Jodi Arias’ defense attorneys recently filed a motion to push back the penalty phase of her trial until January 2014 due to scheduling conflicts. Mr. Nurmi will be out of the office quite a bit in July. Jennifer Willmott has five different trials set for the summer of 2013.
Apparently they’re also having difficulty finding people who can vouch for Jodi. In the defense’s motion to delay the trial, they cite both Patricia Womack and Ms. LaViolette as being unable to testify on Jodi’s behalf due to threats. Without these two witnesses, Jodi was unable to present a “complete picture to the jury.”
As the defense sees it, Jodi
“was ready to present…evidence at trial until the point in time when mitigation witnesses felt too intimidated to come forward. Thus, in essence Ms. Arias needs the requested time to find alternative means of painting the picture of Ms. Arias’ life that defense counsel must present and the jury must consider.”
The defense may also be attempting to develop a new strategy to spare her life in the penalty phase, potentially arguing that she is mentally ill and shouldn’t be given the death penalty.
“…neither reason warrants a continuance…Therefore, the court should deny the defendant’s request and should instead set trial in the penalty phase for July 30, 2013. This date will accommodate defense counsel’s “out of office” commitments as well as the defendant’s desire to call witnesses.”
It is expected that judge Sherry Stephens will announce her ruling at a status conference scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013.