodi Arias, 32, is accused of stabbing Travis Alexander 27 times, cutting his throat and shooting him in the head after an afternoon of sex.

Both the prosecution and the defense presented their opening arguments Wednesday.

The prosecution describes Arias as a cold-blooded murderer who tried to cover her tracks.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez told the jury, at first, investigators had no idea when Alexander was killed. By the time he was found dead in the shower, his body had started to bloat and decompose.

But Martinez said photos recovered from a camera found in the washing machine, along with the sheets from Alexander's bed, pointed to Arias.

The photos recovered were time stamped -- the first set snapped in the early afternoon.

"Not only was he very much alive. He was involved in these photographs with a woman. And yes, they were both sinning, because they were going at it. They were nude and yes they were engaged in sexual relations in these photographs," said Martinez.

Martinez went on to tell the jury the woman in the photos was Arias.

He described Arias as a scorned woman who stalked Alexander after he tried to break up with her.

A second set of photos show Alexander in the shower posing for the camera.

But at one point, Martinez says it appears the camera drops and the next set of photos are ones the killer doesn't want taken, but document when Alexander was attacked.

"You see this individual here [points to Arias] you see her foot. And not only do you see her foot, but you see Mr. Alexander's head, you see his arm, you see him bleeding profusely," said Martinez.

The defense paints a different portrait.  One where Arias is the victim and Alexander was her abuser.

Defense Attorney Jennifer Wilmott told the jury that Alexander was controlling and abusive, then showed a picture of Arias wearing a t-shirt Alexander made with the possessive words, "Travis Alexander's".

"She knew that the one thing that calms his temper the quickest is sex. So as she's telling him, 'It's okay, I'll fix it, don't worry,' Travis grabbed her and spun her around. Afraid that he was going to hurt her, she was relieved when all he did was bend her over the desk," said Wilmott as she went on to describe the rough sexual encounter.

The defense says Alexander drove Arias into killing him.

"It was Travis' continual abuse and on June 4 of 2008, it had reached a point of no return. Sadly Travis left Jodi no other action but to defend herself," said Wilmott.

Prosecutors are asking for the death penalty. If convicted, Arias could become the fourth woman on Arizona's death row.

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