Jurors deadlock on Jodi Arias' penalty; judge declares mistrial - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

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Jurors deadlock on Jodi Arias' penalty; judge declares mistrial

(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
Jodi Arias testifying on her own behalf (Source: CBS 5 News) Jodi Arias testifying on her own behalf (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Jurors have deadlocked on a verdict of life or death for Jodi Arias in the 2008 killing of her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander.

The judge declared a mistrial in the penalty phase about 4:30 p.m. and the jurors were dismissed.

On May 8, the jury found Arias guilty of first-degree murder and later determined the killing was cruel enough to merit consideration of the death penalty.

Now another panel is expected to be seated and the sentencing process will start over on July 18.

The jury deliberated for roughly 13 hours before the judge made the ruling.

The jury told the judge late Wednesday morning they could not reach a unanimous verdict on whether she should be sentenced to life in prison or executed. The judge then sent them back to deliberate, saying they should identify areas of agreement and disagreement as they work toward a decision.

They deliberated all afternoon and left for the day at 4:30 p.m. without deciding on the verdict. They returned to the courthouse Thursday morning.

The defense and prosecution gave their closing statements Tuesday afternoon, and the jury began deliberating about 3 p.m. The jury wrapped for the day about 4:30 p.m. and returned to the courtroom about 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The judge read an instruction that had not yet been read to the jury about a life sentence.

Jodi Arias addressed the jury Tuesday morning in her last plea for her life. She told the jury that she can contribute to society from prison if she is allowed to live.

She said she'd like to start literacy and recycling programs in prison.

Arias also said she never meant to cause pain to the family of Travis Alexander and that her family kept her from committing suicide.

Arias was the only witness the defense had testify on her behalf in the penalty phase. The defense said one of Arias' friends was going to testify but claimed she was scared after receiving threats from the public.

The judge instructed jurors they could consider a handful of factors when deciding what sentence to recommend, including the fact Arias has no previous criminal record.

The jurors had the options of life in prison or the death penalty for Arias. If she gets life in prison, the judge decides if Arias could qualify for parole after 25 years.

A new panel likely will be seated to try again to reach a decision on a sentence -- unless the prosecutor takes death off the table agrees to a life sentence. The judge scheduled a retrial for July 18.

Stay with cbs5az.com for updates on this developing story. Follow @elizabetherwin for updates from the courthouse.

[Text BREAKING to 23765 to get a text alert when the verdict is reached.]

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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