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Jodi Arias, charged in lover's death, blames prosecutor's aggression for her memory loss

Jodi Arias seen testifying in Maricopa County Superior Court on Feb. 25, 2013, in Phoenix.
AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle
(AP) PHOENIX - Testimony in the murder trial of Jodi Arias, who is accused of killing her lover, turned into a one-sided shouting match Tuesday between Arias and a prosecutor grilling her over memory problems, with Arias saying his aggressive demeanor and posture were causing her to forget crucial details, and fail to provide concise answers.

"I'm not having a problem telling the truth," Arias softly told prosecutor Juan Martinez, who stammered with his response, his voice growing louder.

"But you are having a problem answering my questions, right?" Martinez snapped back.

In stark contrast to her testimony under questioning by her own lawyers, during which she alternated between poise and tears and recalled precise details of practically her entire life going back years, Arias recalls virtually nothing under questioning by Martinez.

She often responds to his questions by saying, "Sure," to which Martinez loudly snaps backs that he is merely looking for a yes or no answer.

The barbs have led to numerous private conferences between attorneys and the judge as defense lawyers repeatedly object to Martinez's aggressiveness, accusing him of badgering the witness.

Later Tuesday, Martinez focused on how Arias had broken up with previous boyfriends who she learned had cheated on her - as she says she did with Travis Alexander - but has testified that Alexander had complete control over her.

"So when you decide something, you can do it right?" Martinez asked.

"Yes," Arias replied.

Arias is charged in the June 2008 death of her lover in his suburban Phoenix home. She says she dated Alexander for about five months before breaking up with him but continued to see him for sex up until the day she killed him. She says she was forced to fight for her life after Alexander attacked her, but police say she planned the attack in a jealous rage.

Of the day of Alexander's death, Arias says it was he who was in a rage, body slamming her and chasing her around his home. She said she grabbed a gun from his closet, and fired it as they tussled, but doesn't recall stabbing him. She says she then remembers putting a knife in the dishwasher and disposing of the gun in the desert as she drove from Arizona to see a man in Utah, where she spent the night in his bed kissing and cuddling as she worked to create an alibi and avoid suspicion in the killing.

Arias' grandparents reported a .25 caliber handgun stolen from their Northern California house about a week before the killing -- the same caliber used to shoot Alexander -- but Arias says she knows nothing about the robbery.  She says she brought no weapons to Alexander's home on the day she killed him, undercutting the prosecution's theory of premeditation.

Testimony began in early January.

Complete coverage of Jodi Arias on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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