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Jodi Arias files motion to fire attorney, says he has "little to no tolerance" for her "emotional shortcomings"

Jodi Arias looks at her family after being found of guilty of first-degree murder in the gruesome killing her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in their suburban Phoenix home, Wednesday, May 8, 2013, in Phoenix. AP/The Arizona Republic, Pool, Rob Schumacher

Jodi Arias looks at her family after being found of guilty of first-degree murder for killing her one-time boyfriend, Travis Alexander, Wednesday, May 8, 2013, in Phoenix.
AP/The Arizona Republic, Pool, Rob Schumacher

(CBS) PHOENIX - Jodi Arias was in court Thursday, three days after filing a request to fire her main defense attorney, reports The Arizona Republic. Arias stated in her motion that Kirk Nurmi has an "utter poverty of people skills" and "has little to no tolerance for my emotional and psychological shortcomings," reports the paper.

WATCH: 48 HOURS: "Unraveling the lies of Jodi Arias"

Arias says that Nurmi had not seen her since May 23, the day the jury failed to reach a unanimous decisionon whether to sentence her to life in prison or death for the murder of her one-time lover, Travis Alexander, reports the paper. She said her second-chair attorney, Jennifer Willmott, does the brunt of the work in the case.

Arias reportedly claimed that she attempted to fire Nurmi in June but the judge did not grant her request.

Another hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov 1.

On May 8, Arias was found guilty of first degree-murderin the death of Alexander, but the jury failed to reach a unanimous decision on what her sentence should be. Now, the case is in limbo as a date for the retrial of the sentencing phase remains undetermined.

In July a member of the jury who found Jodi Arias guilty told Crimesider she voted for the death penalty because of the intensity of the crime.

"In deliberations, when we went through the autopsy pictures and I actually held them in my hands, that's when I really felt it was a death penalty case," Diane Schwartz said in an interview with CBS News' Crimesider. "It was too horrendous."

Alexander suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, had his throat slit from ear to ear and was shot in the forehead. Arias, now 33, admitted she killed the 30-year-old Alexander, but claimed it was self-defense after he attacked her in his Mesa, Ariz. home in June 2008. Prosecutors successfully argued it was premeditated murder carried out in a jealous rage.

PICTURES: Jodi Arias guilty of first-degree murder

Schwartz, a 62-year-old retired 911 operator, told Crimesider she believes the jury could not reach a unanimous decision on sentencing because some jurors could not get past certain mitigating factors.

In Arizona, mitigating circumstances include "any aspect of the defendant's character, propensities or record and any of the circumstances of the offense." Arias' defense team introduced eight "mitigating circumstances" in court, including her age, troubled upbringing and artistic talent, in an attempt to save her from a death sentence. Prosecutor Juan Martinez argued during the trial that none of that matters in regard to the brutal killing.

While eight jurors voted for Arias to be sentenced to death, four voted for life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors then had the option of taking the death penalty off the table, which would have meant Arias would either spend the rest of her life behind bars, or be eligible for release after 25 years. That decision would have been up to the judge.

Instead, prosecutors decided to pursue another penalty phase with a new jury. Once seated, the new jury will be tasked with weighing whether Arias should be sentenced to death or life in prison.

"Some individuals [on the jury] looked at some of the mitigating factors - for example, that Jodi had been abused - they felt that she had been abused by Travis and as a child. They didn't feel she had the best family life," said Schwartz. "They felt that mitigating factor outweighed the aggravating factors. That was the biggest concern."

Marilou Allen-Coogan, who also voted for the death penalty, said another mitigating fact that certain jurors couldn't get past dealt with Arias' lack of a criminal history.

"It basically all boiled down to individual criteria. For example, some jurors in their minds and in their hearts believed [Jodi] did not deserve the death penalty because this was the only heinous offense she was found guilty of. She wasn't a repeat offender," Allen-Coogan, a 52-year-old overnight ER nurse, told Crimesider, in another July interview.

When asked what word they would use to describe Arias, both women answered, "manipulative." While Schwartz followed that up with "scary," and "unpredictable," Allen-Coogan called referred to her as being "narcissistic."

They both also agreed that Arias' testimony was detrimental to her in the end.

"She was on the stand too long. I think it hurt her in the end. You got to see her personality going back and forth," Schwartz said. "She went on with too much information and that concerned me. Too much information is a key that they're not being truthful."

Allen-Coogan called Arias' testimony, which spanned 18 days, "fake" and "not believable."

"I thought that she was acting as if she was playing to an audience," Allen-Coogan said.

The women described deliberations as an emotional, heart-wrenching process that took a lot of soul-searching. They both say they have kept in touch with the other jurors and that it was not a regrettable experience.

"[In the deliberation room] there was no arguing, just a lot of tears. When you really realized the intensity of what has happened. That emotion," Schwartz said.

Schwartz told Crimesider that although it was initially hard to accept the fact that the jury could not reach a unanimous decision on whether Arias should receive the death penalty, she said now it is easier for her to understand.

"If I had to do it all again, I would want to do it with the same original jurors on the case with me," Schwartz continued, "and I think that says a lot."

Both Schwartz and Allen-Coogan agree it will be a difficult process to pick a new, impartial jury due to the complexity of the initial trial, which spanned nearly five months, and the fact that the case was so widely publicized.

"I think it's going to be extremely difficult to seat a jury that is impartial," Allen-Coogan said. "However, I think it's absolutely a possibility that Arias could receive the death penalty depending on what's presented."

Schwartz isn't so sure that a new jury will be able to make the decision that Arias should be sentenced to death.

"Individual choice is what it comes down to and the makeup of the jury," she said. "It will be very hard. They won't have all of the emotional ties that we had. They won't have the four-and-a-half months of testimony. They will be given a capsulated version."

In the event that a second panel fails to reach a unanimous decision, the death penalty would automatically be removed from consideration, and the judge would sentence Arias to life in prison or allow her to be eligible for release after 25 years.

Schwartz says that if she could give any words of advice to a new set of jurors on the case, she would tell them: "Be true to yourself and listen to all of the facts."

Complete coverage of the Jodi Arias case on Crimesider

  • Stephanie Slifer

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