Arias sells art for money, profits from notoriety

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 12, 2013 at 7:46 am •  Published: April 12, 2013

"I just got caught up in all of it," said Kathy Brown, 49, who is a regular attendee.

She said she has a cousin on death row, and started coming to watch the trial out of curiosity.

"It's just interesting and fascinating," Brown said Thursday.

A few weeks ago, as several dozen trial fans gathered outside the courthouse, Brown approached prosecutor Juan Martinez and had him autograph her cane.

"I just love watching him," she said. "I love the passion he has."

In fact, people have flown in from around the country for a chance to score a seat in the gallery, lining up in the morning as they're chosen on a first-come, first-served basis.

Meanwhile, the prosecutor and defense attorney have been presenting dueling portraits of the victim, that of a man who feared for his life as he tried to distance himself from Arias and a manipulative liar who courted multiple women while claiming to be a virgin.

Arias says the killing was self-defense, and that on the day of Travis Alexander's death in June 2008 at his suburban Phoenix home, he attacked her and she was forced to fight for her life.

However, no evidence — other than Arias' accounts — has been presented at trial showing Alexander had ever been physically violent.

Authorities say Arias planned the attack in a jealous rage. She initially denied involvement then blamed it on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she said it was self-defense.

She faces a possible death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder.

Psychotherapist Alyce LaViolette has been testifying for more than a week about her conclusion that Arias was a victim of abuse by Alexander in the months before his death.

Jurors posed about 100 questions to LaViolette on Thursday, something allowed in Arizona criminal trials as the queries are read aloud by the judge.

The questions ranged from how the witness can know that Arias isn't lying to queries about Arias' claims that the victim abused her.

LaViolette returns to the witness stand Friday for more juror questions.

Alexander suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, was shot in the head and had his throat slit. Arias' palm print was found in blood at the scene, along with nude photos of her and Alexander from the day of the killing.

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Brian Skoloff can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bskoloff

Associated Press writer Jacques Billeaud contributed to this report.