Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
(Steven Alexander, brother of murder victim Travis Alexander, looks back towards Jodi Arias as he reads his "victim impact statement" to the jury on Thursday, May 16, 2013 during the penalty phase of the Jodi Arias trial at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. Jodi Arias was convicted of first-degree murder in the stabbing and shooting to death of Travis Alexander, 30, in his suburban Phoenix home in June 2008. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Rob Schumacher, Pool) )
Teary testimony from victim’s family in Jodi Arias case
First Published May 16 2013 06:40 pm • Last Updated May 16 2013 06:41 pm

Phoenix • Jurors deciding the fate of convicted murderer Jodi Arias became visibly shaken by dramatic statements from the victim’s family members as they described how their lives were ripped apart by the killing.

Travis Alexander’s younger brother Steven told the panel he was hospitalized for ulcers, lost sleep and separated from his wife.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

He paused to choke back tears and regain his composure as he recounted the phone call he got from his sister the day his brother’s body was found.

"She told me, ‘Steven, Travis is dead,’" he said. "I thought I was dreaming."

"The nature of my brother’s murder has had a major impact on me. It’s even invaded my dreams," Steven Alexander told jurors, standing at a podium about 6 feet from the panel. "I’ve had nightmares about somebody coming after me with a knife, then going after my wife and my daughter.

"I don’t want these nightmares anymore," he said. "I don’t want to see my brother’s murderer anymore."

The same jury convicted Arias of first-degree murder last week after about 15 hours of deliberations. During the trial’s ongoing final penalty phase, the panel will decide whether to sentence Arias to life in prison or death for the 2008 murder of her one-time lover.

Arias cried periodically during the testimony and looked away from jurors.

In opening statements, prosecutor Juan Martinez said there are no mitigating factors that should cause the jury to even consider a sentence other than death. The judge had instructed jurors that they could take into account certain things that might help them make a decision, such as Arias’ lack of a prior criminal record and assertions that she was a good friend, had an abusive childhood and is a talented artist.

Martinez said none of that matters in regard to the brutal killing.


story continues below
story continues below

"The only appropriate sentence ... is death."

Defense attorney Kirk Nurmi opened his part by explaining to jurors that their decision ultimately would be the final one.

"Your verdict, ladies and gentleman, will determine whether or not Jodi Arias spends the rest of her life in prison or if she is sentenced to be executed," Nurmi said, telling jurors they each had to make their own "moral assessment on what verdict is correct."

He then told the panel they would later hear directly from Arias.

"When you understand who Ms. Arias is, you will understand that life is the appropriate sentence," Nurmi said.

Alexander’s sister Samantha later described for the panel how their grandmother, who raised the victim, saw her health fail after the killing and died around the time of jury selection.

"Travis was the glue in our family," Samantha Alexander said. She also recalled her brother’s charisma, sense of humor, insight and "huge smile."

"Travis was our strength, our beacon of hope, our motivation," she said through tears. "Our lives will never be the same. ... We would give anything to have him back."

Steven Alexander recalled seeing his brother for the last time over the Christmas holiday in 2007. "Now when I want to talk to or see my brother, I have to go to a ... 6-foot-deep hole in the ground," he said.

The trial was inexplicably delayed Thursday afternoon after the judge and attorneys met privately. It is set to resume Monday morning when other witnesses will include Arias’ friends and an ex-boyfriend who lived with her for several years in California.

Earlier this week, Arias’ attorneys asked to be allowed to step down from the case, but a judge denied the request.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.