Jodi Arias Trial Update: Defense argues for mistrial on grounds of juror, prosecutorial misconduct

Prosecutor Juan Martinez asks defendant Jodi Arias a question about her diary during cross examination testimony in Maricopa County Superior Court on Feb. 21, 2013, in Phoenix.
AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Tom Tingle, Pool
Jodi Arias during cross examination testimony in Maricopa County Superior Court on Feb. 21, 2013 in Phoenix.
Pool, Tom Tingle,AP Photo/The Arizona Republic

(CBS/AP) PHOENIX - Attorneys for Jodi Arias claim "juror misconduct" was discovered during a closed proceeding last week, CBS affiliate KPHO reports.

When testimony resumes Tuesday, Arias' defense team is expected to ask for a mistrial, yet again, according to the station.

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The juror in question is reportedly believed to have discussed the case with other jurors. This behavior is forbidden in criminal trials until deliberations begin at the end of trial.

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Arias faces a possible death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder in the June 2008 killing of Travis Alexander in his suburban Phoenix home. Authorities say she planned the attack on her lover in a jealous rage. Arias initially told authorities she had nothing to do with it then blamed it on masked intruders. Two years after her arrest, she said it was self-defense.

Last Thursday, Arias' defense team argued for a mistrial on different grounds. They argued that prosecutor Juan Martinez committed misconduct by signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans outside court.

The argument prompted the judge to call a cable TV legal analyst to testify, and she was asked about what she has witnessed as dozens of trial watchers gather on a daily basis to see people involved in the case.

Judge Sherry Stephens then privately questioned each juror about whether they had witnessed Martinez's interactions with the crowd. Jurors in the case are not sequestered and are warned daily by the judge to avoid media coverage of the trial.

During Stephens' interviews with the jurors, information came out regarding the alleged misconduct of Juror 5, reports.

The motions for mistrial will be discussed in a hearing Tuesday morning.

Complete coverage of Jodi Arias on Crimesider