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Jodi Arias Escapes Death Penalty in Killing of Lover in 2008

The jury announced its decision in Phoenix after five days of deliberations.

Jodi Arias escaped the death penalty on Thursday when a jury failed to agree on a sentence for the murder of her lover seven years ago.

The judge declared a mistrial. It was the second time that a jury could not come to an agreement on whether Arias should be put to death or serve life in prison. In court in Phoenix, relatives of the victim, Travis Alexander, sobbed.

The judge read a note from the foreperson of the jury: “In my assessment, we are hung, and additional time will not change this.”

Under state law, judge herself will now decide whether Arias should get a life sentence or should have the possibility of release after 25 years. The sentencing was set for April 13. The prosecutor would not comment on what the state will recommend.

Alexander, 30, was shot to death and his throat slit in 2008. Arias, now 34, was convicted of first-degree murder in 2008.

— Erin McClam