Jodi Arias, 32, the Arizona woman charged with stabbing and shooting her lover to death, took the stand in her defense on Tuesday, describing a past full of physically and mentally abusive ex-boyfriends. Arias is accused of slashing and stabbing Travis Alexander 27 times—including slitting his throat—before shooting him in the head in June 2008. Arias said Alexander, a successful businessman and motivational speaker, invited her over for a day of sex but he turned violent, although prosecutors claim Arias killed him in a jealous rage. On Monday Arias admitted she killed Alexander, saying “he attacked me and I defended myself.” After the June 2008 crime, Arias had initially denied any involvement in his death, first blaming masked intruders. She could face the death penalty if convicted.
IN HER OWN WORDS Matt York/AP