Jurors allowed to consider manslaughter in Arias trial - Tucson News Now

Jurors allowed to consider manslaughter in Arias trial

Judge Sherry Stephens (Source: CBS 5 News) Judge Sherry Stephens (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Jurors can consider a lesser charge of manslaughter as they decide the fate of Jodi Arias.

In reading instructions to the jury Thursday morning, Judge Sherry Stephens gave the panel four options to consider: first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter or acquittal.

[WATCH ON CBS5AZ.COM: Live feed of Jodi Arias trial]

For the past four months, the jury has listened to testimony, including 18 days from Arias, leading up to today's closing arguments.

Prosecutors maintain Arias killed her ex-boyfriend Travis Alexander in a jealous rage at his Mesa home in June 2008, while the defense maintains Arias killed him in self-defense.

Arias would be eligible for a death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder.

Prosecutor Juan Martinez later addressed the jury with his closing arguments before a courtroom packed with family, media and curious onlookers. People began lining up outside Maricopa County Superior Court about 2 a.m. to vie for 11 available seats through a lottery system. Holders of cards with an "X" were allowed in the courtroom.

The lottery involving 67 people delayed the start of Thursday's proceedings until nearly 10:30 a.m.

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Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.

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

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