(CBS) PHOENIX - Jodi Arias tried to cover her tracks, create clever alibis and elaborate stories after she brutally stabbed and shot her ex-boyfriend, 30-year-old Travis Alexander, at his Mesa, Arizona home on June 4, 2008, according to testimony presented in her capital murder case Tuesday.
The prosecution showed Arias being interviewed by police as she had created brilliant cover-ups to the murder. Yet they were all disputed in front of her yesterday as the lead homicide detective presented evidence against her.
Arias was arrested in her grandparents' hometown of Yreka, California where she was living at the time in July of 2008. As Mesa police began to question her in Yreka, the lead detective, Esteban Flores, slowly revealed incriminating evidence to Arias as a tactic to get her to admit the motive for killing Alexander. Arias first tells detective Flores in a videotaped police interview, that she wasn't in Arizona at the time of Alexander's killing and insists she is not a murderer, even saying it out loud "I am not a murderer" in the interview room as she is sitting by herself.
But Flores had photos from Alexander's camera of Arias' police interview to confront her with. These photos, with a time and date stamp on them, showed Arias and Alexander engaging in sex and other, seemingly accidental photos, appear to show Alexander being attacked. When confronted with the photos for the first time in July 2008, Arias covered her hair over her face, as if to hide her emotions and said: "If Travis were alive, he would say I wasn't there." Flores snapped back, "I speak for Travis now."
As Flores continued to try to get Arias to admit her motive for murder she acknowledged in a calm way that Alexander had found the person he wanted to marry but that Arias didn't know that person "had turned Alexander down" until she met that person at Alexander's funeral. The prosecution believes that Arias killed Alexander because she was jealous over Alexander dating other women as potential marriage material. That was despite the fact that Alexander, a devout Mormon and motivation speaker, was having sex with Arias.
Just as detective Flores began to make progress with Arias in the taped interview, she created a new murder scenario. Arias then admitted in the interview to taking the sexually explicit photos with Alexander and making a video, which was erased and not retrieved by police. She proceeds to say a couple came into Alexander's home and killed him and threatened her and her family if she told. After the tale, Flores told Arias, "I don't believe you. I was hoping I would come in here and you would tell the truth. You feel responsible because you did this. This is an elaborate story that doesn't make any sense."
Also entered into evidence yesterday were cell phone records for Alexander and Arias showing that Arias called Alexander several times from the state of Arizona leading up to his murder. The state implied Arias also accessed Alexander's cell phone to listen to his voice mail messages and then called to leave Alexander a message of innocence to show she hadn't just brutally stabbed him and shot him to death. The message was about her road trip, getting lost on the trip and going to see the pay Othello in the next month together.
Arias' defense team has now come up with a third story for the trial. They say she did kill Alexander but in self-defense because he was an abusive sexual deviant. Yesterday they argued that the call that appears to be accessing voicemail on Alexander's phone could have been someone erasing messages, not snooping for information.
Arias' legal team is trying to avoid a death penalty conviction.
Written by Cindy Cesare