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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Jodi Arias Found Guilty of First-Degree Murder

Aired May 8, 2013 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell coming to you live from Cityscape in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona. This is essentially the town square of Phoenix, Arizona. And it seems like the entire city is filled with jubilation over the verdict for Jodi Arias. Murder, in the first-degree, guilty. Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUDGE SHERRY STEPHENS, PRESIDING OVER TRIAL: "State of Arizona versus Jodi Ann Arias, verdict, count one. We the jury, duly empanelled and sworn in the above entitled action upon our oaths do find the defendant as to count one, first-degree murder, guilty. Five jurors find premeditated. Zero find felony murder. Seven find both premeditated and felony." Signed the foreperson.

Is this your true verdict, so say you one and all? Ladies and gentlemen, the clerk is now going to ask each of you a question. Please answer yes or no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror No. 1, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror No. 2, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror No. 3, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror No. 4, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror No. 6, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror No. 7, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror No. 9, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror No. 12, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror No. 13...

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I am here with Elsie Leon, and perhaps she has summed it up best: "Juan Martinez for Governor." That`s what the sign says.

What does everybody think here? Everybody agrees. It seems like everybody agrees. Juan Martinez for governor. Of course, we`re talking about the prosecutor who masterfully, masterfully handled this case. Why have you started this movement?

ELSIE LEON, TRIAL WATCHER: I believe he`s really worth it. I believe he brought it home for Arizona, for the Alexander family, for his friends, for the whole community. I think he`s worthy of being governor. Why not Juan? Why not?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Well, I want to bring in Dave Hall. A dear, dear friend of Travis Alexander, the victim.

You were there. You were in court. You were with the family of Travis Alexander. This was nerve-wracking. It was nerve-wracking for people outside court. What was it like to be in court? Describe what the family, as you sat next to them, were going through.

DAVE HALL, FRIEND OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: The tension in there was intense. I mean, you could cut it with a knife. I know that`s a bad line to use right now, but even before Jodi came in, we were handing out Kleenex. We were taking deep breaths. We were trying to get our heart rates down. I mean, it -- our palms were sweating. The anxiety level was over-the-top.

And they instructed us over and over and over, don`t make audible sounds, like facial gestures, just listen to the verdict. But you can`t control yourself after five years of waiting to finally have that word "guilty" ringing in your head.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And this is spontaneous. These folks are here because they have been following the case. They are interested in this case. And it seems like there`s a unanimous verdict out here, as well.

Now, you were looking -- looking at Jodi Arias. Did you see anything? What did you see?

HALL: Jodi never turned around and faced any of us. She came straight in through the side door, went quickly, sat down, did not turn around and make eye contact with any of us.

The first time I saw Jodi`s face was literally on you guy`s monitors after I came back here, because she did not give us the satisfaction of seeing the look on her face.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This case was so absolutely wracked with emotion. I was standing right outside court. Selin Darkalstanian, our producer, who`s been here from the very beginning and has done an incredible job, we have all been working around the clock but particularly you. What was it like inside? Talk to us about Jodi Arias and her family.

SELIN DARKALSTANIAN, HLN PRODUCER: Her family, I think the thing to note is her mother. Because you have to understand, we`ve been sitting there for four months and looking at her mom. She has not cried; she has not laughed. They`ve shown these humiliating photos of her daughter. They`ve shown autopsy photos. And through all of this, she`s not shown one single emotion.

And today, once the cameras were off and the verdict was read, she broke down. She stood up and her mother, Jodi`s grandmother was in a wheelchair, Esther (ph), and she got up, hugged her mom, Jodi`s grandma, and her sister, Jodi`s aunt. They were all hugging each other. And the defense attorneys came over, and they were crying. This is the first time we`ve seen her mom break down and start crying.

And it was pretty incredible, because the family was crying on one end, and then Travis Alexander`s family were, in a sense -- I don`t want to say celebrating, but they were overjoyed with the verdict that came in. And so the courtroom was definitely split. You could feel the tension in the courtroom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: It must have been absolutely extraordinary to be in there. Just on an average day that I was in there, for closings, it was just so palpable, the energy, electric. This has been such an emotional case. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CHEERING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Beth Karas, who was in court.

Beth, you were there, right? You saw it. Now, this is extraordinary, but you`ve seen so, so many trials. This is not over. The drama is actually going to crescendo further, because we`re going into another phase. Tell us about that.

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Yes, actually, possibly two more phases. The next phase is one or two days. It`s going to start tomorrow afternoon here, 4 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. local time. Dr. Kevin Horn is going to be on the stand for the state.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: That`s the medical examiner.

KARAS: Yes. That`s the medical examiner. And that`s the only witness the state plans to call. I do not know if the defense plans to call their own medical examiner or some type of doctor.

This aggravation phase is to put on evidence that the killing, the murder -- now we can call it a murder -- the murder of Travis Alexander was extremely cruel. Extreme cruelty is what the aggravator is.

The jury has to find it was proven beyond a reasonable doubt. So what will happen is tomorrow, we`re going to hear opening statements. Juan Martinez is going to make an opening statement and maybe defense will make one. And then Dr. Horn will testify. He will probably add onto what he`s already said. Everything in this first phase of the trial, the guilt phase, will be incorporated into this. Anything that`s relevant is also to be considered.

Then he will talk about how long it took Travis Alexander to die. What was he thinking as he stood at that sink, spitting blood, having his head and his back stabbed repeatedly, smearing blood with his hands into a cut when he grabbed the blade. He knew he was going to die. She was stabbing him.

He`s not dying. He gets down the hall. He`s trying to get away. Where he collapsed and had his throat slit is very close to the door out. That door was a few feet away. If he got out and down the stairs and out the door, she would have been arrested immediately, not five or six weeks later.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The point is that this whole phase that`s starting tomorrow, 1 p.m. Phoenix time, or 4 p.m. Eastern, is in essence a mini- trial.

KARAS: Well, it is, but it`s very little. It will be one or two days. Evidence tomorrow. And you know there will be closing arguments: Juan Martinez, then the defense, then Martinez in rebuttal. Just like at the guilt phase.

Then the jury deliberates. And if they say yes, it`s proven beyond a reasonable doubt, another week or two of evidence. And that`s when we`re going to hear from the family members of Travis Alexander. They`ll speak. And then evidence for the defense. And Jodi Arias will get up, if she wants to, and make a final statement standing in front of the jury.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh, my gosh. We are going hear from Jodi Arias, again, possibly, possibly, if we get to -- past the cruelty. If the jury decides that there was cruelty in this murder beyond a reasonable doubt, then we have a mitigation phase where, knowing Jodi`s history of speaking, she will probably get up and make a statement, it`s fair to say.

KARAS: Yes, I would think she would. And beg for her life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I`ll tell you something else, Beth. I think that right now, Jodi Arias is eating some of her words. Check this out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JODI ARIAS, CONVICTED OF MURDER: If I`m found guilty, I don`t have a life. I`m not guilty. I didn`t hurt Travis. If I hurt Travis, if I killed Travis, I would beg for the death penalty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that is one of the infamous, sort of coined phrases from this case. In fact, you have created an entire poster "Guilty, Mark My Words," which is just an odd coincidence that we played that and you tapped me on the shoulder and said, "This is -- this is what I`m talking about." Why did you say this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I just think for her to make that statement and think she was going to go away with that, it was more heartfelt to think that the justice system, somebody could lie like this and get away with it. And she thought the jury here would believe her lies, so we didn`t. And she`s guilty. And she has a long time to think about marking her words, I hope.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask everyone here. Does everybody feel that this process, the entire process of this trial, has restored any possible lost faith in the criminal justice system or reinforced the faith you`ve already had in the criminal justice system?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think so. I think definitely. I think we needed to have an ending like this after all the trials we`ve gone through and been so disappointed in. I think it was a good end to show that, through the right steps and the right process, it`s possible.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Our criminal justice system works. Restored faith, yes? Yes or no?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, definitely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is such an emotional case. On the other side, we are going to tell you what exactly you can expect in the coming hours and days. Where is Jodi Arias right now? OK, we`ve got some breaking news. It`s coming right in. Tell us.

DARKALSTANIAN: We have just learned that she is back at the jail where she has been -- been this entire time, and she`s waiting to visit with her family. So she is back at the jail. She`s not the courthouse anymore. And I`m guessing her mom, her aunt and her grandma are going to go visit her now.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, a friend of Travis Alexander said that her heart also goes out for this family of Jodi Arias. They have done nothing wrong, and their lives have been destroyed. And I thought that was wonderful that she brought them into the picture. Because this kind of violence destroys everyone and everything around it.

We`ll be back in a second.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: Why not take the red car? Well, according to her, a red car, calling attention to the police. And she certainly doesn`t want that. She doesn`t want the police to find out about her, because she`s on a mission. A mission to kill somebody.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHENS: "We the jury, duly empanelled and sworn in the above entitled action, upon our oaths, do find the defendant. as to count one, first-degree murder, guilty.

Five jurors find premeditated. Zero find felony murder. Seven find both premeditated and felony.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I am here in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, with two of victim Travis Alexander`s dear friends, Dave Hall and Sean Alexander. We`re going to speak with them both more throughout this hour.

But first, to my colleagues, Vinnie Politan and Ryan Smith, both esteemed attorneys. Break down this verdict for us.

VINNIE POLITAN, HLN ANCHOR: Thanks so much, Jane. And what this jury said, really, is 12 of them agreed, Ryan, premeditation. And what that means is they didn`t believe Jodi Arias.

RYAN SMITH, HLN ANCHOR: No, that whole story that she told on the stand about how everything happened, they didn`t believe a word of it.

Now, let`s start from the top. Her part of the story was she says, "I dropped the camera. Travis is mad at me. He comes right at me." So what do I do? Camera going on the floor. I`m running. I`m running, trying to get away from Travis. This is after the body slam, right?

POLITAN: Yes.

SMITH: Then I run over here. I grab the gun. This is all Jodi`s story. I grab the gun. What do I do? I`m pointing it at her -- pointing it at him, he`s coming at me. I shoot him.

POLITAN: Didn`t happen. The jury said today it didn`t happen. The whole thing about the knife got into the bathroom because they`re having a sex game, right, and they`re cutting the rope. We had to have the knife to cut the rope.

Didn`t happen. They believe premeditation. That`s why this goes on. And this is why I think this is very significant. Jodi Arias is a liar. She lied in story one and story two, then told story three. Story three now is the lie also that`s completely rejected by this jury, because that was self-defense.

SMITH: Yes.

POLITAN: That was not guilty. They didn`t say that. And on top of that, the heat of passion that Nurmi threw out there as a wild card the last day. That`s gone, too, Ryan.

SMITH: All of that`s gone. And you know what? At the cruelty phase, the defense is going to get to go up there and try to knock down the aggravating theory of cruelty. Their whole theory was shot first. And essentially that`s, well, he didn`t really suffer that much. But now, you can`t believe a word she said.

POLITAN: Where does the evidence come from? Because you know this jury sat and listened to Jodi Arias for 18 days in excruciating detail, explaining everything, explaining how this photo was taken accidentally and this caused Travis to attack her.

No. The "trash Travis defense" didn`t work. It wasn`t Travis who attacked Jodi Arias. This jury believes that it was premeditated and that Jodi Arias attacked Travis Alexander.

SMITH: That`s going to be the key. You mentioned the "trash Travis" theory. That happened a lot. She can`t bring any of that out now. Now, Jane, it`s all about Jodi Arias and all about whether Travis suffered, and he did.

POLITAN: Yes. Back to you, Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Thank you, gentlemen.

Now, let`s debate with our expert legal panel. The aggravation phase begins tomorrow. Should Jodi Arias get the death penalty? Starting with Jordan Rose for the prosecution.

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: Well, Jane, this is a great day for Arizona and a great day for America to restore faith in the justice system. And yes, she absolutely should. I think the fact that they only deliberated for 15 hours means that they are very much in agreement. And that is a good sign for Jodi to get the ultimate sentence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Anahita Sedaghatfar for the defense.

ANAHITA SEDAGHATFAR, ATTORNEY: Jane, this is going to be difficult for the defense, quite frankly, because at this point, their only job is really going to have to be trying to save Jodi Arias`s life. And they`re going to have to get in there during the aggravation phase and try to convince those jurors that Travis Alexander really didn`t suffer during this killing.

And if this wasn`t really a compromise verdict, that`s going to be hard, because you`re making that argument to the same 12 jurors that just spoke loud and clear that they unanimously feel this was a premeditated first-degree murder case.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I agree with you. Fred Tecce for the prosecution, you`re not going to convince them now that, oh, the gun went off accidentally in self-defense. So how will the defense try to save Jodi Arias`s life? Ironically, I think their best bet might be saying she`s mentally ill and going with what the defense said, that she had borderline personality -- what the prosecution said, that she had borderline personality disorder.

FRED TECCE, ATTORNEY: You can`t. Having -- having debated that and tried to contest that during the trial, that`s absolutely off the table.

Look, I have said this from the get-go. It`s too late to try and save this woman`s life. These two lawyers, I guarantee you, you will see the file when this is all over and done, told this woman not to go this route, told this woman that she was going to get convicted, and this is what Jodi Arias wanted.

If they wanted to save her life, they should have started that three months ago. It`s too late. They jumped off the cliff. And nothing at this point, quite frankly, can and should save this woman.

ROSE: I agree with that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Anna Swickle for the defense.

ROSE: She should have pled insanity.

TECCE: She should have...

SEDAGHATFAR: She should have gone with self-defense. It probably would have been better to go with heat of passion manslaughter from the beginning and not wait until the closing. But I don`t think that death is necessarily for sure on the table. The defense is still going to have the opportunity to argue some mitigating factors. If Jodi gets up...

TECCE: Name them.

SEDAGHATFAR: ... and shows extreme remorse, genuine remorse, then she has a chance. Again, it all really depends on whether or not the jury made their decision today based on a compromised verdict or if it truly was that they all wanted...

ROSE: She had 19 days to show her remorse.

TECCE: Exactly.

ROSE: Nineteen days.

ANNA SWICKLE, ATTORNEY: Jane, if I can jump in for a second. Jane, if I could jump in. Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask these questions, and we`re going to try to answer them on the other side.

Should Jodi, after having spoken for 18 days and obviously garnered no friends in the process, should she make a statement? If it comes time for her to beg for her life, should she do that?

And, given all her talk of suicide, should she be on suicide watch right now? Let`s take a short break, and let`s discuss those issues on the other side. Stay right there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTINEZ: Ma`am, were you crying when you were shooting him?

ARIAS: I don`t remember.

MARTINEZ: Were you crying when you were stabbing him?

ARIAS: I don`t remember.

MARTINEZ: How about when you cut his throat, were you crying then?

ARIAS: I don`t know.

MARTINEZ: Take a look, then. You`re the one that did this, right?

ARIAS: Yes.

MARTINEZ: And you`re the same individual that lied about all of this, right?

ARIAS: Yes.

MARTINEZ: So then take a look at it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARIAS: If a conviction happens, I know that I won`t be the first person to be wrongly convicted and possibly wrongly sentenced for either life in prison or the death penalty. And personally, if I had my choice, I would take the death penalty, because I don`t want to spend the rest of my life in prison.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I am here live in Phoenix, Arizona. This is Cityscape. This is right in the center of this beautiful city. And everybody talking about this extraordinary verdict. Jodi Arias guilty. Guilty of murder in the first-degree.

Dave Hall, a dear friend of the victim, Travis Alexander. You heard her say to "48 Hours" -- we just played the clip -- that, if she was convicted, she would want to die. What are your thoughts, because now we`re at the aggravation phase where the jury`s going to have to determine whether or not she does die?

HALL: You know, it`s kind of ironic that Jodi tried to admit in court the law of attraction, and how it works and how Travis taught it to her. Well, Jodi is going to get a real dose of the law of attraction, because she said that "If I did this, I would beg for the death penalty." Thank you, Jodi, for putting that out there. We`re going to watch it come full circle.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Sean Alexander, another dear friend of Travis Alexander`s. What are your thoughts about the fact that she actually said, on tape no less, "If I`m convicted, I would want to get the death penalty"?

SEAN ALEXANDER, FRIEND OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: Well, it`s amazing. It shows her arrogance. Right? It just fits with her whole entire persona: "No jury will even convict me of being guilty" and whatever. And all I can say is, be careful what you wish for.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes. Exactly. This is not a hypothetical any more. This is a very real possibility of the train is on its way, and it`s going to take this jury to put, you know, the brakes on it. There are a number of hurdles. But the idea of the death penalty is very real now.

And I want to debate it very quickly. Should the prosecutor play that clip from "48 Hours" in this aggravation phase? And I`ll throw it to Jordan Rose. Should he play that as they consider whether or not to give her the death penalty?

ROSE: Absolutely. He absolutely should. And you know what else? Think about the defense attorney`s closing argument, where he said, "Nine out of ten days, I don`t even like her." I mean, the only thing that saves her life is if these jurors like Jodi. And if her only attorney, her primary defendant in this world, says he doesn`t like her, I think she`s in real trouble.

SWICKLE: Jane, can I comment?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Anna Swickle, defense.

SWICKLE: Thank you, Jane.

You know, listen, I think it`s a very interesting thing if the prosecution plays that tape. Because as a defense lawyer, I may look at it and go, "Play it." Because gee, now Jodi is saying, "Give me the death penalty. Give me what I want. Give me what I want."

What happens if it backfires? And then the jurors go, "Well, we`re not going to give you what you want. We want you to suffer the rest of your life in prison and live exactly like that and live your whole life doing exactly what we want you to do, suffer.

ROSE: Jodi was -- there is no way that backfires.

SWICKLE: You never know. I mean, Jane, it would be so interesting. It would be so interesting. It would be a good argument by the defense.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, ladies. We have -- we have to take a short break. We are just starting to discuss. Remember, tomorrow, another huge day. The aggravation phase begins. What this cruel, this killing, this murder cruel?

The jury decides yes, beyond a reasonable doubt. She is one big step, one giant step closer to the death penalty.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It felt like the whole courtroom was just going in slow motion. Just when they -- when the court reporter got it in her hands and she started reading it off, there was just so much relief in the courtroom. The tension, you could cut it with a knife.

And then -- and then the family, you know, we were asked not to react, but it was kind of hard not to. And everybody just put their heads down. And they`re just so happy for the verdict and the outcome after five years of waiting for justice to be served for Travis.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And you actually locked eyes at one point or looked at Jodi Arias as this verdict was coming down. Tell us exactly what you saw and felt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, when I looked up, I was curious to see her reactions. And she -- she had no emotion. I couldn`t believe it, you know? And if any emotion, if anything, she looked at the jury and kind of smirked at them. But after seeing that kind of reaction and what she`s done and the way she`s behaved over the last five years, that doesn`t surprise me too much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: State of Arizona versus Jodi Ann Arias, verdict count one. We the jury duly impaneled and sworn in above entitled action upon our oath do find the defendant as to count one, first degree murder, guilty. Five jurors find premeditated, zero find felony murder. Seven find both premeditated and felony. Signed, Foreperson. Is this your true verdict say so you one and all?

SHERRY STEPHENS, PRESIDING JUDGE: Ladies and gentlemen the clerk is going to ask each of you a question. Please answer yes or no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number one, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number two, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number three, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number four is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number six, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number seven, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number nine, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number 12, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: Jane Velez-Mitchell, back live, here in the heart of Phoenix, Arizona. I`m here with two of victim Travis Alexander`s friends, Dave Hall and Shawn Alexander -- no relation.

And now we are going to go to San Diego. Jaime Simco (ph), a very dear friend of Travis Alexander, but you also met Jodi and initially, I understand you were actually kind of attracted to her. Tell us about that.

JAME SIMCO, FRIEND OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: Yes. I looked at her and I was like this girl is pretty good-looking. But, you know, after the fact of hearing that she murdered Travis, obviously, that all went away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now that you look back on it, what are your thoughts given that, well, if things worked out differently, you may have ended up going out with Jodi?

SIMCO: Yes, you know, I looked at it. Travis was older and more successful, you know. He had all that stuff in place. I was younger, less experienced, didn`t have much money, didn`t have much success to speak of. I look back on that, it`s like if I could have been a little older, I could have had more money, I could have been more successful and I could have just as easily been vulnerable to that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A lot of people, including Dave Hall and Shawn Alexander told me that when they met her they got a strange vibe. That there was a vacant look in her eye that didn`t match her sort of hyper- sexualized body language. Did you sense any of that?

SIMCO: No, I didn`t. I have friends that did. You know, one night, I was actually on MySpace with a friend of mine. We were snooping on there and I wanted to show him a picture of her. I was like said check this girl Jodi out, you know, she`s pretty hot. And he looked at her and he goes like, "Dude, look at that girl`s eyes. She looks like a black widow." I was like "What are you talking about, man?" I just couldn`t see it, you know?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, that`s fascinating. Thank you for being so open about that story because really, it is just another insight. I mean I firmly believe that we have to learn and understand something about human nature from this case so that Travis Alexander did not die in vein.

Now, I want to go, thank you Jaime Simco. I want to go straight out to my colleagues, Vinnie Politan and Ryan Smith, both attorneys as well. What do we have in store for us next?

VINNIE POLITAN, HLN HOST: Well Jane, next, is the aggravation phase and prosecution has to prove cruelty. And how is Juan Martinez going to do that? He`s going to take this jury back to the scene, through the testimony of Dr. Kevin Horne.

These are the things he has to prove and it all starts with how the attack took place according to prosecution and how the jury the believed -- the attack first to Travis Alexander stabbed to his chest and the defensive wounds as he tries to stop the knife as Jodi is trying to stab.

So then Travis Alexander goes over to the sink. And picture this, he`s looking in the mirror seeing himself being stabbed, seeing himself being murdered by Jodi Arias in the head, in the back. He tries to get away. He runs down this hallway, blood smeared right here as he`s trying to get away until he falls down right over here, down the hallway.

This is where Jodi Arias administers the slit throat from ear-to-ear, almost decapitating Travis Alexander then drags his body down as we see in the photo at 5:32:16. Drags him back down towards the shower, finally gets him down here, then grabs the gun and shoots Travis Alexander in the head and then stuffs his body back into the shower where investigators find him.

RYAN SMITH, HLN HOST: And guys, if you can, take a close up of this because this happens as well. You see Travis Alexander`s legs? Look at that -- evidence of stomping. She`s stomping on his legs at one point -- stomping him, literally to death.

When you think about this, the prosecution has to prove that this was especially cruel than other murders as if any murder isn`t cruel. But it has to be especially cruel. And this didn`t happen over just seconds. This was minutes of suffering.

POLITAN: And Travis Alexander fighting for his life, and knowing that he was going to die. The defensive wounds, the coughing of the blood, the running down the hallway trying to save his life all come into play. Dr. Kevin Horne will have to testify about what Travis Alexander could realize was actually happening at the moment that he was killed.

And that`s what prosecutors have to prove -- when I say prosecutors, it`s one man.

SMITH: Just Juan Martinez.

POLITAN: It`s Juan Martinez -- that`s his job beginning tomorrow in court -- Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you, gentlemen. Vinnie Politan and Ryan Smith. Now, one thing I never really understand is why they poll the jurors. But there`s a very good reason for it. Let`s listen to these jurors being polled and then we are going to discuss it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We the jury duly impaneled and sworn in above entitled action upon our oath do find the defendant as to count one, first degree murder, guilty.

Is this your true verdict say so you one and all?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number one, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number two, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number three, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number four is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number six, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number seven, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number nine, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number 12, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number 13, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number 14, is this your true verdict?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number 16, is this your true verdict.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Juror number 18, is this your true verdict.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Such complex emotions there as you see the faces of the family of Travis Alexander. Beth Karas, HLN legal correspondent, why do they poll the jury that way?

BETH KARAS, HLN LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: This is something that defense attorneys are asked routinely and they routinely ask that the jurors be polled one by one so they all have a voice because each one of them has to individually come up with that verdict.

Actually, when I was trying cases had a jury polled once. I asked for it and a juror changed his mind.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You are kidding?

KARAS: And they went back and had to deliberate again.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So it`s possible somebody -- let`s say if somebody is pressured or coerced, right and they are kind of like well, it`s hard to stand-up against 11 other people. We have all seen the movie, "12 Angry Men". Ok. So this person feels maybe coerced and then at that moment when they`re in front of everybody --

KARAS: Right, it`s one last opportunity to get it on the record that this is absolutely everyone, each of the 12 jurors have voted this. And they almost always say yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me ask you because obviously, we didn`t see the jurors` faces there. What is the expression when you`re in court of those jurors as they`re being polled?

KARAS: Well, all the jurors are very somber in the courtroom. And you know, they did it in a way where we can`t tell who the foreperson was. The foreperson did not say, "Yes, your honor, we reached a verdict." The verdict form was given to the bailiff. And the judge simply said "I understand you have reached a verdict" and the bailiff handed it to the judge. She already had it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And the jurors cannot speak because they are going right into the aggravation phase. So, any sense that all the jurors are going to hold a news conference -- that`s not going to happen. It`s way premature because really some of the most important aspects of this case are coming up starting tomorrow. And of course, we are going to be all over it right here and bring you the very latest.

Let`s take a short break. We are back with more of the crucial aspects of today`s extraordinary day, guilty -- murder one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JUAN MARTINEZ, PROSECUTOR: What the state is asking you to do is your duty. And the judge has indicated that your duty is to follow the law as she`s given it to you and apply it to the facts. And we`re asking that -- the state is asking that you return a verdict of guilty and that you return a verdict of guilty as to first degree murder. Not only as premeditated murder but also as to felony murder for no other reason that it`s your duty and the facts and the law support it.

Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m hearing people chant. Let`s just hear what they have to say.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE; Justice for Travis. Justice for Travis. Justice for Travis. Justice for Travis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a scene out there. I was standing outside the courthouse as that verdict came down -- hundreds and hundreds of people. Now I am here just around the corner at Cityscape, which is really the heart and soul of Phoenix, Arizona where everybody gathers. Kind of like the town square.

I am here with Jade. You had a very important point about what this verdict of murder in the first degree for Jodi Arias says about Travis Alexander, the victim`s reputation.

JADE: I just was really happy because now he can really rest in peace and his family can honor the man that they really know and instead of the lie that the defense was trying to portray of Travis. And now it`s really out there Travis was a good man and he should rest in peace and his family can be very proud of him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`m sure you are referring to the pedophilia allegation that the defense made most of all.

JADE: Absolutely.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, let`s debate it. Ok. So, 1:00, Phoenix time, 4:00 p.m. Eastern tomorrow, the aggravation phase starts. Basically, it`s like a mini-trial. The state tries to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this murder -- we can now call it a murder -- was cruel.

And then, if the jury votes that yes, it was cruel, beyond a reasonable doubt, the mitigation phase begins wherein the defense essentially pleas for Jodi`s life. My question to debate with our expert panel, should Jodi make a statement to beg for her life given that she spent 18 days on the stand and it did not work for her? Starting with Jon Lieberman.

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look Jane, I think this jury sent a resounding message today. And that message was they didn`t believe Jodi`s lies. They didn`t believe the smoke screen. They didn`t believe the revictimization of Travis and the silly trumped up pedophile allegations. So if I were her attorneys, I would have her stay as far away from the stand as possible.

But I have to tell you this, Jane. Today -- look, Travis Alexander`s family is never going to get closure. But today, that jury spoke loudly and they got justice and that`s what they deserve.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Anahita Sedaghatfar, Should Jodi Arias speak up in her own defense to try to save her life?

ANAHITA SEDAGHATFAR, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNET: Jane, I think she has to because aside from her appeals, which I guarantee you will be coming, she has no choice. This is her last opportunity to plead with those jurors, beg for them to spare her, her life. She`s going to have to show genuine remorse. She`s going to have to show that they`re -- she can make something of her life.

LEIBERMAN: She doesn`t have a genuine bone in her body.

SEDAGHATFAR: If she doesn`t -- well, you know what, Jon?

(CROSSTALK)

LEIBERMAN: Genuine remorse? She`s had years to show genuine remorse. Years.

SEDAGHATFAR: What does she do? Does she just go in there and say "Give me the death penalty?"

FRED TECCE, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Anahita, you can yell all you want but the bottom --

DANA SWICKLE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: She has nothing to lose.

TECCE: The bottom line is this.

SWICKLE: No, she has nothing to lose at this point Jon.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Order in the panel. Order in the panel.

Dana Swickle. Dana Swickle say what you would like to say.

SWICKLE: Thank you, Jane. She has nothing to lose at this point. Her life is on the line.

SEDAGHATFAR: Absolutely.

SWICKLE: She`s gone this far. Yes, I understand that they didn`t believe her but maybe, maybe there is a glimmer of hope that one person or two people or the foreman or someone found her guilty of first degree murder, but maybe just likes her or on the flip side wants her to suffer the rest of her life in jail instead of giving her what she asked for, which was the death penalty. But I think she may have no choice. I think they need --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fred Tecce, for the prosecution.

TECCE: No. The only chance she has of saving her life --

JORDAN ROSE, ATTORNEY: I think she absolutely has to do this. She has to get up there.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hold on. Fred. Fred.

TECCE: No, she doesn`t have to do it. And in fact the only --

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Fred.

ROSE: There`s no other hope for Jodi.

TECCE: Ok, the only hope for her is to stay off the witness stand and hope two jurors realize that she`s learned her lesson and learned to keep her mouth shut. Because other than that, she`s absolutely --

(CROSSTALK)

SWICKLE: But if she -- if she gets up there and showed actual remorse --

TECCE: I didn`t mean to talk while you were interrupting. Please let me finish my point.

(CROSSTALK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I think her best shot for saving her life -- hold on. All right. I think the best shot for saving her life, honestly is for the defense to say something that actually the prosecution said, that she`s mentally ill. I do believe that Jodi Arias shows a lot of signs of mental illness. I think, personally, that that is her best shot for saving her life.

The defense should argue she is not all there because I think a lot of people, even though who are very much in favor of the prosecution, agree she`s not all there.

More on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: State of Arizona versus Jodi Ann Arias verdict count one. We the jury, duly impaneled and sworn in the above entitled action upon our oath do find the defendant as to count one, first degree murder, guilty.

Five jurors find premeditated, zero find felony murder, seven find both premeditated and felony. Signed -- foreperson. Is this your true verdict, so say you one and all?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We have some breaking news to tell you. This is reportable. It is just in. Maricopa County Sheriff spokesman says Jodi Arias has been placed on suicide protocol upon her arrival back to the jail.

So I want to throw it to Vinnie Politan and Ryan Smith, my colleagues, both attorneys. How does that work and why is something like that instituted?

POLITAN: Well, she`s as just been found guilty of first degree murder. Obviously, she was saying she was innocent. She said no jury would convict her. And obviously they`re concerned because no sheriff, no jail wants to have an inmate commit suicide. So I think it`s very -- sort of prophylactic.

SMITH: Yes, I think so. And you know, we talk about a situation like this, she has made comments like this in the past. You never know how she might be feeling. You do it as a precaution. You make sure she is in an area where she can`t do any harm to herself and you make sure that you preserve the process that we continue through the aggravation phase. And then, of course, the penalty phase. They are trying to preserve that option right there and keep her safe for her own benefit.

POLITAN: And the other part of all of this is it changes her life. She still has to go back into court tomorrow to begin this aggravation phase. She may have to testify again. But her life behind bars will be a little different as they keep an extra eye on her and take all those precautions.

SMITH: Yes. And this will be I think part of what they try to work into the penalty phase that she has mental issues in addition to the fact that she has remorse. All these things Jane, could possible be used to save her life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you gentlemen. Of course, you recognize this set. This is the HLN "After Dark" jury panel box and we are going to be here tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern; of course, hosted by Vinnie Politan and Ryan Smith. And we are going to bring you the latest then.

But don`t go anywhere. We have more breaking news on the other side of this developing story.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JODI ARIAS, FOUND GUILTY OF MURDER ONE: No jury is going to convict me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why not.

ARIAS: Because I`m innocent. And you can mark my words on that one. No jury will convict me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Jodi Arias wrong about that because she was convicted of first degree murder and now the aggravation phase begins which could ultimately result in her getting the death penalty which would ultimately mean that she would die by lethal injection.

Dave Hall, I spoke to Travis` dear friend, Elisha Schabel, and she said that she felt -- and she said this completely unsolicited -- that there was also a need for forgiveness of Jodi Arias. Your thoughts on that because I know you`ve talked to her about this?

DAVE HALL, FRIEND OF TRAVIS ALEXANDER: You know, she is exactly right. We are commanded by God to forgive all people. He is the ultimate judge. And now that this phase is over I actually feel the ability to forgive coming on because justice has been served. And that gets rid of the hurt and the pain and the hate and the anger that we might be carrying around so that we can live up to our potential to be better husbands, wives, mothers, friends.

Because anyone carrying around that cancer, it just eats them up. That is like not forgiving is like giving somebody else a poison pill but expecting them to die. The cancer, the hate, the anger -- that only hurts us long term. So now that justice has been served it is time to turn over a new leaf and start a new life.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to thank you for that. Very well said.

Nancy is next.

END