Jodi Arias’ legal bills have topped $2 million, a tab being footed by Arizona taxpayers that will only continue to climb with a new penalty phase set for March, reports the Associated Press. Arias, 33, was convicted of murder in May, but the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on her sentence. Prosecutors are now pursuing a second penalty phase with a new jury in an effort to get the death penalty. The former waitress and aspiring photographer is jailed awaiting her fate.
Maricopa County has paid $2,150,536.42 for her court-appointed attorneys, expert witnesses and other costs associated with her case. Arias admitted she killed her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008, but claimed it was self-defense. He suffered nearly 30 knife wounds, had his throat slit and was shot in the forehead in what prosecutors argued was premeditated murder carried out in a jealous rage when Alexander wanted to end their affair. The case captured headlines worldwide and became a cable television staple with its tales of sex, lies and a brutal killing while every minute of the trial was broadcast live. This time the judge will be limit media coverage. There will be no live video coverage of the second penalty phase, and electronic devices will be banned, meaning reporters won’t be able to provide real-time updates via Twitter as occurred during her first trial.