Dateline   |  May 10, 2013

Obsession, Part 5

The trial gets back to reality.  The prosecutor, known for his aggressive style, cross-examines Jodi, known for her unflappable demeanor.  Everything is on the line.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> the jodi arias trial may have played like entertainment. the millions of devoted viewers hooked on the daily drama unfolding on cable.

>> you may come forward and take seat, please.

>> this wasn't a tv show . it was a murder trial. the stakes were literally life and death .

>> what are you trying to say?

>> am i allowed to tell you what i'm trying to say?

>> looking back, the four-month trial came down to this, a showdown between the bull dog prosecutor and the woman whose image changed at trial from sexy wannabe photographer to accused killer. he found a crack in jodi 's trademark composure when jodi appeared to have a perfect memory of her sexual escapades but not of stabbing travis 27 times.

>> i have no memory of stabbing him.

>> at first, jodi gave as good as she got in sparring with the prosecutor.

>> what factors influence you're having a memory problem?

>> usually when men like you are screaming at me or grilling at me or someone like travis doing the same.

>> that afcs your memory problem.

>> it does. it makes my brain scramble.

>> and then the matter of the gun that jodi used to shoot travis . she testified she found it at his house.

>> how now he's in the closet.

>> reporter: martinez presented evidence that a gun of the same caliber was stolen from the home of jodi 's grarntds in yreka, california, while jodi was living there.

>> you brought a gun from yre krk a, didn't you?

>> no.

>> the indication this was premeditated murder . after all of the lies and the tweeting by jodi arias , finally after days of cross-examination, prosecutor martinez seemed to break her down.

>> you would acknowledge that that stabbing was after the shooting, according to you, right?

>> yes. i don't remember.

>> i'm not asking you if you remember, ma'am. i'm asking if you are acknowledging that it would be you that did it, correct?

>> yes.

>> so if he is being stabbed in the back, would you acknowledge at that point he's no threat to you, right?

>> i don't know.

>> well, he's already been shot according to you and he's facing away from you. how could he possibly be any threat to you? i could only guess. i don't know what you are asking me.

>> reporter: jodi 's claim of self-defense was being whittled away.

>> would you agree that you are the person who actually slit mr. alexander's throat from ear to ear?

>> yes.

>> would you also agree that you are the individual that stabbed him in the upper torso?

>> yes.

>> and you're doing all of this, according to your version of events -- you are doing this to an individual after you have already shot him, right?

>> yes.

>> reporter: jodi initially tried to lie her way out of this jam. but was she now trying to cry her way out of it on the witness stand .

>> she is manipulative. she is cunning and i suspect she can be extremely seductive.

>> reporter: forensic psychiatrist steven pitt who's familiar with the case but who has not examined jodi arias sees a woman good at manipulating others, but not so good with being rejected. i saw her diagnosed by the prosecution's expert witness as having borderline personty disorder. what does that mean.

>> it could be the understatement of this particular case. they do not do well with rejection or abandonment. jodi arias is essentially the 21st century version of the character that glenn gloes close played in "fatal attraction."

>> if there was anytime during the trial when jurors tipped their hand about how they felt about jodi arias it came over the course of two days when they questioned her directly. arizona is one state where jurors can actually ask questions of the defend. the judge reads them.

>> did the police ever find your grandfather's gun.

>> reporter: while the tone was not as biting as that of the prosecutor, those jury questions were overwhelmingly full of skepticism and disbelief.

>> why did you place travis ' body back in the shower? why not just tell the police the truth from the start? after all the lies you have told, why should we believe now?

>> the lies that i have told in this case are -- can be tied directly back to either protecting travis ' reputation or my involvement in his death in any way. because i was very ashamed.

>> reporter: and that's what this would all boil down to, all of jodi 's lies.

>> she was a chameleon. she read people really well, really well. she would adapt to whatever situation she was in.

>> reporter: jodi 's old friend aaron dewey.

>> she could reflect back to you whatever it was you wanted to hear. whoever it was you wanted her to be.

>> reporter: jodi arias spent 18 days on the stand, an almost unheard of stint for a defendant in any murder trial. but was that part of the defense's grand strategy ? keep jodi on the stand so long that jurors would never vote to execute someone they had gotten to know so well, in such intimate detail? phoenix criminal defense attorney has been following the arias case.

>> i think that was the defense strategy . the longer we keep her on the stand, the more they hear from her they will hopefully engraceuate themselves with her to a certain extent and hopefully spare her life.

>> jurors had four months to think of all the questions. just two days ago, they came up with the answers.