Jodi Arias trial: Unexpected friendships form during Valley murder case

PHOENIX - While Jodi Arias is on trial for murdering her once-boyfriend, new friends are being made directly behind her.

"It's been a very bonding kind of experience," said Jane Crook of Scottsdale. Crook has been in the courtroom every day of the trail, along with several other regulars.

"Jodi stares people down," said Kathy Brown of Paradise Valley. "She will look at you, right in the face, and stare you down."

Since seating in the courtroom is limited, spectators need to show up early. During those early morning waits, friendships began.

"It's very interesting to see their story," said Mikalann Dillon of Phoenix, "but to end up making great friends--we even have nicknames for each other."

Dillon dubbed Brown as "Cane Girl" since she walks with the assistance of a cane. A cane that has now become an "autograph book" from the trial. The prosecutor's autograph, Juan Martinez, is on the top.

Despite being told by friends and family that watching a stranger's trial is a little "crazy," none of them plans to stop attending court until the end.

"It's really more of a human interest story," said Crook. "People are suffering and I think both families are suffering and I feel for both of them."

The three women tell ABC15 they have actually bonded with Travis Alexander's family, too.

"They're some of the nicest people I've ever met," Dillon said.

All three have different reasons for being in court. Crook arrived on the first day to watch the trial with her daughter who hopes to attend law school. Dillon is an avid trial viewer who grew up with attorneys in her family. Brown said she has a relative on death row and was curious about death penalty cases.

"The main reason I keep coming is I want to see the jury," said Brown.

Brown and Crook believe Arias will be found guilty of murder, while Dillon is predicting a hung jury.

None of them expects the jury to sentence her to death.

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