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.
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